Correction. I didn't break him actually, just a sprain. Here's a few things that crossed my brainwaves when I considered the idea that Mason might be hurt seriously.
1. But I just took him to the doctor 1 week ago.
2. I'm probably overreacting.
3. He could be overreacting.
4. I'm going to miss golf.
It takes a certain kind of person to forge ahead. Namely, I knew that I had endured 2 hours of interrogation the week before. The circumstances were pretty straightforward. While changing Mason's diaper this past Wednesday I noticed what I thought was a rash on his abdomen. After a chat with the nurse she urged me to come in right away.
So here's something I learned -- and you should know it, too -- the skin rash that is associated with meningitis does not fade under pressure. It kind of looks like a hickie. It might begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.
So we rushed in thinking that he had a skin rash, not fresh bruises. Uh hmmmm... this is a poor attempt at foreshadowing.
Turns out the rash was fresh bruises. Bad bruises caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. Seriously. Do you know what happens when you bring your baby to a doctor with buises this bad that cover his abdomen? The doctors and nurses and physicians assistants go into child-advocate-overdrive. I was --in all honesty -- asked the following questions.
1. Do you have a ping pong table? Could he have been hit with a ping pong paddle?
2. Does he spend any time with babysitters or in a daycare? Do you trust them?
3. Has he been crying a lot? How are you feeling?
4. Can we check your other kids ears? (This after checking Mason's ears and I presume wanting to check to see if I or anyone else had hit them hard enough to knock their brains into the ear canals.)
5. How long has he had that scar on his cheek? How did it happen?
6. Is this a burn (pointing to a small bump on his arm that he has seen a dermatologist for)? (In retrospect it looks exactly like a cigarette burn.)
Oh wait up, before I get ahead of myself. Did I mention that on the way to this appointment Cooper (the other kid) got such a horrendous bloody nose that I used every diaper and ever baby wipe in my car and walked into the office with him dripping blood? Yeah, that happened. So let's keep track here.
1. One child walks into office sputtering blood all over the place.
2. The other child has petechiae bruising.
Ding. Ding. Ding. Does she beat her kids? For the record, I have no idea how Mason got the bruise. I think he got it at the gym playroom. But I have no idea. Cooper gets bloody noses because he has talons for nails and he does pick his nose. And I should also mention that during the process of checking Cooper's (the other kid) ears his nose started to bleed, again. This time so bad that every member of the nursing staff was attending to him, blood splattered on the wall, the carpet, the nurses, and me, AND they had to spray Afrin up his nose then plugged it with a tampon. (You can see evidence of some of the bloody noses he's had since here.) The whole office looked like a C.S.I. scene. No joke.
Seven days later Mason falls off the climbing wall at the local park. And I am certain he is hurt but I have absolutely no desire to take him to the doctor. First the bleeding, then the bruising, now a broken leg? Not a formula I wanted to be a value in. So I pretended it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. The next morning was golf league day so I scrubbed up my kids and took them to the babysitter.
I got only 1 hole of golf in before the dreaded call from the babysitter. "Ummmm, I'm sorry to bother you but Mason is rolling around on the ground saying his foot hurts. I think you should come and get him." Fun stuff.
Now, let's face it. He's not hurt very badly. Turns out it's hard to break an ankle, very easy to sprain it. And that is probably exactly what he did (the doctor didn't even feel it should be x-rayed). It also turns out that even when you bring your kids to the doctor more often than the doctor works they don't arrest you. Thank goodness for those child advocates, though. Because sometimes the bloody nose plus the bruised abdomen plus the broken foot do equal child abuse. Keep up the good work, doc (and nurse, and PA, and teacher).
PS -- My favorite moment of the day was when the doctor actually wrote on a prescription pad that I should carry him whenever he asks. Thirty. Two. Pounds.