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Broken Armed With A Note

| Learning | July 15, 2013

(I’ve just fallen off of a set of monkey bars during lunch hour recess, and straight-armed my left arm into the ground. A friend comes over to aid me.)

Friend: “Are you okay?”

Me: *holding my left elbow with my right hand* “I don’t think so. I can’t bend my arm.”

Friend: “Let me see.”

(My friend gently tries to bend my arm manually, and I scream.)

Friend: “You’re right. I’ll help you to the nurse.”

(We’re stopped when we enter the school building by the teacher who’s monitoring the hallway during lunch.)

Teacher: “You can’t come back in. You’ve already used the bathroom this recess.”

Friend: “Mrs. [name], I think he’s really hurt his arm. It’s probably broken.”

Teacher: “Well, there’s no protruding bone, and the arm isn’t crooked. It’s probably just bruised. Let me see.”

(I offer her my arm, thinking she’s just going to look. She tries to bend my arm, but with more force than my friend did. I scream again.)

Teacher: *sighs* “Okay, you can go see the office.”

(The teacher sends my friend back to the playground. I go to the office.)

Secretary: “What do you need?”

Me: “I think I’ve broken my arm. I need to see the nurse.”

Secretary: “You can’t see her today. She’s at [other school]; she rotates between three schools. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”

Me: “Can I call my mom, then? She works for my doctor, and will come get me.”

Secretary: *sighs* “We don’t need to do that. Let me see your arm.”

(She bends my arm quickly, eliciting my greatest scream yet.)

Secretary: *still doubtful* “Okay, I’ll call for the nurse. Have a seat in the clinic.”

(The nurse comes about 30 minutes later, and thankfully doesn’t manipulate my arm. She doesn’t believe it’s broken, but she authorizes my mom to come get me. At the doctor’s, the X-ray reveals that I have a unique fracture: my humerus has wedged into my ulna. He sets my arm in a half-cast and a sling, and estimates that I’ll be unable to use it until summer. The next school day, I take great pleasure in presenting the doctor’s note to the school secretary so that she can write up an official exemption from PE for the rest of the year.)

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