Last weekend I broke my arm. I’d love to be able to claim that I was doing something exciting like sky diving, hang gliding, or diving across the street to save a baby squirrel from getting smacked by a bus. But instead, while raking the backyard with my brothers, I slipped on a wet pile of leaves and landed on my arm.
Yup, pretty lame.
When I went to Health Services at the University of Waterloo on Monday morning, it felt really strange not having a parent with me. Any time I’ve been in a hospital/clinic setting, I’ve had a parent along to do all the talking for me.
But all of a sudden, I had to be a Big Boy and do adult stuff. Like talk to the triage nurse. I wasn’t exactly sure what the heck I was supposed to say. “Uh, I fell. And now my arm feels all slooshy and lumpy around the wrist. And I think I lost my vocabulary.”
When the nurse asked me if I had any pre-existing health conditions, I wasn’t sure what counted. I mean, if someone says, “Peanut butter-covered almonds dipped in bacon grease,” I feel like throwing up. But is that a medical condition?
Yet despite my clueless look, everyone still treated me with respect, like…well…an adult. In the real world, 16-year-olds aren’t treated like adults. They’re treated like… well…16-year-olds.
When the doctor asked me how I injured my arm, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t have to maintain a specific storyline because of a parent standing behind me. I could tell him that I had been parasailing, rock climbing, or shark wrestling.
But before I could stop myself, I blurted, “I was raking leaves.”