Every year, June always brings along memories; the start of summer and the nostalgic smell of cut grass that only meant it was time to put down jumpers for goalposts, get your World Cup football and get a game of Wembley singles/doubles going.
Along with those memories comes, possibly, my most challenging time as a child and still stands to be rivaled today.
Having a limb-difference can add plenty of obstacles and make many menial tasks very difficult to perform, but as you see, the community constantly finds its way to adapt and overcome. When a fully-abled person injures a limb, they can begin to see the adaptation that comes into play whilst that injury heals.
Even as a person with a physical disability to an arm for instance, and you injure your leg, you experience new challenges during your recovery. However, if the injury you sustain happens to be to your other arm or other leg, that’s when things can become a little bit tricky.
At approximately 9pm in June of 2005, whilst my mum watched Holby City downstairs, my dad was out on the massive runs he used to do and my older brother was at his gymnastics school, I was up in my bedroom, lying width-ways across the top bunk of the beds that myself and my brother had, with my feet firmly – or so I thought - against the wall.
Just as comfortable as I was for a long period of time, without realising, the grip on my socks began to slip. This only became known at the last minute, having been so focused on The Simpsons DVDs I’d gotten for my tenth birthday earlier that year that I’d always watch before bed.
Before I knew it, I had toppled off the bunk bed frontward, tucking my club hand in naturally and allowing my good left arm to take the impact of the fall.
In doing so, I remember an instant shock, but nauseating numbness swell over my arm as I turned over onto my back, looking up while holding my arm. I shouted my mum and sister to come see if it was bad.
It was bad. Very bad. I had indeed broken my arm to the point where the bones were half an inch from piercing my skin. We quickly called my dad on his phone to come back home to whiz us off to the hospital. I remember my mum keeping me calm, placing a bucket between my legs in case I needed to throw up. At ten-years-old, this was my first significant and very inconvenient accident. I literally couldn’t do a thing for myself.
After sprinting home and getting to the A&E at what, in memory, seemed like three times the speed of sound, my dad carried me into the hospital and used his cunning skills that can only be referred to in the same light as Jedi mind tricks in order to the skip straight through and get immediate treatment.
“Please take a seat,” the receptionist told us. My dad was having none of that. Grabbing my arm and whisking it in the air as extremely vivid evidence, he shouted, “Are you joking? He’s not sitting in here with a possible compound fracture.” Just as that was said, a doctor was spotted and insisted we were brought straight through.
After quick examination, the doctor informed us it was such a severe break that pins being surgically implanted were being contemplating. Luckily, it was not necessary and following a standard surgery, I awoke to discover a humongous plaster cast on my arm that went up past my elbow. Doing the math, seven weeks in that cast as well as club right hand, everything was going to be tough – my sister once had to hold the phone to my ear in one hand as well as holding my ice cream in the other!
Finding ways around doing things was very testing. With the situation, I was unable to feed myself in a normal way or even go to the toilet. My club hand, in a sense, became my good hand. In order to eat, I remember having to rely on my club hand by sticking a fork in the protective splint to pick up food that way. I learnt then what my right hand is capable of doing and how important adaptation is.
Each day brought a big challenge with sporadically small victories. I remember the successful feeling I got from being able to wind up my PS2 controller for the first time as it used to send agony through my arm beforehand.
It's crazy. It's such a memorable time in my life. I still remember every little thing I did that day leading up to it. Ironically, in the midst of the challenges I faced every day, it was one of my favourite summers.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. I had no school except a tutor for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday, who insisted I write with my bad hand which never caught on. It's cool, though. She brought Haribo every lesson.
I had ice cream, video-games, going to look after my 100-year-old grandma around the corner every day with my mum, I’d take my old dog Zac for three-mile canal walks with my dad most afternoons and Nickelodeon marathons of Jimmy Neutron each morning at 9am. What more could a ten-year-old want?