Pain and Healing, Pills and Torture – A Broken Arm Story


I broke my arm once. 

The strange thing was, it didn’t hurt. 

I was playing first base in a baseball game. It was the first game of the year, in the first inning, with one out – and let’s pretend the score was 1-1 and the batter’s count was 1-1 too, just to keep the “1” theme alive. 

The batter bunted the ball and the catcher threw to first. As the ball came at me, it drifted into foul territory. I stretched out my arm to catch it, and collided with the runner. Ouch. 

I never caught the ball. It flew somewhere into right field. 

I didn’t know anything was wrong at first, other than I couldn’t feel my arm. My glove felt heavy and I couldn’t lift it. 

As I looked down, something was definitely wrong. A bone stuck up like a bone shouldn’t. And thankfully it never broke the skin, but my wrist looked like a scene from a horror movie. 

So I walked off the field. 

Pain – Fine 

I was fine. 

Everyone was freaking out. No one knew what to do. 

But I was cool. I was like, “Can someone take me to the doctor?” I was calm like calling for a pizza delivery. 

I had broken my arm – I wasn’t dead – but knew it needed to get fixed, and sitting around the baseball field wasn’t going to solve anything. 

So an ambulance came – which felt like total overkill – and drove me to a hospital. 

They drugged me up, knocked me out, and fixed my arm. 

The next thing I knew it was the next day and I was back at home. 

That’s when the pain began. 

Pain – Pills 

I was given pills. Some insane pain reliever that sent me to the moon and made me feel like an alien. 

I felt sick. Like I had the flu. I sat on the couch for a week to recover. And felt horrible. 

I couldn’t eat either. Whether it was the pills or the pain, I didn’t know, but me and food weren’t friends. 

I lost 10 pounds that month – and being a thin kid already – didn’t have much weight to spare. 

I was in agony. That week sucked. 

Pain – School 

Going back to school was fine. Everyone wanted to be my friend and sign my cast. 

The cast was epic. It began at my knuckles and when all the way to my shoulder – a full length cast covering my entire arm. 

My arm was stuck in the shape of an L, bent at the elbow. I had a sling, and had to hold it across my chest. 

That was annoying, and hurt. The pain never fully left either. Some days were better, but I had gotten off those insane painkillers and switched to Tylenol – something to take the edge off without feeling like I was swimming in Fruit Loops. 

Pain – Cast 

After a month, that cast went away. 

I had to exchange it for a smaller cast to cover only my forearm. 

I visited the arm doctor and he cut it off with one of those crazy buzzsaws that won’t cut your skin. 

Once that cast was off, it smelled like a sweaty gym sock. 

“Ok, move your arm,” He instructed. 

I couldn’t. My elbow was locked. 

I tried inching it out of position and it wouldn’t budge. 

As I tried to force it, a lightning bolt of pain shot through my bone. 

“Owwww,” I screamed. 

I wasn’t being a baby or dramatic. 

It was the worst pain I ever felt in my life. 

Pain – Smaller 

He put the new smaller cast on and I was out of there. 

On the car ride home I tried wiggling my arm and to get it moving again, but it still felt like a forest fire. 

I couldn’t do it. 

After two days, of trying again, and slowly creeping my arm forward, I finally had it. I could fully extend my elbow again, but it had been such a difficult and painful process to do so. 

That was rough. 

Pain – Final 

A month later, it was time once again to remove the final cast. 

I was finally done and my arm was fully healed. 

I visited the same buzzsaw maniac and he chopped the cast off again. This time it smelled like dead fish. 

“Ok, move your arm,” he said again. 

I looked at my wrist, which hadn’t moved in two months, and knew what to expect. It was going to feel exactly how my elbow had felt before, having been frozen in place for so long. 

And I was right. 

I twitched it and it felt like the worst blazes of hell burning in my arm. 

“I’m good,” I said. “I’ll stretch it out later.” 

Pain – Later 

It took a week to get my hand back and feel like normal. It was awful. 

I would gladly break any bone in my body all over again, that was no big deal. 

But the recovery process was torture. I have never been in so much pain, for such an extended period of time – I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. 

It forced me to quit baseball too. The following year, I couldn’t catch the ball. My arm worked fine, but I was so scared of getting hurt again that I ducked every time the ball came. I dropped ball after ball. I probably looked like I had never played baseball in my life. 

I didn’t want to break my arm again – I didn’t want two months of torture. 

So I quit.