My right hand man

I first thought I would tell you about the time a dog bit me. I was 4 and our neighbor's collie pinned me down and bit my face. My mother was standing only a few feet from me when it happened. My face was so bloody, my mother left for the ER with me while my father scoured the yard looking for my nose. Thanks to plastic surgeons, though, you'd never know it. Then there's the standard pregnancy wear and tear. I've got stretch marks and a few stitch marks in sensitive areas but everything is working like it should so I can't complain. And really the stretch marks blend in with the numerous marks from infusion sites for my insulin pump so I don't lose sleep over them.

But what I really want to talk about is this damn cast. It's bright red and people either ask me how I broke my arm or very obviously aren't going to ask even though they're dying to. I feel like I should have written on the cast TENDONITIS SUCKS. CAN'T BE TRUSTED TO WEAR BRACE.

There are a few times when I forget I'm wearing it. Those are usually when I'm just riding in the car or sitting around (which isn't very often). But times like right now, when I'm trying to type at something better than 10 wpm, it's painfully aware to me that I have this club on my arm.

It sucks. I'm slower at everything. Showering is harder, putting on a bra is harder, typing is harder, finding clothes to wear that I won't stretch out and ruin is harder. I don't sleep as well at night (though that could be other factors than just the cast) and it's wearing me down. I wanted to go shopping Saturday but after two stores with the boy I had to go home and rest.

I'm worried. I'm worried that when I do take the cast off in two weeks I won't feel any better. I'm worried that four weeks of favoring my right arm will just make my left one hurt. I'm worried that it will happen all over again because my kid is still really heavy and I still need to lift him and buckle him in car seats and change his diapers. I'm worried this won't be an incident but the beginning of a long phase of aches and pains in my life. I'm worried I'll have to say no to things I want to do because of my wrists.

And when this cast comes off no one will know that I ever had it on. There won't be a reminder on my wrist to tell me to lift with my legs. I won't have a scar.

This cast is primarily because my son is incredibly heavy. So instead of a surgical scar or saggy boobs (or perhaps in addition to those one day) my physical reminder of the burden of motherhood is this bright red piece of fiberglass.

Mostly I'm worried that the fact I have to wear this cast means I won't always be able to do all I want to for my child. I just want him to know I'm doing the best I can and we'll get by.