Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gypsies, Mud and a Broken Elbow

When I was a kid, my parents were really involved in our local Methodist church. They were youth leaders of a really great group of young people. One summer everyone decided to have a carnival in a field beside the church. There was a greased pole climb, a gypsy fortune teller (my mom), games and snacks, and a mud pit for the tug of war that was to occur at the end of the day. I think the whole affair was a success up until the end of the day and the deadly tug of war.

The mud pit was glorious! You could practically see it bubbling and steaming it was so nasty. Each side paired up and began the tug of war. It was a close game I’m sure. And as all tug of wars end; we were all in the muck and grime having a good old time. At one point my stinky brother Kyle, picked me up by one leg and one arm and flung me through the air towards the mud. The only problem was that when I hit the side of the pit, arms outstretched, I heard a loud snap. I tried to crawl out of the mud but my arm wasn’t working correctly. That’s about the time the pain set in.

I knew something was really wrong and I didn’t want to get thrown back into the mud for fear of something else snapping so I started hollering as loudly as I could. Then I started screaming. Well, screeching actually. I guess it worked because before I knew it my dad was checking me out to see what was wrong. I guess from the way my elbow was bending the wrong direction he figured it out pretty quickly.

Before we could get into the car for the ride to the hospital, I had to be hosed off. I was caked head to toe and all points in between with mud! I’m sure dad got muddy too, so he had to rinse off. So there we were, wet, still sort of muddy – definitely gritty, hauling buns to the medical center. My mom was with us also. Did I mention that she was playing the part of a gypsy fortune teller at the carnival? She was looking very exotic.

Once at the hospital, we all piled into the emergency room looking like a bunch of circus freaks. I was all muddy, Dad was fairly muddy, Mom was a gypsy and everyone in there is looking at us like we were crazy. I had to get an X-ray of my elbow, so I shared some of my mud in that room, too. It turned out that I had some bad type of break so I had to have surgery. On top of that, I got to cut in line in front of all the other people waiting to be treated. I remember getting a shot of some wonder juice then being wheeled down the hallway; trying to apologize to the people I was cutting in front of.

I remember waking up later that evening in my hospital room. Of course my arm hurt but what was more bothersome was the grit in my bed. I guess they cleaned my arm off enough to operate but left the rest of me the way I came in.

The brother that broke my arm came to visit and brought me a big bottle of Dr. Pepper. Man, he really felt horrible. I mean, he was still in his phase where he loved to torture me, so to bring a gift and not pick on me one little bit was a big deal. One of my other brothers stood just outside of my room. He was mad because I was hurt. He wouldn’t come in (maybe he was afraid he’d be tempted to tell me how much he hated me and wished I’d die) so I had to take my parents’ word that he had “visited” me.

One good thing to come out of that episode was that the boys held off on picking on me for a while. I’m sure I had peace and quiet for at least 2 or 3 days. Or until I got home from the hospital.

If you ever get to meet my brother Kyle, be sure to say something to the effect of ‘Oh, you’re the one who shattered Lizzie's elbow – I’ve heard about you.’ 


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