My whole life, I took pride in the fact that I never broke, sprained, or fractured a bone. Don’t jump to the conclusion that I am not a klutz though: I am extremely clumsy. I constantly trip over anything that I encounter, spill drinks and food, and embarrass myself left and right, something my campers especially enjoy to make fun of me for. I worked at a sleepaway camp in upstate New York for two summers, having the same bunk of middle school girls both years. As I stated before, I was proud making it to 18 years without hurting myself too badly, considering my lack of coordination. Therefore, it felt like the end of the world when I had my first serious injury this past summer.
It was a sunny June morning at camp. Before going on my way, I ran back into the bunk to get a pair of sunglasses. I quickly rushed in and out of the bunk and little did I know that my whole summer would be changed after this instance. I closed the door, went down the first 4 steps, and that’s when it happened. I missed the bottom step, and my left foot flew over and landed in half. It completely rolled over. I felt a small crack. I was in shock. At first, I didn’t realize what had just happened, I thought I made an awkward move and missed a step. So, when I put my foot down again, I felt another crack. I immediately saw stars. I never felt this type of pain in my vast history of falling and tripping. Someone older eventually came over and asked if I needed a golf cart to the camp health center, and I nodded my head implying YES.
When I got to the health center, they took off my shoe and it looked like there was a softball on the top of my foot under my ankle. The nurses kept coming over and gasping as they took pictures of it. The main thought going through my head was “please don’t let this ruin my summer.” I was frightened that I would have to be on crutches for the remainder of the summer, or even go home.
After hours of x-rays and different doctors inspecting my left foot and ankle, they finally told me I tore ligaments in my ankle and sprained my whole foot. I would need crutches for one week, so this was not the end of the world. However, when I got back to camp, it became clear this wasn’t going to be easy. My arms and back were sore from the crutches and my foot was not getting any better. After a week I was still not ready to walk, so my boss and I decided that I had to go home until I was better. When I got home, I saw another doctor who gave me a huge boot that went up to my knee. It was heavy and uncomfortable, but anything was better than the crutches. A long week later, after practicing my walking around my house, the doctor said I could go back and I was so excited that I didn’t realize it would still be tough to get around and do anything. I was constantly frustrated and depressed and thought my situation was rock bottom. However, my friends helped me though the tough time. Another doctor switched my boot for a small brace, and I felt better. My healing progressed.
This experience taught me many lessons. Firstly, I learned to be patient. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t rush the healing process. I had to understand it was out of my control. Next, I learned that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. There were times that I couldn’t see ever getting better and walking seemed so far away, but eventually I made it there. Finally, I learned to be careful when going down the stairs.