Screaming On the Inside

And also screaming on the outside

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

Last semester, I missed several classes throughout the first two weeks because my lung collapsed. This time around, it’s a fractured radial head. In other words, I broke my elbow. 

First person to quote the “I don’t care that you broke your elbow” Vine to me will get kicked.

In case you are wondering how I obtained such a stupid injury, that can be attributed to the sheer ice that covered my front step last week.

All I had to do was make it down one concrete step in order to reach my car and head out to work. But no — Mother Nature had other plans. My feet flew out from under me, time slowed down, I saw my life flash before my eyes and SLAP. My tailbone, back, head — and, yes, my elbow — made solid contact with the concrete. 

I laid there for several minutes, simultaneously wheezing and making a strangled groaning sound, staring up at the sky and wondering, “Why me?”

As I sat up I took mental stock of my injuries: A throbbing head and neck, a definitely bruised back and tailbone, and a numb left arm.

I had never broken a bone in my entire life (which is surprising, considering my impressive clumsiness and strong aversion to milk). I didn’t really know what to do at that moment, so I struggled to my feet, got into my car and drove to work.

For almost six hours, I held my left arm close to my stomach — much like a T-Rex —  as I worked at the dog daycare. It wasn’t until the next day that I finally broke down and drove myself (one-handed) to the doctor. 

Since then, my arm has been confined to a sling. I’m not allowed to use it at all. My doctor said I’m not allowed to go to work until next week. And you know what’s really hard to do with one arm? Type articles for the two news publications I work at. But here I am.

In the grand scheme of things, my injuries really could’ve been so much worse. I could’ve gotten a concussion or broke my back. And at least it was my left arm, rather than my right.

But, I never really realized how much I used my left arm until now. Things like showering, sleeping comfortably, getting dressed and doing the dishes are a challenge. Driving is possible, but it’s definitely not safe. Honestly, the most frustrating part is my inability to pull my hair back. 

All this struggling — just because of a tiny, little crack in my elbow. It is certainly not a serious injury, but it’s one I need to go on a petty rant about, regardless.

I’m hoping my struggles with life are not an indication of how this semester is going to be. If so, I’m about to do a lot of unnecessary complaining here — and a lot of screaming.

I’m not really sure what my point is in writing all of this. I suppose I just want to say life is full of little inconveniences. They suck, and they might drive you a little crazy, but they’re nothing you can’t get through. 

As we begin this new semester, I hope you all find ways to let out those inner screams and frustrations. Until then, be thankful for the things that make life a little bit easier — like your left arm.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected].