Chapter 8
Is It Really Broken?

IT was lunch hour. I was in second grade and I had been doing pretty good in school. The only problem I had was that each day I would argue about being required to go outside, and each day I was told I must be outside and only outside.

I wish I had argued more that one cold day in the middle of the winter.

I found somebody I knew on the playground and started talking to him. I went with him over to the blacktop where a group of kids were.

It was very icy that day. I had to walk slowly and carefully to avoid falling. It was dangerous outside.

While I was talking to the group of kids, one kid fell into the others, and a crowd of kids fell onto my right arm.

It made me scream! It hurt. I didn't know what had happened at that point but I knew that it hurt a lot. It hurt more than anything else I'd ever felt in my life.

Eventually the playground supervisors heard me scream and they asked me what was wrong. They assumed I was in pain and took me to the school's main office.

Eventually my dad was called. He was told that my arm was hurt. He came to get me and took me to the clinic, just in case.

The X-rays showed that I had a fractured bone in the arm, and they took me to the hospital where more X-rays were taken.

It was decided that surgery was needed. I was afraid. My dad called my mom to tell her the bad news, and my mom said later she heard me crying in the background.

I was taken into the operating room. The only thing I remember is the somewhat disgusting taste of the sleeping gas. It tasted kind of sweet, but it was more like mints mixed with cough syrup.

I remember a deep dreamless sleep. I was not sure how long I was asleep.

I woke up in the recovery room later on. At first I was confused as to what had just happened. When did I fall asleep? How long after I put the gas mask on did the gas take effect?

I was taken to the hospital room where I was to stay. The bed had a small panel with a phone and a nurse call button on it in case you needed some pain-relief medicine or other kind of help. Also on the panel was a speaker and a remote control panel for the TV.

The stay wasn't really that bad. It lasted about two days. I had a cast and sling for my arm, along with some pins put in it during the surgery, which I still have. It made it much more difficult, considering that at that time I did not use computers and that my right hand was the only hand I could write with.

When I got home I realized something. I could still play the piano with one hand - the left hand. It was good to know ... just in case I ever broke an arm again.

I kept the sling and cast on for about six weeks. During that time I had to do all my homework and schoolwork on a tape recorder I got for Christmas a while ago.

For the six weeks I got to stay inside instead of going outside during lunch.

The next frightening and painful experience I had was getting the pins removed from my arm. During the whole time that the doctor was doing it, I was in pain.

Even after that, recovery was necessary. I had to do daily exercises with a rubber-band rope and a baseball bat. It involved pulling on a rubber band and lifting a baseball bat above my head using my arms. It hurt.

I was quite happy when it was all over, but afterward I thought, Look what I went through not to have to go outside!

And the worst part was: after I recovered I still had to go outside.

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