Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In A Nutshell

In a Nutshell

A place set aside to answer 201 autobiographical questions
from a mother for her daughter. This may take awhile...join us if you like.

12. What I remember about my first trip to the hospital.

The first time I remember going to the hospital was when I was 12 and broke my ankle in El Paso. Other than being born, I don't think I had ever been before.

I received shoe skates the Christmas I was 12. Soon my friend Linda and I were out skating, holding on to the leash and allowing her dog Jinx to pull us. We went around a corner. A cat ran in front of Jinx. Jinx followed the cat, I hit the grass, and down I went. When we discovered that I couldn't stand up, Linda went back and got Daddy, who brought the car and took me home.

I could wiggle my toes. There was no blood. There were no bones sticking through and no appearance of a break, and so my folks decided it was a sprain. Having diagnosed it as a sprain, we soaked it in hot water. It was still tender when I went to bed that night, but no one was worried until I got up to hop to the bathroom about 2 a.m. and fell. I tried to catch myself with the bad foot, and screamed loud enough, as Daddy said, to wake "the long dead." By morning the swelling was worse and I was bundled into the car again, this time to go to the ER.

X-rays quickly showed that the ankle bone was fractured, which explained why I could wiggle my toes and there was no obviously broken bone. However, since we had soaked it in hot water, it was too swollen to put a cast on until the swelling had been reduced. I had to stay at the hospital with my foot packed in ice for two days before it was fit to cast. It isn't too bad to be the center of nurse and doctor attention, with no chores being expected, when you aren't really sick. The food was different, and although it wasn't very great, the variety was fun.

When I got home, my mother's friend from next door brought me her Nancy Drew books to read. Mama cooked my favorite dishes. Daddy was home with scarlatina, and the two of us did paint-by-numbers kits and told stories for the rest of Christmas vacation and on weekends. Since I couldn't do chores with my leg in a cast, and I couldn't be late getting home from where I couldn't go, I got in no trouble at all. One of my mother's other friends taught me to knit, which came in very handy because I could get the knitting needles down inside my cast and scratch to my heart's content. The only flies in the ointment were that I couldn't play with the tennis racket and volley ball that had been under the tree and my siblings. Colleen, not quite three at the time, found that she could hit my cast with a wooden spoon and I would cry out but not be able to stop her. She delighted in running at me with the spoon raised above her head the entire time I was in the cast. Forrest "borrowed" my bike, although I told him he couldn't, and drove it through the nettles and ruined the tires. By the time the cast came off, I was ready to kill them both, but by the time I got as fast as they were, they were behaving again.

When school started again, I was really afraid that other kids would knock me down but by the time I'd been there for an hour I was as confident as ever, actually moving through the halls faster than people with only two legs. And, I remember going to a school dance on crutches and dancing with a number of boys.


J said...

Sounds like breaking your leg was great, except for the pain and the bike and Colleen coming at you like that...but sounds like you had nice times with Grandpa and Grandma.

When Maya broke her arm, they wouldn't cast it for a few days, because of the swelling. That's more common these days, I guess.

kenju said...

Wonderful memories!