Finally, the wait was over. Finally, after nine never-ending weeks, I could climb, swim, play, and once again partake in the numerous activities that fill the lives of six-year-old girls. The hard, bright orange constraint around my arm had been weighing down my life, and keeping me from being the carefree child that I knew should be. Finally, as I sat in the back seat of the car headed towards thedoctor’s office, looking out the window at the softsnow, I knew this weight would be removed once and for all. I wondered what it would feel like to move my arm again, and I smiled at the thought of such freedom. I hadn’t been so free since that dreadful day nine weeks ago.
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Mrs. Thompson had just dismissed us for recess, and I sprinted through the doorway into the sunlight. The world was wonderfully bright with fall colors, and I ran out to the playground with the leaves crunching beneath my feet. I looked around the playground, trying to decide where I would play that day. Every piece of equipment was a colored a different vibrant shade. The blue monkey bars were closest to the school, with the yellow and orange wavy slides behind them. Then there were the green swings and the huge black tires sticking up from the ground. None of those things seemed very enjoyable to me, so after some consideration I walked over to the dome-shaped jungle gym to the left of the swings. It was huge, with shiny red bars criss-crossing like a spider’s web.
I was feeling extra adventurous that day, and my goal for those twenty minutes of recess was to reach the top of the dome by climbing from the inside, suspended upside-down from my arms and legs. I stepped through the dome, grabbed on to one of the bars with my hands, and swung my body upward so that my feet were supported against one of the lower bars. I slowly began climbing, reaching up to the next highest bar with my right hand, and moving my right foot up to where it had been. Then the left side of my body followed suit. I continued this process until, sooner than I had expected, I had reached the very top of the dome, facing the bright blue sky and the clouds above. I moved my feet through the top bars and wrapped my knees around them.
I decided to let go with my hands, so that I was simply hanging upside down from my knees. I looked down at the woodchips below; by this time they were a mile away. I tried not to get intimidated, and was sure I must be invincible if I’d made it this far, so I began to swing back and forth from my knees. I was having a wonderful time of it, but suddenly something wasn’t right. My mood changed from content to panicked when I swung too hard, my knees came loose from the bar, and I found myself plummeting face-first towards the ground.
The woodchips below became more defined as they grew nearer and nearer, and I knew I would soon come into contact with them. I tried to break my fall with my arms, and when I hit the ground, I heard a loud crack as a sharp pain shot through my right arm. Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at my arm. My wrist didn’t look quite straight and I couldn’t move it. Cradling my hurt arm with my healthy one, I walked over to theteacherwho was nearby.
I was determined to be a big girl, and, trying not to cry, I told her what had happened. She immediately helped me inside to the nurse’s office. That fifty yards to the nurse seemed like a thousand miles, and each step I took was more painful than the last. I didn’t understand what was happening. Why did it hurt my arm to put weight on my legs? As I reached the doorway to go inside, I sadly glanced over my shoulder to take one last look at my beloved playground. Suddenly it didn’t look as inviting as it always had. The bright colors had faded into dull and dreary in my mind’s eye. I had experienced countless joys on this playground; it was my friend that had always made sure I was happy and safe. At that moment I felt like my friend had betrayed me.
I reached the nurse’s office in the school, and soon my mom was there to rush me to the hospital. When we got there, the emergency room was jam-packed. The waiting room was full of people with various problems, and nurses and doctors were frantically running around. Some of the other patients in the waiting room included an elderly lady in a wheel chair, a middle-aged man taking sharp intakes of breath, and a young man with a bleeding ankle.
Why did everyone in the world choose this day to get injured? I needed the doctors to focus on me. In all I waited for about an hour. That hour was one of the worst I’ve been through. I still hadn’t had any pain reliever to speak of, and the pain in my arm was dull, agonizing, and unrelenting. At last, one of the nurses paid me some attention and gave me some thick, syrupy liquid pain reliever. She took me into a dark room and took an x-ray of my arm; it was confirmed that I had broken two bones in my forearm.
The next thing that happened was excruciating. The doctor took me into a room without my parents, and explained that he needed to reset my arm since it was crooked. He flat out told me that this was going to hurt, and not just a little bit. I sat up on a table, and the doctor gave a hard yank on my wrist. I heard another crack! exactly like the one earlier that day, and agonizing pain again shot through my arm. The pain was unbearable, and this time I couldn’t keep back the tears. I couldn’t understand that the doctor was only trying to help me, and I was angry with him for prolonging my suffering instead of ending it.
The worst was over… at least as far as physical pain. I got my cast and was on the road to recovery, but the majority of the pain came after my arm stopped hurting. I was normally such a bright, happy, little girl; but with a broken arm I was constantly feeling sorry for myself. I kept asking God why I was the one who had to go through this. Why did I have to sit at home while my dad took my sister to the indoor pool? Why did I have to sit and watch while my friends played softball? I soon felt like my life and my freedom had been ripped away from me as soon as I heard that crack on the playground.
This could never happen again. Nine weeks later, sitting in that waiting room, I thought to myself. My cast would be off in just a couple of minutes, and I would have my freedom back. But I couldn’t abuse that freedom. I would always be more careful now; I would never again subject myself to the evils of a broken bone.