Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 386 Vital Communications and The Broken Baby Arm Revisited

Day 386

Vital Communications and The Broken Baby Arm Revisited

I'm learning so many things about myself along this journey. Just when I think I fully understand every dynamic involved, I learn something new. Today I learned that better communication leads to happy and healthier relationships. Really? How did I miss that one all of these years? It's ironic that my career is in communications, yet I have problems communicating some of the most vital issues within my family unit. I pride myself on being able to communicate through my writing, but still I sometimes fail to properly express myself away from the computer or studio microphone. Huh, wow...good stuff to know. It's groundbreaking realizations like these that will help bring this transformation into it's most complete existence. A dramatic change, like what my family has experienced over the last 386 days, can actually tear some people apart. It can, unless all of these important issues are dealt with one by one with complete self-honesty and personal responsibility. Pretty important stuff.

Irene headed back to work tonight, Courtney dived into homework, and I headed for the official dress rehearsal for “Call Me Henry.” I'm so blessed to have such an amazingly understanding wife. What Irene sit through last night was something that could have been a major issue. She was watching her husband of twenty years, who has never learned to dance with her, be choreographed and taught to dance with another woman. The kissing parts aside, that dancing part---oh my, a very big deal. I love Irene so much and how she handled that situation with class and grace really showed me how much she loves me and supports what I'm doing. She completely understands how important this play is to me. She “gets it.” She knows that I've always had a secret desire, a dream really, to act, and act well. She's always believed in me as far as that was concerned, so now that I'm 216 pounds lighter and able to do it, it just confirms what she already knew. She's always known the real me. She's always known the dreams, desires, and potentials I've held within. And seeing me finally break free and start accomplishing some of those dreams---well, it means so much more than any stage kiss or dance scene in a play. It means that WE don't have to wait any longer to start living. Our time is now, and there will be some serious dancing in our future.

Chris Williams, the director of this play, invited one of the most respected and experienced directors in the state to watch tonight's dress rehearsal. The fact that the newspaper reviewer was also in attendance tonight wasn't as nerve racking as having this theatre icon in the front row. Chris wanted her honest opinion of the production, and she gave it, taking several notes throughout the performance. She shared the notes with Chris, and he shared them with the cast after the performance. Let's understand, she's known for not sugar coating anything. If it's bad, she'll tell you. If it's really bad, she might walk out, her time is valuable and her advice and critique is invaluable to someone trying to direct the best show they can. I think she really liked the show. And that is a wonderful thing.

One of the things she noticed about me is how I hardly ever use my right arm. My right arm just stays by my side most of the time. Chris asked me about this, inquiring if anything was wrong with the arm, and of course it was the perfect opportunity for me to share my broken arm at birth story. And this is the perfect opportunity for me to use the archives to explain. The following is an excerpt from Day 35 “My Broken Baby Arm and Self-Control Freak: Well, the story has been told many times to people around me, to the point of becoming a punch line. “I was born with a broken arm” was a realization I didn't discover until I was 19 or 20. I knew it effected me my entire childhood, but I didn't know why. To fully understand we have to go back to my delivery and first few days in the world. When I was born I was a big baby and my mother has always been small framed. At 4'11” her ideal weight is slightly more than 100 pounds. So, perhaps it was a difficult delivery, maybe. All I know is my right arm wouldn't move, something was wrong with it, and the doctors decided it was lame. They decided that the muscles in my right arm were not developed enough to enable movement, so they sent me home with mom and the instructions to exercise my little arm everyday. She didn't realize at the time that my arm was actually broken. So don't feel bad at all about this mom! You were just doing what the doctor told you to do! Anyway, I doubt it was that painful anyway, because a baby's bones are soft, cartilage like at birth, or so I've been told. It took six months for me to finally move my little right arm, and eventually the bones fused together. They just didn't heal right. So, I can't turn my right arm over all the way. I carry my plate on top of my hand, I'm ambidextrous, I do most things with my left hand. Too bad I don't throw left handed, because throwing right handed always was a bad thing. In little league baseball the coaches made everybody try out for pitcher. When it was my turn I barely got the ball to home plate. When I was in the 8th grade I can remember trying to bench press for the first time and having the bar and weights completely tilt to the right because I didn't have any right arm strength. It's really weird, but most times I don't even miss it. It's still there hanging by my side, but that's all it does most times. My cousin Steve probably remembers playing catch with me and wondering why I was so weak. Broken arm—healed wrong. We're going to get that fixed! Maybe when I get it fixed, it'll become super powerful, and I'll be able to throw accurate 100 mile per hour fastballs, then at 37 I'll sign a Major League contract, and then...Oh wait, that sounds like a Disney movie. Sorry, I was dreaming for a second.

I've worked with people for more than a decade that have never discovered this defect about me. I even have relatives that have never known, never noticed. But this director nailed it after watching one performance. She has an amazing eye for detail, I guess that's probably a big part of why she's so good. Thank you director!

I arrived home after rehearsal and Courtney had fixed me a 340 calorie pizza burger as a late dinner. It was scrumptious I tell you! Courtney's a little gourmet! I helped her on a problem/solution essay about teen pregnancy and then I started writing tonight's blog. That girl is so smart. Her and her sister has made being parents such an easy thing. We're very blessed.

If you're new to this blog I highly recommend reading the archives from Day 1. That's the only way to completely understand and experience the full perspective of this massive transformation from over five hundred pounds. Welcome and I hope you understand and embrace the simplistic approach I've taken along this road. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. I have had my name in your blog two times now! WAHOO ! 11:59 my foot! Dude I thought you fell asleep...LOL Thank you for sharing the broken arm story with us....I was waiting for the punch line then you showed us your arms...CRAZY! Post a picture of it!

    The Director your speak of was JoAnn Muchmore a true legend of the Theatre. I told you she was good.

  2. Awww, Irene so deserves a wonderful night out dancing with her hubby!

    I think it would be great if you could get that arm fixed - have you looked into that at all?

  3. Hi Sean. As I was reading about your arm, it brought to mind how often people will find work arounds but at the end of the day, the problem still exists.

    For myself, I have this weight issue and I've managed around it for so long but at the end of the day it still exists. So, even though I put on the happy and brave face - I do feel sad that I've allowed myself to be imprisoned in this chubby suit. It is time to do something about it. I'm tired of wearing the fat suit and I look forward to the day when I will be free of it!

    Great entry.

  4. I'm sure Irene is happy that you got your dance practice in by stepping on someone else's toes. I can't wait to here about your night of dancing with you wife ... coming soon?

  5. Irene is an awesome and mature woman. You may do some kissin' and dancin' on stage but she gets to take you home!!! I hope your play goes well and as hard as you have worked, I'm sure it will!

  6. LMAO @ Jack's comment...he kills me!

    Bless Irene's heart. You've got a good one there Sean! There need to be many, many nights of dancing in your future...she's stood by your side through a lot. It's time for her to enjoy all of the benefits of the smaller you, too. :)

  7. I have to admit I don't know I could have been as easy going about it all as Irene. I have my own insecurities and it would have been really tough so way to go Irene. I sure do hope you will take her out dancing and show her what a real kiss is *smile*. Glad the director liked the play, I knew she would. Sorry to hear about your arm, I was born with crooked legs so I do understand. Hope opening night is terrific, I just know it will be.

  8. I'm a huge fan of Paul McCartney. I remember an interview with Sir Paul, when he was asked what his wife Linda thought of all the screaming women in the audience. He said something like, "Hey, it's an act. She knows I'm going home with her!" Yeah, you 2 are a class act! And the arm, I had forgotten reading that. Maybe that is why you've been a bit hesitant in doing the whole weight-lifting part of this journey???? May want to check with a doc about that, to be sure you don't injure yourself more!

  9. I'm so impressed with how supportive Irene is!

  10. I bet we'll see a post someday soon of how you swept Irene off her feet with a night of dancing. Ooooooh, or you could take a class together!
    Sorry...living vicariously there for a moment. ;)

    Interesting story! Amazing the things that were done when we were babies. I got stuck in the birth canal & my mom had to push for hours upon hours...C-Section? Why would we do that when she can push for another few hours? lol

    Best wishes for a terrific turnout at the play. Sounds like you are doing a fabulous job.


  11. Thanks for sharing the story of your arm. I am one of your new readers who is definitely going to read from the beginning. Just not tonight. I think your blog will be my Saturday reading. I am really looking forward to it.

  12. Is it me or are your blogs shorter since you started that play?

  13. Take her dancing sean. She'll love it.

  14. You know...I have been there since the day you were born and I never knew you had a broken arm when you was born! I remember exercising it and I kissed it a lot to make it better, lol, but I didn't know it was broken. You have a wonderful wife and your life together is filled with love...that's all it takes. She knows it's just a play. You're a lucky man!


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