By: Connor Lenahan
You really learn to just let life run its course when you are in my position. You never really know what is going to happen, and you sure as hell learn that even the most “sure thing” situations are never that. I thought I had luck on my side and was wrong. This wasn’t the first time and most certainly won’t be the last.
I made myself a promise when I was in 5th grade, coming off of a broken femur, that I was going to walk across stage at graduation. I came nine days away from reaching that goal. That. Close.
I was walking to my math class around 10:40 AM on June 4th. I’m walking with my friends Serena DeSeta, Matt Gronsky and Mo Kasim. This is normalcy.
I don’t quite know how, but I caught the carpet wrong with my foot, or kicked my cane with my foot or something and fell forward. I attempted to tackle the kid in front of me to stop from falling. In what is no doubt a common thread, I was close, but not quite there.
I planted hard on my left leg. Bad call. My left tibia and fibula collapsed, as did I as I fell to the floor in a tumble that would later be described as “graceful” by Gronsky. When asked if I was okay, I replied no. For the tenth time, I was broken. My leg was in half. Nobody could see this thanks to jeans and high top Reeboks, but this is a good thing. I fell in a crowd of at least 100 kids. This wasn’t a pretty site to be seen.
I went into a mode in my brain that is comparable to Tom Brady running a two-minute drill. As our assistant principal Marc Wyandt told me, I was in command of the area enough so that if I told him to go cut the grass he would respond with “Yes Sir” and get the job done.
I wasn’t in pain. This is surprising, but the leg gave out. That normally doesn’t hurt. When there is a mechanism of injury, like say falling out of a speeding wheelchair onto your knee causing it to snap like a deranged postal worker, that is when it really hurts.
I was more or less pissed because I worked so hard to get to where I was in terms of walking. I had used a wheelchair off and on for eight years and finally looked like I had that thing relegated to storage only to be proven wrong.
I won’t go into much of the medical detail of the EMTs, or the hospital visit because I am used to it, others are squeamish. I get it. Don’t get me wrong, if you want the whole story, I will tell you in vivid detail. If you don’t want that on your consciousness, I feel you, and that is no issue.
Long story short, I end up with a leg cast thanks to my surgeon Kevin Colleran down in Scranton. It cannot be emphasized enough that Kevin is an angel. He has always helped me and got me into and out of surgery by 7:45 PM that night. The dude is quick.
My head honcho MD, Dr. Peter Pizzutillo, who is the best man alive, this is not a conversation, decided that due to the nature of the break I would need a second surgery to put a plate and screws in my shin for stability. Shockingly, this would be the first time we attempted this course of action. When given this proposition, instead of asking about the procedure, or thinking it over, I immediately responded, “So I will legally be Iron Man?”
I am legally Iron Man.
This break happened on a Tuesday, the surgery that Friday, I was home for good by Saturday. Now was to recover enough to go to graduation the week later.
I made it. Welcome speaker. I wrote my speech in five minutes, six hours before the ceremony, while high as a kite on pain meds. Multiple people told me the either loved the speech or were almost brought to tears. Knowing the amount of effort I put in, this still makes me laugh.
Since the break I’ve been home, resting, watching TV, listening to music and now writing. You might ask if I was depressed that this break happened, or mad, or upset. The answer is no. My friends took exceedingly excellent care of me, and one person in particular I still owe for bringing a smile to my face every day of my recovery. Thanks Elyse.
It has now been three weeks since the break. I can wear pants. I can get in and out of bed alone. I can get onto and off of my couch alone. I can get in and out of a car alone. I can now drive again. The only thing I can’t do today that I could three weeks ago is walk.
I swear to myself that the only thing this break is, the only possible way to describe it, is a blip on a radar screen. Nothing more. I have come back from worse than this time and time again. I will again. I feel fine. I want this damn cast off, mainly so I can take a shower. This is not stopping me.
I have college to look forward too. I’m departing for Boston University this fall and I won’t be strung up by this break for very long. I have vacation next week to look forward too. So what if I have a big blue leg cast. It’ll look great when some celebrities ink it up.
The moral of this all: I am fragile. I get it. It is what it is. But, that doesn’t change that I am unstoppable. I am unbreakable. I am the toughest person you will ever meet. And the millisecond I get out of this cast I will prove that just like I have before.
Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is the founder and editor-in-chief of Connorlenahan.com. He is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism.