Tirza has a horribly deformed wrist. There is a bump above and between the usual two wrist bones. I first noticed it six months ago after she plummeted from the top of the bunk beds (she scaled them without help, approval or even a ladder). I worried that she had broken her wrist or at least dislocated one of those small wrist bones. She demonstrated no pain from it when we cradled it and tried to move her wrist. This total lack of pain is all that kept us from rushing her to the hospital. She already had a regular doctor’s appointment coming up.

Based on her usual tank-like disposition, we were a little worried that it was a horrible fracture but she was subduing the pain with super powers. The doctor said nobody is that tough; we could schedule an X-ray to be sure. Scheduling non-urgent medical procedures takes about six months for our family these days. Meanwhile, the bump had grown.

The X-rays disproved the super power theory. (I knew we should have tried gamma rays instead.) The bump was not bone. That means it’s a growth or a cyst. There’s some small chance it’s a precocious tumor. A more common wrist problem involves joint fluid leaking into a pocket of nearby connective tissue and just accumulating into its own little squatter residence, “joint juice shanty town”.

At first this news convinced me she has cancer. I started paying a lot more attention to her when I was certain she would die in a few months. Shouldn’t we treat all our kids like this everyday? We’ll have to wait and see a pediatric orthopedic specialist to find out just how long she has left.

I mentioned the horrible deformity to a friend of mine who replied casually, “Oh yeah, my cousin has that.” His adult cousin has a wrist bump that grows slowly. The doctor says it’s nothing but joint juice and the best remedy is to wait until it accumulates for a while and then slam it hard enough to burst the bubble (with a hammer? car door?). The body will absorb the fluid once it escapes its pocket of safety.

So thank God for people lucky enough to have the same bizarre maladies as my wild-living toddlers. Maybe Tirza will live.

Sources and Details

Gamma rays: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_ray
Responsible for most Marvel comics superheroes: http://www.ehow.com/how_2079467_get-super-powers.html, http://marvel.com/universe/Glossary:G