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A Personal Narrative Essay: How I Lost My Childhood
I was around the age of twelve, it was Halloween afternoon just after school let out. I was playing base tag with my two best friends: Stephanie and her brother Justin. We were just outside my house when my mom came out and told us to come inside. I asked her if we could play for just a bit longer, she agreed and went back inside. My friends and I resumed our game and continued running from base to base. I remember running to a huge rock that we had proclaimed to be a base when all of a sudden the world felt like it had flipped upside down, but it was not the world it was me. I had tripped and was rolling like a tumble weed blowing in the wind. It all felt like it was happening in slow motion. In the mist of what was happening I was predetermining in my mind the scenario that would take place soon after it was over: I would have little pebbles stuck in my hands, maybe a few scratches on my body, and after picking myself up off the ground I would attempt to brush off the embarrassment that I had collected from falling in front of my friends. However, things seem to never happen the way one might think. In reality I could not stand up. There was something wrong with my left leg. It felt like a hollow log with a broken stick rattling around on the inside when ever I attempted to move it. The pain was so excruciating and unfamiliar, unlike anything I had ever felt before. All of these sensations sent an uncomfortable hot and cold shiver of fear down my entire body that flowed from my head down to my feet. The only thing I remember thinking in that moment was that my leg was going to have to be amputated, and the only thing I could voice was a cry of unquestionable fear and pain. My mom ran out from inside the house towards my scream. At a moment’s glance she saw the seriousness of my condition and the fear that filled my eyes. She yelled for someone to call 911. At the hospital I learned that I had broken my femur, the biggest bone in the body and the most dangerous one to break. Months had passed and time was lost as I spent nearly half a year in a partial body cast completely bed stricken. Time spent lying flat on my back became unbearable. I was missing school and my friends. Teachers sent homework to my house, but assignments were difficult for me to complete. The medication I was taking for my pain had inhibited my ability to focus. Once I was finally liberated from the cast I spent most of my time with a physical therapist. She worked with me to get my mobility back and taught me how to use crutches. I spent several painful months with my physical therapist manipulating and stretching my leg to get its’ mobility back. Trying to bend my knee was like someone trying to knock down an oak tree by merely blowing on it; it would not bend. My leg had been in one position for so long that trying to stretch it almost hurt worse than breaking the leg itself. I hated how much time I had lost: time from school, time from friends, and time from regular day activities. I had missed so much school that I ended up having to repeat another year. What would I be doing now if I had not lost that year of school? Spending time helplessly in bed for half a year and losing a year of school, I felt like I had lost part of my life that I could never get back.
I had plans to work on a math project with my two friends from school: Ashley and Jamie. Ashley and I met at Jamie’s house and decide we would tackle the task there. However, the three of us were pre-teens in middle school and had low abilities to concentrate. We decided instead that it would be a much better idea to play on Jamie’s big trampoline that was outside in her back yard. The bad idea was all three of us jumping on it at the same time. Let it be known that when more than one person jumps on a trampoline at once, trampolines tend to throw the lightest individual much higher in the air than the rest. Considering that I was the shortest of the two and weighed less than a hundred pounds that person was me. Ashley and Jamie had jumped in such perfect synchronization that I was suspended high in the air, like the splash of water when a rock is thrown into the pond. When I came back down I somehow had landed on my arm that was twisted behind me. I could not move my arm and it felt like it would rip apart from my body if I did. The pain was bad; I had an incline of what had happened and knew that it was most likely broken. Jamie’s mother came running from the house to see what had happened. When I told her to called 911 she seemed to have questioned my ability to discern whether or not that was the right thing to do, it was and I knew it. The paramedics came and drugged me with laughing gas. They needed to lift me onto a stretcher because the break was high up on my arm, near my shoulder, and extremely painful. The bone inside my arm had been broken into two separate pieces. After being x-rayed the doctor at the hospital pronounced it a clean break and told a male nurse to cast my arm. I deemed the nurse chosen for the task an idiot merely disguised as a male nurse. He forgot to drug me before moving and wrapping my arm. I could tell that he seemed to hate his job according to the manner in which he handled my broken arm. He was not cautious at all and could care less that he was hurting me. Tears streamed down my face as pain pulsed through my body. My arm took a lot longer to heal than most. I spent an entire summer with the hot and sweaty cast wrapped around my arm, comparable to that of a heating blanket. Showers were impossible because of the cast and I had to take baths. I also, lost a summer of fun and play because I had to moderate my activities even after the two half’s of my bone began to stick together.
I was lying on the ground, not really understanding what had just taken place. Did I just break my leg again? Familiar pains coursed through me. The same hollow feeling with that darn stick rattling on the inside. It took nearly fifteen minuets before I shed one single tear. I did not feel sadness nor pity upon myself. I was mad and frustrated. Lying on the ground and waiting for the ambulance I quarreled with God. I hated him for putting me through such torture. Why me? My childhood was slipping through my fingers with nothing to show for it. I knew what was expected: A huge cast from my torso all the way down my legs with a bar connecting one leg to the other to keep my body stable, several long months of immobility and starring at the ceiling, and more physical therapy. When the ambulance arrived I asked for laughing gas almost immediately. They could not give it to me; I had moved to California and they did not allow paramedics to give anyone laughing gas. Now more than ever I wanted laughing gas. I wanted to be sheltered from the real world at that moment. The world that can give so much and yet, take everything away in an instant. I felt that the freedom to be a kid, to be a teenager, and to have a life, was something only those around me could partake of. I was losing the one thing most dear and sacred to anyone, something no one can ever gain back: my childhood.