A couple of weeks ago I posted about my daughter Ione’s chest pain. She’d been roughed up a little in a rugby game, a couple of times, as a matter of fact. I watched all this happen from the sidelines, really not sure what I was seeing, because it all happened so fast. A trip to the campus clinic was made a couple of days later (this child gets in no hurry to see the doctor) and an x-ray was taken of her poor, sore body. Nothing broken, go home and rest, she is told. Which I’m pretty sure she didn’t do, because young adults tend to roll along and ignore any signs from their body that a nap now and again might be a good idea.
Fast forward to yesterday. She calls me. “Mom, I’m going to the emergency room. My chest still hurts.” Well, thank god she went to the emergency room but OMG, it’s been two weeks and her chest still hurts. I panic a little, not much (I know that’s bad; I’m supposed to be calm and soothing, but OMG, it’s been TWO WEEKS!) I rattle off the things that might happen when she gets there: MRI, hospital admission, zombie attacks, and the flu. Which reminds me that she needs a flu shot. At which point I beg her to get one in the ER since she’s going to be there anyway and the LAST thing she needs is the flu. I try to appeal to her aversion to going to the doctor by telling her it will save her a trip to the clinic. She tells me she’ll think about it, but I know she won’t. We get off the phone and I wait.
She calls a bit later while I’m driving her little sister around for her doctor’s appointment (possible hairline lumbar vertebrae fracture, but that’s another story) and tells me her rib is broken. Apparently x-rays don’t show broken ribs that well and according to her ER doctors: “It’s going to suck for six weeks but you’ll get better. You probably won’t get pneumonia. Be careful. ” I think I love him.
And I’m happy my kid has a broken rib. Who gets happy about a broken rib? The mother who has taken her child to the hospital for terrifying reasons that can’t really be fixed by simply avoiding rugby tackles. A broken rib is easy.
Also, it’s a sports injury. Which means she plays sports. Which means she feels well enough to be physically active. Good grades mean that she’s cognitively healthy. A part time job means there’s some energy left over from dealing with college life and getting those good grades. Right now, she is strong. For today, she’s all right. For today, I’m very lucky.