About that ‘super-strong’ and ‘super-speedy’ guy…

Worries have a way of sneaking up on you, but I should have seen this one coming.

A few weeks ago, Toby had a skiing accident, caused in the manner most common for young kids on the slopes: by another skier. Suddenly cut off, he was forced to turn sharply into the powder of the trees. His ski went one way and his body another, and quite rudely, the mountain did not give way to the human knee.

Even for this superhero kid.

Instead, he was rewarded with a snowmobile and sled ride compliments of ski patrol, an emergency splint the length of his leg, and a great story to tell. By the time I was alerted and met him in the first aid room, he was all smiles. Attention + Toby = one happy kid, and it’s good to know this equation holds true even in pain.

He seemed in such great spirits, in fact, that his ski coach wondered aloud whether he’d be back in class as early as the following weekend, and I agreed. Driving home, his leg propped up on the seat back in front of him, he happily played his Nintendo DS while I debated whether he really needed a same-day follow up with his pediatrician. In the end, I made the appointment, but figured it was overkill…Toby was itching to get off the couch within an hour of arriving home.

Two visits, four x-rays, and an afternoon watching our lives click away on a radiology department clock later, I was starting to think I did have cause for concern. By Saturday evening, Toby’s smile was long gone, and it was safe to say the fun of wheelchairing around the waiting room had worn off.

A full week later, he still wasn’t walking on his right leg without a limp, and his right knee was still swollen to the size of a baseball. Our pediatrician referred Toby to an orthopedic surgeon, and we were told to expect an MRI ordered at the least. We saw the surgeon last week, and, though she was optimistic that he’ll make a recovery without surgery, we’re in ‘wait and see’ mode.

I don’t scare easily, but this has me worried. Not so much about any possible procedures (although imaging Toby lying still for an MRI or patiently recuperating from a surgery has me laughing hysterically), but about the long-term implications: what if we’re missing something? What if this never heals properly or fully? Because he’s six, and despite our recent jokes about his new ability to predict rainy weather (yeah, that’s not very funny, is it?), the idea of a six-year-old being permanently damaged is horrifying.

And yes, I’ve been putting it into perspective, especially as I watch Japanese children on the news being tested for radiation, and as I read blogs of parents of disabled kids, or even as I catalogue our collective worst fears.

This is not a worst fear. It’s not a worst-case scenario, and it’s not the end of the world. It’s even a calculated risk we knowingly take when skiing. But it’s a worry. A very real worry for my athletic, energetic, take-on-the-world child that I wish hadn’t penetrated our home and our lives.

That’s all I’m saying.

16 thoughts on “About that ‘super-strong’ and ‘super-speedy’ guy…

  1. Yikes! Pook kiddo (and poor Mom!). It is scary; even if it’s not as terrible as being washed away in a Typhoon, it doesn’t dimish the fact that your kid, right now and here in your world is hurting.

  2. I tend to minimize everything related to medical problems. But, knowing that you are a ski family just like ours, I’d be inclined to really get it checked out. My hubs just had surgery today for his. It’ll be January before he’s ready to try to ski again. His surgeon said that he could do rehab and get to the point where he would feel like he doesn’t even need the surgery, but if it really is a torn ACL, those things don’t heal on their own. (MCL, LCL and meniscus are all different and can heal on their own.)

    I’d be inclined to just do the MRI and IF there is a problem, you can address it soon enough so that next season he’ll be all recovered.

    Also, think snowboard – many, many people have told me that following their ACL injuries, they turned to snowboarding because it’s easier on the knees.

    Sorry if I seem like a know-it-all, but I’ve just been living this the past two months. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I appreciate you giving me your opinion, because you’ve been there! We’re traveling this week, and I’ll ask his doctor about these concerns at his appointment in a few days. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Rudri. He’s doing better every day, so his six-year-old body is doing its thing. At this point, I’m mostly concerned with not doing enough, thinking he’s better when maybe he’s not totally healed, you know?

  3. Poor Toby! I am clueless about ski injuries, but I understand the small worries. I sort through them every day in an effort to figure out what’s important and what’s beyond my control. Sounds like you’re worry is correctly placed. May he heal well!

    • The small worries are what get to me, actually, because as you say, they’re the ones I have the hardest time letting go of. The biggies I know I have no control over!

  4. Aww, poor Tobes! I hope he’s doing better, looks like it from the photo in your recent post about the resort you’re at. Hope all the swimming is helping cure what ails him and there’s no permanent damage.

    • Swimming has been great for him, and I’ve noticed since we’re now hiking in the Olympic Peninsula that it does seem better. Thank you!

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