Today is a health lesson courtesy of my youngest son.
Helios,being full of limitless boy energy, unsuccessfully took a leap from atop our backyard picnic table. The jump was unsuccessful in that he landed a bit wonkily on his ankle. It immediately swelled. We immediately iced, elevated it and started Motrin. He was able to walk on the bum leg and by the next day was running. So no worries, right? My husband and I assumed it was just a sprain. From our medical experience, if you can walk on it, it's a sprain. If you can't walk on it, it's broken.
The pesky swelling held fast so we bought ourselves a visit to the pediatrian, a visit to the orthopedist, an x-ray, and two co-pays. And a walking cast and a stylish velcro boot.
Apparently, the human body has changed a lot since back in the days when my husband and I were spraining ankles left and right. Or left and right ankles as it were. Seems these days the "walk equals sprain/no walk equals broken" has been labeled a myth. Seems that kids have things called growth plates at the ends of certain long bones. Seems these cartilaginous growth plates can break and the kid can still walk, run and play kickball...for a day or five.
Yes, for five days we let our child, with his unknown cracked growth plate, walk, run, play kickball and do all the other things eight year-olds do with their intact growth plates. And he seemed fine; which only supports another myth I like to perpetuate which is that kids are made of rubber. Our orthopedist shot that one down too.
Just so we don't appear completely neglectful, the pediatrician visit was on day 2 and they apparently still follow the "walk equals sprain" theory. Hmmmm.
The end of the story is that Helios gets to wear a walking cast for four weeks. His biggest concern is that he can't play kickball at recess during that time. I personally find that a benefit given this new information regarding growth plates and kids not being made of rubber.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but what about my growth plates???