Mysterious leg pain

Namine thought her leg was broken. It wasn’t, fortunately, but we don’t know what caused the pain.

Yesterday evening, we were watching TV in the family room when Namine said she had some bad news: her right leg felt like it was broken. She has enough experience with this that when she feels a break, we believe her. (And, with her high pain tolerance, if she says it hurts, it must really hurt.) Unfortunately, it was too late in the day to take her anywhere but the ER. Given her compromised immune system and the petri dish that is the ER, we didn’t want to do that. Namine, ever the trooper, said she could wait until the next day. She took some pain medicine and went to bed. Once she was laying down, she said the pain diminished enough that she felt that she could sleep.

In the morning, Namine said it was strange but she felt no discomfort whatsoever. There was certainly no trace of the extreme amount of pain she’d been in the evening prior. Nevertheless, I still called the pediatrician. They said they had no capability of performing an X-ray, advising me to take her to the ER. I explained why I would not, preferring to find a clinic that could do an X-ray. There was, it turned out, one not more than 15 minutes further away than our pediatrician, so Namine and I headed there for the earliest time they could squeeze us in.

I’ll mention here that Namine was not taking it easy on her leg. Since injuring my back, I tend not to pick her up unless it’s absolutely necessary. And today, Namine did not find it necessary. As a result, she climbed in and out of her wheelchair, the car, and the X-ray table at the clinic. None of this activity brought with it any sort of pain, and definitely not of the variety she’d experienced last night.

At the doctor’s behest, we waited in the clinic after the X-rays were taken for the radiology department to respond with the results. The doctor asked us to wait, in the event that there was a break and casting (or some other intervention) was necessary. We waited for three hours.

When the doctor finally came back out to the waiting room with radiology’s response, she informed us that it was good news. There were no breaks, no evidence that Namine’s bones were the source of her pain. She said what Jessica and I had already thought: it could be a nerve issue, most likely originating in her back. The doctor said that we should call if she experienced pain like that again. Detecting nerve damage is the realm of the MRI, and scheduling one is no small matter. Starting that process will involve specialists, should the need present itself.

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