The Best News I’ve Gotten In A Long, Long Time
By: Connor Lenahan
Tonight, after 74 days spent in my leg cast, I can thankfully report that I have received the all clear from my doctors to have my cast removed.
I’m not sure I have been happier to receive news than this in years.
For those of you unfamiliar with what happened, allow me to give you the backstory. On June 3rd, with nine days of high school left, I tripped and fell walking to math class. Seems like a relatively normal occurrence no? Only this was immediately a nightmare for me.
I suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which causes brittle bones. I have suffered ten major fractures in my life. The most recent coming on that trip and fall in June.
I planted too hard on my left leg to try and regain my balance. Unfortunately, my leg would not comply with this. I broke my left tibia and fibula completely.
I was put in a leg cast and even had to undergo surgery to place a metal plate in my shin in assist with healing.
I have written about this break more extensively here.
What truly made this break harder to deal with was the timing. I had been safe and unbroken since December 2009. I had fought back from a broken right tibia and fibula to not only walk again, but also be completely mobile to levels I had never really reached.
I walked with a cane, but that was both because it gave me slightly better balance in school and no one has never looked bad with a cane.
I had been walking all school year without and incident and was the closest to “normal” that I have ever been in my life.
I fell and broke my leg, crushing my dream of walking at high school graduation.
The break didn’t hurt. It did make me angry.
So I’ve sat in my chair, with my giant blue cast for months thinking about what I could have done differently to avoid the break. All in all, this was such a freak accident; there was nothing I could change. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t still thinking of possibilities.
I was able to attend graduation, somewhat disappointingly in wheelchair, but when I was there I realized that not all was lost.
The overwhelming support I got from the community of Abington Heights and my family was amazing. I cannot describe how much it touched me. It got me through the frustration, and made me look forward, specifically to this day.
I’ve been knocked down plenty of times. The difference between others and me is that no matter what the outlook is, I refuse to stay down. I’ve beaten the odds since I first broke something at four years old. There is no way in hell I am stopping as a soon to be nineteen year old.
The millisecond I get this cast off I will be heading right back to rehab. Sure, I will now have two plastic braces to wear, but being the optimist I am, I’m just going to fully embrace my newfound persona as Iron Man.
This is admittedly odd, but I wish there was some humanized version of whatever force keeps throwing me challenges and new fractures. I really wish I could grab that person and throw them against the wall, grab them by the throat and tell them “Nothing you try will ever stop me. Try me. I’m 10-0. I will beat anything in my way because I’m stronger than anyone. I. Will. Not. Lose. Ever.”
The news that the days of the cast are numbered is the end to a long awaited return to walking, running, and being an unstoppable force of nature. I’ve written about who inspires me recently, because I knew it was about time I got to go back in the gym and show them what I do best.
The title of this blog is Unbreakable for a reason. No matter how fragile my body may be, even if I’ve been knocked down ten times, I will get up eleven, and prove as I have time and time again that I am unbreakable.
It won’t be long now until I’m back up and back to normal. This time, I’m not going back to a cast. Never again.
Thank you all for the support through the summer. It has meant the world to me to have people behind me throughout this all. Now it is finally time to move on and get stronger than ever before.
Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is the founder and editor-in-chief of Connorlenahan.com. He is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism.