My first recollection of a real injury was when I was five years old. I think. I know my Mom will comment if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I was heading in to first grade that fall, so that would make me five. My brother and I played outside for hours. That's what we did. It was our job as children to see to it that all the dirt in the back yard was stuck to our bodies before it was time to come in at night. It seemed normal enough to me. Strange though, because my kids, they think I am torturing them when I throw them out the back door on a sunny day.
Anyway, one day we were playing in the front yard. Yes, the yard by the street. And the yard wasn't fully fenced either. But we are still alive to tell about it. My brother took me to the tree closest to the street - it was a cherry tree, (one that is still sorely missed from when they took it out to widen the road and add a sidewalk about 20 years later.) So up in this tree, he pointed at something. I could not see what he was talking about, but he mentioned the word "spider" and I still couldn't see it. Evidently he was really impressed by the size, because he kept pointing and wanting me to take a look at it. Mind you he was only 3 or so at the time, so maybe he wasn't speaking clearly. His L's and R's are just now coming around. So, being the curious sort, we gathered up this tallish bench type thing and set it under the tree so I could get a "closer look" at this spider. Some other day, I'll write about my dreams of becoming and entomologist, but for now, lets just say that bugs didn't bother me. Not one bit. At least that's what I'm going to say.
I remember climbing up on the wobbly bench. Benches, no matter how sturdy, are always wobbly when set upon tree roots and grass. Keep that in mind. And girls who aren't graceful are always wobbly anyway. That makes for a bad combination. I don't exactly recall if it was from stepping up onto a branch and breaking it or from slipping off of one, but when I fell it was quite a show. I sometimes wondered if anyone was driving by at the time. They would have seen a little girl, with long blonde hair, come flying out of a cherry tree. They would have seen a three year old standing there looking aghast. And then they would have seen a mother stand up straight in the garden, perk her ears up, and then move really quickly toward the little girl, who by then had picked herself off the ground and was wandering around trying to figure out what had happened.
I remember a lot of what happened that day, but the worst part was having to be put under anesthesia. There was some concern about my wrist being broken near the growth plate and all that, and out of kindness they let me sleep while they set it. Bless their hearts. Whoever they are. I did not care at all for the strange word "traction", but evidently it did the job.
A couple of years later, in a neighboring tree full of
The ride to the hospital was eventful, but I don't recall much of the aftermath. I do, however, remember missing swimming because of the monstrous cast that had to cover the broken wrist and the greenstick fracture in my elbow. I do remember getting pretty good at using scissors with my left hand during Vacation Bible School and even writing pretty good. I can still deal cards better with my left hand than my right. Not that my parents had me doing lots of dealing or anything. I don't want to give the wrong impression here.
My middle school years were full of sprained ankles, torn ligaments from playing basketball, air casts and ace wraps. I even got to wear big square
Some people still believe that I broke my arm again when I got tossed from that horse at Bake's little farm, but it didn't really happen like that. It was only a bad sprain. I didn't break my arm again until High School. It happened at church camp, because I like to get lots of attention when I'm at camp. I think that was the year AFTER I jumped on the basketball and sprained my ankle yet again. Ever since that year, I've been banned by EVERYONE from sleeping on top bunks. Don't ask how you break your arm in the middle of the night while you're sleeping. It can happen, it really can.
Sometime after High School, my injuries began to be less frequent. I think it was the fact that an uninsured college student or young married person is assisted by more angels. Maybe it's because all things daring come to a screeching halt when you're studying for midterms (although I did have quite a nasty incident with a brand new three ring binder and my finger). Either way, I only had minor injuries for several years. Then I figured out why. I was saving up for childbirth and what was to come after that.
My firstborn gave me 8 months of hurling everything I ate, smelled or even looked at. I would have taken a broken arm anyday. Her birth wasn't much better - many hours of DO NOT PUSH YET!!! would have been solved by a sprained ankle. Healing from the emergency C-Section was challenging (they were having a contest that week - and exclaimed that it only took 4 minutes to get in and get that baby out and the scars proved it.) This was followed up by another surgery about 5 months later to remove my gall bladder that had evidently been injured by pregnancy. Having appendicitis not too long ago made me rethink my plans of wishing for illness instead of injury too.
After another three kids, and another C-section, I went back to my old tricks of inflicting injuries on myself without having to get cozy with my husband first. Matter of fact, I think I started in early, because I was pregant with my littlest runt when I took a flying leap down the stairs at the college after one of my classes. Believing I had paralyzed myself, it took four guys (including my husband) to get me picked up and into a minvan for the ride to the hospital. The x-rays were grueling, as they had to straighten out my crushed kneecaps to tell me that nothing was actually broken.
I think my son was just a baby when I tossed myself off the front porch steps. The bulge from my smashed shin bone still bothers me as I type. But after we got home from that trip to the hospital, my husband increased my life insurance.
Taking a flight of stairs on your backside in the middle of the night isn't the best amusement ride either. That hurt my tailbone for weeks.
I had a little relief from visiting the doctor for awhile. Matter of fact I was into a regular exercise routine, walking around the neighborhood, feeling great and dropping pounds happily, when we were in our car accident. I got mad at that one, because I didn't even do it myself. And then I couldn't take a walk around the neighborhood for months. Now we all know where the Back Acher title came from too.
Sometime after we moved back here, to the relative peace and safety of "the farm", the injuries began again. Somehow, between running back and forth to free our stupid goat from the fence, I found a stick. Or the stick found me. It found me right through the bottom of my shoe and into my foot. That trip to the doctor was a bit humiliating, but it felt better than my father in law yanking the stick out with pliers. *shudder* It also felt better than taking the dog for a walk while we were camping, fighting off a raccoon and finding myself with a finger going the wrong direction. I put my finger back and trotted off to the hospital again. Seven weeks later, we realized my busted finger didn't want to straighten up, so it's either live with it, or surgery. I'm currently living with it - but wishing I had got it fixed last year. It's hard to play piano with a 2 o'clock finger.
I often wonder how I'll leave this world. Will I be climbing a tree in my old, dementia affected age? Will I be run over by a tractor while helping build fence? Either way, I just know it will be while I'm doing something I enjoy. I hope everyone gets a little peace and a little laugh out of it.
Somehow I forgot to tell the story about breaking my fingertip in the garage door or burning my hand while making breakfast, or my strange genetic disease but you can read about those another time. For now, I'm just going to sit here and think up other ways to draw attention to myself in elaborate ways that nobody else has thought of before. It's almost camp season again, I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone.