Summer of 7th Grade
It was during the summer of 7th grade that it had happened to me. I didn’t know what to do as it was my first time, but the distinct emotion that I had felt was fear. Man was I a fool to trust this person. The first warning sign should have been when I realized that they were older than me. The second was when I realized they were very emotional. The final sign should have been when they were charging right at me. I watched as he got closer and closer with his bike but did not move. While I was frozen with fear, I was very aware of what was going to happen to me. Cars were driving by just leaving me and this other kid alone to face our problems, did they expect me to do the logical thing and jump out of the way?
It isn’t a mystery as to what happened next, but it may take some justification. Being the hotheaded teen I was, the only thing that could stop the truck-like momentum the bike was riding at me would be myself. Just a couple feet away would be my target, so I stuck my hands out, and planted my feet firmly in the ground. I’d show him that I wasn’t just a sitting duck, but instead an impenetrable wall. Turns out I was wrong, but not on the part where I would be an impenetrable wall. Surely I took the hit, but I was a sitting duck and my wrists felt an immense sense of pain. I had been struck by tons of force and the brunt of it went to my hands. With the adrenaline running in me, I hadn’t felt the pain at all at the moment, so I just slugged my way back home. As soon as I got to the door and my defenses dropped, it was like I got shot by a bullet, the searing pain dawned upon me. I shrieked as my grandma opened the door to the noise and started questioning me. I hadn’t won, the bike did and now I had no idea what was wrong with me.
As I settled down with the extreme pain in my arm, I felt the need to grunt or at least vent the anger of letting the incident happen. Whether it be because I tried to stop a moving bicycle from running into me, or that they actually intended to run into me, something could have been different there. My sisters brought me a bag of ice in order to cool both my inflamed wrist and my head, and in the moment they also called my parents in order to bring me to a hospital in order to get a checkup. The ice-pack did a great job of cooling off both my wrist and head, because the first thought that got into my head was man I really fucked up. I went for almost 12 years of my life without getting into big trouble and then it was all for naught. It was that moment that I really feared for my life. Although I had cooled my head, the summer heat probably got to me because I really felt that my life was going to end due to that stupid decision I made.
When my parents got home, the first thing they asked me was what happened to me. As unbelievable as it sounded, I told them that I fell off my bike earlier. I admit that they did not buy the excuse at first, but there were more pressing matters at hand, or my wrist in fact. So we rushed to Maimonides Hospital where we were received by the E.R. Keep in mind this is the first I’ve been to the E.R. let alone a hospital for all I remember. It was completely different from what I saw in movies, a mellow atmosphere without much “emergency” happening as far as I could tell. The atmosphere was probably the way it was in order to calm people down as most of the time they were in there for a traumatic event right? It sure diverted my attention from the pain in my wrist to the almost eerie hospital. As I readied myself to take an X-Ray, the thought of a broken bone had not occurred to me, however, earlier the thought of death came to me.
As I previously had kept a safe life for about 12 years, there was a whole world out there that I had yet to explore. All the things that adrenaline junkies do for fun would be things that I stayed away from. There was content in the security that was being safe that I had felt and in feeling such lived passively. That was changed when I finished taking the x-ray. What more could I lose, I did not know and that was what made me feel trapped. Although I’ve seen many people trapped in a cast before, I had not experienced it myself. I’ve seen them go into one, and then out within a span of time, but never had the thought of something going wrong been through my mind. Which is weird because the thought occurred when the incident happened to me.
First they wrapped my wrist in a gauze like material, then up to my elbow, and finally mid-way my biceps. After my arm was completely wrapped in gauze, they plastered it with a thick liquid which eventually hardened giving the cast a coat to protect my wrist as it healed. While the outside world would be unable to harm my wrist, I had other concerns with the healing process. With the cast ranging from the middle of my hand to the middle of my arm, there were no practical uses in my left arm. While I could still wiggle about my shoulder to pivot the entire arm, my elbow locked at a 90 degree angle and unable to even get a good grip in my hand. This unnatural feel left me helpless, thoughts such as being permanently disabled flew around me and brought me to an even lower point.
While feeling down in the dumps, the thought of recovery came back to me as a rescue. The rescue however would not always be in its purest form, while I believed my bone would regrow, the “how” it would grow followed. The possibility in my mind that the bone would be deformed was there, and that it would impact my wrist movements was also there. It was a nightmare really to be living in my life. In the time that I was being melodramatic, time was passing and I began growing accustomed to my handicap. Menial tasks such as dressing myself and showering became second nature to me yet again and I had honestly forgetting about the cast covering my broken bone. It became an accessory to me in which I could share my experience, but it would have been nice to live life like I had been used to.
Days passed, eventually turning into weeks, and evidently into months just going by. The sky was blue, water was wet, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what was under this cast anymore. What I do know was that my cast was coming off soon. It was a fresh day on the weekend, and with nothing better to do, more like my appointment was scheduled today my family and I went to the doctors. When we arrived at the office, they pulled up our file and determined needed to be done. What was needed to be done required scissors and let’s just say it freaked me out. Did I anticipate them stabbing my cast in order to open it up? No not really, but they didn’t do that anyways so it was just an overreaction. What they did do is carefully start cutting away at the cast around my hand. When I regained freedom in my fingers, the docs began to snip the cast away from the wrist. Eventually they just ran the scissors straight up my arm and the cast was cut in half.
I had reacquired what I had lost, my left hand and boy was I overjoyed. There’s something about losing an ability and then regaining it. In the time that I had spent handicapped, I had grown accustomed to only using one hand. The first thing that I did when the cast was off was clench my fist. Did I forget how I got myself into that cast in the first place? No, not really so I needed to feel what I had lost and firmly grasp it. I may have sworn revenge against my assailant, but as of right now I’m content with how things have drawn out. With the experience tucked under my belt, I have grown to be a better person who will not make the same stupid mistake twice. At least that’s what I tell myself since the past was in the past and here I am today living life as if it was just another moment in time.