The Day I Discovered my Spidey-Sense

Yesterday, I discovered my Spidey sense.

Connor and Teyla were playing happily in the living room. Suddenly there was a thud. Then a wail. 

The thud wasn't particularly interesting. But that wail. I just knew it was different than a normal "I'm so angry my brother pushed me" cry. Teyla was cradling her wrist and saying, "Owie! Owie! Owie!"

I administered the standard set of at-home remedies -- an ice pack, snuggles and lots of kisses. But I had a niggling feeling in the back of my brain that this injury wasn't normal. Teyla is a pretty tough little girl. She normally bounces back within seconds, if not minutes. So when a half-hour of "Team Umizoomi" did nothing to quell her whimpering, I called our pediatrician.

One of the triage nurses agreed I should bring her in. We were on the road within five minutes. Just moving Teyla to the car triggered a fresh wave of wails. Her wrist (her thumb? her arm?) was obviously hurting. I drove the 15 minutes to the doctor's office with one of my arms twisted behind me so I could hold her hand.

Our wonderful pediatrician's office got us in quickly. Teyla lay snuggled close, tear-free only when the ice pack that kept her wrist immobile wasn't disturbed. A couple of x-rays later, and we knew we weren't dealing with broken bones. But she was still in obvious distress. She wouldn't reach for anything with her injured right arm, and she wouldn't engage with her funny brother or the fish tank in the lobby that normally prompts giggles and declarations of "si-wee pish."

The sympathetic doctor said there wasn't much more they could do. She gave Teyla a hefty dose of ibuprofen and sent us home with instructions to bring her back that evening if she didn't start to show improvement. It's possible for wrist fractures to not show up on x-ray until they start to heal, she explained. But since it didn't show up on the x-ray then, modern medicine had reached its limits.

To no one's surprise, Teyla fell asleep on the way home. She napped most of the afternoon. But when she woke up, she didn't seem improved. She continued to cradle her wrist and say "Owie." She still wouldn't use her arm, preferring the awkwardness of her left hand to the pain in her right.

I started to make plans in my head for a second trip to the hospital that evening.

But then, gradually, she started to return to normal. She requested a cookie to eat. She showed some interest in her toys. She giggled at "Mami" the dog and started to boss the older kids around. "No Con-yer! My car!" 

Gingerly, she started to use her right arm. And within 60 seconds, she was full strength, back to normal, as if nothing had happened that morning.

I watched her carefully over the next hour, grateful for a sudden healing but cautious that she would do something to to re-injure her wrist. Nothing happened. She ran around like a banshee after dinner, screaming warrior cries and chasing Connor with a light saber. 

Today, there's nothing left of yesterday's drama but a bluish tinge on her wrist and thumb, and a Mom who's reassured that her Spidey-sense will overrule the Vulcan logic when necessary.

Maybe I won't be the Mom to ignore her kid's broken bones after all.


  1. I'm glad it isn't broken. Yeah, I'm the mom who ignores her kid's broken bone: