Friday, December 4, 2015

FF - The Time I Broke My Arm

I've had three broken bones in my life.  The first one happened when I was probably ten.  My sister Jo and I were latch key kids.  We'd walk home the two blocks from school, let ourselves into the house, eat a snack and then start homework.  Our mom was a teacher and so she'd usually be home about an hour after we were but that hour in between could be a little dicey.  The first time I ever had to get us home from school alone I got completely disoriented.  I walked out of the school and went left instead of going right.  We walked that side of the neighborhood for probably an hour completely confused as to where we were.  At one point Jo was walking on the edging of some guys lawn and he stopped playing his drums to yell at us.  We ran.  Eventually I figured out I needed to go back to school and start over.  That's when I finally realized I'd gone the wrong way and got us home safely.  The problem was I was always forgetting my house key in my desk.  I have no idea why I would take it out of my backpack.  Gigi has a house key in case for some reason I didn't make it home in time to pick her up from school (this has never happened, it is a just in case) and she just keeps it hooked in her backpack.  Maybe I had no hook, maybe I had no backpack but more than once I left it in my desk and didn't realize my mistake until we got home.  It wasn't that big of a deal.  We grew up in Arizona and so it wasn't like I was ever freezing out.  We would just go play in our back yard with our dog Sandy and if it got too hot sit in lawn chairs in our laundry room (it was at the back of the house connected by a porch but had no way into the house.  When our mom got home she'd come and let us in and everything was fine but one day I was running around in the back yard with Sandy and I tripped.  I'm not entirely sure if I tripped over Sandy or the little seeds that came off our eucalyptus tree or just my clumsy big feet but I went down right on my elbow.  I remember crying quite hard and maybe yelling at Sandy a little.  Jo helped me into the laundry room where I promptly sat in a lawn chair and fell asleep. I have no idea why we didn't just go across the street.  Our neighbor would babysit our baby sisters and our mom would pick them up right before she came home.  I'm sure the babysitter would have let us sit at the house while she called her mom but we were young and freaked out and we just decided to take care of it on our own.  When my mom got there, Jo was white as a sheet and told her she thought I was dying.  I wasn't of course but my mom did take me to ER to have X-rays.  The nurse kept trying to force my arm opened and I kept crying and crying.  Finally she just took an x-ray with my arm partially closed.  The doctor looked at the x-ray and sent me home because my ulna and radius looked fine.  The next day they called my mom back.  I had a fracture in the humerus at the elbow.  I wore a splint from fingers to arm pit that was held on with white gauze for a good six weeks.  I remember when I went to the ortho guy to have my cast done they brought a kid in on a stretcher who had been kicked during a soccer game and had a shattered fibula.  That poor kid was sobbing.  I felt especially bad for that kid and felt lucky that I just had to have the only partial splint although that first one I wasn't allowed to take off and boy when he cut it off after six weeks that thing stunk something really awful.  Then for four weeks after that I wore a slightly smaller splint held on with an ace bandage.  The nice thing about it was that I could itch the inside of my elbow and could take it off to shower something my skin was desperate for.  Thank goodness because it was so itchy.  It was actually a great two months for me.  I got out of PE for over two months and typing practice.  Does it seem terrible that I hated PE as a kid.  I'm just terribly clumsy and if balls are involved a total klutz.  That broken arm got me out of a softball chapter which was a miracle.  There is nothing worse than seeing me try to play softball.  It also got me out of typing in computer class and I just got to spend my time playing Oregon Trail which might be why I was so amazing at that game.  I recently asked Dr. J if he thought the Dales and the Columbia River were the river you traveled down in the Oregon Trail right before you won and he told me he'd never actually made it to the river he always starved to death or died of disease.  I actually found this pretty funny because I always tease him that if there was some kind of natural disaster where being fast wasn't important I could last for four months without eating and he'd be gone in three days.


  1. I love that bit about the Oregon Trail talk! :)

  2. I love the Oregon Trail part, too. Also the weird thing about Arizona laundry rooms being outside. I remember that!

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