The Hess Report

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Left Hand of Darkness 

Oh cold steel towers arcing overhead
From which the bodies fall like dread snowflakes,
Cast of the pain of man's tears and child's dread,
Unforgiving of the meanest mistakes.
Thou, the monument of sorrows.
Thou, the torturer of dreams.
Thou, the Monkey Bars.

- unknown 19th century poet

Right, so four weeks ago, Maddie took part in the age-old ritual of trying to impress one's friends by zipping across the monkey bars, getting sweaty hands, falling to the ground and breaking one's wrist. Both bones. Cast up to her shoulder.

In the old days of the Hess Report, I would have talked about how brave she was, etc., and how she chatted up the radiologist, and how she wriggled her hand around to show the doc that it couldn't be that bad because she could still do this and DON'T DO THAT! Geez, girl, your wrist is broken. Do you want to mess it up even worse?

It hasn't slowed her down in the slightest, and she's really only had a couple of bouts of the normal self-pity problems you'd expect from a seven year old girl with a long-arm cast at the start of the school year.

The cast comes off in a week and a day, and I'm thinking about taking a half-day from work just to see her face the first time she can extend her arm again. I might even shed a tear.

The only good thing to come out of this is that it's given us all a good metric for measuring her personal discomfort level. Before this, every scrape, twinge or ache she experienced was characterized by "It hurts really bad. It's the worst ever." Well, now we have a fairly objective basis for comparison.

"Owwww! Aaaargh!"

"How badly does it hurt?"

"Really bad. I can't stand it."

"Is it as bad as when you broke your wrist?"

"Well, no. But OW! Eh, it's kind of going away now."

"Go play."

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