Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well, I guess I should post. I wanted to write a post inspired by one Marta wrote last week, about whether we feel comfortable calling ourselves writers and artists, but I haven't really felt reflective. Or rather, I haven't felt like writing down my reflections. I'm in a business state of mind, very ordered and analytical, probably because I've been editing for three weeks straight. Also because I've had more outside-world things to do, Thanksgiving school stuff, cleaning and preparing for the holiday, and Maggie's broken arm. Git 'er done.

We'll be going to the orthopedist today to get a more permanent solution to Maggie's store-bought brace. I was surprised about how unconcerned everybody was with getting her a cast. When making the appointment I grumbled, "What's another day, her arm's been broken for a week and a half." The lady said, "Oh, everybody thinks they should run right in and get a cast as soon as it happens, but it's better to wait till the swelling goes down." Oh. Well that makes sense.

Seeing Maggie's injury makes me realize how truly effed up my hand was. I can't remember if I ever told that story. It was Friday of Spring Break '09. I'd promised the kids I'd take them to the skating rink--they just about died from the anticipation--and this was the last day we could use our coupons. I got everybody ready and sent them out to the car while I locked up the house. I stepped off the porch, like I have thousands of times. This time something went wrong (still not sure what) and I pitched over. My hand went out automatically to steady me, but again something went wrong and I ended up jamming my middle finger on the step. Except I heard something snap.

After that I remember things in snapshots. The blinding sound of pain. Me, bent over at the waist with my hand wedged between my thighs. Saying, "Kids!" multiple times. (My daughter told me later they had no idea what I was saying. First they thought I was playing around, then they thought I was dying.) The thought that I had done something seriously terrible to my hand, followed by denial.

I stood there for a while, letting the pain subside, catching my breath, trying not to cry in front of the kids. And it started to hurt less. In my altered state, I decided that meant it was just a stinger, maybe jammed but okay. I couldn't let the kids down. It was the last day to skate. Now I realize the swelling was probably deadening the pain. I didn't look at my hand. I didn't want to know.

My single-mindedness was unrivaled. My mission was to get the kids their skating, and that's what I would do. I whimpered quietly as I drove us one-handed to the skating rink. I had to stop and ask directions, because it had moved since I'd been there last. When we finally got there, I depended on Abby to get everybody's skates tied. On the skating floor, a teenager skating backwards slammed into me and sent me flying. I landed on my back, hard, and my hand and head bounced off the floor, and when he apologized and tried to help me up, I yelled at him.

In denial, I played Galaga, beating the shoot button with the side of my hand, till I couldn't anymore. I had to hold hands with Maggie, and it had to be the on right so she could stay near the wall. Once the adrenaline started to wear off, I started to think maybe I could have postponed the skating trip.

The next day, the swelling went down enough to show the bruising. Purple bloomed at each joint of my middle finger and ring finger, and at the base of my hand in line with my middle finger. I didn't go to the doctor because we couldn't afford it. It took three months to be able to type at all, six months to type normally. The hand still hurts, it gets tired easily, the finger's still crooked, but I think the breaks have healed. At least I can type.

So that's the story of my broken hand. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I know what I'm thankful for.

{ 7 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Yikes! I didn't know the whole skating rink aspect to the story. I know how you feel about putting off stuff (important stuff at that!) that you can't afford at the time and regretting it later.

    I hope you and your family enjoy a happy fragrance free Thanksgiving!

  2. and people wonder why we need healthcare reform! I had a similar though albeit much milder experience last week. Helping my mom move some stuff to her new place, I slammed her car door on two of my fingers. I didn't say a word, just made conversation in the car, because she was already stressed and nervous and after all, what could anyone do? The next day I wondered why my two fingers bruised, the nails mottled. Duh.
    Does this mean we are mature, or just too damn willing to take care of others first?
    I suspect it's both.

  3. Well, I'm sorry you couldn't get treatment (we're in the same boat with the whole $/doctor thing, as you know), but I'm glad to know you're returning to some semblance of normal. I didn't realize it took three months to be able to type though.


    Happy Thanksgiving sweetie. God bless.

  4. And you downplayed that as best you could. Oh dolly. *hugs* I'm so sorry you got hurt, and that it's taken so long to heal. If I truly had my magic wand I'd make that go away.

    I hope baby Maggie's arm gets better soon. Will you sign her cast from me?

    I hope your Thanksgiving is awesome, fragrance free but for the scent of pumpkin pie and lots of good things to eat.


  5. My Thanksgiving was great. I have lots to be thankful for. My healed finger is only one of the list, which also includes you guys. :) Love ya.

    Oh, and Sarah, sorry to hear about your fingers. Do you think you'll lose the nails? In my case, I have a hard time believing my self-sacrifice comes from maturity. Just used to not taking care of myself, I guess. Other people need me more than I need me. I guess there may be a maturity in being able to live that way...Dunno.

  6. No, my fingers aren't that bad, but thanks for asking...

  7. My hand hurt just reading that.

    So, you must be a writer because you are still writing.


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