The Clobberer

Silas got his cast off the day after Easter. FINALLY. It has been a long process. He had a splint, and then another splint, and then surgery, placing a temporary pin, and then another splint, and then a red cast, and then a pink cast, and now a removable brace.

When I was a kid, somebody would break their arm over the weekend, come to school with a hard cast, and then have it cut off 6 weeks later. Done. But now, it’s more of a thing, and I kept being surprised at how there was another other thing. JC broke his wrist as a kid and still has problems with it, so I have to assume that this is a better system, that we’ve learned things in the past 30 years, and that maybe Silas will have a better time of it.

Another striking thing about this experience is how very expensive it is. We’re fine, we had a decent emergency fund, we’ll float. But we are luckier than most people. We have relatively good insurance. JC has a good job, and my freelance work has been going well. But the total out-of-pocket cost for this whole thing was over $2000. Forty percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency. No wonder medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in this country.

I keep thinking of Mo Brooks, an Alabama politician, who made headlines a couple of years ago for basically saying that people who lead “good lives” should get cheaper health insurance because they’ve done the right things to keep their bodies healthy. But don’t we all know a marathon runner who had cancer? Don’t we all know a vegan who had a heart attack? And what about something like this, where a child was just having a good time with friends and had an accident? I’m sure athletic people injure themselves more than sedentary people. This is one of those things that just happened. It’s not because Silas was bad or reckless or we’re negligent parents. And we still had to argue with the insurance company about covering it.

It’s enough to make me want to move to literally anywhere else in the developed world.

Easter outfits (the Easter bunny at our house is super woke)

But, the good news is that Silas is back to his usual cheerful self, his arm almost fully recovered. He struggled a bit with depression early on in this process, but bounced back, particularly once he had the pin taken out and a cast that allowed more mobility of his fingers.

He wasn’t as into having other kids sign it as I would have expected, but he did enjoy decorating it himself. He is thrilled to be free of it, although we do have to keep reminding him to wear his brace so he doesn’t re-injure himself.

We all got used to him having the cast, too, to the point where I keep forgetting that he can put on his own socks now and still cringe when he comes in for an over-enthusiastic hug (the cast got the nickname “The Clobberer” for…obvious reasons).

If you ask him, he’ll tell you that the worst part was having the pin taken out, the second-worst part was people constantly asking what happened, he and Max are still friends, and he doesn’t plan on doing this ever again.

But he does miss having a weapon on his wrist.


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