Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Physical therapy

The Boy threw a fit every time we asked him to go to the potty this weekend. I figured he was just angry to have playtime interrupted by a biological necessity -- and really, haven't we all felt that way? -- but in the midst of a colossal fit, my inner hypochondriac kicked in and I wondered if he might be giving himself an infection or something, holding the pee.

"Does it hurt?" I asked.

"Yes," The Boy moaned.

"Where does it hurt? How does it hurt?" I wanted to make sure he wasn't just parroting my suggestion as a stall tactic. (Not that a 2-year-old would EVER do that. Certainly not my little angel.)

"My arm! My elbow hurts."

This is not where I thought the conversation was headed.

But after further questioning and inspection, we discovered The Boy would not or could not extend fully the arm he broke in May. He also couldn't bend the arm enough to touch his shoulder. Instantly, everyone was guilty. I was convinced I reinjured the arm when I unceremoniously tossed the tantrumming Boy into bed. The husband, after The Boy said the elbow hurt in the jogging stroller, was sure he should have been more careful helping the kiddo out of the stroller. My mom blamed The Boy's four-wheeler crash. I became less concerned when, the morning of the better-safe-than-sorry doctor's appointment, The Boy took a flying leap off a stool, landed on his arms and never made a peep. Perhaps he's just babying it when convenient, I thought.

I was right. The Boy's arm is just stiff, according to the orthopedist.

"I always tell parents," the doctor said, "we could send them to physical therapy, but the physical therapist isn't going to accomplish as much as you can. The kid doesn't trust them."

So, we're now doing physical therapy with The Boy twice a day, which basically amounts to tricking or coercing him into extending the arm into its full range of motion. We're playing Simon Says and using Momma as a jungle gym/flying machine. Add another unexpected line to the parenting job description.

Anybody else ever had to do this? Any tips?

1 comment:

Gerbicks said...

we've mostly dealt with speech therapy & only dabbled in physical therapy (when addy was 4 months old & now for gross motor skills)...not specifically from an injury or her arms but! we've made the therapy fit into daily routines & games, just like you're doing. (bravo! to you) stickers have been good rewards when addy is unwilling to play along (if we get desperate, one m&m for each attempt).

i hope his arm feels better soon! poor kiddo.

but your thoughts that somehow you or your husband damaged him--i do that also. parents seem to blame themselves before anything else, eh? bummer.