My foot’s been killing me for two years. Not every day, but I have asked my mom to take me to the doctor at least every couple of months since I turned seven.
“It’s just growing pains,” she’d say. Or, “Be sure to wear your Nike’s today.” But it just wouldn’t stop hurting.
I know what you’re thinking, but don’t blame my mom, she does the best she can. And we did finally get to the doctor’s a few weeks ago. They wanted to do x-rays, but we decided to wait until we saw a specialist. Today was that day. We went to the orthopedist. One who specializes in kids like me.
After my mom filled out about a million pages of paperwork and the nurse took me into a room and aproned me for an x-ray, I met the doctor. She wasn’t at all what I expected. First she said, “Hi, I’m Chris.” It was strange, I thought, that she told me her first name. And she shook my hand before she shook my mom’s.
She asked all kinds of questions about my foot. When it hurts? How it hurts? How long it hurts? Where it hurts? And on and on. Sometimes her questions made me scrunch my nose and look at Mom for help. I’m only eight; I can’t remember everything.
She moved my foot around and stretched my leg from my hip to my heel. “Is that eczema on your knee there?” I nodded my head and — meeting my mom’s eyes — mouthed the word WOW. This doc knows everything, I thought.
And that’s not all she knew. As she got up to go get a few things from her office, she turned and said, “And you know sometimes when kids come in here, they worry that they might get a shot. Don’t worry, we don’t even have shots here.” How did she know that even though my mom told me I wouldn’t be getting a shot, I was still worried that this would turn into one of “those” doctor’s visits. This doctor was awesome!
Then she broke the news. I have a disease. “It’s actually a stupid name for it,” she said, “because it’s not really a disease.” So I don’t have a disease. She gave it another name. “That’s just the fancy long name for it in Latin,” she said. “I don’t usually see this in kids this young. I think you just got ripped off and got this a little earlier than most kids,” she said. Yeah, did you hear that? I got ripped off!
“So you can either choose a boot” and she explained what that would mean. “Or you can choose a cast.” Then she turned to my mom. “So, the question is: Did you bring a boot girl or a cast girl with you today?”
My mom’s eyes were wide. I imagine my eyes were wide, too. A cast, I thought. A cast? A cast! I’ve never had a cast before. “Uh, I don’t know,” my mom said. She really wasn’t sure. I could tell by the way she crinkled her forehead and started biting the edge of her thumbnail.
Long story short: I got a cast today. A green one. A lime green one. And I’ll have it for three weeks.
And it must have been meant to be because
- A. I just finished a rotation of PE today and will only miss one rotation after Spring Break.
- B. I can’t play on the gravel playground, which is actually no big deal because they just fenced it off to put in our new play structures, and it will be off limits for — you guessed it — three weeks!
- C. Best of all, my mom could have written today about how her dad died on the St. Patrick’s Day before I was born, but instead she’s writing about me and my new green cast. Yep, definitely meant to be!
I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. Check it out!