Motherhood and Guilt

Why, exactly, is it that the possibilities for guilt in motherhood are just endless?

I just returned from taking Ana for her two week check-up on her broken collar bone.

Technically, two weeks would have been last Tuesday but I'll feel guilty about THAT later.

Because the verdict is that her collar bone is NOT healing well. There is no sign of a "big honkin' knob of calcification" according to the doctor and apparently? That big honkin' knob is what we're looking for. (He also said that these knobs remodel themselves, "maybe not in two or three years but at least within four or five." He said that mothers tend to get a little freaked out at sight of those big ole knobs but really, it'll be okay in the end.)

Ana has no big honking knob of anything.

Naturally, I think this is my fault.

Because she's been seeming so fine that I've probably let her over-do. I mean, it's hard to keep a child occupied when all you can offer is television and books. At least if that child is my Ana.

I have mentioned that I have a very high pain tolerance and that it has caused me quite a bit of grief because the body gives normal people pain signals for a very good reason--to get you to do whatever you need to do to stop that pain. So if you don't FEEL that pain, you do a lot of damage. I inherited this trait from my mom and it's very clear that Jane has it, too. (She's all about "It's just a Flesh Wound.") But Ana's always been more of an easier complainer, if you know what I mean, so I just assumed she had a normal pain tolerance.

Well, nope.

She's been doing all kinds of things with her right hand because she doesn't feel the pain in her collar bone that a child with normal pain reception would feel.

I think I should have somehow noticed this. Because she's been my child for every bit of her 9.85 years and shouldn't I just... well, KNOW HER?

The doctor said that she had to come back in two weeks and that she wasn't to lift ANYTHING with that right hand. She can write but she is not to lift one single thing with that hand.

I have no idea how to enforce this. Tonight she was eating a sandwich at dinner and I almost lost my mind when I saw her raising it to her mouth with that right hand. ("I wasn't always malformed! It was a... it was a... it was a SANDWICH that did it!")

So, I think we have to put one of those straitjacket kind of braces on her. But I'm not sure I know where to get one. Can I get one without going BACK to the doctor? Because that was all fun and all (big honkin' fun) but it took us almost two hours. (I did get some knitting done.) Have y'all ever tried to buy a brace like that? Were you successful? Did CPS show up on your doorstep?


There must be something that would immobilize it or at least remind her not to use it...

But there are so many other things to feel guilty about, you shouldn't waste all your energy on this one incident. Pace yourself.
Candy said…
If CPS hasn't shown up at my door for some of the crap I do to my children (just asked poor abused Jamie) then I doubt they will care if you glue her arm to her side...

Duct tape?

Lynn said…
I agree with SuburbanCorrespondent. Pace yourself. They're both still very young, and you still have the teenage years to get through. Ask the woman who knows!

Loved the Monty Python excerpt. Thank you for getting my Saturday off to a good start. Now go eat some chocolate.
DK said…
Down, girl. Did the word "surgery" come out of his mouth? Or "displaced"? No? Then you're still okay.

Ana's a rational child. She can understand noting-at-all-with-your-arm-or-you-might-damage-it-FOREVER kind of reasoning.

I like the duct tape idea. Just don't put one of those big cone collars on her like poor Scout had to wear....
Kerry said…
I broke my collarbone when I was about 12. I did it playing hockey after being specifically forbidden to do so, but my friend's dad was a cool guy who coached a women's leagu. He bought me a pair of skates (I promised to pay him back someday, and I did, in grief!!!) and put my on the ice. It turns out they forgot to sharpen the skates.

Anyway, after not being able to move my arm I had to fess up and get medical treatment. However I couldn't stop myself from playing hockey, and I would wait two weeks, then slowly start playing again. I was addicted. My poor bone took forever to heal. I remember it as being at least 6 months. My biggest memory is of teachers telling me that I was lying and there was no way I still needed a brace because bones do NOT stay broken that long.

She'll heal. They always do. It sounds like she is causing an appropriate amount of grief in the process!
hokgardner said…
I'm sure you could pick something up at one of the medical supply stores over behind Seton. My husband has taken to haunting those stores looking for the perfect neck brace.
Ei said…
Barb? Breathe honey.

I'll bet hokgardner is right about the medical supply places, but I have to say, her husband scares me a tiny bit.

Here's to some serious calcification nobbies for Ana. And some more wine for her mama. Hugs.
Anonymous said…
Woah darling. You just beat yourself half to death because the kid isn't in sufficient pain. Want to run that one round again and take another look at it. And while you are at it, consider the question of whether Ana the Indomitable would allow a little thing like pain to stop her from doing what she wants to do. Didn't think so.
Tenna Draper said…
Barb I'm so sorry that your little girl has to go through all this, pain or just dealing with it...but hold your horses, because I'm going to yell at you now, and I don't want you to get the wrong idea, dear, but I really do have to yell at you now...or I will explode.

DAMN, Barb! I told you that the doctor would tell you about this "bone job" that would grow and fix/knit her collarbone together!!! I'm gonna beat you over the head with a broom! Did I NOT SAY that a friend of my husband's also broke his collar bone, and the doctor told HIM the same STUPID story, and 3 months later, he's got bones that now needs to be pulled together because there's an inch of space there where this doctor said there should be a BONE JOB?

Come on woman! Not meaning to make you feel guilty or something--but seriously, did you even listen to me? I feel badly that you didn't hear what I had to say, and instead listened to the IDIOT doctor, who you would EXPECT to know what he's doing, and told you to find another doctor if he DID!

You have to completely immobilize that part of the body, with tension pulling the bones together, or they will not heal together...there is no such animal as a bone job in my experience. and I had a broken ankle, so I should know. I'm really upset with you that you didn't listen to me, cuz I just KNEW that you'd end up with the doctor saying the same thing to you as my husband's friend said to him. Now he's almost a year later, and there is no "heal" left. He'll have to have it wired and screwed together with plates.

Shoot. I'm not even a doctor, and I knew that much. Sigh. Rant over.

Get your daughter to a better doctor and hope like heck that she doesn't have to now have plates and screws to put her back together.
Robin said…
Motherhood --- Raising children is like trying to nail Jello to a tree! She's still breathing and not bleeding????? My youngest (now 23) swears he told me his nose hurt -- now he's got this crooked beak -- I don't remember him complaining about his nose and thus no doctor visit! Soccer, taekwondo, who can keep up??? Hang in there and stand in line for that mother of the year award!!!
DK said…
Um, Ms. Draper? You need to back the fuck off.

Ana's going to be fine. Bones heal, it's what they do. With big knobs of calcification. This is a process practically older than motherhood itself. This is one of the most natural things there is, and it's going to work out just fine.

But then, what do I know about the human body? I'm just a doctor, after all.
LaDonna said…
Wow, Tenna, judgemental much?

Barb, I know what you mean about docs making you feel like you don't know your kid at all. When Paige was a baby, she had a couple of ear infections that I didn't take her in for until they were pretty bad, but the reason I didn't take her was because she wasn't exhibiting ANY of the signs of needing a doctor. She didn't cry, or pull on her ear, and as far as being sick, it always seemed like just a few little sniffles.

And as far as keeping Ana's arm still, I bet hokgardner's right. You'd be surprised the cool stuff you can find at those medical supply stores!
Emily Cole said…
I just found your blog, and I know my locally owned pharmacy carries that kind of thing. Hope it helps! Em