Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I wanna talk about me, part duh

Olivia Newton John in Xanadu. Ever seen it? For me, that was a defining film of my childhood. Once I saw Miss Olivia bee-bopping around on her skates while singing with her provocative off-the-shoulder dress, I knew I just had to be her.

So, I started skating.

Unfortunately, I'm not the most graceful sort. I have been known to go from standing to falling flat on my face without taking a step. I'm a natural at the ungracefulness, really.

me, all dolled up and ready for yet another surgery, 1988. Nice sun-in hair coloring job, eh?

And so, when I was 10 years old, I fell while practicing my skating moves in front of my parent's house. I knew immediately from the unnatural way my arm was hanging that some serious damage had been done.

Once I convinced my brother Matt and his friend that I wasn't "faking it," [their words] my mother was brought to the scene, and I was rushed to the local emergency room. Surgery was scheduled for the next morning, in spite of my protests and pleadings. Screws and a metal plate were put on the broken bone.

I cried. I hurt. I healed. (Do you like how fast I'm skipping over lots of parts? Don't answer that.)

Anyhoo, Quack number one told my parents they never take the metal plates out of kids' arms.

If only we had known.

Fast forward to me, age 13, ice skating with my best friend Christina's church youth group. My fine skating skills landed me face down on the ice with yet another disturbingly unnatural hang to my arm.

Yes, the same arm.

This time, both bones were broken. Another visit to whatever-doctor-shows-up-at-the-ER, and surgery was scheduled immediately. Unfortunately, as the first doctor had left the previous hardware in, my bone had grown completely around the plate. This doctor had to chip away at the bone in order to remove the plate, before attaching new ones to both broken bones.

Quack number two decided it would be wise to chip out eight inches of bone and insert a four inch plate, causing my arm to actually grow crooked.

I'm not kidding. It was bowed. Like this: (only no arrow sticking out of the flesh. That would have been a little creepy).


It was really gross.

Quack number three was called in a few months later to repair the damage done by quacks one and two. Over the next two years, I had four more surgeries, a bone graft, and months and months of physical therapy. It was traumatic, painful, and should never have happened.

Now, I have three four-inch long scars around my arm, and a one-inch scar on my wrist.

Moral of the story: Get a second opinion. Doctors aren't always what they're 'quacked' up to be.

And, yes, I have accepted that I will never, ever be a skating/singing muse. After all, there really only was one. And she was brilliant.


37 comments:

HILLARY said...

Oh my! Do I remember this movie. I didn't have it but my friend did. I am singing along as we speak. I loved that movie. And did I love to roller skate. I even got in REALLY big trouble once. Long story. Just involved a lie, my back wheels falling off & instead of going home we continued on to the bike shop to get them fixed.... By the time I got home I was in BIGGGG trouble. Never a broken bone, though!

I'm gonna go by the song on iTunes right now!!!

Ashley said...

I am also super graceful **winkwink**

When I was in about 2nd grade, I fell while rollerskating...my arm hurt...life went on. The next week I went to the park and was showing off my amazing skills and I fell off. All my weight landed on my arm..both bones were broken and almost came out of the skin. I had to have a full length cast and 2 surgeries to "set" the bones.

Fast forward to my arm being ALMOST healed....I trip and fall into a baby buggy I'm pushing...I tumble around with it and end up on the ground in an awkward position. My arm hurts my arm hurts.."i'm sure its fine!" Went to the next doctors appt and they tell my mom "somehow she has broken her arm again, while it was still in its cast...she will need another surgery and will wear her cast much longer now"

I totally remember all the "graceful moments" of my childhood. They resulted in me being in ERs more than necessary and many many battle...I mean graceful..scars!

Joy & Casey said...

And I THOUGHT I knew everything about you---for some reason I don't ever remember hearing about this!? What the heck????

Chatter said...

Ouch. If ever want my opinion on "quacks" just let me know :).

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Sorry to hear about all the quackiness, but, at least you were exposed to Xanadu. My sister and I still have the cassette tape soundtrack from that awesome piece of awesomeness.

My sis is blessed enough to have been born the year it came out (1980). My favorite song is I'm Alive. Great cleaning music. You know, if you like to clean or something.

diane said...

We have so much in common...broken bones, surgeries, and hardware. Luckily, I didn't get a quack.

I'm so graceful that I've broken my leg twice falling down stairs.

AMY said...

Oh, if only my parents had a video camera to document my *AMAZING* roller skating routines, all choreographed and performed by moi, with a 25 cent charge for admission to my driveway. Some of the most exhilarating days of my young life.

Jenibelle said...

Those bangs of yours are fabulous!!!
I was a teenager when Xanadu came out, I quickly decided that the style was to become my own style and I fashioned 5-6 Xanaduish dresses. I will have to dig one out to post.
Thanks for the memories.

Oh, and sorry about your arm. That sucks but is a great story.

Tia Juana said...

I have always thought the same thing about those quacks - especially when you have been having neck and arm pains for a month and they bring home their spiffy little machines to check for carpal tunnel and other such things and they hook you up on your couch and they start zapping you in front of the children - as in ELECTROCUTING YOU IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN!

Yes, they are quacks!

Lauren in GA said...

Okay, firstly...I love the title...

Secondly...ah, Sun-In...you took me back, Stie...way back...:)

I loved the, "Don't answer that."

I am sorry you had quacks taking care of you. It made my arm ache hearing about the damage that had to be repaired. Chipping away bone...*shudder*

Rae said...

I'm sitting here eating my breakfast, reading your post and trying not to throw up! I so know the pain and recovery you're talking about!!! I had to have 5 reconstructive surgeries on my left arm and hand. Anytime I read or hear about someone else's arm surgeries I get a tad bit queasy! I feel for you, girl! I only had one botched surgery before my parents called in a plastic/reconstruction surgeon.

BTW, my mom wouldn't let me use sun-in. I missed out on all the good times!

Jen said...

OUCH! My 3 year old broke his arm (both bones) this summer but his experience was nothing like yours. OUCH!

Loving your bangs from 88 - I think we all had the big triangle hair.

Rosie said...

1. You look unnaturally happy just prior to surgery. Perhaps you already had a little valium to calm your nerves.

2. I definitely remember your casts, but I didn't know it was such a trauma. Yikes.

3. I had a quack who couldn't diagnose kidney stones for SIX YEARS. I moved, changed doctors, and solved my problem.

Woman Interrupted said...

Wow, too bad that was before the malpractice craze...you could be sittin' prettier.

Did anyone else don leg warmers in the middle of summer to complete the skate look? I always wanted the rainbow ones!

Christina B. said...

Oh, I still get shivers just thinking about the ice skating day... That was so scary (for me, I can't imagine how it was for you)! What I remember throughout the time you were going through your surgeries and physical therapy is that you were so brave and tough about it. Being my stupid 8th grade self I didn't fully realize how hard it must have been. I remember being really scared about having minor oral surgery and you telling me I had no idea... You were definitely right.

I think you have just blown your cover on being a dork as a teenager though. It's obvious you were beautiful then, perm and all!

3leftturns said...

Matt said I was faking when I broke my foot. And arm. And arm. And arm. And arm. And arm. But not the time I broke my finger hitting the wall.

I want to ask, why hasn't Matt broken anything! How are we supposed to tell him he's faking!

Annie said...

why did I not know, after all these years, that we have the important, core passion in common: Xanadu! Oh, how I loved that movie. My mom still makes fun of me for it.

I knew the basics about the arm but had forgotten about the multiple quackery. You deserve every bit of comfort and joy you can find. For the rest of your life.

TravelinOma said...

I think you should wallpaper a salon with your perm and bang photos. You have such great hair, you pull off every style with flair!

Christy said...

I remember the movie. The clothing makes me want to run and hide, but her hair (the first "do") still rocks. But I'm sure I paid more attention to Andy Gibb - I was a teenager then.

Laurie said...

My parents thought Xanadu was "too racy." But not Grease--go figure. So I aspired to be the trampy, cigarette-smoking Olivia.

Why is it brothers always think you're faking it?

Ilene said...

How did I not know about this video?! Wow. I can see how you were inspired.

My husband's family's claim to fame is his bro-in-law's cousin married Ms. Newton. Dan's sister didn't invite them to the wedding because she didn't want Olivia to upstage her. The cousin has since cheated on Olivia and they were divorced.

I would have invited them to my wedding. Stupid cheating cousin.

Kimberly said...

Oh, I remember that. It seemed like you were in a cast FOREVER! I'm sure it felt like it too. At least you had great hair to make up for the ugly cast and crooked arm, right?

gab said...

Next time you here we'll go see Xanadu on Broadway, k?

Robyn said...

I must take after you...I broke my left arm while ice skating in the 5th grade. I broke my right arm while flying down a snowy hill at the end of a line of 6th graders holding hands when I was in the 3rd grade. I broke my left leg on my first date when I was 15! I feel your pain. Luckily my doctors were all actually good doctors, though. Thinking about your arm growing crooked makes me sick! You were hot stuff, though!

Rochelleht said...

I still have the soundtrack and I still listen to it.

It's a great movie if you watched it as a kid, but as an adult, you get a new perspective. Once, my girlfriend and I talked our other friend into watching it for the first time. We really built it up. We watched it together and she was seriously disappointed. She thought we were freaks. I guess you had to be there (in the '80's that is). One of those things you had to enjoy as a kid to still enjoy as an adult.

Man, I love that movie, though. Thanks for the video.

Sorry about the whole arm thing... ;-)

Becky said...

Always loved the song, ...but...(are you ready?)...NEVER saw the movie. But that perfectly fits the non-movie-watching, me. So lame, I know. But, I quite enjoyed the YouTube flick. Thanks.

You told me the arm story, but I never knew there were THREE quacks. Sigh...if only you had someone who knew what they were doing. But, for having had a bowed arm, I must say,...it all turned out much better than it really should have, don't you think? What's a few scars????

Tiffanie said...

Hee hee! I had that same sun-in hair do also! LOL

danandcindy said...

Wow, you are so brave. I hope to one watch a movie about your life. It's too bad that the title "Dumb and Dumber" is already taken.

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

OUCH! My word you seemed to find every quack around for years it sounds like!
And you so look like Miss Olivia in that picture! Way to recreate the look!
And I LOVED this movie! I remember it like it was yesterday! I sang that song ALL THE FREAKING time! Oh see sis, we have another thing in common!

Michele said...

Oh, I loved this movie! How fun to watch it again. I can't believe I forget my children's names yet I remember the words to Xanadu. My four year old is now singing Xanadu around the room!

Bridget said...

You are just plain funny. I never tire of hearing the story of your arm. I guess that means we are offically good friends since I have heard that story from you. Live actually, not via blogging.

Jessica said...

I had all these interesting comments to make about your arm and the correlation to my son's lame doctors.

It all flew out of my head as I watched that AWESOME YouTube.

Highlights for me include:

1)The male dancers and their costumes

2)Olivia's barrettes that sent ribbons cascading down her hair.

3)The JUMP over the dancers (is that what you were doing when you broke your arm).

4)Olivia's repeated use of the Sexy arms over the head move.

Really spiced up the 6 o clock nursing around here.

Michelle said...

that just sucks about what happened to you. but your story telling skills are wonderful! I was laughing and cringing at the same time.

Katie said...

I bet you my scars beat your scars...

I too have fun with my arm... first time, bone was shattered - metal plate to hold it together. Second time, bone snapped at end of plate, metal rod inserted into bone. Third time, metal rod bent, yep with my arm, rod came out, metal plate back on. Forth time, yep you're counting right? snapped at end of plate again... longer scar, longer plate...

Just waiting for number 5 now I guess.

Sigh.

Michael said...

How long does it take Dan to come up with this stuff? It's like it just flows freely at will.

I vaguely remember the casts.

Also, Xanadu makes we want to hurl. ELO, Olivia Newton John, and the 80s, all wrapped up into one epic roller skating "classic." May I never have to watch it again.

Nichole said...

I was eerily transfixed by this scary scene. I was so scared and weirded out, I could not stop watching. Watched the whole thing, ugh!

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