Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Give Me Tylenol, Give Him a Bat

‘Thwack' ... 'Thwack' ... 'Thwack' ...

I heard the noise, but I didn’t pay much attention. I had a raging headache and my emotions were rolling all over the map. I took some Tylenol and walked over to the couch and threw myself into the folds of the pillows and cushions. I didn’t want to hear noise or think thoughts. I just wanted to be quiet.

The day before my son had hit his arm on a concrete piling when he had run into it while doing wheelies on his bike. He hadn’t complained about undue pain. He could move his wrist to all angles. His lower arm didn’t hurt when I touched it. Nothing was swollen. He had a small bruise. He was always bruising himself. He was a sports loving, risk taking, always moving kid. He was a typical boy.

I put an ice pack on the bruise. He went to bed and slept all night. The next morning he went to school with no pain, no swelling, and no complaints. In fact, he had all but forgotten about his bruised wrist.

After school he went to a friends house. The friend’s mother called me at work. “I don’t know, but maybe you should take him to the doctor. He’s not bothered, but his wrist looks unusually swollen to me.”

So I came home, gathered him up (despite his loud protests), and carted him off to the doctor. His regular doctor was on vacation so we were referred to the doctor that was filling in.

The doctor took one look at his arm, turned to me and said, “You are worthless as a mother. It is a mother’s duty to protect their child. Look what you have allowed to happen to him.” He ordered an x-ray and stomped out of the room.

The wrist was broken. But according to the doctor he could not set the bone until some of the swelling had been reduced. He was going to have to put a needle into the wrist and draw off some of the edema before he could cast his arm. This was told to me in between the constant litany of my failures as a mother.

I was yelled at and threatened with immediate entrance into ’derelict mother hell’, but I was also told to hold my son still so he wouldn’t jerk when the needle was inserted. I held my son, the needle went in, the needle hit the bone, my son yelled, I gulped for air and went down. I hate to admit this, because it has never happened before and has never happened since, but I fainted dead away ... on top of my injured son.

I came to with the doctor yelling at me that I was the most “worthless mother” he had ever come in contact with. I was banished into a corner. A medical assistant was brought in to hold my son and the arm got a cast.

My son didn’t seem to be the worse for any of it. He had a brand new cast and a great story to tell all his buddies. I was in terrible shape. All I wanted to do was get rid of my horrible headache and try to forget all the nasty things that that nasty doctor had said about me. But there was that ’thwack, thwack, thwack' sound again. It was making my head throb.

I got up, went outside, and tried to locate the horrible noise. Maybe I could talk whoever was making the noise into letting up for a bit. Just until the Tylenol took effect, please!

In the back yard my son and his friends were laughing and yahooing. They were playing baseball. My son was up. His best friend was the pitcher. But my son didn’t have a bat..... He was hitting home runs with his brand new cast!! Thwack, thwack, thwack!

About the time that I opened my mouth to yell, “I’m gonna ’thwack’ you if you do that one more time,” the cast split into two pieces.

We had to go back to that same doctor to have the cast repaired. I walked into his office feeling like a dog with his tail between his legs. I was so embarrassed. The doctor yelled that he was going to report me to Child Services, but my son spoke up and said, “Leave my mother alone. It‘s not her fault.” And the doctor did. From that time on he treated me as if I was a decent human being, although he did it with a grimace.

We laugh about that story now. The kid that felt no pain when he broke his wrist is a great story to share with the kid's kids. But I learned a great lesson from that experience. I had been hammered and intimated by doctors from the time that I was a small girl. From my son I realized that doctors are not Gods. Sometimes they are just mean, nasty people and you have the right to tell them to leave you alone.

I also learned that raising a boy is not the easiest thing in the world, but it certainly is one of the most interesting things that you can do!

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