Good evening, Toastmasters and honored guests.
I like holidays just as much as the next guy. I love birthdays… Christmas is great. My all-time favorite holiday, for the record, is Halloween. But there are one or two special days I’m just not really into. For example, Arbor Day? Meh, I could take it or leave it.
My least favorite holiday is Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong – my dislike of it has absolutely nothing to do with my feelings towards my own mother and everything to do with how the day has treated me in the years since I’ve been a mom. I’ve had things not go as planned, weather not cooperate, child tantrums, husband tantrums, I’ve thrown tantrums… you name it.
Nevertheless, every year I try to have a decent Mother’s Day. Every mom deserves a little break, right? Well, on Mother’s Day 2010 I decided I was going to have my break!
The day before, I was walking home with my son, C. He was 6, almost 7 at the time and we had just had lunch at a new local restaurant near our house. C, for those who haven’t heard my past speeches about him, has ADHD… and I like to say he really puts the ‘H’ in that acronym.
We were about halfway there when C took off RUNNING down Highway 116. I can’t begin to describe for you the panic that arose in me when he did that. My upper mammalian brain shut completely off and my lower reptilian brain took over. I did what came naturally and I ran after him.
Now, it’s often said that women are graceful but that is simply not true for me… if anything, when it comes to things of the physical realm, I am pretty disgraceful.
I almost immediately tripped over a crack and – again, reptilian brain – instinctively did this [put hands out in front]. Then I landed, on my palms and my right knee. BAM!
As you might well imagine, I was really upset… about the possibility that I put a hole in the knee of my pants! Never mind the fact that my knee was the size of a small grapefruit and the palms of my hands looked like ground sirloin. The lucky thing is, C stopped running. In fact, he was pretty much frozen in place. The bad part was… THAT HURT!!
I stood up. No hole in the pants. I did notice that I couldn’t bend or straighten my arms – they were both basically frozen at almost a right angle. How many of you here played with Barbie dolls as a kid? I thought to myself “Oh my God, I have Barbie doll arms!” But I thought, I’m tough, I’ll just walk it off. So I began walking home [sway arms back and forth]. I thought to myself “Man, my arms hurt!” and C walked in front of me.
By the time I got in the front door, pain was radiating up and down both forearms. I yelled for my husband and he came shooting down the stairs. He said “What’s wrong??”
I showed him [demonstrate].
Now, my husband is a teacher but he’s also a firefighter and first responder, so I trusted him when he took a look at me and went “Well, it doesn’t look that bad… try seeing how you feel in the morning.” He said something to the effect of “If you REALLY think you need to go to the ER, we will but I think you’re OK”.
I didn’t really push the issue but instead, I did the first thing that came to mind (again, reptilian brain). I somehow managed to grab my phone out of my purse and posted to Facebook: “Hey everyone! I just fell and now I can’t move my arms… trying to decide whether or not to go to the ER… what do you all think?”
A couple of minutes later, my phone rang. It was my friend L. I barely managed to answer – “Hello?” – when she said, “Do I need to take you to the hospital??”
I hemmed a bit. Should I, or shouldn’t I? She finally told me “I am taking you” and about ten minutes later she showed up at my house.
Since we were going to be there a while, we turned the experience into GIRLS NIGHT OUT. We sat in the waiting room, we laughed, L took pictures of me with her phone. A couple of hours and several xrays later I walked out of there with the most fabulous accessory a girl could ever want – a nice, shiny (stiff, itchy), white plaster cast, from wrist to mid-bicep.
So, what happened? Quick anatomy refresher: in your forearm are two bones – the radius and the ulna. I’d cracked the very tip of my radius in my arm. In other words, I fractured my elbow. In other words… I got my break! I wasn’t going to be doing housework for a LONG time! (Not that I do it anyway). I also went home with a bottle of Oxycodone. Wooo-hoo!!
I learned several things that weekend. I learned that, when you’re a parent, there are no days off. I learned that good friends are worth more than their weight in gold. I learned to never, EVER take pain medication on an empty stomach. But, most of all, I learned to be careful what you wish for… you just may get it!