Broken bone

***Thanks to the bloke for writing this down for me through the power of dictation. Hopefully I'll be back in action soon

It was one of the most dramatic things I can remember happening when I was a child. And I can still remember the sound Carl's leg made when he smacked into the wall, scrambling over to the other side in a flurry of arms and legs. Me and his little sister Emma just stood and stared, mouths gaping, like a couple of kids watching a really good fireworks display. One minute he was running, the next he was jumping. But he didn't quite make it. His shin knew all about it.

It wasn't till he started screaming in pain that we started to run towards him. Past the wall and there he was, rolling around the floor and clutching his leg, face in a horrible grimace. Just like a football player trying to get a free kick out of the ref, but this time for real.

"Get mum. Hurry up," he instructed. So we took off running again. I was taller and faster, so Emma ate my dust. I was the one to deliver the important message: "Carl fell over trying to jump the wall up by the Spar. He's hurt his leg. He wants you to come."

By the time we'd got back there, there was already an ambulance. The man from the pizza shop had called. Looks like he's got a broken leg, they told us. We need to take him to hospital. I snuck a look inside the ambulance, at all the tubes and wires and just stuff. Wow, this is like something that only happens on telly, I thought. It was even cooler than when a boy got run over in front of our house because I actually knew Carl, and I got to see into the ambulance.

He came home much later with a plaster cast on his leg which we all signed. I wonder if I'll ever break a bone, I thought, as I drew a big swirly pattern around my name.

Well, I finally did, 20 or so years later. And what an anticlimax. There was no ride in an ambulance, no accident, no drama. I went to the hospital finally as an afterthought, five days later. A tiny bone in my wrist is broken, somewhere close to my thumb. And I'm not even sure how I did it. I think I bumped it sometime on holiday, then crunched it bending my hand too far backwards during a yoga move.

Now, with a plaster cast from my thumb to my elbow, I've entered the realm of the one-armed man. I can't do up my shoes, chop an onion, or get my metro ticket out of its plastic wallet. Typing one handed, I feel like I'm approaching carpal tunnel syndrome at the speed of light. And the plaster feels like it's slowly shrinking. Constricting round my arm like a python squeezing the life out of it's prey. I'm even too old to have anyone sign it, so where's the fun in all this?

But then again I know I'm going to get my left arm back. Not like the girl I saw at the zebra crossing. Her arm, hanging down from her sleeveless denim shirt, stopped at the elbow. As we stood on opposite sides of the road waiting to cross and go about our days, she saw me. Took in my arm in a sling, and gave me a half smile.

What was she thinking? You think you've got it bad but you haven't got a clue? Or was she wondering if I was sympathising with her because of my predicament. And how did that make her feel?

The green man appeared and she went on her way, probably forgot all about me. But I remember her sometimes when I can't manage to do the everyday things I took for granted with two working hands. What would this be like if it was permanent? I really hope I never ever find out.


  1. i broke my wrist last year trying to impress my new schoolchums and to prove that old people aren't boring with a spot of break dancing which i royally buggered up...i feel your pain!

  2. I broke my arm a couple of years ago and was so relieved it was only temporary too. It's so frustrating trying to do everyday stuff. Get better soon! xx

  3. No its not until something like this happens that we realise how important full health is, I have had a reoccurring shoulder injury which will never get totally better as I can not rest it..I use it to dry my hair FFS !! Amongst all the other chores ... make sure you do all your physio etc and get well soon xx

  4. "It was even cooler than when a boy got run over in front of our house" - what a line!

    I liked the food for thought at the end...it took me by surprise and made me feel bad for chuckling at the carpal tunnel bit.

  5. Hope you're up and running again soon.

  6. Thanks for the get well soon wishes guys.

    Stan- trust you! Well at least break dancing is a bit of a "better" reason than yoga. People look at me like I'm a complete idiot when I tell them!

    Yvonne - welcome to my blog, thanks for commenting. And thanks for the sympathy!

    TbR - ditto! Ooh I did feel a bit mean writing that line, but that's honestly what I thought when I was a kid. I've always been a morbid little sod!

    Wildersesschic - thanks love, sorry about your shoulder. Fragile thing, the human body sometimes isn't it?

    Miss Welcome - Thanks, I'll live! The blogging will have to take a backburner though - unless the bloke agrees to help again!

  7. Beautiful writing. I love the comparisons.

  8. Putting things into perspective is always a wonderful thing to do in times like this. I hope your hand gets better soon.

  9. It looks annoying, or noying as my grandson says. Good photo. Hope it doesn’t hold you back too much.

  10. Baglady - thanks so much, and thanks for putting Sharon onto my blog. I've been emailed to say she commented, but can't see her post, weird!

    Jeannie - too true. I know I take my health for granted, until something goes wrong.

    Mr EW - aw, noying, how cute. You really don't seem old enough to have grandchildren though!

  11. Hopefully the healing process has come along quite nicely in the last few weeks!

  12. Still one armed! Go back to the specialist on the 21st, will know more then. It's driving me nuts! X