Thursday, April 16, 2015

When a Broken Arm Isn't Even the Worst Part...

I recently told this story at work and got a few laughs, so I thought it might be worth sharing with my friends and future friends out here in blog world.

I was eight-years old the first and only time I ever broke a bone.  It was the middle of winter in Minnesota and everything was covered with ice and snow.  My younger brother and I were out riding our bikes in the driveway.  Yes, typically snow and bicycles do not mix, but we're Minnesotans. We tend to not let snow tell us what to do.  So we were out riding back and forth, which really lead to little amusement until I discovered that the compacted snow had formed a make-shift hill in the front yard.  Essentially it was a three-foot tall mound of ice.  One thing lead to another and I found myself riding my bike down the ice mound. I zoomed fast toward the ground and it felt as though I was going to crash face first, but I didn't. It was thrilling; it felt just like riding a roller coaster. I did it again and it was just as fun. Again I felt like I was going to fall but didn't.

I told my brother he should try it to.  He was six at the time. He studied me and the mound and decided against it. He thought it was dangerous.  Now the funny part here is that those of you who know both me and my brother know 2 things. 1) Although I like to try new things, I abhor dangerous ones 2) My brother considers himself Evel Knievel.  Ever since he could walk he was an adrenaline junkie.  Normally the tables would have been turned and it would have been him doing something dangerous and me deciding against it.  I don't know what made him say no that day, but he made a good choice.  I told him I was just going to do it one more time and then go inside.

So I got to the top of the mound and went down one more time. This time when I felt like I was going to fall, I did. I was splayed out in the street and sobbing. I asked my brother to go get my mom and he said he would.  I lay there, on the residential street, crying for what felt like forever and no one came. Eventually I peeled myself off the street and hobbled inside where I found my brother sitting on the couch watching TV and everyone going about life like normal.  I was furious when I found out that my brother had never told my mom and left me there. Now I was a *little* dramatic about my injuries as a child. I thought I was going to die at the sight of blood and wailed over the most minor injury, so when my parents inspected my arm and found no blood and no bruises they figured I was fine.

Well, after I held my arm still all day and started crying in my sleep they realized that I wasn't just crying wolf.  They took me to the emergency room where they learned that I had fractured my arm. Now the next part of the story always makes me mad.  The emergency room put on a temporary cast that used hot water.  I later found out that the water was so hot that it gave me deep second degree burns. I cried as is well expected and they, not even knowing that I was dramatic, told me to toughen up. The nurse brought me outside to cool off, without having me put a jacket on. Did I mention it was the middle of winter in Minnesota where temperatures are well below freezing? Needless to say this was the worst hospital ever. I think they hurt more than they helped.

When I went to get a normal cast a few days later my regular doctor was furious at the hospital and I had to deal with itching scabs under my cast the whole time I had it. You can still see the scar to this day from the burns.  I was eight years old and a hospital gave me deep second degree burns and then told me to toughen up. If we were a more litigious family we probably would have sued.

Okay, so the last part of the story wasn't really funny, but the only permanent damage done is a barely visible scar and a everlasting distaste for that hospital.  All in all it makes a pretty great story to share and maybe it's because of that horrible experience, but I haven't broken a bone since.  Does anyone else have any broken bone horror stories?

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