Friday, March 18, 2005

Sore subject

I had another little ER jaunt yesterday, this time with my son and a sore arm. He'd fallen at recess and scraped up his right palm pretty good, but what was really bothering him by the time he was leaving school was his left arm. Now, this is a kid who rarely feels pain, so when he's screaming "Ow! Ow! Ow!" when I try to move his arm, refusing to put his arm in the jacket sleeve, unable to buckle his seatbelt, and actually crying about it, I pay attention. My husband agreed that the arm looked a little swollen, so off we went to see a doctor and get some X-rays and wait and wait and wait.

He was not able to be very specific with the medical professionals about where it hurt; I tried to explain that he doesn't feel pain well and he's not really in tune with his body that way so he may not really know exactly where the pain is, and maybe they believed me. He did get the X-rays, which of course showed nothing, but the doctor said that since he was a "young main with open growth plates," she'd go ahead and put a splint on him for a few days, and if by Monday when we took it off the arm still hurt we could go to our pediatrician and get more X-rays and go on from there. I have a feeling this was an "appease the mom" device, and under normal circumstances would have felt full of doubt over whether I had made too much of his cries of pain. But during our long wait, something important occurred to me: He wasn't sucking his fingers. He always sucks his fingers. He will not allow himself to be dissuaded from sucking his fingers. But the fingers were on the hand attached to the sore arm. And he simply could not bend it to get them to his mouth. That arm hurt, alright. Of that, have no doubt.

Now, with the splint, he really can't bend it. Will three days be enough to break him of a habit he's had for 11 years? Maybe I should have asked the doctor if we could keep it on for a few weeks.

No comments: