Friday, July 10, 2009

Strength whence we don't expect it

I apologize, but I'm going to wax sentimental and personal in this post.

Many of us bloggers have looked to our children as a source of material for our posts. See here and here for just two examples. We can't help it. Our kids tend to be a source of inspiration for creativity or at least discussion topics.

I'd like to relay a story about one of my kids that has taught me something important.

This past week, my family and I spent some time visiting my brother and his family in the Chicago area. From the moment we arrived, the cousins were engrossed in their playing. It was fun to see. During the course of play, someone decided to play a good ol' fashioned game of "jump off the top bunk onto stuff." Seriously, who hasn't played this game? We all have. Well, during the playing of said game, all of a sudden I hear my 4 year-old daughter crying.

She hurt her foot. After a few minutes of consoling, she stopped crying, but she did not want to put any weight on the foot. We put a little ice on it and gave her some Tylenol. Before we knew it, she was crawling around the house playing with her cousins. She was still unable to put any weight on it, but that did not stop her. She was not going to let her injury slow her down.

We thought since she was in no obvious pain that she slightly sprained it and that in a few hours she would be back on it.

She continued to play as if there was nothing wrong. She crawled around as best she could to keep up with all the kids. She never complained. When we tried to get her to put weight on it, she refused.

She went to bed that night, and we thought that by the next day it would be better. After all, there was no way it could be broken. She was in no obvious discomfort and wasn't complaining a bit. Not even a little.

In the morning, things had not changed. She still would not put any weight on it. She still crawled all over: up stairs, down stairs, across wood floors, across concrete floors. By noon, it became clear we should have the foot looked at. I was still convinced it was not broken, but it was time to have a professional doctor look at it.

Off to urgent care we went. Sure enough, metatarsals 1, 2 and 3: broken. They put a temporary cast on until we can see an orthopedic specialist. Until then, she can't walk on it. She has to crawl or be carried everywhere.
We drove for about 10 hours to get home. She never complained once. OK, maybe once, but she had gone 8 hours without any pain medicine. I kind of forgot.

So, what's the point of this post? I am once again deeply impressed by my child's toughness, strength and lack of self-pity. Primarily the latter. There are times when I have a little cold and expect the world to stop and give me comfort. I get a sliver and my world comes crashing down.

The only time she really cried was when we were at the doctors and I told her her toes were broken. She's only 4 but knows what that means. She cried. I cried. We both composed ourselves and from then on, I drew strength from her.


katiedid said...

What a tough little cookie! I hope it heals fast!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I can't even begin to think about how awful my kids would take something like this...

I once tugged on my son's pajama shirt too hard and it hurt his arm, and he went around holding his arm for nearly 8 hours, keeping it pressed to his abdomen like it was broken.

He wails when I threaten to take him to the hospital. Egad. Maybe buying him bunkbeds isn't such a good idea...