Oh sure, NOW she wants to go to the hospital.
One morning I woke up to go to school and everything in my body said, “Don’t go. This is the perfect kind of day to stay home. It’s cold and snowing outside, you should stay home.” And I thought, Listen to your body. Today I should stay home because I’m 14 years old, and I’m awesome. Now all I had to do was convince my mom of that fact.
“Mom, can I stay home from school today?” I asked as I drug myself through our one bedroom house trying to look as pathetic as I could.
“Why, are you sick?” she asked me, obviously oblivious to my desperate cry for sympathy.
“Uh..” now would have been the point for me to lie to her. “…no.”
“Then why do you want to stay home?”
*Sigh* Really? Do I have to explain my every move? “Because I just don’t feel like it,” I whined. “Plus I don’t have any tests today and my grades are really good.” And it was true for the first time in 4 years my grades were really damn good.
“Okay, you can stay home.” YES! “But you have to do chores.” NO! But I knew what she was doing. I wasn’t going to fall for some psychological warfare. She thought if she made me clean I would pick school over staying home. She was wrong. It wasn’t that I didn’t like school. In fact it was the opposite. I actually loved school. I had a boyfriend I was crazy about. I was no longer being picked on and I was on the basketball team. Sure I sucked at playing basketball but considering how tall I was I was an amazing rebounder. Just don’t ask me to shoot the ball. That’s where you’re going to run into some snags. But I just didn’t feel like going to school that day. It was as simple as that.
After my mom left for work I immediately raided the kitchen for the hidden sugar stash. My mom never let me eat sweets but she always had some hidden. It was just a matter of finding them. It wasn’t that she was trying to deprave me of the fun things in life, it’s because I had a little problem with hyperactivity. When I was younger I would be fine until you gave me a soda or some candy. Then I would bounce off the walls for hours. And not like regular kids bounce off the walls; I was next level. It got so bad that my mom would only let me have sweets once a week and I was allowed to pick what I wanted and when. I always picked Pepsi and Ice Cream floats on Tuesday nights while watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, while my mother would lock herself in another room waiting for the ticking sugar bomb to go off. The doctors diagnosed me with ADHD and wanted to medicate me but my mother told them no. She made a deal with the doctors to leave me alone, and to prescribe her Valium instead. So when I found the bag of Oreos up in the cupboard hidden behind the Tupperware and baking dishes, I didn’t eat just one. I ate like 10. It didn’t take long for the sugar to hit my virgin system and once it did I flew like a rocket! I cleaned. Watched some TV. Ate some more Oreos. Cleaned. Watched some TV. Ate some more Oreos. It was a vicious cycle.
At one point I was just wandering around the house trying to figure out a way I could score another bag of Oreos when I decided that I should probably refill the wood bin. Growing up in the mountains, I learned that there are a few bare necessities in life:
1) Candles. Flashlights are good too, but if your power goes out for longer than a day you’re going to need some candles or at least a gas lantern.
2) A well stocked pantry (with plenty of Oreos) in case you get snowed in.
3) And last but not least a fireplace with some dry wood.
If you don’t have these things you’re not only what we call a “flatlander,” but you’re also an idiot. You’re going to die and get eaten by bears and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Our woodbin was inside the house right next to the fireplace and it was custom built by my grandfather. It was a really large bin that opened up to the outside. The only problem was if there was wood already in the bin you couldn’t get back far enough to reach the latch to unlock it. Meaning you had to bring the wood in through the door and put it in that way. This is how I did it on this fine snowy afternoon. I put on my boots and brought load after load of wood in and put it in the bin until the bin was full. I was so proud of myself. I had a nice fire going, the chores were done, and the wood bin was full so now I had what was left of the afternoon to screw around. So what did I do? I ate some more Oreos. Then I decided it was time to dance! I turned on MTV and stared rocking out to all of the videos. I was having a great time. Then Chaka Khan – I Feel For You came on. At this point, I was no longer dancing; I was creating art. I feel for you…I think I love you. I feel for you…
In mid-awesomeness, my foot hit melted snow that I had tracked onto our hardwood floors from outside, and I went down. But I didn’t just go down. My ass landed squarely on the back of my left heel and I felt a shooting pain in my left foot. I rolled off my foot and over onto my right hip and that’s when I noticed my third and fourth toes on my left foot were now going in very different directions than nature had intended. Oh…this isn’t good. I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk so I crawled over to the phone and called my mother who worked at the medical center in town.
Ring-ring. I feel for you… Ring-ring. I think I’m going to pass out from the pain. “Big Bear Medical Center, this is Nancy speaking.”
“Mom, um.. I think I broke my toes,” I told her.
“Oh Stacy, I’m sure they’re fine,’ she told me.
“No mom, I really think I broke them.” Now before you go on thinking my mom is some heartless woman I need to explain something about myself. If I’m in just a little bit of pain I may cry. Granted I might shed a tear. But when I’m in an enormous amount of pain I tend to do this kind of nervous giggle. This is not good because it tends to throw people off.
“Stacy, I really can’t take off right now. Just put some ice on them and make sure you elevate them.”
“Um…okay,” I said in a giggle.
After she hung up I pulled myself up and grabbed a bag of ice and hopped over to the couch, which is where I stayed for the next 3 hours. When my mother walked in the door after work the look on her face was one of sheer terror.
“HOLY SHIT! She said looking at my left foot. “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!”
“I told you they were broken,” I said to her.
“Yes, but you didn’t tell me they looked like THAT!” she said with her left hand covering her mouth and index finger of her right hand pointing at my foot. She had a point. My fourth toe was jutting out at a 45-degree angle over my pinkie toe, and my third toe was laying on the top of my foot.
“We have to get you to the hospital.” Oh sure, NOW she wants to go to the hospital. At this point my mother was walking around the house like a chicken with her head cut off mumbling about crutches.
“Crutches, we need crutches. But where are we going to find crutches?” she kept saying. Then she tore out of the house and left me on the couch with my deformed foot. She’s going to just leave me here isn’t she?
About a half hour later she came back in the door with crutches.
“I am so sorry, Stacy. You should have told me they were this bad,” she said.
“Mom, I told you they were broken!”
“Yes, but you were laughing.”
I was laughing because I was in so much pain,” I tried to explain to her. At this point the snow had been falling most of the day so I had to try and get out to the car with my new crutches in snow that was knee high.
“Mom, I wish I would have gone to school today,” I said as we were standing outside her car.
“I know you do, sweetie.”
She took me into the medical center to see one of the doctors she worked with. He took one look at my foot and told me all he could do was reset them by hand and tape them together to heal. He also told me I would then have to wear a wooden shoe and use the crutches for the next couple of weeks. My one day of playing hookie was now going to cost me basketball, an extra semester of PE my senior year of high school to make up for the one I was going to miss as a freshman, and all future dreams of becoming a famous foot model. I lay down on the table and he had me put a rolled up dressing gown in my mouth to bite down on as he reset the toes. I screamed and then giggled my ass off as he taped my bad toes to my good ones.
“Is she on any sort of medications?” he asked my mother.
“No she just laughs when she in a lot of pain,” she told him.
I ended up missing a couple more days of school after that because the snow was so deep I couldn’t get around with the stupid crutches. My mother of course found out that I had eaten all of her Oreos so she took her stash of goodies to work with her so I wouldn’t get into any more sugar induced trouble.
I ended up breaking the same two toes again two more times. The second time I broke them I was running up the front porch at one of my girlfriend’s houses. My mother took me back to the doctor and he reset them again.
“Stacy, you have to be really careful,” he told me. “Broken toes can easily be broken again if they’re not fully healed.” The third time I broke them was in my house. I woke up one morning and walked right into one of the doorframes. This time my mother skipped the hospital and took me straight into the kitchen, all the while mumbling, “I’m not going to pay another hospital bill for these damn toes. I’ll tape them myself. That’s what I’ll I do.” And sure enough, that’s exactly what she did. Sat my ass down in a kitchen chair, grabbed the medical tape, and taped the toes up. Now when you look at my left foot you can see that the toes are a little off. The third toe turned out pretty good but the fourth toe still leans to the left a bit to the point that it covers up the toe nail of the pinky toes, I still paint the pinky toe nail though. Because that’s just sad, I don’t want it to feel left out. And as far as Chaka Khan goes, she may feel for me, but I really don’t think she ever really loved me.
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