The Most Important Thing I Ever Broke

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This one time I broke my arm.

 I was trying to copy my friend, my older, taller friend, who could jump from boulder to tree-branch in one quick motion. Like a blessed monkey, she could suspend her body, grasp the tree, and swing back and forth.

It looked like so much fun. Surely I could do it.

But actually, I could not. I jumped, grabbed for the tree, and slip! My fingers slid off the branch as my body kept soaring forward. And then down. Down, down, down. Until thwack! I landed on my elbow.

Oh merciful heavens. How that hurt. I had been in and out of the emergency room my entire life (total of about 11 years) but never had I felt such pain as this. A cold, knife-like spasm searing through my elbow and rushing up and down my entire arm. Ouchiemama.

We were at the Wallace’s house, and they just so happened to live next door to an EMT. No one said anything about how it would be more to my advantage if they lived next to an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in elbows. No. Instead they focused on the fact that he had “some medical background.”

He might as well have been a phlebotomist. He knew nothing about bones.

With beer-soaked breath he assured me (and the large crowd gathered) that I was fine. Perhaps a sprain, but nothing to rush to the emergency room for. My parents were satisfied with his answer, never mind how much the drama-queen-eleven-year-old protested.

I didn’t sleep a wink that night. Ok, maybe a few winks. But I lay awake on my bed (most of the night) crying, cursing the EMT with every non-four letter word I could think of. While cussing was certainly a sin, wishing someone dead was not. In my book.

The next morning I lamented my troubles to my mother. As we had the assurance of an EMT she didn’t see it necessary to take me in for further assessment. And I can’t say that I blame her. I know Mom was just trying to avoid the ER and it’s egregious expenses. I find myself in similar dilemmas all the time. Does my child have pneumonia or is it just allergies? 9 times out of 10 it’s allergies. But that one time will bite you in the butt.

Fortunately, my brother had already broken his leg and was due for a cast change. Sweet! My mom hauled us down to the big city and promised she’d speak up for me to the doctor.

Throughout that entire 45 minute drive I prayed long and hard that my arm would actually be broken. “Please, please, please, God, let it be broken. I need this.” Either my arm was broken, or I was the biggest baby around. I’d never hear the end of it if it wasn’t broken. Please, please.

Vindication. Ahh, sweet, sweet validation.

Yes, it was in fact broken. This was perhaps the first time in my life Mom was wrong. It was a momentous occasion–a glorious victory.

“You mean you had to go through an entire night with this arm and no one even knew?” The nurse clucked sympathetically as she wrapped me in my purple cast.

I tried my best to look the part. After all, this was the closest I’d ever get to that Walk To Remember moment with the blue ball gown and angel singing. Ya know? We all want that moment where we wow everyone with our secret burden, our secret beauty, and yes, our secret courage.

I felt very important when I showed up at school the next day. I sported my purple cast–from shoulder to wrist–with pride. “Oh? Would you care to sign it? Yes, I happen to have a giant Sharpie right here.”

Before long, my cast was full of well-wishes, signatures, and Stussy signs.

Confession: the ink didn’t show up so well on my deep purple cast, so I went over everybody’s signature and drawings with another pen–just to make sure it was visible. Back then, popularity was measured by what color your rubber-bands on your braces were and how many signatures you got on your cast. Oh wait, isn’t that still the case? Gosh I feel old.

I broke my arm. I got to say “I told you so.” I got lots of attention.

You could say it was the best thing that happened to me in 6th grade. Plus, I still get to lord this over my dear husband, who has yet to break anything. Knock on wood.

Have you ever broken anything? What color of cast did you choose? Did you agonize over whether or not the signatures were visible?

****Linking up today with Mama’s Losin It! Head over to her hilarious website for inspiration, funny stories, and just about the best of everything blogging related.

P.S.  Because My Life Is Fascinating has a Facebook now. Finally. Go over and like it. It’ll be like you signed my cast!

53 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing I Ever Broke

  1. hilljean

    Holy cow! I would much rather have broken a bone than go through what you just described!

    Reply
  2. hilljean

    Lucky! I never broke anything but my toe, and I didn’t get a cast – in fact, I don’t think anyone believed it was broken. BUT I KNOW THE TRUTH.

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  3. hilljean

    I’ve also been known to pray, “God, please let this be a yeast infection.” You know, so I would have a reason for being in such misery.

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  4. hilljean

    Oh OUCH. I would probably have made a bigger deal than you did, I could never go through the night with anything broken!

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  5. hilljean

    Nary a broken bone, Hilljean, but does it count that, at age 8, I tried to swing myself in a 360 degree circle and knocked the wind out of myself for just the prescribed length of time before the brain dies? I think I could have made it, but the rope broke and I flew off at about 180! That’s degrees and MPH. I never exaggerate! ???? Wait a minute…maybe the brain was affected… ????

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  6. hilljean

    Wow, you were very brave. A whole night with a broken arm and no cast. ???? I broke my arm in kindergarten falling from the gym set on the school playground. I remember my arm looking soft, like jello. :0 Not fun.

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  7. hilljean

    Poor baby! I don’t know if my almost-four-year-old would be coordinated enough for crutches…It definitely sounds like a lot of work for mom.

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  8. hilljean

    Well, I would have been better off with a white cast. You know, for the signatures and stuff ????

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  9. hilljean

    Haha! What a fun post! Love it.
    My three year old just broke her leg this summer. It was not fun. She didn’t like it or enjoy her cast as much as you did. ???? Before that my son broke his arm when he was 6. He may have enjoyed it more than my daugher. ????
    Here via Weekend Linkup!

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  10. hilljean

    Ouch…I cannot imagine going an entire day with a broken arm before getting proper treatment. I confess that I always wanted to break a bone when I was a kid.

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  11. hilljean

    Oh that sucks! I am so surprised that my little guy has never broken his collarbone…yet. I hate when I found out that I got it wrong as a mom. Sucks.

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  12. hilljean

    Hahaha! I vowed I would never do purple again because the writing would just not show up. I remember my motivation in getting purple was to avoid the dingy looking casts that I had seen on my friends. So I guess the purple spared me that, but i was just so into the popularity thing. Hahaha

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  13. hilljean

    found you on SITS sharefest. oh my god, I would make everyone suffer with me if my arm was broken, you were a tough kid. I broke my ankle in high school and it really wasn’t cool, I hated not being able to do what I wanted. But at least I knew who my friends in hs were.

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  14. hilljean

    Oh Heather! Why didn’t I ever know this before? You poor thing! You better keep a close eye on Casey. I could totally see her having a few incidents as well–given how active and brave she is!

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  15. hilljean

    Poor 11 yo you. That would be guilt for a mom. You are right. There was something so very glamorous about wearing a cast to school. As an adult, when my children say they’d like a broken arm — I realize how foolish it sounds. Must be a deep-seated need for attention we all have.

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  16. hilljean

    I had teal and orange rubber bands on my braces, I was cool like that. I always tried to copy how my brother rode his dirt bike. I ended up in the ER with a broken wrist and stitches, which I still have a scar from, on my chin.

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  17. hilljean

    You’re making me feel bad! Once I did the same thing to my son. Minus the beer smelling EMT. Oops! I’ve never broken a bone myself though.

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  18. hilljean

    You poor thing! I hope you at least got to have headgear or something ????

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  19. hilljean

    Yikes! I’ve always thought that the collarbone would be so painful! You probably did block it out :/

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  20. hilljean

    I broke my leg many, many years ago before the idea of colorful casts…the one thing though is that the night before, my sister and I were laying in bed, the colorful bedroom (Mama’s Losin’ It) and I WISHED I could break my leg so I could walk on crutches…EEK…it was also before they started doing surgery on every break. I walked on those crutches for 6 months! Watch what you wish for! (http://crbh-ruminations.blogspot.com Jill of All Trades!)

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  21. hilljean

    Yeah! I was such a trooper, wasn’t I? Hahhah. Well, I did get hurt a lot as a kid because I was both clumsy and daring. Not a good combo. But yes, I will never forget that night. It was probably the first time something about my body kept me up all night!

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  22. hilljean

    My collarbone when I was 4. I fell of my big sisters bed. It still hurts sometimes to this day. I don’t remember too much about it though. Maybe I blocked it out

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  23. hilljean

    So funny! I guess the problem with charging for healthcare is that you don’t always want to risk going to A&E for nothing … and still paying for privilege. I broke my arm once just rolling off a sunbed mattress so nothing very dramatic! Although having to have an operation and spend the night on my own in a foreign hospital aged 4 somehow made an indelible impression on me. ????

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  24. hilljean

    Haha! How long did he have to suffer? Don’t feel too bad….there’s always that little boy who cried wolf moral to every childhood story!

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  25. hilljean

    I’ve broken so, so many things. However, none of them- literally NONE of them- warranted a cast. Nose, fingers, etc. I tore my quadracep muscle during my first JV soccer game and what’d I get? An air compression wrap. CHEATED.

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  26. hilljean

    Bahaha! Yes! I love it when that happens with the hubs. I NEVER let him live it down ????

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  27. hilljean

    Ahhhh, yes. I felt this with every (bone) in my body. I broke my pinky playing softball at age 11 and my mother didn’t believe me. It’s still horribly crooked to this day and I just love to torment her with it. ????

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  28. hilljean

    {Melinda} I know that feeling of, “I want someone to say something’s wrong so everyone doesn’t think I’m crazy — or lazy!” I haven’t broken anything, but my poor daughter broke her collarbone when she was in 5th grade. She fell off the jungle gym. She’s a bit of a drama queen, so I didn’t think too much about it. She played soccer than week. And then I accidentally bumped it with my elbow and it must have shifted the bone a little and she was YELPING. So, a week-and-a-half later I took her for an x-ray and sure enough. Broken. Worst mother ever. My only consolation was that they can do nothing for a broken collarbone, except maybe a sling to keep it from getting elbowed by their mother.

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  29. hilljean

    Ha!! Both arms, both legs, 3 fingers, two toes, my nose….. oh, and a compressed vertebrae.

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  30. hilljean

    You WERE cheated! That sucks. Because you know what? People really don’t take you seriously unless you have a cast, had surgery, or are on crutches of some sort. I’ve learned this the hard way.

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  31. hilljean

    Yeah…I know this one kid? Who hurt his neck while playing in the basement? And his mom & dad rushed him to the hospital only to be told by the moron intern that it was just a bruise? So they went back home, right? And his mean parents spent the next TWO DAYS telling him he was fine whenever they picked him up and he screamed bloody murder, right? Until finally this mom/EMT at the stinkin’ BUS STOP suggested that the mean parents take him back to the hospital and demand an x-ray? And guesswhat? Broken collarbone for The Small One.

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  32. hilljean

    Ooh, I don’t think I ever went for orange. I avoided orange and yellow for fear of making my teeth look yellow. Teal and purple–that’s what I stuck with. Sounds like you were pretty cool if you rode a dirt bike. No guts no glory, no scar no story, right?

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  33. misssrobin

    Great story. My great story isn’t about something I broke. It’s about my daughter’s broken foot and how I had her jogging up and down the sidelines on it to try to work out the pain. Yeah, great mom moment there.

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  34. hilljean

    Poor you! Although I guess that pinky could be awfully helpful when you need to guilt her into something haha!

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  35. hilljean

    Oh my. The Funky Chicken? And it was your middle finger? I bet that was a moment to behold!

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  36. hilljean

    Ouch! I used to think crutches were cool too. I was so jealous of the kids who got to have them at school and stuff. But then I got to have nine foot surgeries and use crutches each time. I HATE crutches almost more than I hate the DMV, and that’s saying a lot! Thanks for stopping by, Jill!

    Reply
  37. hilljean

    Aww! That’s so sad and kind of funny that you thought of it that way. I think some broken bones are worse than others. My little brother broke his shin bone (whatever that’s called) and it was so bad that they called an ambulance and they gave him morphine. He ended up having to have it re-broken and was in a cast for an entire summer. He had it way worse than me!

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  38. hilljean

    I broke my arm playing liberation kickball in the 6th grade. I must be really old, because they didn’t offer colors. Everybody had white casts.

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  39. hilljean

    I completely get this. There are times with my husband, who minimizes everything, where I kind of want the worst possible outcome, simply to be able to say I told you so!

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  40. hilljean

    Oh, by the way, this is Dusty Earth Mother. I can never figure out how the comments work on Blogger. ????

    Reply
  41. hilljean

    I don’t know how I did it either. It was pretty miserable. I’ve also gone like two weeks with a shattered bone in my foot. I’ve had so many foot troubles though that I just didn’t know at what point I should go in. It always results in a surgery so I guess that’s why I avoided it.

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  42. hilljean

    I can’t even tell you how much I loved this post! It was my dream in school to break something. To have a cast to sign. The obvious fantasy was to require crutches, of course. Stopping by from SITS Sharefest.

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  43. hilljean

    Oh my word! I was at least in 5th or 6th grade when it happened. I don’t know what I’d do if my four year old broke something and had to have surgery! :/

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  44. hilljean

    How did I ever manage to make it through my childhood without having anyone sign a cast?

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  45. hilljean

    Hello from St. Louie. Stopping in from SITS. As a Mom I can totally relate to your own listening to the EMT. I LOL’d at the mention of colored rubber band braces and when you went over each of the signatures to be sure they stood out. The only thing I’ve ever broke was my middle finger ???? while high school cheerleader doing the “Funky Chicken” at a football game.

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  46. hilljean

    hahaha I don’t know if I was tough so much as the little girl who cried wolf. I was always getting hurt, so it wasn’t anything new for me to be “suffering”

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  47. hilljean

    Oh yes. Crutches were the ultimate fantasy…and I got those nine times over so they definitely lost the “glitz” for me!

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  48. hilljean

    Oh dear! Well, if it makes you feel any better it seems that this is a common mistake for a lot of mothers! Just scroll through these comments and you’ll quickly see that you’re not alone in this mistake. Nine times out of ten, mom knows best. But that one time always bites in the butt, doesn’t it?

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  49. hilljean

    Needless to say my mom felt terrible. But probably my obnoxiousness as a child sort of evened it out ???? Yes, it was all about the attention!

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  50. hilljean

    Thankfully I’ve never broken anything, but always wanted a really cool looking cast to show off. Sad isn’t it? lol I would’ve gone with purple, too!

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  51. hilljean

    DUSTY EARTH MOTHER to visit little old me?! You just made my day! Haha notice how there is so much more enthusiasm in this comment than the previous one? That’s the effect that celebrities have on me ????

    Reply

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