Not gonna lie, of all the injuries I ever thought or would’ve seen myself getting from volleyball, I have to say a broken wrist was never one. Especially two days before I was supposed to play in, what I would call, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in a tournament as a hitter.
I say once in a lifetime because I’ve been kicked off teams for being “too short”. But here I was, being asked to play on a team of three guys to be a hitter for a coed tournament. This is literally what dreams are made of.
One of the guys asked me if I wanted to practice a little bit 2 days before the tournament to get some extra touches in. More typically, I’ve been trying to do yoga on Fridays. I thought about it but decided it would probably be best and couldn’t hurt to get some practice in before the tournament.
Long story short, I went for a ball with my foot, which then rolled over the ball, and thanks to gravity, my body hit the earth. Apparently on the way down, my wrist got in the way. ￼
The urgent care + emergency room confirmed it was a break in my wrist, and a pretty complicated one at that. I’ve since been reduced/reset, splinted, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed to not need surgery.
It’s only been about a week and a half since this happened, but here are five things I’ve learned already:
1. It’s humbling.
If you broke a bone as a kid, you likely had someone to help take care of you. As an adult, you may have a SO, but no one wants to ask for help. We can adapt as adults, but some things you just NEED help with. It’s okay to ask and get it.
Sitting on the sidelines as you watch your team play, in my experience, is usually frustrating. However, this time I’m not sitting out because of my skills (or my height), I’m sitting out because of some thing I can’t really control. That’s a different (and important) perspective to be in. And, it’s humbling to know the team still plays well without you.
2. You will adapt.
When I was a kid, I broke my right arm. Which was challenging, but I’m left-handed. This time, I broke my wrist in my dominant hand + am now splinted from the elbow down. Most people ask how hard it is transitioning to a non-dominant hand. The truth is, you adapt, more easily than you may think.
But it isn’t the transitioning that’s hard, it’s being down a whole limb that is. And that might sound dramatic, because I still have an arm, but it’s nearly useless because I can’t use it for anything. So you get the metaphor. ￼
I’m a one trip kinda gal, but now I can only hold things on the right side of my body. And I know, that’s able-privilege, which brings me to my next point.
3. Accessibility is a human right.
Everything is easy when you’re able. You don’t realize how hard it is when you aren’t until you experience it. Doors, handles, bags, and so much more are not always accessible if you only have one arm/hand.
Connecticut passed a law that we aren’t able to get plastic bags in stores anymore. You either bring your own bags or you get a paper bag. However, the paper bags don’t have handles. So the morning after I broke my wrist, when I went to the pharmacy to drop off my prescription and pick up some things, everything was put into one brown paper bag that was slightly heavier than my non-dominant arm could handle in my grip. And of course, the workers and some nice customers were willing to bring my stuff out to my car for me, which would’ve been great except I walked.
The simplicity of a handle on a brown paper bag would’ve made my walk back home so much more doable. Because even though I did it, it was hard. This is just one example, coming from a 20-something who’s biggest inconvenience at the moment is not being able to use a hand. Imagine it NOT being only temporary.
4. Life is short.
You always hear this, usually when it’s too late, but it’s true. Life can change in a matter of seconds – good or bad. One second you’re strong, quick, and training for the “game of a lifetime”, the next you’re waiting to see if you need surgery to fix yourself.
And again that can sound dramatic in comparison to other things, but you get the point. Which is to never take it for granted. And if you don’t know why that is so important, refer back to #1.
5. Everything happens for a reason.
This is my mantra forever and always, and has proven to be true to me time and time again. We may not know why things happen at first, but if/when you finally get to see the big picture, it starts to make sense. Trust the process always.
Because even if this broken wrist does turn out to be nothing but an inconvenience, I know there was still a reason for it. What’s meant to be will always be.
So, really, the moral of the story is – don’t take things like life and accessibility for granted, because life is short, and it can change in the matter of a second to humble you and give you a new perspective.
As always, thank you for reading❤️
And if you’re interested in broken bones and x-rays, keep scrolling to see some gnarly pictures😎