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iStock_000030156590Small child with broken foot

Take a Break

We’ve learnt a very important lesson again this weekend. While most boys bounce, ours breaks.


You know how it is, around the age of 10 the male of our species gets a shot of testosterone in their system, and suddenly they are 10-foot-tall-and-bullet-proof.


They start getting into even more mischief than usual, playing hide & seek at bath or bed time (i.e. they hide, you reluctantly seek), some develop an intimate relationship with the principal’s office, and more often than not engage mouth before putting brain into gear (some would argue that they never grow out of that one).


But hormones are not the only things with wings at this age; many a male has the sudden urge to fly … on bicycles or skateboards, or off any height well above their own. If they’re not careful (which, let’s face it, is most of the time) they come back down to earth with a thud.


My little man, though, came back with a crack.


It was simple enough: they were at a play centre, there was a jumping castle (AKA bouncy house), boys being boys got bored with jumping on the castle, so started jumping off it (totally against the rules and clearly signposted, but, well, these are 10 year old boys we’re talking about).


While most of them made a safe landing, my son did not. And like I said, where others bounce, he broke.


Now I wasn’t there (I was otherwise engaged at a funeral out of town) but I’m told that appropriate First Aid was applied, along with a mandatory rest period, before my boy hopped back up to play. Literally.


See, he has a mighty high pain threshold. A lifetime of juvenile arthritis has given him that.

Unfortunately it’s also given him brittle bones (years of steroids have leeched essential calcium), so no one thought he was that bad. Including the man of the moment.


Imagine my dismay after a day away farewelling a friend, to come home to news that our boy’s left foot was “a bit” swollen, and sore. A bit?? By next morning when he hopped out of bed (again, literally) it was a football rather than a foot, and it was off to hospital we went. Exactly 9 years to the day after we first took him to Emergency with a swollen left foot!


See, it’s not the first time he’s fractured something. Third, actually, both prior breaks being arms (left*, and right), both from ‘falling off’ chairs (he had a little help both times, but that’s another story).


Long story short, 3+ hours in Emergency, a few xrays later, we got the diagnosis of fractured Metatarsal #2 on the left foot, and suspected fracture of the Talus too. Terrific- like the scaphoids of before*, only the trickiest bone to diagnose, and slowest to heal.


After a decent amount of plaster cast and bandages (back slab only at this stage- for those playing along at home- due to excessive swelling of the football, er, foot), a quick lesson in using crutches, and a referral to the orthopaedic surgeon at the fracture clinic, home we go- with strict instructions for no walking whatsoever.


Forget flying.


But because it’s merely the latest challenge in a long line, and with more hormones on the horizon, our boy will bounce back.


Hopefully this time he won’t break!