One evening this past spring, I went for a walk after dinner while my daughter took a bike ride with a friend. When I was at the furthest point from my house that I could be on that particular walk, I got a call from my daughter. Those of you with children know that if you get a call from your child instead of a text, it is probably not a good thing. She had panic in her voice as she told me that she had fallen off of her bike and broken her arm. She can be dramatic and tends to exaggerate, but my mama instinct knew she was hurt badly. I learned that she was a mile from home and a mile and a half from where I currently was walking. I immediately turned around and started to run. Unfortunately, I am not a runner or in good enough shape to run that far. As I was running, I called my husband and tried to explain the situation through my labored breathing. He drove to pick me up and we went to get her.
When she broke her arm, it was in the midst of the pandemic and it was scary. It was scary that when I got to her, her arm was visibly broken. It was scary that we were going to have to go into a hospital with Covid lurking around. It was scary that they could not set her arm and would have to do surgery. It was scary to stay in a hospital overnight while wearing masks and trying to avoid germs.
There was much to be frightened about. My girl had broken both her ulna and radius. “Nails” or “rods” had to be inserted to fix the fractures. She was scared and so was I, but I put on my brave mama face for my girl.
Even though it was distressing that this happened to my daughter and that it happened during a pandemic, it really ended up being the best possible time for this to happen, if it had to happen. Since schools were closed for Covid, she only had virtual classes. She did not have to navigate the hallways or open her locker or carry books with a broken arm. She could do most assignments on the computer. I had to help with a few written assignments since she had fractured her dominant arm, but for the most part, she could do her school work independently. Also soccer season was cancelled so she did not miss any practices or games and that was huge for my soccer-loving girl.
Her arm has now healed. Where each bone was broken, the bone has formed a “callus” and the rods are about to be surgically removed. Interestingly, the calcium concentration in the permanent scar is higher than the normal bone making it usually stronger than the surrounding bone. Once it has healed, she is more likely to break the bone elsewhere than in the bone scar. (Thanks Uncle Rex for explaining this!)
In recent years, my girl has been through several adversities. She has had to work hard each time she was told no to get to where she wants to be. Just like her fractured arm, every time she faced a disappointment or setback, she was broken, but not shattered. She was able to heal and get stronger than she was before. These were lessons learned the hard way. All of our wisdom, toughness, and courage does not come from the smooth path before us, but how we manage and grow from the bumps and breaks along the way. I am convinced we are not only molded by adversity, but we are stronger after overcoming it.