Dot writes: things I’ve learnt over the last few weeks:

1. Apparently there’s a kind of broken bone children can get that isn’t really broken, but rather bent. Their soft bones can deform under pressure where an adult’s would just split. It’s called a buckle fracture. In the course of a surprisingly efficient visit to A & E on Monday 1st September (triage nurse, doctor, x-ray, doctor again, application of back-slab cast, and visit to physio all in 2 and a half hours) I was told that Hugh had one of these. He was given a sweet little zimmer frame and an appointment at the fracture clinic for the following week.

2. It’s amazing how many people have stories of having told their children off for moaning and made them go for walks and things when they actually had broken bones.

3. Having a child who can’t walk any distance makes it even harder to solve a giant childcare crisis, because you can no longer fall back on arranging for them to be picked up by people from the after school place and walk back to it, supposing the after school place would return your calls.

4. However, even buckle fractures can usually be traced to a memorable event. Waking up with a sore foot and developing a limp that turns to a hop is not the way it usually goes. Also, A & E doctors sometimes get over-excited. The specialist we saw on Monday 8th cut the dressing off Hugh’s ankle and sent him off home with one bare foot, telling us that his ankle wasn’t broken at all, and we could return the zimmer frame when we got the chance. (Needless to say it’s still in the boot.)

5. It is possible to recruit a new au pair and have her move in within a week. She’s from Valencia. She’s great. (Though if it had been that easy when I was trying to recruit an au pair in August there would have been no giant childcare crisis.)

6. However, I still feel massively stressed because term is heading towards us like a train and, frankly, the last few weeks have been a bit of a disaster work-wise. Next summer the arrangements need to be simpler.


I’ve just learned another new thing: if you do a google image search for ‘child zimmer frame’, after a bit you get a picture of Bob Dylan. I wonder why?

9 thoughts on “Buckling

  1. laura

    Minnesota native Robert Zimmerman may have inspired the design for frames of eyeglasses. This is my best guess on that last question. Still, I would have no idea about children seeking style frames in order to emulate Bob Dylan! Hoping for Hugh’s swift recovery, too.

    1. Dot

      Ah, that may explain it. Hugh is absolutely fine – after a week of hopping (since we had believed the A & E doctor), he went straight back to running vigorously about. There had been something wrong – he could put no weight on that foot at one point – but whatever it was healed completely in a week of rest.

  2. Yep, I have a friend who moaned about her arm for over a day before her mother took her in and found out it was broken. I have such a low pain threshold that there never would have been any ambiguity if I had broken a bone, though. The screaming and vomiting would have convinced my mother in short order.

    I have never heard of buckle fractures either. GOOD TO KNOW.

    1. Dot

      Good to know – except it’s another thing to worry about…

      A couple of years ago I slammed the car door on my finger. It was so painful I almost fainted, and afterwards it was swollen and stiff for a while and hurt for a week or two, but I never went to the doctor about it. I still wonder whether it was broken. Fingers can heal fairly quickly – Ken’s did when he broke it a couple of months back. (In his case a genuine break, confirmed by the specialist, sustained during tag rugby.)

      1. I wonder! You got off easy though – PH had his thumb slammed in a locker door as a kid and it was SEVERED. Luckily there was a skin graft specialist present at the hospital when he came I so it was not only reattached perfectly but there is no scar!

  3. Poor we lad! I hope he’s almost fully repaired now.
    I had a ‘greenstick fracture’ of my arm/wrist when 10yrs – it’s much the same description as above (imagine a green stick – it doesn’t snap – it untidily splits as it bends) – and it was bloomin’ sore. None of my teachers believed me – and Mum gave me a telling off for being a drama queen – until of course they all had to eat their words… Yx

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