My son broke his wrist. Three weeks ago. We just got back from the orthopedist’s office today.
How does anyone wait three weeks to get a broken wrist looked at you ask?
When he broke his wrist I tried to get him to go to the ER to have his wrist looked at. The boy refused.
When he was little it was easy to just load him into the car and go. At 17 years of age and a foot taller than me it is not so easy.
I should have insisted that he go, though I am not convinced it would have made much of a difference.
Three weeks ago my son took out his frustrations on the main support beam of our house. He hit the concrete brace with his fist. The beam isn’t any worse for wear, you can’t even tell it took the hit. My son’s hand looked like an eggplant once the swelling and bruising set in.
My son is not a violent person. He does not go around hitting the walls of the house, or anything else for that matter. He is usually very laid back.
So what set him off?
I had a bit of a meltdown and bitched to anyone within earshot that I was tired of picking up after everyone. It’s usually pretty mellow around here. Most of the shouting comes from the daughter who wants her brother to stop touching/looking/farting/laughing/thinking about or at her. So to have me suddenly lose it was probably upsetting.
That wasn’t what set him off, however. What set him off was an exploding pop (soda) bottle.
I’d had a cold and the boy wanted to borrow the car. I said fine and asked him if he would pick up a can of pop for me. Something like 7 up or Sprite is what I told him. As some of you may know I used to have quite the Diet Coke habit. When I quit the Diet Coke it was difficult to say the least. My son saw my withdrawal and decided to nip his pop addiction in the bud. He gave up his Mountain Dew habit cold turkey. Getting off the Diet Coke was a lot harder for me.
I started drinking Tab when I was six or seven. The hard stuff, the kind with saccharin in it. I tried Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Free and other diet sodas but none of them had the punch that Tab did. When Diet Coke was released in 1982 I made the switch and never looked back. It was an expensive habit and one that wasn’t all that healthy. At the height of my addiction I was probably drinking 6 cans a day. So I quit and started drinking tea. I had headaches and was crabby for several days but once I got through that it wasn’t so bad.
And then I caught a cold.
There is something about the bubbles in a pop that just seem to clear my head. So when I asked for him to pick up a 7 up or Sprite what I really wanted him to get me was a Diet Coke. I was jonesing what can I say.
He returned with the asked for 7 up. He placed it on the coffee table and went down to his room. He was still upset with me for losing it in his direction. We were having alone time apparently.
I think I might have cried a little when I saw that it was not a Diet Coke. I left it there and didn’t open it because I just didn’t want a 7 up.
A few minutes later the daughter came in and saw the 7 up, she asked if she could have some. Sure, I didn’t want it, I wanted Diet Coke. Drink up, I’m just going to wallow for a bit longer.
She asked if I could open it for her so I grabbed it off the coffee table and twisted it open.
It exploded all over the couch, the blanket I was wrapped in and the shirt and sweater I was wearing.
I made a few assumptions in that moment.
None that I am proud of, but nonetheless I made them and went downstairs to accuse my son of shaking the bottle of pop vigorously before he gave it to me.
He didn’t and he didn’t like the idea that I would think he would do such a thing. And he was still smarting from out last conversation.
He hit the wall.
The next morning when I noticed his hand and suggested we go to the doctor he refused. We both blamed me for his stupidity. I gave him a brace to wear but said we should really go to the doctor.
Eventually the swelling went down, and the bruises went away. He could use his hand for most everything but lifting something with any weight to it was painful and he was unable to bend his hand back at all. Last night he decided that maybe we ought to have it looked at.
So off to the doctor we went this morning.
They took an x-ray and confirmed that it was indeed broken. I don’t remember the name of the bone but the doctor said it is one of the bones that takes the longest to heal. The doctor offered him three options.
Have surgery and place a screw in the bone
Wear a cast for the next 12 weeks
I was shocked at how much the doctor pushed the second option. He said if he had a broken wrist he would have the surgery without thinking twice. Of course he is a doctor who performs surgeries for a living. 12 weeks without being able to do his job might put a big crimp in his pocket book. My son doesn’t perform surgeries, he makes pizza and he plays video games.
I decided on the cast. I can do that because I am his mother and for one more year I get to make these decisions for him.
Having a cast was actually okay he decided. He could have all his friends sign his cast which would be much better than just signing his arm. We were escorted into a room where the doctor’s assistant, a man who had no sense of humor, would apply the cast.
My son had a smile his face the whole time his arm was getting wrapped. He was giddy with excitement about having a cast. Go figure.
He ought to get the cast off about the same time he gets his braces off.
We made another appointment for two weeks from now and left.
Before we were even a block away my son realized all the things he will not be able to do easily or at all now that his right hand is completely set in a cast. Video games will be challenging, texting will take twice as long, writing notes for school or taking a test will be extremely difficult. He did get the waterproof cast so taking a shower should be easier, though washing his hair and other parts of his body is going to be awkward. He didn’t mention it to me, but I am pretty sure that other thing that teenage boys do with their dominant hand will be challenging at best.
He is just going to have to become ambidextrous.