Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Fractured Bone and Broken Plans

My daughter was supposed to be in Ecuador last week on an environmental service trip with other college students, doing some reforestation and working at a high school. Instead, she spent her spring break at home in Montana on crutches with a broken foot. After so much anticipation and planning for this trip to South America, her disappointment was palpable.

 a pair of crutches

Being home, however, was healing. The swelling, pain and bruising of her foot diminished greatly over the week and she caught up on some much-needed rest. She had not planned to be home at all this spring, so
the added family time was a bonus for all of us. And, of course, there is nothing more comforting than cuddling with your beloved cat.

my daughter and our cat


I can identify with my daughter's experience

I broke my leg many years ago while I was also a college student. It disrupted my studies and I had to move home for the semester. I was devastated at the time, but my 12 weeks in a cast taught me a few valuable lessons. In my previously published post, "What Goes Around Comes Around" I wrote that breaking my leg showed me how good deeds really do get passed on. From my fracture, I learned that although we don't believe it at the time, some bad experiences can have good outcomes.

The accident sent my future in a different direction than the one I had envisioned and planned, but everything turned out well in the end. I would not have experienced many of the wonderful things that have happened to me since, had I not fractured a bone while sledding on a cold and snowy January day. I now consider what seemed like the worst thing that ever happened to me at the time, as the pivotal point for everything good that has happened since.

a cast and crutches


Spring Broken

Instead of referring to this past week as her "spring break," my daughter is calling it "spring broken." Despite her disappointment, her sense of humor has remained intact.

My daughter on a snowy day in Montana, instead of Ecuador, where she had planned to be.

I hope there will be many other opportunities for travel and adventure for my daughter. But, for whatever reason, this one was just not meant-to-be. The interruption of her plans may or may not turn out to be life-changing, but I am sure that she has learned something about herself and about life from this experience. 

going through airport security on crutches.
Navigating airport security alone and on crutches is not easy - but my daughter managed it just fine.
Have you ever had to change any major plans because of an injury?

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14 comments :

  1. Oh my gosh - I am so sorry. I can imagine her disappointment however she is truly blessed to have you as her mom. You totally understand what she is going through and can point out the positives.

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    1. I certainly could empathize with my daughter on this one Kelly - the memory of the challenges of navigating a college campus on crutches remains quite vivid!

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  2. Oh, I'm so sad that she missed her trip! And even sadder that she broke her foot! My son was in the military and trained for over a year for a specific mission. Then, three days before they were to leave, his CO issued new uniforms, including new boots, with the instructions to 'break them in'. My son got a simple blister on his foot that compounded almost immediately into a terrible infection that nearly cost him his foot. Needless to say, he missed the mission. But I've always wondered what else he missed. We'll never know. So glad you got the time with your girl!

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    1. Your poor son! How awful to have had such a scary infection. Anticipating something for a year and then having it snatched away by something is so hard. Hopefully many other opportunites have tempered that disappointment for him. Needing to train for a year makes that mission sound dangerous - maybe the blister saved him from a worse event. Who knows, right?

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  3. I am sorry. At one stage my poor mother had three of her four children at home at once. All on crutches (for totally different conditions). She survived. We survived.
    It sounds as if your daughter's mishap hit the pause button rather than a redirection, but both have benefits.
    Ill health forced me to give up paid employment before I was ready. In the years since I have re-invented myself and gone in directions I never dreamed could be mine.

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    1. Oh my - I think my sympathies lie most with your mother. Three kids on crutches all at once?! I can't imagine! I am sorry your health has dicated some of your choices, but so glad that you now write, photograph and blog! We are all the richer for it.

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  4. I'm so sorry that she missed her trip! Looking back on my life, there have definitely been disappointing times that ended up working out for the better. Glad you got to spend some extra time with her though!

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    1. It really was a wonderful (unexpected) week to do nothing but spend time with my daughter, Lana. I think we both really enjoyed it, despite occasionally wondering what the kids in Ecuador were doing at different times throughout the week.

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  5. Sorry to hear about the broken foot; can he go on a similar trip next year? My daughter broke a bone in her foot (1984)just in time for the school swim carnival. She wasn't happy at all!
    I've never broken a bone.

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    1. It is unlikely the same trip will be an option for my daughter, River - but hopefully there are many travel adventures still in her future. So sorry to hear about your daughter missing the swim carnival for a broken foot. I can imagine her disappointment.

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  6. I have had to cancel many plans due to broken bones so i know all too well the disappointment it can cause, i hope she gets to feeling better and back on her feet soon!

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    1. Thank you Rena. She is off the crutches, but will still need to wear the boot for about another month. You , perhaps more than anyone else I know, have set an example of how to pick oneself up after a disappointment and just look for life's next adventure. Here's to no more broken bones!

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  7. I could have written the first part of this post word for word about my own life. A broken leg in college had me drop out for a semester, changed my course in life at the time which has lead me to where I am today. I wouldn't undo it even if I could. I know it is harder to understand the whys when you are going through it. Bravo to your daughter for making the most of this interruption in your plans.

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    1. Did you later return to the same college Leslie? I ended up deciding to transfer, and my new school was a much better fit for me. Sorry to hear you had a similar broken leg experience - but glad it worked out well for both of us.

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