My Gymnastics Setback

May 10, 2013
By laurendrucker BRONZE, Mount Prospect, Illinois
laurendrucker BRONZE, Mount Prospect, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The season started off great. Some of my friends that I didn’t even know were doing gymnastics ended up showing up for practice. I was pleasantly surprised. Also, I met a girl named Rayne who just moved to our area at the beginning of the year and I quickly made good friends with her. So far, the season started off great. I got to practice the event I liked the most which was floor. I got a new floor routine that this one girl who was a senior, Sammy, taught to me.

In the third meet of the season, my coach asked me to compete on the beam rather than on floor. This was a complete surprise to me since I hated beam more than anything and I barely even practice it. It was definitely my weak spot. I was upset and mad about it, but I couldn’t complain considering there were some girls who didn’t even get to compete at all.

On the day of the meet I was super scared because I wasn’t good on beam and I was so nervous. I had to do a cartwheel on the beam and I could barely do that on the low beam. How could I do it on the high beam? When it was my turn I had the “f*** it and chuck it” mode in my head, whatever happened, happened. I don’t care if I do badly. What’s the worst that could happen? Never again would I ask myself that question. I got onto the beam and started my routine. Everything so far I had stuck. I was on a roll. Then came the cartwheel. Don’t think, just go, I told myself. A millisecond later I was on the floor, my arm bent the wrong way.
“Oh my God! Ow ow ow ow!” I screamed.
My coach ran over to me and dragged me over to the side. Thinking about everything is still a little blurry. All I can remember is the first second of excruciating pain. Then I went numb, but I could still feel the pressure of my bones in the wrong place. I sat in the chair still in pain, my elbow out of its socket. A gymnastic alumni named Lauren came over to me and told me to squeeze her hand as hard as I wanted to. This did me no good because my arm was in too much pain to think about anything else. Someone brought me an ice pack and some girls went into the locker room to get my things. I had to go to the hospital to get my arm put back in place.

Earlier that day, my mom had wished me good luck and that she’d see me at my meet. I immediately told her not to come. It was just an embarrassment because I was not a beam worker. She ended up not coming, but my dad still did because I didn’t mention anything about it to him.

When the accident happened, my dad calmly walked over to the side where I was being held until the ambulance got there. One thing is for sure, a good thing it was my dad was there and not my mom because my mom would have interrupted the whole meet to come run out to get me. At least my dad walked behind the crowd. If the family members stay calm, so will the audience.

When the ambulance got to Prospect, the meet had to be put on hold for a couple minutes because the stretcher had to come and get me. The paramedics put me on the stretcher and wrapped me up in a bunch of blankets because all I was wearing was my leotard, they dragged me across the floor into the vehicle. My dad followed in his car behind us. I was in the ambulance and the men in there were very nice. They gave me some pain medicine to snort and make my arm a little less painful. I remember the only thing I was concerned about was how I was going to do my homework for the next day. It was a Thursday, and I had to do my math homework. I always have to do my math homework, or I can’t sleep at night.

“I think you have a pretty good excuse not to do your homework for tomorrow,” one of the men joked.
They were right now that I think of it. I was incapable of doing my homework because I spent the next few hours at the hospital. Plus, it was my right arm that had dislocated. The one hand I used to write with was out of commission.

We got to the hospital, and I was put in a room right away. They had to get an IV in me fast so I could get more medicine all over in my body. They tried my hand, poked, poked and poked. They couldn’t find the vein. They used my wrist, poked, poked and poked. They still couldn’t find a vein to put the needle in. They resorted to the folding part of my forearm. Cut cut cut, there went my leotard, poke poke poke. They found my vein. The medicine they gave me made all of my insides feel super warm. I felt it right away. My dad came into the room and brought me my phone. I instantly got a bunch of texts from all the girls on my team asking if I was okay and telling me that they loved me. It was the sweetest feeling ever as I completely ignored the fact that my arm was still dangling from its socket. The doctor came in and told me he was going to give me more medicine that was going to make me later forget the feeling of him popping my elbow back in. One, two, three. Pop! The pain was the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my whole life. I don’t exactly remember the feeling, but I remember telling myself that when it happened, so I wouldn’t forget.
My nurse was a male, and I must say he was good looking, too. While I was on the medicine I had no filter.
“Oh, I like your earrings, what size are you?” I questioned him.
“I’m a zero”
“I’m an 8!”
I got so excited that my attractive nurse had stretched` ears as well. After the popping of the elbow back into place, the doctor wrapped my arm in soft bandages hardened when exposed to oxygen. My arm was in the shape of an L, bent and stuck like that. The pain still continued and wasn’t going anywhere for a while. They put a sling on me as well to hold my arm up. After all that, it was about 10:30 p.m. when they finally let me go home. I got into the car with my dad and he took me back to my mom’s house. I got home, and my mom hugged me and was crying. It was cute how worried she was for me. I got into my room, and my mom had to help me get dressed. We cut my leotard completely off for me to get out of it. It was a sad moment for the both of us. I was upset because that had been my favorite leotard, and for my mom was upset because she paid $40 for it.

I got into my pajamas and then my mom left me alone to go to sleep. I got into bed and called my boyfriend a couple times. He didn’t answer since it was late, so I left him a couple voicemails. I didn’t want him to think I was ignoring him the whole day but no one contacted him to tell him what had happened, so I left all the details in a voicemail and started to cry. I don’t think the medicine had completely worn off.
In the morning my mom told me I didn’t have to go to school, but in my mind I had to. I had a math quiz to take, and I wanted to see people’s reactions to my arm. I got a bunch of attention that day from everyone asking what had happened. I couldn’t complain; I kind of liked it. My boyfriend texted me and he wasn’t mad at all. If I’d gone to bed before he could answer his phone the night before. He said that he knew something wasn’t right when I didn’t text him back after my meet. He knew me so well.
Unfortunately for me, I had that cast on for a couple months and my hand was swollen and purple the whole way through. It was extremely hard for me to bathe, do my hair, put on makeup, get dressed or eat on my own. I was super dependent on my parents. My mom would help me put clothes on, do my hair, and help me with my make up. My right arm was incapable of doing anything. Now I am so grateful that I have two functioning arms.
After a few months of a cast on my arm, I went to the doctor and got my cast off. To my surprise, I couldn’t unbend my arm. I had to wear an arm brace for a while and attend to physical therapy. I was in physical therapy for about five to six months, and it was horrible. The lady would pull my arm to try to unbend it, and it hurt so badly. After my arm was about, straight I was done with physical therapy, and I got to start gymnastics again. After the incident I was always scared to do beam again, but junior year I competed as an all-around and when it came time to do a cartwheel on the beam, I nailed it.

The author's comments:
This is a true story of what happened to me when I was a sophomore in high school gymnastics.

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