If you’re a parent, chances are you have been where Kristen Hewitt was. Kristen’s daughter was having fun playing with her sibling, when laughter turned to tears, and then limping.
Kristen was solo parenting, as her husband was out of town, so she treated her daughter’s sore foot as best she could and popped her into bed.
“I elevated her foot, inspected her toe which had slammed into the corner of the entertainment center, and iced it. When she was still upset and in pain an hour later I gave her Advil and put her to bed,” Kristen explained on her blog.
“Don’t be a drama queen”
Most mums, dads and carers will have been in this position, not sure how bad an injury is or whether a bit of “crying wolf” has been thrown into the mix. Kristen suspected the latter, but the next day, daughter Lila was an even MORE unhappy camper. Her foot was still bothering her and things quickly went from bad to worse.
“The next morning when she couldn’t put any weight on it though, I was like, ‘Seriously? It’s just a bruise! Try walking on your heel, don’t be a drama queen.’ Since she could only hop on one foot, she had to stay home from school.”
“Later she threw up, and around lunchtime, I looked again and the toe did look funky. Black and blue, with a weird bump, and she still couldn’t walk at all.”
“Two broken toes, one completely severed”
Time to call in the experts, and a trip to the orthopedist revealed that Lila was not fine. Not fine at all. Gulp.
“Lila, you have two broken toes, one completely severed,” the medic told the little girl.
A mortified Kristen apologised instantly, and then – very healthily – moved on.
“I was shocked. I immediately hugged her and told her I was sorry for doubting her and she said happily, ‘That’s OK Mom, I’m a total drama queen!’” she told Babble. “I didn’t beat myself up though. I did the best I could. I’m just glad she didn’t have to suffer too long!”
Me: “You’re fine. It’s just a bruise, walk on your heel. 🙄”#dramaqueen 👑 (24 hours later…)Orthopedist: “Lila, you…
Kristen shared the story on Facebook – and her blog – suspecting she was not the only parent guilty of dismissing their “dramatic” children’s injuries. She suspected right, as mums and dads flooded the comment section with tales of misdiagnosis.
“My son landed badly in the trampoline after a back flip and told me he couldn’t breath. I’m a nurse in ICU and need a lot to be impressed. I told him “you can talk, that means you can breathe”. 24h later, went to the doctor with him as his chest was still very sore … broken sternum!” one mum wrote.
“I’m a nurse and still didn’t take my son in for three days over his “sore” wrist. Growth plate was crushed in his wrist. Mother/nurse of the year!” another commenter posted.
“Mine had a broken foot for two weeks before I took her to the hospital. Thought it was just bruised/sprained and that she kept re-injuring it coz she wouldn’t stay off it … came home in a cast for 6 weeks right on school holidays,” someone else said.
Perhaps you too have been in Kristen’s position and misdiagnosed something serious as a bit of kid-engineered drama? As you can see, you are most definitely not alone! Gah!