Two weeks ago, I picked my daughter up from her friend Aayosha’s house - just a normal Saturday, a simple Play Date above her family’s restaurant… but as we walked back home together a strange pain in Roxy’s left foot became so unbearable, she could hardly walk. I started to worry.
As soon as we got home, I checked my daughter’s foot and felt around. There was an obvious bump, right at the arc of her foot. It was strange. Not a knotted muscle. It was too hard and it didn’t budge a bit. It felt like bone, but there couldn’t be a bone there.
I wondered if maybe she had managed to crack a bone in her foot – and then over time, really damage something. She can carry pain rather well without complaining about it.
Sunday morning, Roxy said she wanted to go to the hospital. I had already decided to take her to see a doctor, but certainly not on a Sunday.
Experience has shown me that it’s the Unreliable nurses and doctors who get assigned to working weekends. About this I say, “Only show up if you’re about to give birth or about to die. Otherwise, just wait until Monday.”
I explained this to my girl and she understood. Monday. Our little family went to the local hospital and the doctor started to inspect her feet (both, to make a comparison and be thorough) and legs. Everything was sensitive.
The doctor asked me if Roxy had been ill with the flu recently. Yes, she had.
“These are symptoms that she might be rheumatic. We need to take an X-ray first, and see what we can see there.”
I didn’t even know a child could get rheumatism. She assured me they can.
My daughter was put in a wheelchair and we waited. I allowed myself to be distracted by her having fun wheeling around, experimenting with the wheelchair grips.
But I was worried.
The X-rays were evaluated by the doctor and then by the head doctor. We were ushered back into the doctor’s office and shown the X-ray results.
The doctor explained, “She has an extra bone, and it’s growing.” I must have looked confused, because the doctor explained that it was sort of like how some people have six fingers on one hand.
I could see the bone, quite clearly, in the X-ray. It was cute and sort of sticking out in a stubborn direction. It was growing against the grain – like an extra toe.
Is there anything we can do about it?
No. It will bother her, especially when she’s having a growth spurt, but surgery will not fix it.
This result was rather… well, it was a relief. My daughter is just a mutant, that’s all. Whew!
I had imagined at first a horrific scene where the doctors would have to pin down my child to re-break her bones and reset them properly. After that, I dreaded her needing to take medication for the rest of her life or ending up in a wheelchair.
We would have learned to deal with whatever the outcome, but the enormous relief of knowing she is just growing a goofy-looking, unnecessary bone was terrific.
…not the only mutant!
Later that week, I talked about it with a circle of my girlfriends. Much to my surprise, one of my dear friends knew exactly what it was.
Her daughter has the same thing, but in both feet.
“What do you do about it?” I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some sort of something that could be done. I have a hard time believing doctors, even if I suspect they might actually know what they’re doing.
I was told that there is nothing to do (and yes, I’ll more readily trust the advice of a fellow mom over that of a doctor), except put a special salve whenever she has a growth spurt - because that will ease the pain. That’s all. Maybe get roomier shoes.
I told my girl she might get lucky and get feet like The Beast. We all love X-men here. Just so long as she doesn’t turn blue, I’m not going to worry about her teen years. Not too much.