Thursday, April 13, 2006

you're all right. stop being such a wimp

Well it's happened again. You'd think we would have learned our lesson.

About three weeks ago #1 son started complaining of lower leg pain. We asked him if he hurt himself and he said no, his leg just started hurting. He said "I think I need some Motrin". (In our house Motrin is the cure for just about everything. Oh you have a brain tumor? Just take some Motrin. That flesh eating bacteria is chewing up your arm? Motrin should take care of that.) So we gave him some Motrin and he was fine.

2 days later the pain was back. He didn't have it all the time, just intermittently. Sometimes he'd go a couple of days without pain. Motrin usually took care of it. But over the next three weeks it got progressively worse and he said he was having trouble walking. When we got back from Spring Break we took him to get x-rays. They showed a possible stress fracture of his left tibia and a susequent MRI confirmed it.

This is what his stress fracture looks like on MRI.

The white area in the top picture is the fracture sight. The area is dark on the other 2 images.

So now he has 4 weeks of relative inactivity. No sports, no running, jumping or climbing. Just when the weather is getting nice. It figures.

This isn't the first time he's broken his leg and we thought he was faking. When he was 2 he jumped off a low platform at a playground. Later that day he said his leg hurt and refused to walk. We told him it was probably nothing and he'd be OK. After a week of him complaining we took him for x-rays and they were normal. Ah ha! See, your leg's not broken we told him. There's nothing wrong with you so stop whining. After another week of him saying his leg hurt we took him back in for more x-rays and this time they showed a fracture of his left tibia. The same bone he's broken this time! Sometimes hairline fractures in kids don't show up on x-rays for a couple of weeks. I know this. It's my job. But as is often the case, doctors usually ignore their own illnesses and those of their family members. They usually think it's nothing and you'll be better in a couple of days no matter what the problem is.

Now, #1 son is playing the guilt and sympathy cards big time. This is the second time he's had a broken leg and we didn't believe there was anything wrong with him. Are we great parents or what? We've become his personal servants. "Dad, could you get me a Dr. Pepper from the basement. I'd get it myself but my leg is broken". It's going to be a long 4 weeks.

The sad thing is, next time he complains about something hurting, or being sick, we probably won't believe him. "Just take some Motrin. You'll be fine".


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