Family Isn’t Quite Dripping With Consideration

, , , , , , | Related | August 16, 2018

(This story happens during a one-month holiday in Vietnam, where we are staying with my mum’s side of the family. I’m about twelve, and skinny as a twig, despite having a bottomless pit for a stomach. My mum has become convinced that something is medically wrong with me. After seeking some medical advice, she brings home an IV drip that is somehow supposed to bring me to a healthy weight. To this day, I have no idea where she got it from. I don’t know if she went to an actual doctor, or some kind of alternative, “holistic” medical practitioner, but she makes me lie down and get fed by the IV drip for several hours. I’m very uncomfortable throughout this whole ordeal, but finally it’s over and I think that’s the end of it. Cut to the next week:)

Mum: “Okay, time for you to lie down again. You need some more of the medicine.”

Me: “What? I’m not doing it again! Last time was awful!”

Mum: “If you don’t get the medicine, you’re not going to get better!”

Me: “What’s even in that thing? Do you even know?”

Mum: “It’s just nutrients; it’s good for you! Stop being a baby and lie down!”

Me: “How many more times do I have to do this?”

Mum: “Just this one time, and that’s it!”

Me: “You said that last time!”

(At this point, my entire family decides to get involved. My uncle and my nanna side with my mum and try to convince me to move from the bedframe I’m sitting on to the big bed where the IV drip is. My mum is being as vague and contradicting as ever, which does nothing to allay my suspicions. I don’t know how much my dad knows what is going on, but maybe — I’m hoping, anyway — he is okay with it all because he knows that the contents of the drip are harmless. In any event, he ultimately gets very flustered with the argument that’s becoming more and more heated, so he comes up and grabs my arm.)

Dad: “Come on, [My Name]. It’ll be fine and it won’t take long.”

Me: “I don’t want to!” *struggles and falls*

(I fall off the bedframe and somehow land VERY awkwardly, with my left arm hitting the floor first. As I get up, I immediately feel a pain in that arm.)

Me: *holding my arm* “Something’s wrong. It hurts.”

Uncle: “Now you’re just being a baby. Quit whining and get on the bed.”

Me: “My arm hurts!”

Dad: “Okay, enough. She really doesn’t want to do it; she doesn’t have to.”

(There is some protest from my family, but my dad will hear no more of it and they finally leave me alone. An hour or so later, the pain in my arm has not subsided; if anything, it’s gotten worse.)

Me: “Dad, I think something’s really wrong with my arm. It’s still hurting. I think it might be broken.”

(My primary school bully broke my other arm once before in grade four, so I know what a broken arm feels like.)

Dad: “Are you sure?”

Me: “It really hurts.”

Uncle: “She’s just wanting attention and trying to make us all feel bad for earlier. If it was really broken, she’d be crying.”

Me: *angrily* “I’m not lying. It actually really hurts!”

(My dad looks worried, and there is another short argument between my family, but ultimately we all pile in a car and drive to a nearby hospital. The entire trip, my uncle rolls his eyes about it being a waste of time, and says I’m just being manipulative, but my dad believes me, and even my mum is worried enough that she wants to make sure. We get to the x-ray room and I get my x-ray done.)

Me: *explaining to the x-ray technician* “…so, my dad tried to pull me up off the bed, and I ended up falling off and landing on my arm. I think it might be broken.”

Uncle: *scoffing* “She’s just trying to give us all a scare. It’s all for attention—”

Technician: *interrupting him* “Well, according to these x-rays, you have a break in your upper arm, right here. See?” *points to x-ray*

Me: *glaring daggers at uncle*

Uncle: *shuts up*

(My entire family is very quiet on the ride home. My uncle in particular makes a point of avoiding eye contact with me. My dad quietly apologises to me once we get home, and I tell him it wasn’t his fault.)

Mum: *muttering* “Well, maybe if you had just accepted the IV drip, your bones wouldn’t be so weak, and none of this would have happened, anyway.”

Me: *incredulous stare*

(For the remainder of the holiday my arm was in a cast, but I never had to endure the IV drip a second time, for which I was grateful. Said IV drip was never mentioned again; it was removed as quickly as it appeared, and what “nutrients” it contained, and from whence it had come, remain a mystery to this day.)

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