2 Hospitals, 1 Country, and 0 Sleep

Posted By: DuaneHarper
Posted On: September 2nd, 2019
Attending: Institute of Technology Carlow

In just six days, I have met an obstacle that will make this journey to even harder, as if leaving the country wasn’t already hard enough for me. Just six days in Belfast and the unthinkable happens. The scholars and I were playing a pickup game and as I went for a steal, I felt an unusual pain. I thought I had jammed my finger until I looked down and noticed that my index finger looked worse than a jammed finger.

All of this was new to me. I had never broken or severely injured anything in my life. I wondered “Why me? Why now?

I called the director, Sam Woodside, and he took me to the nearby hospital. He told me we were going to be there all night. I laughed at him and said “No way”. Next thing I know, it’s 3 hours later (midnight) and we’re still in the waiting room of the hospital. The whole waiting room was packed with people. This was because to be seen at the hospital, it costed nothing. After learning that, I could definitely understand why there were so many people. I had actually never been to a hospital for my own well-being so part of this was kinda cool in a weird sense in that this was my first, personal hospital experience.

When I was finally seen, they gave me some gas to inhale to numb my finger. At the corner of my eye, I could just see the nurses pulling and tugging on my finger. Sam saw the whole thing and was amazed that after all that tugging they were doing, my finger had not budged. They appointed me to see a bone specialist at 9am (8 hours later). Eight hours later, I was back in Sam’s car headed to another hospital with my purple, dislocated finger. Once again, the hospital was packed with people but this time, I had a better understanding about that. Four hours later, my finger was back to normal.

It hurt when the doctor said to continue to wear the splint for 4-6 weeks. However, I looked at this as a part of my journey. This was just a test of my resilience and my attitude. I decided that I was going to keep my head held high through it all. I was going to make sure that I was present for the remaining orientation sessions and active as much as I could be for the kids. Because at the end of the day, it could’ve been worse. If I can walk, talk, and supply energy for the kids, I’ll be there. Tough times don’t last but tough people do. I won’t give up and that’s the message I want to send.

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