Stott Sphere

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Getting a Black Belt is Like Pregnancy February 22, 2015

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 10:46 pm

Is it wrong for me to find a trip to the emergency room just annoying as all get out?  I feel a little guilty about it.  Perhaps I should be more worried about my poor injured son and less worried about how many doctors we actually need to see and how expensive it will all be.

In my last post, I told you all the tale of Ryan’s face injury.  Today will be the post script to that story.

After the long weekend, I decided we had better get it checked out, and I took Ryan to the pediatrician.  {Side note: I realized that this will probably be his last trip to the pediatrician before his age forces him to seek different medical help.  Gulp.}  The pediatrician told us his own horror story about having a very similar injury, and then he directed us to get a CT scan.

So the next morning, I kept Ryan home from school and took him to get the scan.  I dropped him back at school during his lunch break, and headed off to a friend’s house.  From my experience, I honestly expected not to hear anything about the results of the scan until late in the day.  But before I could make it to the friends house, the doctor’s office called with results.

Drum roll……     Orbital fracture.  A pretty serious one.  The radiologist apparently thought Ryan had been in an ATV accident, judging by the type of fracture it was.  He was surprised that he had been walking around all weekend and not in the ER already, and surmised that he must be a “tough kid.”

Well, he got that part right.  When I told Ryan about this, he heartily agreed.  “I AM a tough kid.”

The nurse went on to say that Ryan was going to need to see an opthamologist, an ENT, and a plastic surgeon.  I’m not going to lie, the words “plastic surgeon” freaked me out a bit.  She said there was no way to coordinate all these doctors on an outpatient basis, and that we would need to go to the ER immediately.  And not just any ER, they want us at Primary Children’s Hospital, which is a good 45 minute drive, past at least 3 other hospitals.


So I went back to the high school and collected Ryan, and we headed to the ER, where we scored the last parking space in the garage, and where the resident that saw us seemed pretty unconcerned.  He did agree that it was a pretty bad break, and got the ENT to come take a look.  The ENT told us that…

1. Ryan had nerve damage to the middle of his face, (half his nose and upper lip are numb) and…
2. There is nothing they can do about it.  In fact, it may take months or years to heal, or may even be permanent.


Both doctors agreed that Ryan’s eyes were fine, and there was no need for him to see an opthamologist or a plastic surgeon.  There is what they call a tripod fracture around his right eye, and yes, it is displaced.  But, guess what?  They can’t do anything about that either.  You just have to let it heal on it’s own.

In fact, the only question I asked that elicited much excitement or remotely useful advice from the staff at the ER was about Ryan’s karate classes.  They advised some solutions that were both ridiculous and expensive, of course.

I left the hospital feeling like I just spent half my day getting a really expensive consult with an ENT resident.  Grrr.

I followed up this fun little foray with a visit to the karate school, where I spoke with the teacher and advised him that no one was to touch Ryan anywhere near his face.  (I mean really, the last thing he needs is for someone to push a piece of that fractured bone into his eye.)  This led the teacher to not only remove him from sparring for 6 weeks, but also remove him from any partner work where a person might even pretend to hit him in the face.  This made me very happy, and made Ryan extremely annoyed.

To be fair, he is getting really close to that black belt, and the teacher at the advanced class has been pushing him really hard.  Ryan’s comment about all of this?  “Getting a black belt is like pregnancy, Mom.  Every week counts.”

It was not a phrase I had ever expected to hear Ryan speak, but he was right.  Every week he gets better and better, and if he is to reach his goal, he really needs to make substantial progress each and every week.  When I spoke with the teacher of the advanced class, he informed me that as recent as a few months ago, they didn’t think there was any way Ryan and Quinn would make it to black belt.  But now, they are looking like black belt material.  {I thought to myself… “That’s, umm… honest.”  I never had any doubts, myself.}

The real bright spot in the day was when Grandma and Grandpa came over with a treat, and took a picture of him for the Roper Famiy “Black Cloud Award.”  He got some ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Which made Brooklyn contemplate breaking her leg again.  *sigh*  They never learn.


One Response to “Getting a Black Belt is Like Pregnancy”

  1. Maren Says:

    Although I haven’t dealt with any injuries like this, I can totally empathize. Every time we have some sort of injury I always have to remind myself to be a bit more empathetic and a bit less of a cheapskate. But it’s hard, being a Roper and all…

    All I can say is, I see you and I see my future. Who knows what sorts of fun ER adventures await the Madsens? Probably something serious/unfixable/expensive as well. 🙂

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