Clipped Wing

It was one of those lightning fast embarrassing moments where we bounce right back up, resume what we were doing, and ‘act as if’ nothing happened, somewhat like “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”   In this case, the clothes were my left hand upon which I had just landed, it taking the full brunt of a backwards fall.  I immediately popped up laughing as if it didn’t hurt.   After five minutes more of taking photos, my feigned laughter faded to dizziness and nausea.  The pain was suddenly blinding and intense.  I have a high pain threshold and I usually laugh at pain if I even feel it at all.  Now, I felt I might throw up or pass out.  So much for my tough girl act.

So I did the next dumbest thing:  I roller bladed back home.  I didn’t have much choice, since that was how I got there.  “There” was to watch the Isle Days Parade and take photos.   Candy was being thrown from floats and kept landing near my skates. Tots were scampering around me to pick it up.  Fearing I might roll on a tiny hand, I backed up slowly, lost my balance rolling over a pebble, and performed a grand ally-oops on my left butt cheek and left hand.  Being female, the padded cheek felt no pain but the hand felt like hot fire pokers were stabbing it.    Ironically, I am an expert skater, having been on in-line skates since the year after Roller Blades came out.   I even do some hot-dogging like toe-heel rolls, short-swings, and skater-eights.  I must be the only expert roller-blader to fall down while standing still and break their arm.  Several days and several doctors later, I was told that my left distal radius bone was fractured clean through and I would be in a cast for 6-8 weeks.  Yes, I was wearing hand guards.
The first black brace I wore

Life, as I knew it, stood still, right there.   This couldn’t be happening.

I am and always have been the original  Miss Self-Sufficient, Everyready Bunny, Handy-Ann, Do-It-Yourself, home maintenance, tree climbing, chain saw wielding, wood chopping, bow hunting, deer gutting,  wild woman and I’ve been like that my whole life, according to my mother.   And now... I could hardly get my own unders on without screaming.  I was desperate.
The second removable cast and feeling kind of dejected about not being able to shoot my bow.

Two main things hit me like a brick.   One, I could not play guitar and I had several engagements I’d committed to at various venues.  Also, the most serious way I praise God is in song, mostly alone at home.   Not being able to play guitar (or piano) was devastating.    Second was that hunting seasons were right around the corner.  I have done my own bear baits starting mid August for many years.  There was no way I was going to fling 80 pound logs around at my bait every few days, and carry hundreds of pounds of bait through the woods in 5 gallon buckets.   I have never missed a deer archery opener either.   I am a southpaw with my bow, being left eye dominant, but I wouldn’t be pulling anything for a while.  That meant either learning to shoot right handed, or go to a cross bow.   Neither of those alternatives appealed to me.   Also, I am on ProStaff for Mathews Archery, and my new DXT left handed compound bow was delivered just three days after hammering my arm.   Now what?
I can't pull a shoe string, less my new DXT!  I'm getting it set up with a Draw-Loc device for hunting
There are work-arounds for a lot of things in everyday life that ordinarily require two hands.  Being a one-armed female has its own unique challenges however.  Washing and drying long hair, pedicures, buttons & zippers, shaving,  panty hose, peeling and paring kohlrabi from my garden, etcetera, are nearly impossible with one hand, not to mention being slapstick funny in my own mind’s eye.   I usually do all my own house and yard work, at home and at the cabin, but had to start hiring those things out just to keep up.
One of the many tree stands I can't climb yet....

Many things can be done one handed, just in slow motion.   But no way could I bear bait or bow hunt.  I immediately called a local bear camp and got on their list of hunters for the September 1st opener and I will hunt bear with a rifle this year for the first time.   I hope to be able to pull my bow by the end of September or October at the latest and in the meantime, will try a Draw-Loc bow pulling device created for those with disabilities.   A fellow lady bow hunter, Janice Baer, hunted with a cast several years ago and has been giving me instructions and encouragement for this coming season.   She had two words that put fear in my heart however… “atrophied muscles.”    I know a number of people who are disabled, yet still get out into the woods and hunt every year.   I have admired those who hunt with disabilities because while I know my clipped wing is only for a few weeks, it has completely changed my life for those few weeks.

I’ve been asked if I will roller blade again, as if my skates are now demon possessed.  Piffle!  Of course I will!  I plan to continue living this life to the fullest, running all the bases and playing hard for all the innings.   And I when my days are ended, I will slide home in a blaze of glory saying “Thank you God” for the adventure - clipped wings and all.