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Story of My Summer Camp Failure
By Michaela Hack
Genre: Non-fiction Level: High School 10-12
Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

What not to do when running at twilight... Last summer I went to a camp in California up in the mountains with a few of the girls from my church. We did many fun things like eating chocolate milkshakes within an hour of getting there, going to chapel twice a day and other activities like archery and tug-of-war. I had an amazing time. The last night we were there we had just finished playing a very active game outside when I noticed that it was almost time for chapel and I didn't have my Bible.  Looking around, I didn't see any of the girls I had come to camp with. I didn't know exactly what time it was but it was getting dark and I didn't want to be late.  I turned and hightailed it back toward the cabin that we all shared to get my Bible and notebook and see if any of the girls were there. Being hyped up on an adrenaline rush from the game we had just played, I was feeling excited and daring and I thought, "Hey I'll just take this short cut and instead of going around this fence I'll just jump over it". I was already running, so when I got to the fence I put both my hands on the rail and started pushing myself over when I felt my right foot catch on the railing sending my body forward. And that's when I noticed too late, and in the almost pitch black darkness that there was a 6 or 7 foot drop on the other side with an asphalt ditch at the bottom. I put out my hands to catch myself and when I hit, it was the left side of my body that made contact first. I quickly rolled over and immediately scanned my body for pain. All I felt were a couple scrapes on my palm and I said repeatedly to myself "I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine." A couple seconds later a pain in my left wrist hit hard. And it wasn't like the normal pain you feel when you hit your foot on a door or run your hip into a counter corner.

Alarms immediately went off in my head telling me that something was wrong with my wrist. I rocked back and forth on the asphalt cradling my hurt wrist, whimpering through the pain. I could literally feel my wrist swelling up as it throbbed.  Luckily, a lady saw me jump over the fence and then not get back up so she came over to see if I was alright.  I saw her head peering over the fence at me and when she saw me lying there on the ground her eyes grew wide. Then she ran around the fence and down to where I was lying.  She knelt beside me and when she saw me cradling my wrist she asked if it hurt and I muttered a shaky, "yes". She put my head on her lap and called out to another lady who had been near when she saw me fall. The other lady came over and radioed in that they need transportation to the nurse's office. They helped me up and led me over to the edge of the volleyball court that was nearby. They asked me what my name was and who my counselor was and where she might be. Then a golf cart drove up next to us with a couple guys and one of them had a sling to put my arm in until we got to the nurses' station. They asked me if they could see my wrist and when I held it out my whole arm was shaking and just the simple act of holding my wrist out was extremely painful. There was a large bump on top of my wrist and they thought it was just swelling from the impact. We found out later that it wasn't just swelling but it was also the broken bone pushing up against the skin.  After the nurses called my dad, it was decided that I needed to go to the nearest emergency room and have a doctor look at my wrist.  The drive down the mountain was a ride from hell because it took almost 2 hours and there were pot holes and bumps all over the narrow road.

It was a long night at the emergency room in a small town hospital at the base of the mountain. It was just me, my councilor and a church elder that had come along with us to camp. We had to wait for at least an hour before I could even get in to see anyone. Finally, when it was my turn, I went in for x-rays. I went in alone, and that was kind of scary considering I had never done any of this before. After the x- rays it was confirmed that my wrist was indeed broken in at least two places. Then I had to wait in the waiting room for another 20 minutes and by then the pain meds that the nurses at the camp had given me had worn off completely and my wrist throbbed and there were random stabs of pain that made me grit my teeth.

Finally, I was asked to come back to see the doctor there. My councilor, Malory, came with me and we sat in a little room and waited. After a couple minutes he came in and asked what happened and where it hurt and he looked at the x-rays. Basically, long story short, he had to wrap my wrist to my elbow in a plaster like cast and to get my wrist straight enough to do that he tried to bend my wrist straight putting pressure on all the worst possible places and I cried out several times. It was excruciatingly painful!  When at last my wrist was in the cast and sling, I received a shot in my butt for the pain. Too exhausted to even care, we finally left the hospital at 2:30 am.  We made it back to the camp by 4:00 am. That afternoon we started our 8 hour drive back to Temecula. Once I was home, we found we needed a specialist for my wrist.   We found a doctor who specialized in hands and he reset my wrist the correct way so the bones could heal properly. In 8 weeks the bones had fully healed though my wrist still felt tender and sensitive. Now, almost a year later, my wrist is doing just fine though if I lift something too heavy it will start hurting just a little bit, but that's not abnormal.

I would have to say the lesson that I learned from this whole ordeal is this:  when jumping over fences, it is generally a good idea to be able to see what is on the other side... or at least have some inkling about what might be on the other side. Blindly jumping over a fence is not the way to go, and I have proven this first hand. (No pun intended.) So, for future reference, when I am robbing a bank or breaking someone out of prison, or breaking myself out of prison for robbing a bank, I will now have the hard-learned wisdom to not jump over fences without looking first or knowing what's on the other side.


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