Thursday, July 7, 2011

break it down

Most of my kids take out their anger in a healthy way; by bludgeoning each other with toys, or making somewhat nonsensical comebacks, like, "I'm going! You don't have to warn me." (hands on hips) Or they lay down on the floor and scream until their little faces get red and sweaty, with no one to hear them, because we have closed the door. (Not Tristy, we never let him cry)

But this one kid I have doesn't have those reasonable coping mechanisms. His strategy is to grunt hoarsely when annoyed, and build up to poking himself in the eyes and eventually beating his own head, like a one man version of West Side Story. Last week he started slamming his arm into the table, and managed to do enough damage to convince a pediatrician and 2 parents that it might be broken, and to cast reasonable doubt on various decoy doctors and radiologists. We like to keep 'em guessing.

It was a bad day. Spending the day at the hospital is always emotionally draining, even when it's not really a crisis. There's just no good part of trying to help a kid who hurts himself. It's guilt-inducing and frustrating and so on. But if there was a break, it was at this one place in between growth plates and it wouldn't show up on x-ray, and it didn't seem like it was. So we got our splint and came home and then he alternated slamming the splint into his hip and taking it off all week and bringing it to us, gesturing at his aching arm. Yeah, about that splint...

Today was the follow up appointment and they confirmed once again, that it was probably not broken. I have great faith in modern medicine, but it gets a little old hearing guys in white coats say "probably". Don't those guys have the inside on this stuff? Because me and the guy over at 7-11 could come up with "probably not broken".

Anyway. They gave us a new little velcro splint, since he says it still hurts by emphatically signing "yes" with his probably not broken wrist. School starts August 17th, y'all.


  1. Sometimes i want to say something, but what i want to say is in some sort of sign language that isn't official and is made up entirely by me, and then i don't know how to spell what i'm signing. So, imagine that when you write, my heart steps out of my chest and wants to walk over to Missouri, or whatever non-Texas place you're in, and give your heart a hug. I love your little Richy. And i love the way you love him.

  2. You bless us all with your willingness to share your heart
    , jess. Although I am a big part of little Richy's story it is so wonderful to have you come close with him so I can cry or laugh or sometimes both. Then it seems you are not so far away.mama


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