January 24, 2012


so, parker broke his finger on the weekend.

i tried to suppress the urge to cheer.
nice mom i am.
i'm not happy he broke his finger
but really, a broken finger is a sign that he is able to do some normal kid stuff
and THAT we are happy about that.

there is no big dramatic back story to go with how the finger was broken
he jammed it playing basketball.
it's a big deal that he was playing, yes, but other than that, no big drama.
end of story.

i am legendary for being acutely dismissive of broken bones in our house.
partly because i am reticent to go to the ER...i hate sitting in ERs. hate it. but in my defense, my kids don't react in the way someone with a broken bone should (or how i think they would or should) so how am i to know?
like the time avery broke her leg.

she was 2. we were at science world. her and parker went down that wood slide they have there (it should be burned, it is so dangerous). the short of it? she got stuck. paker did not. he was right behind her. we heard a little crack, she cried hard for 5 minutes. and then seemed fine. she wouldn't walk or put any weight on her leg but she was happy.
graham thought we should have it looked at

"she's fine. she'll be fine. she's happy, it's probably just a sprain." i confidently asserted.

and besides, "if we take her to the ER, we are gonna sit there for hours only to be told it is a sprain and to go home and ice it and give her advil." 
no thanks!

so we went out for dinner.
i know, right!
then when she still wasn't putting weight on it several hours later, graham convinced me we should just get it checked out.

by that time it was evening.
ahhh, what a bother.
off we went with our non-walking but very happy toddler in tow
arrived at the ER
3 hours.
avery happily played the entire time.
surely, if her leg was broken she'd be screaming or at least crying.
i had enough.
"we're going." i said in exasperation. "this is ridiculous. she's fine."
we got called in, just as we were preparing to leave
i nearly said forget it but after waiting all this time figured we might as well be seen.

sure enough.
an xray revealed full tibia fracture.
oops. sorry 'bout that.

taylor, who played very competitive basketball all thru high school, 
broke nearly every finger
his nose
he likes to remind me whenever possible how i ignored his broken bones
again, such a sympathetic mom.

but hey, in my defense, i didn't think one could break something but still continue to play. yet he often did.
how was i to know they were broken.
i always thought they were sprains.

i hate sitting in ERs.
so boring. so long. and all for what? for an xray and a doctor saying, 'it's just a sprain. ice it and take some ibuprofen.'
i could've told you that - minus the 3 hour wait
even if it is a break, a finger they splint and then send you home with the same advice.

so, when at the end of a basketball game, taylor would say he had a sore finger(s)
i believed him but didn't think they were broken
after all, he'd just played the entire game
"i play thru the pain" he would say
and i'd reply
"i'm so proud of you! here's some ice and an ibuprofen. i'm sure your finger will be fine."
the finger(s) would keep hurting.
eventually, i'd take him to the doctor
sure enough, 3 or 5 or 7 days after the fact, we'd learn that the sore fingers the poor kid had been walking around with were really broken.

oops. sorry 'bout that.
he's never let me live it down
nor forget.

so on friday, when parker started complaining that his finger was really sore, i only made him wait one whole day. i know, right? old habits die hard.

ha ha.

and of course, the sore fingers thing applies to me too. it's a story i don't let graham forget!

way back in 2007 i was just a few months into treatment... on mepron and zith for babs. treatment that provokes some of the most terrible, horrible herxes ever. i was sick. sick. sick. sick. i thought i was dying. i felt like i was dying. i wanted to die.

as i had started my decent into herxing hell, i had sent out a "desperation" email to a support contact i found on the canadian lyme disease foundation website. the response i got had been a saving grace as i plummeted further into the unimaginable, indescribable world of herxing - to know someone else had been thru it, to know that this insanity was "normal", to know that i was not alone, kept me surviving. it meant so much. by the time the email had come, i was so wracked with pain and dealing with psychiatric symptoms of OCD episodes, unrelenting panic attacks that would go on for 3 hours at a time and suicidal ideation. i was hallucinating and my cognitive function would deteriorate. i would lapse into episodes where i had no idea who i was or where i was, then there were the fevers, chills, sweats, the tremors, vomiting, arrythmias, and the pain. always the pain. pain that makes your teeth rattle. the kind of pain so intense, that even just a bed sheet draped  over my body, was too much weight and only intensified my pain.

there were many times over those days, where graham tried to convince me to let him take me to the ER. i would have none of it. i was surely beyond help, so i'd rather die in the comfort of my own home.

yes, i was in rather horrendous shape. 
but i wanted this person to know that their email had meant so much. in a moment of lucidity, i whispered to graham to pls email them and let them know that i had gotten even worse but thank you so much for their response.

it took a week before i was well enough to manage a few minutes at the computer.
then i saw it, graham's reply

"this is graham. shannon's fingers are too sore to type, but she wanted you to know how much she appreciated your email."

my inability to communicate was chalked up to sore fingers?
you have got to be kidding me? we still laugh at that.

the moral of the story?
sore fingers aren't always what they appear to be.

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