Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rembrandt and the Wrist Brace

Summer Camp 1988


I was fortunate enough to go to a wonderful camp for 6 summers of my life. My sister and I met many people and challenges that helped mold us into who we are today. There were a variety of activities that one could sign up for including hiking,backpacking, horseback riding, riflery, archery, and crafts. I was an avid horsewoman and was often found at the barns and on the trail. One lovely July day I was atop of a cute little paint horse named Rembrandt. He was young, but very sweet. He was also very narrow, not the wide quarter horses I was used to. Riding him was similar to straddling a fence rail. I actually referred to him as a "saltine cracker on edge". Along we go, my narrow buddy and me, riding down the winding rocky trail. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a "scary" rock pops up. Anyone who has ridden horses, especially young ones, knows that occasionally random ordinary items take on the significance of a slasher movie. Horses are flight animals, which means their natural tendencies are "Get the hell of of here!!!!". Well, this was apparently a Freddie Krueger rock and Rembrandt was going to have nothing to do with it- so he bolted right and I stayed left. I landed hard on my left hand. All my weight. It hurt. Something was surely messed up.

This is where most people would do something like go to the doctor and get an x-ray. Yeah, well not me. You see, my mother doesn't "believe" in doctors. She would rather look at the injured part and declare that it "looks normal to her". Apparently nothing is an emergency unless there is blood and bone poking through the skin. So, instead of leaving the diagnosis in the hands of a medical professional, she declares that I am fine and delivers a wrist/forearm brace for me to wear on my injured arm. Only problem was, I fell on my left hand. The brace she had (because she wouldn't actually go and BUY me a brace, we were more the thrifty hand-me-down type) was a right hand brace. So in order for me to wear the brace I had to cock my hand to the left and rest my thumb on the part that was straight. This basically made me appear not only physically handicapped, but mentally as well. I did attempt to wear the brace a few times because my arm really hurt and I was seeking relief. However the day the girls from camp loaded up in the buses to go spend a day with the boys from a neighboring camp, the brace had to go. I was already insecure enough, being 13 and all. I certainly didn't need any of the boys wondering if I was the "special" kid that should have ridden in on the short bus. The brace was then stuffed into the bottom of my closet, never to be worn again. My arm seemed to heal fine, regardless of whatever injury I actually had, but I still can't write with my left hand. Thanks Mom.

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