Stages of Grief - Broken Bone Edition

So, I recently broke my very first bone, a pretty big milestone that I took 21 years to reach. I broke my finger by smashing it in a door; this may or may not have happening during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston. I’m glad it took me so long to get here though, because I think I’m now fully able to appreciate everything about it. Not that I do appreciate it, but I’m trying to as I work my way through the stages of grief about it.

 

Shock

The shock came on pretty quickly. I didn’t scream or cry or anything when I broke my finger. Heck, I honestly thought I’d just broken my nail which, to be fair, is a tragedy all on its own. I just went back into the apartment I had just left and ran my finger under cold water, not really sure what had just happened to me. The St. Paddy’s festivities may have helped with the shock.

 

Denial

The denial was as my friends got me bandaids, saying we should probably do more about the bloody mess that was my fingertip. Like I said, I thought it was just the nail so I mentally made plans to go to the nail salon the next day. Even as my finder swelled and bled and just generally looked awful, I didn’t believe my roommate as she told me it was probably broken. I did, however, concede to making an appointment at the health center.

 

Anger

When I went to the health center, I was pretty upset. With a brief look at my finger, I was promptly told to go to a nearby Urgent Care clinic. Don’t they know how much it’ll mess up my day to have to go and sit and wait for the flawed health care system to give me an x-ray? Still, I did as I was told and headed off.

 

Bargaining

It’s as I’m taking off the most recent set of bandaids in the Urgent Care, under the eyes of the x-ray technician, that I begin to bargain. I can’t have a broken finger, I know I don’t have a broken finger. I’ll do everything I need to here, and they’ll tell me it’s not broken and I’ll just head back to campus and go to class like normal. Right?  

 

Depression

You know when you get bad news so you just want to laugh? That’s how I felt when the doctor showed me my x-ray and the multiple breaks in my bone from that door. The laughter was quickly followed by feeling sad and useless. I’m right handed and it was my right middle finger that was broken. It’s a surprisingly important finger, and not just for flipping people off. I sat around thinking about all the things I couldn't comfortably do and I felt sorry for myself.

 

Testing

After nearly a week, I’m now testing my finger out. I’m trying to bend it and move it. I’m working on getting better at writing and typing, but I'm still struggling. I’ll take it out of the splint and try to bend it, testing how it feels and hoping that this whole continually keeping it straight thing won’t cause any long term effects.

 

Acceptance

I’m also kind of back to the laughing stage. It’s funny that I broke my finger in a door. It’s even funnier that I was so sure it hadn’t broken just to find out that I had basically shattered the tip entirely. I’m okay wearing the splint, and keeping my hand elevated. I’m fine with it all. So long as I have the splint off in time for graduation pictures. Keep your fingers crossed for my quick recovery, because I can’t cross my own fingers anymore.