Stephen loves sports, especially when he can participate in them. Whenever the school hosts a sports event, he tries to get involved. Every November, the sophomore class has traditionally sponsored a flag football tournament known as the “Turkey Bowl.”
Groups of students and groups of alumni and staff create teams that compete against each other. Stephen participated in this event last year, and signed up for it again this year. He was excited about it this year, because the AAI staff team was very organized and had even purchased team shirts for everyone on the team.
Meanwhile, I had signed up to sing in the All AAI Choir which was going to perform for the 80th Anniversary event. I had to find a baby sitter to watch the boys while the two of us were busy at our own particular tasks. When I finally finished with choir practice, I took the boys over to the soccer field to watch the tournament.
During a break, Stephen came over and told me briefly that he thought he hurt his thumb during the early morning practice. Since he didn’t seem very concerned about it, I didn’t pay much attention to it. He continued to play for the rest of the afternoon until his team won the entire tournament and a turkey (which went to the team captain).
When he came home, the knuckle of this right thumb was extremely swollen and had turned different shades of purple. That got my attention. However, it was a Saturday afternoon and we didn’t really know what we should do about it. So, we waited until Monday morning to talk to the school nurse.
Both she and Stephen agreed that he might have fractured a bone in his thumb. So, she helped us set up an appointment with one of the doctors from “Voz Andes.” This is a mission run hospital located next to the school.
After doing some x-rays, they found that Stephen had a complete fracture of the top bone in his thumb, and close to where the bone meets the knuckle. He was told not to do any lifting but to wear a splint on his thumb for the next four weeks.
So followed four weeks in which Stephen could not help with the dishes, change diapers or help with the bathing of the boys. From November 10 to December 10, Stephen wore a splint on his thumb wherever he went. He was even able to get a fancy splint that he could take off when he showered.
When they finally took the splint off, the doctor told Stephen that he should go into physical therapy for a week to make sure he gets all the mobility back in his thumb. We ended up going to the first physical therapy session and asking the nurse if we might possibly be able to continue the physical therapy at home so that we couldn’t have to keep returning for an hour out of each day of the week.
After examining Stephen’s thumb and deciding that it was healing well, she agreed that Stephen did not need to return for more sessions.
Now that Stephen has full mobility of his thumb, the question has to be asked, “Will you participate in the Turkey Bowl again next year?”
It is probably no surprise to many of you to hear that he answers with a firm, “Of course I will!”