When Bad Stuff Happens And You’re Far Away From Home
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Health and Wellness

When Bad Stuff Happens And You’re Far Away From Home

How being away from home, forces you to grow up.

When Bad Stuff Happens And You’re Far Away From Home

I was fresh off a family weekend. My parents, little brother and even my dog came for a visit to SLO and I had enjoyed the many perks. I’d slept in a giant hotel bed, hiked, eaten out, and been generally doted upon. I had said my goodbyes in a bit of a hurry in order to attend a sorority roller-skating event. Mind you, I’m not a skater. And here’s why. Three hours later, I was on the phone with my mom sharing my unfortunate and slightly embarrassing news. A mere five minutes after tentatively shuffling around the rink and just a foot away from the safety of the wall, I took a fatal fall. OK, not fatal. But I broke my wrist.

Now, as I painstakingly type this using only my left hand and a limited number of fingers from my right, I have to choose whether to feel sorry for myself or learn how to deal. A broken wrist is really no biggie. Dealing with it on my own, however, is an unfamiliar kind of challenge.

As I walked myself to the ER (in the interest of full disclosure, my apartment is right across the street), I couldn’t help but reflect on past medical experiences. I remember (kind of) being escorted home from my wisdom teeth surgery where my beautifully made up makeshift couch-bed awaited me. My responsibilities included sleeping, movie marathons and eating homemade soup. Over this past winter break I recovered from a hand surgery on that very same couch. Again, all creature comforts were delivered to me and someone even kept track of my pain meds.

This time was a little different. A friend did escort me to the ER. And my brother did show up for a bit with my phone charger. But much of the four hours I spent there were spent alone. When I finally reached the front of the line, X-rays were decisive, bandaging was quick and an orthopedist was recommended. And mom wasn’t there holding my hand or scheduling my follow-up appointment the next morning. In fact, I would be driving myself to CVS for painkillers.

I now face the challenge of going to school and caring for myself with some limited capacity. Challenge accepted. Whether imposing upon one of my roommates to put my hair in a ponytail for me (thanks, Jules), or managing the child lock on the Tylenol bottle, every day has brought an unexpected hurdle.

But slowly and steadily, I am solving these issues on my own. A visit to the campus Disability Resource Center determined my school accommodations for the next six weeks. My solo venture to the orthopedist’s office stabilized my wrist with a flashy pink cast. And did you know that Microsoft Word has a dictation feature? Neither did I.

It’s a new kind of independence I’ve adopted. An “adult” kind of independence. Missing Mom and Dad right about now, but it’s not so bad.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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