Last night, not five minutes into a night game called Fugitive, I flew head first into a dry creek bed. My fellow fugitives lit up the scene with their mobile phones.
I was covered in ants, lying face down in a blackberry thicket, not sure if I should’ve been thankful or annoyed it was there. I was pretty sure my arm was broken but, no, after I stripped off my sweat shirt at Urgent Care, the diagnosis was obvious.
The pain was please-don’t-throw-up-in-the-van-on-the-way intense. A new reference point. Weird part about dislocation is that the insistent pain of bone-crushing-nerve derives entirely from the body trying real hard to do the right thing: for the love, let’s get that bone back where it belongs.
02h00 I left Urgent Care, my right arm strapped into The Immobilizer, an apparatus which probably needs no further introduction. This is a drag but nothing like a broken arm woulda been. Broken arm + cast woulda meant:
- losing my summer job shooting video.
- not shooting a certain slideshow which was meant to put a pretty hat on six years of summer camp work.
- no driving.
- lousy boardwriting once school starts.
- difficulty planning good Keynote lessons (though three cheers for wireless presentation remotes, right?).
- an involuntary sabbatical from blogging.
- the incompletion of most remaining summer shenanigans.
Sitting here in The Immobilizer, I feel selfish. I realize that no one’s expendable to any process. I realize that we all tend to overestimate our importance to those processes. But I realized that what can’t be said about ten-year-old Dan and his compound fracture is that the use of my right arm matters to more people than just me.
A broken arm would’ve been a drag for every kid walking through my door this fall. A broken arm would’ve meant very few of the posts I intended to write for incoming teachers would’ve been written. My right arm matters to more people than just me. I don’t know when that happened but I know it’s a privilege and it’s time for me to act accordingly.