In a move that may quite possibly clinch for us the title of Most Dramatic Family 2004, my youngest sister Jamie broke her arm on Friday.

Actually, I guess it’s more like her wrist, and really, she had it broken for her.

Jay’s a catcher on the JV softball team and was playing in one of the games of a double header they had on Friday. It was at a school pretty far away, so we weren’t able to go, but other parents and coaches called and told us what happened. She was watching a play on a ball that was hit to second base, and when she realized there would be no play at home, she backed off the plate (as good catchers do).

So she’s standing there, well out of the way of anyone running into home, and, in a wonderful display of poor sportsmanship, this runner coming in PLOWS into her, knocking her all the way to the backstop fence, where she landed on her right arm. The runner, incidentally, was much bigger than Jamie.

If there had been an actual play at home, Jamie would have been on the plate, and she would have braced for a hit, because she knows that’s a risk when you’re a catcher. But there was absolutely no excuse for the runner to hit Jamie the way she did, and since there was no play at home, Jay wasn’t even watching the runner.

Apparently it was a pretty obvious charge, and the umpires (including the one at the plate) claimed not to have seen what happened. Jay’s coach told them that if they didn’t call that an automatic out (which I guess is the rule if something like that happens), then his team was going to pack up their equipment and leave. So finally they did call it an out, but the damage had been done.

It wasn’t obviously broken, so they splinted it and she stayed at the game with the team (this school is at least 90 minutes to two hours from our home), and on Saturday, since urgent care facilities are no longer open on weekends, Dad took her to the emergency room. They confirmed that it was broken and took care of her cast and stuff. It’s what is known as a “greenstick” fracture, and should take 4 weeks or so to heal.

So yeah, Jamie’s out of softball for the season, leaving her JV team with one catcher and her rec team without a pitcher, all because some girl decided that it would be cool to be nasty in a game. I hate that.

And we have two broken girls at home who need help with a lot of (or all of) their basic tasks. Saturday, after I worked five or six hours at bingo with my dad, I babysat while the parents did the after-prom thing, and I seriously had to get up about 6,000 times during the movie we were watching – either to help Ginny, to help Jamie, or to let the dogs in or out or in or out. And poor Jamie is in pain, and can’t sleep well, and it all just sucks.

Incidentally, I would like to confess that I am an absolutely terrible nurse.

I have good intentions, and I try really hard to do well. But I just seriously suck.

Example: the main medical-type things that I help Ginny with are Airpal transfers (bed to chair or vice versa) and bedpan duties. Mom does most of the bathing and other stuff.

I tend to forget exactly which steps are involved in the Airpal transfer and chair adjustments, and Ginny has to walk me through it every time. I’m too short to reach the knob that adjusts the bottom of the chair, so I usually have to wriggle under it to get that. I tend to put her on the Airpal cockeyed, and that makes her uncomfortable in the chair. I’m clumsy as hell, and usually make a mess or destroy something whenever I do the bedpan. In short, I suck.

But every once in a while I get it right. On Saturday night, for example, with both of my parents gone, I did both transfers and the bedpan like a complete champ. So I was fueled by confidence when Ginny asked me to put her to bed last night.

And something went wrong.

I’m still not sure what – either the Airpal got caught on something, or I had the chair too far from the bed, or something else entirely – but it didn’t pull over as smoothly as it should, and then all of a sudden Ginny was falling.

The Airpal was still inflated, but falling into the space created when the initial slip pushed the chair too far away, and she was teetering on the edge and it was a long fucking way to the ground, and I dove across the bed and grabbed the opposite sides of the Airpal and we yelled for my parents and it took all of my strength to hold her there until they came running in to help.

We finally got her situated, and then of course she’s terrified and crying and I feel terrible, so I’m getting teary too, because seriously, lately it seems like I’m doing it all wrong more than I’m doing it all right.

And Jamie needs help with her hair now and none of us does it right, and so I feel crappy about that.

And everything is tinged now, I know, by the fact that I got approximately 3 hours of terrible sleep last night, but I work and I go home and I work and I go home, with an occasional quick trip to Target or somewhere shoved in. And I haven’t been out with friends since February, and really, I only have a tiny handful and they’re busy with their own lives at the moment, and my sisters, my usual guaranteed companions for movies or shopping, are either crippled or working every weekend, and I’m really just very tired right now, and it sucks.

It really sucks.

5 Replies to “Unbelievable.”

  1. Don't be so hard on yourself, you're trying hard to be there for your sisters and at least you are around to help. As to target the one I normally visit(gurnee mills shopping center) completely reorganized all their departments. Still was able to get presents for my neices BDays though in under 20 mins :)

  2. A car accident, and a broken arm in the family! Oh god, that is far to many trips to the hospital. I hope she does better. I did that once too, and god it hurt. So take care, and watch out!

  3. Still praying for all of you… especially to Our Lady of Orthopedics, whose intervention in your family seems needed right 'bout now.

    Hang in there… thanks for letting us know where you are, and sharing all of this. And I echo Candace… you be a rock star!

  4. I wish I could tell you something that would make everything difficult just go away, but won't. You are doing the right things by your sisters, even if you are not perfect. And that shows that you value love above all else. Who in their right mind could want more in a person? Finding Mr. Right Mind might indeed be a challenge, but what would settling for less achieve, especially in the long run?

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