My memory may be hazy or inaccurate but it seems that when I was a kid it was fairly obvious when someone had a broken appendage. “Jimmy fell off the monkey bars and his arm was twisted around and completely facing in the wrong direction, so of course I ran him right to the hospital.” It seems that broken limbs used to dangle helplessly at askew angles so it was obvious that they needed to be fixed. These days everything looks normal except your kid (who just might be trying to get some attention) claims that “something hurts.”
You’d think I would be smarter; this is not the first time this has happened to me. Same child, same arm. When he was 3 he and his sister were waiting for her school bus and playing their usual game of push-the-sibling-off-the-rock-into-the-pile-of-leaves. He came in crying and didn’t stop for a while but eventually calmed down, though he wouldn’t move the arm. I dragged the poor kid to a grocery store two towns away so I could buy dry ice for the 4th grade Halloween party before I realized that every time something even brushed his arm he turned deathly pale and looked like he was going to throw up. He ended up in a cast from shoulder to fingertips.
And yesterday, well, he let me gently squeeze the arm all the way up. I figured there was no WAY it could be broken; it was probably just very badly bruised. So I dumped him at his dad’s office and he walked around saying hi to everyone with his right arm bent and clutched against his torso.
Six hours later he came home from the hospital looking like this.
And I felt like this.