miscommunicamp by steph katzovi header 02

Lessons to Live By: Wrist and Reward

Hello and thanks for coming by!

I’m actually away at sleepaway camp right now. (I’m hopefully coming up with some great stories to share with you!) In the meantime, I wrote half this blog before I left for camp and mailed the second part to my mom—she helped me type it and post it.

Why this strange approach, you may ask?

Well, as you’ll find out, this blog is about how I hurt my wrist—the non-writing side—a week before leaving for camp.

The lesson I learned here is a two-parter: accidents happen when you least expect it, and usually when it’s most inconvenient. That’s why being careful is important (as is taking care of yourself—check out my earlier blog about my friend, Pete). But the second thing I learned is that when something bad or tough happens in your life, instead of spending too much time feeling sad, get creative in how you deal with the challenge.

[One quick note from Noodle’s Mom: if anything sounds odd, it’s because I couldn’t read Noodle’s handwriting and tried to guess what she was trying to say.]

So, here’s what happened…

Falling onto the wrong hand

Last Sunday, exactly one week before I went back to Camp Hillside for sleepaway camp, I was trying to put up a hammock in our backyard. Because I wanted to be the first to use it, I didn’t want anyone’s help. So, I got out the ladder, put it near the tree, and climbed up. It didn’t take me too long to put up one side of the hammock. After that, I was feeling a bit confident, so I moved maybe a little too quickly to the other tree. This part of hammock-tying was a little trickier because the tree was on a slight slope.

The ladder was slightly wobbly. I still managed to tie the hammock up. I was about to admire my work when I felt the ladder sway. Uh oh. As I tried not to fall off the toppling ladder, I jumped. Except when I jumped, the ladder went backward. I went forward. Right before I hit the ground, I put out my right wrist to protect myself. I landed on my wrist pretty hard.

Ouch. Ouch. Triple ouch. I was in a lot of pain.

One trip to the emergency room later, the X-rays showed that I didn’t break anything. My wrist was just badly sprained. Phew! (I think.) The doctor wrapped up my wrist in a bandage. I looked just like a mummy on my wrist and elbow, which I also hurt from my fall—just not as badly. The doctor said we could buy a brace for my wrist that I could take on and off. It would be much easier than the mummy wrap.

The doctor also said I’d need to take it easy until I felt better. This last week before camp suddenly became super boring, but fine. I could deal with my wrist situation for a little while. I would be off to camp in one week!

In my mind, I thought that it would only take a few days for my sprained wrist to heal. I’ve never had a sprain before. I just assumed it was like a really bad black-and-blue mark—it hurts for a few days, and then turns purple, green, or yellow, before it disappears as quickly as it came. 

That wasn’t the case. My wrist hurt pretty badly whenever I moved it. The pain lasted for several days. My wrist situation was starting to get annoying.

Bent it like Beckham

On the fourth day, my wrist felt a teeny, tiny bit better. I tried not to complain that recovery was taking too long. The doctor did say that sprains need time and rest. Resting is hard when you’re an always-on-the-go-gal like me.

There’s so much I wanted to do. For example, I wanted to play tennis, but all I could do were forehands (I use two hands for my backhand). Swimming was also tough unless I was planning on treading water. I didn’t realize how important a wrist was. The only plus was that I was only able to practice piano with one hand!

Camp was starting in two days. I wasn’t anywhere near close to feeling like my old two-wristed self. Needless to say, I was kind of bummed. All the good camp activities—sports, arts and crafts, and swimming—were things I probably couldn’t do immediately.

I guess I could wait to try the new Adventure Course. And maybe holdoff on making a sundial in wood shop this summer. But what if my friends didn’t want to hang out with me because I couldn’t do the activities with them? That would be the worst!

No thanks to my wrist situation, camp was going to start off horribly this year. I just knew it.

“I don’t know if it makes sense for me to go to camp right away,” I told my mom the night before drop off. She knew how much I had been looking forward to camp. Especially after all the drama at Camp Hillside over the past two summers. This summer was supposed to the best one yet.

My mom told me that it would be OK. “I’m sure that you will find things to do. Besides, I already spoke with Bob and Dotty. They assured me they’d help you through your injury.”

But how? My wrist situation made pretty much everything a challenge. Sadly, I realized that we kind of live in a two-handed world.

Needing a helping hand

[Note from Noodle’s mom: Here’s the part of the story that I helped type up. I promise I won’t interrupt anymore.]

So, I’m now at camp. It was kind of tough for me. My counselor had to help me unpack my things. When it was time for Shower Hour, Aries (my best friend, in case you forgot!) carried all my stuff for me. I can’t do a lot of things on my own like I used to.

I have to admit, I felt a little sad on the first day. Feeling sorry for myself got me thinking about how homesick I had been my first year at sleepaway camp. (Remember my story from the award-winning book “Hurricamp!”? Check it out, if not!)

Then I started missing my mom and dad. Then I worried that my wrist situation wouldn’t improve before camp ended.

Bob and Dotty heard about how bummed out I was and asked me to “stop by.”

They listened to me feeling sorry for myself for a little while. “It’s definitely not going to be a walk in the park until your wrist gets better, Noodle,” Bob said. “But we know you—of all people—are someone who can turn a tough time around.”

“Agree! And think of all the fun stuff you still can do,” Dotty reminded me.  “You aren’t going to miss out on everything. I promise we’ll find a way to make sure you can still have fun.” I know that Dotty never makes a promise she can’t keep.

I felt a tiny bit better after talking with Bob and Dotty. On the walk back to my bunk, I tried to give myself my own pep talk. Did I really want to ruin the whole month of camp by being upset?

Of course not! I needed to change my attitude. Think positive, be positive, I told myself.

Happ(ier) camper

My positivity plan was put to the test when I saw we had a basketball game as our big morning activity. I sure did want to play. But that probably wasn’t a good idea if I wanted to protect my wrist. Instead, I decided to play kickball with another bunk.  Turns out, a pitcher only needs one hand.  

Although my team didn’t win, I met a bunch of really nice kids. Not only have I made new friends, but I discovered that I could find new options that suit my wrist situation. 

And here’s another nice thing I learned: one of my new kickball friends told me about how she had broken her wrist at camp last summer. She stayed anyway, cast and all. I realized that while my wrist situation stunk, it could’ve been much worse. Things can always be worse, and they can always be better. 

So maybe I shouldn’t feel so sorry for myself. Instead, maybe I should find ways to work around my wrist situation until it healed.

To be continued

Since camp isn’t over yet, I don’t have an ending to my sprained wrist story. Perhaps it will be a plotline for my next book?? We’ll see! But here’s the thing…life is going to throw you curveballs. When that happens, it’s important to 1) appreciate what you have (hopefully I’ll soon have a healed wrist) and 2) keep moving forward, as hard as that may be. 

I’m the first to admit that it’s not always easy to follow this advice—even if I’m the one who just wrote it! But, as Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

That sounds a lot more impressive than what I just wrote.  

So, sprained wrist, I have a message for you: I’ll let things slide for a little while. After that, you are either going to have go away, or we’ll have to figure out how to work together.

Alright, I better get going. It’s almost time for dinner and I hear it’s smash burgers.

Until next time, be your best you! 

Do you have any stories about learning an important lesson from an experience? Please share with them me in the comments section!

Don't Miss Steph's Posts!

Submit the form below to sign up to receive a notification when Steph posts a new blog.

Buy Miscommunicamp NOW:

Buy Hurricamp NOW: