Unbreakable Journey

Tuesday’s Child: Broken

Posted on by Meg Currell

It’s been a while, but we’re broken. Good and truly broken. She originally thought the pain she felt in her right scapula was stress from taking AP tests and prom and final exams and prepping for graduation and choosing a college–which are, frankly, stressful on their own–but a full week of pain told us something more was going on. An additional week using a sling and then splinting her arm to her torso didn’t improve anything, so to the doctor we go.

This has been a rough Spring for everyone, but my daughter has had the worst time of it. Family/academic/social stress are bad enough, but now she’s been taken completely out of commission. A person who uses a manual wheelchair can’t go anywhere on her own with one arm. She can’t scoot as she normally does, because it hurts. She can’t get herself food, can’t dress herself, can’t use the bathroom alone–she’s been returned to the wholly dependent state in which she existed when she first started preschool.

I *hate* this for her. I am so angry at the injustice of this situation I want to scream–but at whom? No one is at fault. She didn’t–as she likes to joke–get into a bar fight. All she did was bust her buns studying for finals. Maybe she spent too much time in one position. Maybe she didn’t get adequate rest. Maybe I picked her up wrong. We’ll never know.

So at this time when she should be enjoying her first real freedom, she’s lashed to my side, constantly in pain, and has to wear an ace bandage around her ribs on the outside of her clothes in 90+ degree heat. She had to wear a sling over her graduation gown. Nice way to start the summer after her senior year.

I know I complain a lot on here, and I should be sorry to add to it. But as much as we try to deal with our brittle bones involvement with dignity and strength, sometimes I *really* hate what it does to her. Two weeks ago, she was completely independent except for transportation. Now she’s COMPLETELY dependent. In two weeks this happened. Yes, I know she’ll get back there again, but damnit this isn’t fair.

I am grateful for this (you can tell I’m forcing myself, can’t you): we’ve gone all four years of high school without a significant fracture. That’s very good, and gives me great hope for her college years. The fractures have decreased in frequency and severity, as predicted. And maybe that’s why this is such a jolt for us. Maybe we’d take it more in stride–maybe I’d take it more in stride if fractures were still happening frequently.

Maybe someone out there in the OI world can help me make sense of this. I just can’t.

Meg Currell

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About Meg Currell

Mom to a grown son, a teenage daughter with osteogenesis imperfecta, and a teenage stepson. Married to a devoted husband. Doing the best I can with the tools I've been given.

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2 Responses to Tuesday’s Child: Broken

Bill Donahue says: May 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Nice words, Meg. Sorry you and her have taken a step back but it sounds temporary. Hope she improves in time for you to feel comfortable when she goes to school. She seems to have an independent spirit, which should serve her well. Have a good summer gardening. Bill

Laurie says: June 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I’m sorry that your daughter (and you) are going through this again. As someone with OI, I can say from my own experience that any time I’ve gone a significant period of time without a fracture and then fractured again, it was harder to deal with emotionally in a way. Because I’d begun to take things for granted, like walking, getting myself dressed, and a number of other things depending on what I fractured. I’m in my late 40s now, and fortuntely my fractures are few and far between, but when I was fracturing frequently, particularly before age 12, I wasn’t taking things for granted. I think it’s harder now for my mother as well, because although she’s not surprised when I fracture now, she’s not in that mindset anymore where she’s expecting to receive a call. So it really throws her into panic mode, even though I have been living on my own for over 25 years. I wish you and your daughter the best as she gets ready for her college years–

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