Femur

I'm taking a creative non fiction class this term so I'm going to positing a lot of essays and non fiction stories for the next few months. Here's a draft of one I'm turning in. I hope you enjoy it!


What follows is a story about a five year old me who broke his femur while skiing. Don't worry. It's somewhat humerus.... hard di har har...

Mt Baker
Mt Baker




I've posted a revision of this essay here.



Femur


In hindsight, taking a five year old skiing doesn’t seem like a great idea. As an adult, I don’t like being cold or wet nor do I like having to gasp for breath in the thin mountain air. I’m an undiagnosed asthmatic with an aversion to physical exertion and an even greater aversion to physical exertion when I’m wet and cold.

Not much has changed since I was five.

When I was growing up, my dad was a professional speaker and musician and was often asked to speak at church high school retreats. This particular weekend on Mt. Baker in North Western Washington, my parents decided it was time I try skiing. My three year old brother stayed behind in the nursery.

Most of it, of course, is a blur. I remember eating snow on my way to the rental kiosk, I remember, with the aid of the ski rental agents, trying on different boots and different skis and not knowing if they fit of not, but feeling like I had giant weights hanging off my body.

It was hard to walk.

Apparently I was a pretty quick study in the skiing department and, despite my cold and slight breathing troubles, I had fun soaring pole less down the mountain dressed for a blizzard. Before long I even learned that if I tilted my skis up slightly, I could stop and/or slow down. This was more effective if I maneuvered the skis into an inverted V shape. If I moved my hips right or left, I could maneuver and thus avoid trees.

I also discovered that after stopping, if you fell awkwardly and had faulty ski bindings, you could break your leg.

I had just mastered a bunny slope and was standing near the bottom and I looked back and saw my mom lift the yellow goggles off her face. She couldn’t see me, apparently lost in the snow and the trees. And then I fell. I don’t know why or hell, I just fell. I saw my ski boot above my head, attached to my ski, whose tip had gotten wedged in the snow. The bindings didn’t work and the torque of the ski combined with the angle of my fall caused my left femur to break.

Naturally, I cried and my mom rushed over to me as quickly as she could, which took quite a while in ski boots. My father also heard my cries and rushed. He thought I had just fallen and suffered a bruise or something. The severity of my injury would not be known ‘til later.

It’s a funny thing how as I write this, my left leg (which does get painful on occasion when the weather gets cold) is hurting a little. I’m wincing. But, I don’t remember it hurting when this happened. I’m sure it did, I just don’t remember it. I do remember being dragged/carried through the snow by my dad who, again, didn’t think I was that hurt, and up a snow bank to the lodge. I could see the mild concern in his young face silhouetted against a blue sky as he carried me to our room in the lodge.


show route and directions
A markermt baker washington -
Mt Baker, Mt. Baker National Forest, WA 98244, USA
[get directions]

B markerBellingham, Washington -
Bellingham, WA, USA
[get directions]

****

Hours later I still didn’t know my leg was broken but I had already learned that high school girls were suckers for a child in distress. Outside our room, was the main hall in the lodge which served as a dining hall and meeting area. My dad had took a mattress from our room, laid it on one of the tables and then laid me on it. Before long, I was showered with more candy, hugs and kisses then my five year old mind could fathom. I knew my leg hurt and that something was wrong, but I also knew that I needed to milk this situation for all I could.

When a girl would walk by and see me wrapped in a blanket with tears in my eyes, she would come over and offer me a hug and then come back minutes later with an Almond Joy, M & M’s, Snickers, Skittles, or whatever else she thought a five year old boy would like. I’ve never viewed women as being cootie filled so I also enjoyed the hugs nearly as much as the candy. Before long, my little brother discovered my candy stash, but he was forbidden from partaking. He hadn’t sustained an injury on the ski slope.

It became obvious that my leg was seriously injured when it began to swell and turn blue. My dad was torn between his obligation to speak and perform at the camp or partake in a potentially treacherous drive into Bellingham (interestingly enough, the same town my wife grew up in, though we were not acquainted with each other at this time) to find a hospital and have my leg looked at. Eventually his fatherly concern won out over his business obligations, no doubt aided in part with gentle prodding from my mother, and we made the short but arduous journey into the city. When we arrived, dad ran inside and, moments later, I started screaming. I saw two men in blue scrubs come out to the car with a wheel chair.

“Mom! I don’t wanna be in a wheel chair. Please don’t put me in a wheel chair!” My five year old brain assumed that I was going to be wheel chair bound for the rest of my life. Mom soothed me by running her gentle fingers through my hair and telling me the chair was only to help me get into the hospital. She promised I wouldn’t have to stay in it forever. I was skeptical, of course, but, in the end, mom won out and I allowed myself to be escorted in the wheel chair.

From there, it’s just blurry snapshots of memory: the X-ray machine and being intrigued that they could look under my skin; the doctor carrying me from the gurney to a wall with white lights and a picture of a bone on it showing me, and presumably my parents,that my femur was broken in half. Later, I remember the masked nursery and covering me my leg with cold wet plaster-of-Paris, I remember my mom giving me sponge baths, my kindergarten classmates writing their names on my cast, my cousin also acquiring a broken femur in the same manner I did at the same (and further cursing that blasted sport), the crutches I often used in combat against my little brother, the sympathy.

To this day, I don’t like skiing, the excessive cold (though I do love snow) or the outdoors very much. I can’t help but think this rather traumatic incident from early life is a contributing factor.





all rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price Jan 19, 2012

Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, THE WHISTLING FIRE, SEE SPOT RUN ANDTHE BELLWETHER REVIEW.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOST WRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.

PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

read a revised version, along with an explanation of my revision process, here

Have You Broken a Bone?

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Has one of your children broken a bone?

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Skiing is....

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Comments 35 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for coming back, Audrey. Did you read the revised version, "Finding the Red Thread"?


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Just came back for another read Justin! Nicely done!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Carlon, I am also majoring in English with emphases in creative writing and editing/publishing. I'm happy to help, and thanks for reading!


Carlon Michelle profile image

Carlon Michelle 4 years ago from USA

Now I look forward to the rewrite. You are correct that this version is full of flaws. I too am in college. My major is English with a minor in creative writing. I've completed one semester. I'm glad, Justin that you are ahead of me so that I can learn from you and look smart going into my next writing class. English 162, Composition.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks. I'm lad you enjoyed this. I revised this and published it as "finding the red thread". It's linked above... let me know how you like the revision!


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

Nice one PDX, I broke my shin bone once playing tag with my brothers, and some friends in the city, back when I was 10 years old. It hurt like heck too, and so I can relate to this, plus I also been snow boarding about 3 times, and I definitely enjoyed those trips up the slopes during the winters seasons.

Nicely written, and thanks for sharing it bro, voted up.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Sue, so pleased to hear it!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Audrey!


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Justin

Glad your weekend is going well. Mine is too. :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I am liking this version Justin--you pull on the heart strings in this piece--


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Sue. Thanks for stopping by an dreading both versions. I'm having a nice weekend, thanks. How is yours going?


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Justin,

"When a girl would walk by and see me wrapped in a blanket with tears in my eyes, she would come over and offer me a hug and then come back minutes later with an Almond Joy, M & M’s, Snickers, Skittles, or whatever else she thought a five year old boy would like." LOL

I have never been skiing and have no desire to learn. Not the athletic type. Walking and dancing is about it for me. I am off to read your revised vision of this hub.

Voted up up and away

Hope you are enjoying the weekend. :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

hey ya'll, published a revised version in a new hub: http://hubpages.com/literature/Femur-and-the-Revis...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks, Tammy. That sounds like a good hub in itself ;-) I always enjoyed sledding but skiing was never my up o tea. I'm currently working on a revision so I'll alert you when it's posted. Thanks for reading and commenting!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Wow PDX. That sounds terrible! I grew up in the snowy mountains of Pennsylania. We were big into sledding when I was very young. My mom and my brother were flying down a steep hill on a sled and hit a tree. They hit so hard my mother's teeth were embedded in my brother's head. Shortly after I lost a 1st grade class mate to a sledding accident. After all this we never sledded or skied anymore. We thought it would be safe to try an Alpine Slide (a big cement track in which you ride a plastic scooter down a steep hill). My poor brother was having a great time and a ground hog was sitting on the track. He hit it with his scooter and it splattered all over him. It was a traumatic experience. This ended our days of propelling down mountains on sleds, skis, or scooters. Great hub.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Debby, technology has changed. I don't recall if these skis were the newer type or the older type but I do know that they didn't fit well which was probably the main issue.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

April. I'll hop over and check it out, and add it here!


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Justin. One other thought. At the time of your ski accident, you may have been using the older models that did not snap off and free the person from the boot on any pressure in case of a fall. I believe the technology has changed so that there may be less injury when the ski disengages from the boot, instead of entangling the person. Still not so sure I would try skiing. Blessings, Debby


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

I did it PDX! My story is called My adventures in skiing. I also figured out how to link your story in mine! I am so proud. Thanks for your encouragement. I hope you get a good grade. :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

cool, let me know if you do. I'm sure my readers would love to read it!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

I was just thinking about doing that. Your hub brought back some memories, thanks!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

April, that's quite the story. You should Hub about it! I'll link it here...


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona

Ha Ha, I can relate. I too don't like to be cold or wet. I was 13 when my parents decided I needed to learn how to ski. My dad and I signed up for a class. We did so poorly, the class had to be continued the next day and we weren't invited back! Thank you for sharing.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Christy, what are your thoughts on skiing? Thanks for sharing and understanding. It is interesting to see where our thoughts and fears come from. i guess our childhoods are kind of a big deal.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

I really just have a hard time seeing the point of flying down a mountain on sticks. it's fun, but not worth breaking a bone over. I suppose I live int he wrong region of the country to think like that...


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for sharing your story! It is completely understandable that your fear of skiing comes from this accident. I'm sure I would be the same way.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

The only time I ever went skiing was somewhere close to Snoqualmie Pass in WA when I was 19. I was braver back then. My husband and sons love to ski and snowboard but I would rather hang out in the warmth of the chalet and watch. After reading your story I can understand why you would not like skiing or the cold.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Debby, I do think the girls showering with me attention and affection certainly helped. My mom says I screamed but I don't remember. It's possible as a defense mechanism that my body blocked it out. Though, I am pretty sure I don't want to break my leg again


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

arusho, I've never tried snow shoeing. Perhaps I shall. I agree, skiing is far too expensive.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Gypsy, I don't mind the cold if I know I have a way out. when you're skiing, you feel trapped. No way to escpae the cold.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Practical Mommy. oddly enough, candy and hugs are still the best medicine for me. I was just telling my wife tonight that i haven't skiied since I was 16. I enjoyed it, but it's so expensive and there's plenty of funner things I can do with less risk of bodily injury


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Hi Justin. You were most likely in extreme shock state and that explains not feeling the pain of a totally broken femur. The body has a way of self numbing in such a situation. You were also in bliss state with all the attention from the girls giving candy and hugs. I don't blame you for fearing skiing and the very cold, wet weather that chills to the bone. Great story with photos and videos. Great job! Debby


arusho profile image

arusho 4 years ago from University Place, Wa.

Good story, I too grew up skiing, and I don't ski anymore. I always hated all the heavy gear, the boots, skis and poles, etc..not mention the expense! I prefer snowshoeing, it's relatively free.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

My kids loving skiing as does my husband. I, on the other hand, am with you. I do not like the cold in any way, shape or form so skiing was not my cup of tea. I tried it once and that was enough. I love the way you tell a story and this was no exception. Great read. Voted up.


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States

This is why I am afraid of skiing!! I am terrified of breaking bones. I can't imagine breaking a bone at 5 years of age, nor one of my children breaking a bone! On the other hand, my husband loves skiing and wants to take the kids someday. I'll be staying at the bottom of the hill, taking pictures for the scrapbooks...

Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm glad candy and hugs helped you pull through. ;)

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