What kind of mother indeed

24 Sep

A week ago last Saturday, DynaGirl went with Goose and the neighbor and the neighbor’s daughters (DG’s and G’s BFFs) to open gym at the place Goose takes gymnastics. About an hour after they left, I got a call from my neighbor saying that DynaGirl had fallen off the balance beam and hurt her shoulder. They iced it there, and when she got home I iced it some more and gave her some ibuprofen. It wasn’t swollen or bruised and didn’t have any other sign of injury.  We figured with a few days rest she’d be good to go. It was sore and tender for about three days, and then she just sort of stopped complaining about it. A couple of days after that, I noticed DynaGirl still wasn’t moving it normally. She had trouble lifting and extending her upper arm, and whenever she got dressed, she would use her other hand to pull her arm through the sleeve. I decided I had better get her into the doctor just in case. It was Friday and after hours for her regular doctor, and since I try to avoid the walk-in clinic as much as possible, I decided to call on Monday. They didn’t have an appointment available with her regular doc on Monday, so I just scheduled one for Tuesday.

So I took DynaGirl to the doctor yesterday to have her arm checked out. The doctor was totally puzzled by the lack of pain that accompanied the lack of movement. She said it was like DynaGirl had dislocated it, but she had never seen a case of dislocation where the patient wasn’t in fairly intense pain.  We went to x-ray. It wasn’t dislocated. It was broken. BRO-ken broken. Like totally and completely all-the-way-through-the-bone broken. What kind of mother lets her daughter walk around with a broken arm for 10 days? This one. This one does.

They were very nice to me about it—tried to reassure me there was really no way of knowing given how little DynaGirl had complained. At least five people commented on how remarkable it was that she wasn’t in obvious pain with that kind of break. We ended up going to see the ortho guy, and he said it actually looks good. It’s slightly angulated, but he’s fully confident that as she grows it will all readjust itself perfectly and in a couple of years (a couple of years?) we’ll never even be able to tell it was broken. She’s got a couple weeks in a sling, and then we go back for a follow-up.

So I guess my negligence hasn’t caused her any permanent damage, but I still feel like crap.

Moral of the story—You can totally screw up with your kids and they’ll still be OK.  And you can have a dozen people tell you it’s not your fault, and you’ll still feel like crap.

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17 Responses to “What kind of mother indeed”

  1. Alison Wonderland September 24, 2008 at 1:47 am #

    I had been a mother for all of a week when my sister pointed out that feeling guilty was what being a mother was all about. She was right.
    But I’m still going to tell you not to feel bad. You do a good job.

  2. thewoobdog September 24, 2008 at 7:00 am #

    That’s ok (yeah, like you’ll believe that) – a friend of mine once walked around for two weeks (riding horses, playing soccer, etc, all the while) with a broken neck. He had dived into a sandbar off the coast or something (he was your typical foolish teenager). It kept hurting (unlike DynaGirl’s) and his dad kept telling him to ‘man up’. Finally his mom took him to the hospital and the x-ray showed a fairly serious fracture in one of the vertebrae.

    I guess the moral of that story is – at least DG wasn’t walking around with a broken NECK! And, YOU’RE A GOOD MOM for taking her to a doctor and following through even when she wasn’t expressing any pain – there’s no way you could have known, especially given that you didn’t actually SEE the fall that caused it and could only judge the severity based on what people told you and what you observed of the injury yourself.

    Not that any of this will make you feel better, of course. But we all think you’re a great mom.

  3. Susan M September 24, 2008 at 7:03 am #

    Oh dear. Has she always had a high pain threshold? My daughter was like that too when she was a toddler. She’d run around happy and smiling, stop to puke all over the floor, then continue running around happy and smiling—took her to the doctor and found out she had a bad ear infection.

  4. Julie September 24, 2008 at 8:25 am #

    Bythe, you are one bad mom.
    There do ya feel better now? I didn’t think so. You’re great and I love DynaGirl for being so tough! My girls are funny that way — if it’s really a “serious” injury, they’re totally tough and awesome. If their sibling yells at them or pushes them? It’s like they were just hit by a truck. Weirdos.

  5. Boquinha September 24, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    Awwww, I’ve heard stories like that before. Don’t beat yourself up too badly. It’s not like she was screaming in pain and you were sitting there saying, “Not now, I’m writing a blog post!” See? Now don’t you feel better?

  6. Lisa September 24, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Oh I’m sorry you feel that way. One of my favorite stories about my in laws is that one of the daughters broke her arm when she was about seven and her mom thought she was just being dramatic when she asked to be taken to the doctor. So the daughter cried “If Julie broke her arm, you’d take HER to the doctor!” So she took her, and darned if her arm wasn’t actually broken. Whoops. Names have been changed to protect the innocent of course.

  7. madhousewife September 24, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    Feeling like crap is what motherhood’s all about. That’s going to be the subject of my talk when they ask me to speak in church on Mother’s Day.

    And I think Boquinha made a very good point. At least you weren’t not taking her to the doctor because you were too busy blogging. Then you would really feel like crap. See? See how much more like crap you could be feeling? Count your blessings. Consider the lilies of the blankety-blank field. And now I’m going to stop before you feel worse.

    Tell DynaGirl I am sending her healing karma. (With my mind, since she doesn’t have a Facebook account.)

  8. bythelbs September 24, 2008 at 10:09 am #

    OK, maybe I lied. I’m starting to feel a little better. Thanks everyone!

    DynaGirl has a high pain threshold except for when I’m combing her hair or when she’s fighting with a sibling and trying to make sure they get in trouble (I know what you mean, Julie!) or when she just needs some extra attention.

    I’m actually very proud of her for not milking this one more. She sees how vulnerable I am, yet she’s not taking advantage. Yesterday after I apologized to her she said, “It’s OK, Mom. You’re not a doctor. How were you supposed to know?” She’s a good girl.

  9. cheryl September 24, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    She’s a dang good girl. One of the best! And she’s just like her mother, you know. Just like her. In every way. Except the part where she would have taken her daughter to the doctor right after the injury. Ha! Just kidding! Because we have no idea what she’ll be like with her future daughter. You just never know…but chances are, she will be just like you, and her daughter will be just like her, and revenge will be sweet. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

    Hey, I love ya. You know it. 😉

  10. Mother of the Wild Boys September 24, 2008 at 11:16 am #

    oh dear. This reminds me of so many of my mothering moments gone awry. How about the time I was holding my 3 month old while he slept, and while walking down the hall to lay him down, I cut the corner too close and bonked his soft fuzzy head into the doorway.
    Or the time I did the same exact thing, like two weeks later, in the closet doorway.
    Or the time that I made my oldest go to school ‘cuz I thought he was fakin’-sick, but he was actually real-sick, and he threw up in class.
    Or when I let my 4 year old try the twisty slide at the swimming pool, and he almost drowned when the lifeguard didn’t catch him.
    Or….Ok, I’ll stop. But see, it happens to all of us. 🙂

  11. Mother of the Wild Boys September 24, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    And I have to add….how about last week when I laid down for a nap in the afternoon, but forgot to set my alarm. So I was like 30 minutes late picking up my poor boys from school! 😮

  12. madhousewife September 24, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    You’re lucky. There’s no doubt in my mind that my kids would blame me. The ones old enough to understand the concept of blame would, anyway.

  13. Susan M September 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    Who knew a post like this could generate such hilarious comments?

  14. thewoobdog September 24, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    LOL – be glad she’s still at that forgiving stage. I still give my dad a hard time for not coming to take me to the ER when I was 14 and fell off my horse – broke my wrist, braces/teeth came through my chin, blood everywhere… My friend called him and he was like, “I’m the only one home and the Redskins are playing – I’ll come when the game’s over – it’ll only be a couple more hours.”

    (To his credit, once he was called AGAIN and told the seriousness of the situation, he came. Of course, the minute we got to the ER he went to the waiting room to see if he could get the game on their TV…)

    Like I said, be glad she’s young enough to not see the guilt-inducing potential of throwing this one back up at you for the next few years. 😉

  15. flip flop mama September 24, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh don’t feel too bad! How were you supposed to know? I’m glad you DID finally take her and it’s not TOO serious. Isn’t feeling guilty what being a mother is all about? 🙂 LOL

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