James and the Boxers Fracture

James came home from school last night and one look at his face told me something had happened at school.

He held up his right hand which was incredibly swollen then, in between crying, he told me that another boy had decided it would be a good idea to get stuck into James hitting and punching him during both recess and lunch.  At lunchtime when the event occurred again, James hit the boy in self defence and thought at the time his hand hurt.  He said nothing to his teacher and didn’t go to sick bay as he was certain he would have got in trouble for fighting even though this other child started the whole affair.  Of course by this time he was in a considerable amount of pain.

Three hours later when he got home he was in agony with a swollen hand and I took him straight up to the hospital. Now I have to say that there are lots of times when we have been in Emergency where it is just one long and very frustrating wait – not so last night.  We were seen straight way by the Triage Nurse who was lovely.  We then saw the Doctor who said it was typically known as a Boxers Fracture, then went to Radiology for an X-ray  The longest part was waiting for the surgeon to see him as the Surgeon was in emergency surgery.

Swollen Hand


Self Portrait by James

I should explain here that a Boxers Fracture is a break of the of the bones in the hand that form the knuckles. In James’s case it is the knuckle of the little finger (or pinky) between the finger and the hand, that he has broken.  You can find more information here.

After a good dose of “laughing gas” and a local anaesthetic the surgeon manipulated James’s hand and wrapped it well with a half cast underneath his hand and arm to support it and told us to come back in today for another X-ray which we did.  The news is just semi ok. The surgeon wasn’t totally happy about the bone realignment and has referred us to the  Fractures Clinic in Bendigo for an Orthopaedic surgeon to look at the break. They may manipulate it further or he may have to go into hospital overnight in Bendigo and have surgery on his hand.  Something neither of us are looking forward to.  The best outcome we are hoping for is that the Orthopaedic Surgeon will be happy with it as it is and nothing will be done which is, according to the Registrar, a possibility.

The Fractures Clinic apparently won’t ring me until after 1.30 pm (hopefully) today. I did ring Emergency here again to check the number and to see if everything had been sent off and it had. The woman on the desk said don’t be surprised if it is after Christmas before they will look at his hand. Quite frankly that isn’t good enough…..by then he would have to go into surgery as the bones would have started to knit.

Broken bones

To top off these amazing/crappy/stressful two days tonight is James’s Graduation Ceremony from Primary School. We are going  – it’s far to important event to miss.  Tomorrow is the Grade 6  Break Up Party which he may or may not attend just at lunch time. The is no point him being there any longer as they are swimming in the morning (and obviously he can’t swim) and there is a movie in the afternoon and by then I think he will be in pain again.  Thursday is the shirt signing and the Peer Mediators lunch which again he may or may not attend depending on if we get an appointment in Bendigo at the Clinic.

And just to make my week Nicola has to be in Bendigo on Friday to see the orthodontist to get a new retainer for her teeth fitted although there is a chance we will either have to reschedule the appointment or Elise will  have to go to Bendigo with us and take Nicola to that appointment.

The good news for today is that Ashley went  and saw the Principal of this school this morning and while very polite, made it very clear that it just wasn’t good enough especially considering there had been lots of “incidents” though out the year that we and James and even other classmates had pointed out to the school.  James and I saw his teacher this morning to update her on what had been happening. She hadn’t noticed in class that his hand was swollen (something that apparently the Principal isn’t too happy about) and apologised to James for not noticing.  Mind you with some of the kids has in that class to deal with I’m surprised she has time to even teach!!!  I will say that I really do like James’s teacher.  She has had a difficult year with many of the kids but has done her very best in what are exceptionally trying circumstances and has treated everyone fairly and equally.  We then went and saw the Principal who questioned James closely (and wrote it all down) and who then called in the boy who, to his credit, was genuinely sorry and apologised to James for what had happened.  The incident is still being investigated and the boy who started it all has picked his punishments – such as detentions – but the matter isn’t ending there.

I will admit I took to opportunity (with the Principals permission)  to speak to both boys about what had happened. I reminded them that fighting does nothing and that both could have sought out a teacher and asked the teacher to mediate while they discussed their issues.  I also reminded them that next year is a whole new opportunity in a new school with new classmates to really make something of their lives and that any incident at the secondary college would be caught on security camera (they are everywhere up there) and that if they couldn’t be friends (quite frankly I don’t expect it of them) they can at least be civil to each other but stay away from each other.  They were also told that if I heard of any incident between them I would call in the Police regardless of their ages and would get the law to deal with it.

The sad thing is this other boy has a difficult family life yet to look at him he is a bright, good looking, intelligent boy who has so much potential and with the right guidance could make something of himself, but unless a miracle occurs he may end up on totally the wrong path in life.  It makes me so thankful that we are able to offer our children choices and opportunities that Ashley and I never had even if it means working long hours and with the stress that comes with that. It also makes me incredibly thankful that we have a stable home life and; as a family, love and support each other during all the events in our lives.

So now we are home again and waiting on phone calls.  It’s going to be a very long week up to Christmas.


4 thoughts on “James and the Boxers Fracture

  1. I hope that James doesnt have to have surgery. How awful to go through that too, and the other boy should know what he is doing is wrong. My son used to get bullied in primary school and high school until he grew tall enough to stand up for himself and people left him alone. The teachers always had a problem of trying to keep an eye on things but at least I have taught both of my children that if there is a problem they are to tell me straight away, no matter whose fault it is so it can be worked out quickly. I hope your son can enjoy his graduation night without too much pain.

  2. Sorry to hear about James I hope everything sorts itself out right and that it works out for the best. Give him my love and sympathy and I hope he heals quickly.

  3. What a pain. (Literally and metaphorically.)
    At this time of the year the last thing you need is to be racing around all over the countryside. Kids!
    (Amazed you have security cameras at your secondary school. We only have them in the computer labs…)

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