Divine Calm: My Christmas with 2 Casts

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12.13.2005

My Christmas with 2 Casts

Growing up, I was one of those stumbling long-legged colts. In fact, my mother entered me into acrobats when I was 4 hoping that I would gain some coordination. Acrobats did teach me how to somersault to the Winnie the Pooh theme song while wearing a yellow leotard and red belly shirt, but it did little to teach me gracefulness.

When I was in second grade, I still hadn't managed coordination, but I did get into my first and only physical fight with a bully named Denise. She had already started puberty and was the tallest kid in my class. I must not have been intimidated by her hulking frame, because one day at recess Denise and I followed our verbal insults with an inspiring game of mercy. You know, the game that you probably played with your little brothers when you were bored shopping with Mom, and you grasped your brother's hands and tried to bend his wrists back until they hurt and he cried out "MERCY!" and then you stopped while smirking victoriously. Unfortunately, Denise and I were neither victorious nor willing to cry out "Mercy." Instead, Denise and I were both in pain. I had really hurt her little pinkie finger, and she had further hurt my already sprained right wrist that was wrapped in an ace-bandage. (See, I told you Denise was a bully and liked to pick on injured kids.) I was holding my wrist close to my body when my jaw dropped in surprise. Denise was going to the teacher on recess duty to tell on me for hurting her finger.

Fifteen minutes later, Denise and I were in the principal's office getting a lecture on how fighting is very bad and that our punishment was having to stay in the principal's office during lunch recess for a week. However, as much as I cringed hearing this punishment, I was secretly happy that the principal berated Denise more for picking on an already injured child.

Unfortunately, my right wrist never fully healed from that incident, and I had to wear a brace to give it some support.

(As a side-note, Denise and I made up the following year and became close friends. Denise's bullying and anger makes more sense to me now when I think back to how she told me that she had been previously molested by an uncle the year before.)

Two months after my altercation with Denise, my mom took me rollerskating. She thought that the metal brace on my wrist would protect me from further injury and wanted to give me a special treat. After several circles around the rink, my body started to relax to the music booming from the loud speakers. Chills ran down my spine, as "We are the World" began to play and I silently began to mouth the words "We are the children." "We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start givinnnng." Splat!

I was so into the music that I had lost my footing and had landed full force onto my left arm while protecting my injured right arm. Oh my gosh...MISERY! Sharp shooting pains traveled down my arm, and the doctor at the emergency room proclaimed 2 hours later that I had a buckle fracture in my left arm.

A couple days after my second incident, my mother drove me to an orthopaedic surgeon and he placed casts on both of my arms. The wrist that Denise had injured wasn't healing and needed to be further demobilized, and the broken wrist obviously needed a cast as well.

Two weeks before Christmas, I was really enjoying the extra attention I received due to my casts. I especially loved not having to write my work and having volunteers to help me with my books. Taking showers was difficult and that unreachable itching between my arms and my casts drove me crazy. However, with a little creativity and lots of tenacity, I was able to open my Christmas gifts without any help.