DEAR ABBY: I am an orthopedic R.N. Depending on the season and the sport, I receive a lot of phone calls from parents. They usually consist of a dad asking if his little "Johnny" can get his cast off because "Johnny has to pitch in the big game tonight, and the team won't make it without him." Or, it might be a mom calling because "Suzie" has an audition for the ballet and she is in line to dance the lead. "She must have her cast off."
These parents need to get a clue that Johnny and Suzie aren't going to be able to pitch, dance, kick, hoist, twist, bend, etc. with a great deal of agility if they have been in a cast for six to eight weeks.
I have to fight the urge to say, "Mr. Smith, if you want to be the star pitcher so bad, do it yourself; don't do it vicariously through your son."
Abby, we aren't talking professional sports or even college-level sports here. We aren't even talking about those people with a scholarship riding on their participation. No, we're dealing with parents of Little Leaguers and amateur dance troupes.
A normal childhood means recovering from these fractures without pressure from Mom and Dad to perform. Since I can't say this to the parents coming into the clinic, I thought I'd say it this way. -- AN ORTHOPEDIC NURSE, PORTLAND, ORE.
DEAR NURSE: You have spoken plainly, and I pray the parents who need to hear the message heed it. Parents must keep in perspective that the health of the child is more important than the temporary glory of a childhood event. Failure to do so can result in physical damage that can last a lifetime.