Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: HOSPITAL

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above. This month's prompts include: hospital, hotel, humming, ice-skating, illness, kitchen table, knife, laundry, library, lunch.


I don't have many childhood hospital memories, thank goodness. No sick family members, that I can recall. I broke my arm twice – so I did go to the to the ER for that. (See Emergency Room post.) One of the breaks was a compound fracture, which meant I spent the night in the hospital. I don't remember much about the stay, but I do remember going home, and how my sister sat with me, all patience and good cheer... bringing me snacks and playing quiet board games as I was recovering. (It should come as no surprise that this sister went on to be a pediatrician!)

Once the cast was removed, the doctor ordered 6 weeks of physical therapy sessions. The treatments consisted of several things, but the one that looms large in my mind was the kitchen-sink-sized stainless steel vat of warm wax, and how I would sit in a chair as the therapist eased my arm into the thick, silky wax, which was kind of like chocolate fondue – only with a waxy odor. Then she would pull my arm out and allow the brown wax to dry – which wasn't nearly so much fun. After the wax had (supposedly) loosened up everything, we got to work with exercises.

The second time I broke my arm there was some concern that I would lose some mobility in my right wrist, so again weekly trips to the physical therapist were ordered. These efforts were not in vain – I did lose some mobility in that wrist, but not enough to hamper my daily living... though I do notice it in my cello playing (which is far more physical than I ever imagined!).

1 comment:

  1. I have not (knock on wood) broken anything, but my children certainly have, & Nathan ended up in the hospital. It was our first week in Colorado & with baby Sarah of 9 months, what I remember is the kindness of strangers. I needed help, my husband has just opened the store! As for Nathan, after the initial pain, he was riding a tricycle up & down the hospital halls. It is funny what we remember, like that wax for your therapy.


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