My Mom Gave Me My Arm

Moving along in my life story, but not very far.

5 years old

I was 5 and it was the first week of kindergarten. I was the kid that was so excited about school. I remember I had laid my clothes out for the whole week, and I was so excited about school that I couldn’t sleep.

My sister and I had the same class. My mom planned it that way; she thought it was best first to ease us into our inevitable separation and then go to first grade on our own. Overall, I think that worked out, but that’s not the part of this week I want to talk about right now.

I was home from school. Kayla and I were racing each other in the backyard of our new house in Westminster, Colorado. I can still remember the spaghetti steaming away on the stove. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone actually ate any of that spaghetti.

The grass was wet that day, and sure enough a few races later, I fell. My mom came running; she, being the great nurse she is, heard the fall and she instantly knew that my arm was broken. Moments later I was crying and scared, and we were off to the emergency room. My dad came home right about then, and he was none too happy.

I sat in the emergency room for what felt like forever. I plopped up onto the table, and my mom started laughing as we realized that I was wearing two left shoes and Kayla two right shoes; maybe matching shoes wasn’t a great idea after all. (I don’t think we’ve had matching shoes since.) After my x-rays confirmed my broken bones, they said they set my arm and wrapped me with the bright pink cast I had picked out. Unfortunately, they did not set my arm properly, and I was still in agony all night. We went back to a new doctor to set my arm properly. I went to school with my new cast, and this was the absolute only way my teacher could tell my sister and I apart and after the cast came off, she was back to not getting our names straight.

Eventually there was surgery, and I was scared but I survived and then came therapy. Because the cost of therapy was so much and my mom had already sold her engagement ring to pay for my surgery because we didn’t have health insurance, my mom did the therapy herself. I think it hurt more because she knew it was for the best. I think someone else would have taken it easy, but not my mom, she wanted me to have a functioning arm and thanks to her, I do.

Through this whole ordeal, I remember how much my mom helped me and how angry my dad was about the whole situation. To this day when anyone gets sick or breaks a window, he still tempers the situation with, “at least you didn’t break an arm.” Ouch. But, what I mostly remember from this terrible experience was how much my mom sacrificed and pushed me. When I’m a mom, I hope I can do that too.

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