Our First Big Break

Well, it has finally happened. We have our first broken bone. And since he’s never been one to do things half way, Fletcher decided to break not just one bone, but both bones in his leg. Yes, he broke both his tibia and his fibula near the ankle. 

If you add up all the years of my children (and since three of them are having birthdays this upcoming week I’m adding those years too), it comes out to 79 years.  So we’ve survived 79 “children years” without a broken bone.  If you look at it that way, it’s not too bad.  I’m just really hoping that this isn’t the start of a streak of some sort!!

Like many accidents, Fletcher wasn’t doing anything crazy.  He simply jumped down the stairs (the way they all repeatedly do and the way they all are repeatedly told not to do).  Somehow he landed wrong.

Jim put ice and compression on it, but a few hours later it was clear that he needed an x-ray. Fortunately I recently interviewed Kristie (a nurse practitioner) for a podcast episode on When to Visit the Doctor, so I had a good handle on what to do.  Of course, the fact that Kristie was in the area and stopped by and looked at his ankle and told me to go the hospital also helped. LOL

The x-ray showed that both bones were broken, but that they were fortunately not displaced. This means they don’t have to do surgery!!  So Fletcher got a temporary cast until the swelling goes down.  

On Monday or Tuesday he’ll get a permanent cast for 6-8 weeks.  I’m going to push really hard for a waterproof cast.  

But until the new cast, he has to rest with his foot elevated and ice it every hour.  I declared Indigo to be his nurse and she is taking very good care of him.  She’s helping him with the food, ice, and entertainment.

 And when she is otherwise occupied, he has his computer and his nook:

Anybody else dealt with children with broken bones (or maybe even yourself)?  This is a new one for me.  I’d love to hear about your experience and whether it was better or worse than you thought it would be!




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  • Marshashelton

    I broke my leg just above the ankle when I slipped down the stairs at my daughter’s house and landed wrong. Sounds like my break was like Fletcher’s, only mine was just one bone, thankfully. Wow….it really hurt! Mine was not displaced either, and I was able to heal in a velcro-type cast, or boot, but couldn’t put weight on it for some time. The only bad experience I had with the cast was trying to fly home from Phoenix with crutches and going through TSA inspection. Ugh. After I got home, I purchased a waterproof slip-on plastic “boot” that covered up the cast when I took a shower while sitting on a bath bench/stool. We already had grab bars in our bathroom, which was a tremendous help. We also borrowed a wheelchair from Goodwill (at no cost) to enable me to get around better around the house. I could push it myself. That is the only break I’ve had in my 65+ years. I hope Fletcher heals just fine!

    • goatmilkstuff

      I’m so sorry about your broken leg!  It does sound similar to Fletcher’s.  The ironic thing is that we rarely fly and we probably will have a flight during his time in a cast. Oh well, maybe the inspection will be easier on him since he’s a child!  I think he’s planning to just avoid bathing for the duration of his cast time, but he and I will be having a discussion about that. LOL 


  • Having just got one out of a cast (due to falling during a seizure) and now having another in a cast due to surgery, there is something called a “cast cooler” – you can get it at http://www.castcoverz.com.  It hooks up to the vacuum, put in on the “itchy” spots and it helps!  They also have things to put on for the shower but we seem to rip those (Amelia our teenager doesn’t have a waterproof cast due to her surgery) so we thought we would try those… hoping to get a waterproof cast in 2 weeks when they take off the first cast to check on the incisions.   Good luck.. will be praying for a speedy recovery!!

    • goatmilkstuff

      Sorry you’re dealing with casts, but that’s very cool (pun intended) about the cast cooler.  I’ll definitely look into that.  I’ll pray that you can get the waterproof cast in 2 weeks and that the incisions are healing well! 


  • Kathleen

    My 13 year old son broke his wrist and Ulna during a middle school wrestling meet this year (so much for the League Championship that he was predicted to win:).  He had a cast for 6 weeks and did remarkably well.  I suggest you track down a metal coat hanger (hard to find!) and straighten it out for sticking into the cast and itching all the itchy spots.  That and a bunch of Sharpies so everyone can sign the cast.  I do not know if it helped with healing but I was sure to have him drink plenty of milk and take a multi vitamin/mineral tablet every day.  The cast came off in April and my son seems just fine.  Good luck to Fletcher!

  • Carol S.

    Boo for the break, Yea for no surgery. Had to smile at the title of your post

  • Jim

    Broke tib and fib with compound fracture. Had to go into 2 hr surgery. Excruciating experience
    He’s one of the lucky ones