Can breaking a bone be a good thing?
I read a post on Instagram recently, from Sarah Akwisombe (https://www.instagram.com/sarahakwisombe), where she had a really rough time on her family trip to Rome because both her and her daughter were sick and she felt that it had ruined the trip. Her post went on to say that having properly thought about it, she was able to let go of the disappointment and came back from the trip with renewed energy.
Having had a similar experience myself of having a trip ruined I left a comment about me breaking my wrist and hoping that one day I too would be able to look back on that trip with a different perspective and having learned something. Sarah replied saying that I probably would not be able to see the lessons whilst I’m still suffering but in future, she bet that I would.
That comment has been buzzing round in my head for a while now and, now that the pain has subsided and I’m on the road to recovery, I’ve been having a think about what I might have learned or gained from this hideous experience of my first broken bone.
1. It is possible for things to get worse. I was genuinely, genuinely, hoping that with the turn of the New Year I could say goodbye to all the shit things that happened in 2018 and magically walk into an easier and happier year because I must have had my quota of shit, right? Oh no! Life does not work like that. The shit can keep coming, there is no “quota”. So, what have I learned? That you just have to keep going and stop moaning!
2. Patience. The thing I’m told the most in this recovery process is to “give it time”and “be patient”.This is a tricky one as by nature I think I’m quite impatient. I know, fundamentally, that time will heal, but in the moment, when you can’t see further than the explosion of pain, it just doesn’t feel like it. All I can think about is the fear that I will be without my right hand forever. And yes, I do like to catastrophise! But, without even noticing it, each day I am getting stronger and stronger and then suddenly, I’m eating my dinner with a knife and fork in each hand, holding a glass, carrying things and now typing two handed. With each new, or rather old, thing that I can do, I’m accepting that patience is the key and the things I still can’t do, will come in time (I hope!).
3. Vulnerability and Strength. At first, I was worried that Delilah would get upset at seeing me hurt but there was no way to keep it from her. After explaining what I’d done she was her usual relaxed self and accepted it. She of course has had to learn to be even more gentle with me than usual and understands that Mummy has a bad hand and can’t do certain things. However, on the flip side of that, Delilah has experienced me take care of her with one hand and she thinks that I am amazing! If she asks me to do something and I say that I might not be able to because of my bad hand, without missing a beat she just says “you can do it”and then when I try and succeed, she’s super chuffed with herself and says “See, I told you you could do it”! She’s so proud of me and I’m proud of her for having such unwavering confidence in me. When I showed her that I can now eat with a knife and fork she cheered and said, ‘that’s brilliant, and now you can clap’! So, I say show your children your vulnerabilities and let them see you conquer them, let them see your strength and let them cheer you on and be proud of you.
4. Routine. At first my mum would visit in the mornings to help me get Delilah ready for nursery. But actually, I don’t think Delilah liked it. She would misbehave for my mum which was unusual for her. It must have been confusing for her to have my mum do my job when I was there. So, mum stopped coming and me and Delilah had to figure things out for ourselves. She had to listen to my instructions on how we now had to do things and we had to learn to work together as a team. For example, I couldn’t do up the zip on her jacket, I had to use one hand to put the zip into the socket (is that the right term?) and then Delilah pulled the zip up; to put a top or dress on over her head I had to place it on her head and hold it there while she pulled the sleeves down either side. We’re now so in sync that the morning routine is a doddle. I barely even need to say anything anymore as Delilah knows exactly what she has to do and when she has to do it.
5. Productivity. You might think that having a broken bone might hinder me getting stuff done, and so did I. I am a massive procrastinator. But not this time. Weirdly, I’ve found myself more motivated and more productive since breaking my wrist. In the 10 weeks since it happened, I have written all of my blog articles and published this blog, written legal blog articles for other people and started consulting. No one is more surprised about this than me!
6. No ironing. Complete bonus.
So, is all this worth breaking a bone for? Um, no! I’d still rather have two functioning hands thank you very much, I’m not a crazy person. But, it’s nice to reflect on something and realise the situation has actually been of benefit to you and that you’re a stronger person as a result