For me, it has to be Christmas 1991. I was in the second grade, and my birthday is a month before Christmas and falls around Thanksgiving. My parents set up a play date with a kid from school I didn’t really like, and my dad took us to the playground in the neighborhood the day before my birthday. I was sat at the slide about to go down, when suddenly I blacked out and woke up on the ground in a pile of rocks. I was in terrible pain and realized the kid pushed me off the slide so he could go down before me. My dad saw the whole thing happen, took us back to the house, and got my mom.
I had a lump in the middle of my upper arm and it hurt like crazy. My dad told my mom that he thought I just sprained my arm, so she rushed downstairs to see. She took one look at me, saw me with no color in my face, smacked my dad, and said, “You can’t sprain your arm in the middle like that!” They called the doctor and he asked if I could move my arm. I extended it out and felt and heard a loud pop, and the same thing when I bent it back. My parents rushed me to the doctor’s office, where they ran X-rays and determined I had broken my humerus clean through. My arm was set and put in a cast.
The next few days I was still in incredible pain. I missed out on my birthday, had to eat Thanksgiving in the living room, had to sleep in the recliner because it was too uncomfortable to lie flat or go up the stairs. A week or so after Thanksgiving, I slipped and fell on the wood floors in the kitchen and landed on my cast. Since I was still in pain and had the fall, my mom took me back to the doctor where they ran a few more X-rays that showed that my arm was never set properly. But since the bone had started growing back together, it needed to be rebroken.
Christmas Eve was the day set for the re-breaking. My dad took me to the hospital, I was hooked up to an IV, and they pumped some pain meds through my system. I was still awake, even though the doctors and nurses said I’d fall asleep. I was wheeled into the next room where the doctor looked down at me and said, “Are you ready!” Bawling my eyes out and looking directly into his soul, I said, “NO!” and he just picked up my arm and snapped it.
I blacked out and the next thing I knew I was on the driveway at my house. I wasn’t in as much pain anymore, I had my cast back on, and I was still in the hospital gown. I went in my room and went to sleep and woke up Christmas morning. That day, I felt pretty good! I ran downstairs and saw what “Santa” had brought me. There were two HUGE presents with my name on them spelled out in gold glitter that was glued on red plaid wrapping paper right in front of the fireplace. I ripped into the first one. A train set! I was excited to get that setup and play. Then I tore into the second and it was my very first ever video game console. The Super Nintendo! I played that thing so much that day going through Super Mario World. It was so much fun and put a nice ending on a horrible month of my then 8-year-old life. — Nicholas Gerecitano