Deb Tawna’s big breaks include bad drugs, nudity, and obscene gestures

Deb Tawna wearing the cast from her first big break at age 9.

We’re talking about “big breaks” this week, and I must admit, I’ve had several.

The biggest break was my right arm the summer I turned nine. The bone snapped in two places, courtesy of an ungraceful dismount off a piece of playground equipment. The doctor made the peculiar decision to set the bone without the benefit of pain medication, a process that taxed my youthful arsenal of curse words and prompted the development of several new ones.

Then he loaded me up with pain meds, which turned out to be an equally bad idea. Unbeknownst to any of us at the time, I’m violently allergic to anything in the morphine family – codeine, dramamine, you name it. I spent the next few days enjoying a variety of colorful hallucinations and equally colorful projectile vomiting.

My next big break was two years later when a bunch of girlfriends at a slumber party decided it would be great fun to strip down to our underwear and chase each other around the wall separating the kitchen from the living room.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I managed to crash into the oven, breaking a toe on my left foot. If you’ve never had a broken toe, allow me to explain the conundrum – it hurts like a motherbear. It really does. You can’t walk right, and there’s really no way to splint a toe.

But it’s a toe, so it’s not like you get a whole lot of sympathy. Not even with crutches.

And especially not if you did it colliding with a kitchen appliance in your Hello Kitty underpants.

My favorite big break was my middle finger. For several weeks, I had the divine pleasure of flipping the finger to everyone I encountered. My teachers eyed me with great suspicion, but couldn’t really argue with the splint anchoring my digit in that position.

I haven’t broken any bones for awhile, and actually worry I may have jinxed myself by typing that just now. My biggest fear is a broken tailbone, since I’m uncertain how the doctor might go about splinting it.

What’s been your biggest break? Please share!

And please let me know if you have any ideas on the tailbone thing. Seriously – ouch.

16 Replies to “Deb Tawna’s big breaks include bad drugs, nudity, and obscene gestures”

  1. Jeez Louise, I nearly choked on my coffee reading this…!

    First, only you, Tawna, would equate “big break” with “broken bones”. I think your neuronal wiring schemata was done a bit differently than the rest of the world (NOT an insult…!).

    And, second, only you, Tawna, would conveniently break your bird finger, so you could get a free pass to flip the world the bird for two months.

    I’d worry about you, except you’re just too darn funny!!! 😀

    1. You know what’s funny? The bone thing was the first idea that popped into my head when I saw “big breaks.” I honestly didn’t think of the expression until later.


  2. Hysterical!! As for broken tail bones…..yes, they hurt. I broke mine when I was in college flying in the air during a cheer leading trick. I came down and went right through the arms of the boys who were supposed to catch me. Unfortunately, just like your big toe, there is not much you can do. It hurts to walk and to sit and you just have to wait for it to heal.

    1. Ow on the broken tailbone! Boys are useless, aren’t they?

      Wait, never mind. I can think of a few uses.


  3. That was my first thought when I saw this topic, too, but I’d already used my fabulous pink cast, story! Clearly I should have saved it.

    I like to break my ankle, foot, and leg. You are far more diverse. I respect you for that.

  4. I went down a flight of stairs on my tailbone. Didn’t break it, just bruised it. Hurt like the dickens for 3 months. Incidentally, the first 3 months of college classes for me. I sat in those classes on a rubber donut. Oh yes, good times.
    You do think differently than the rest of us. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that ‘big breaks’ meant broken bones. That’s why you make the big bucks, oops, I mean, have the big 3 book contract. And why we all anxiously await book one’s release.
    OT To be eligible to win a free copy of No Such Thing As A Secret by Shelly Fredman, go to and post a comment today, Sat. or Sun. (15th, 16th, 17th ). Shelly will pick one winner from the comments and I will announce the winner on Wed. the 20th.
    Thanks. As you were.

  5. Ha! It takes some darn good writing to make me laugh at broken bones. 🙂

    I broke my foot playing Two-Square (a ball-bouncing game) when I was in the fifth grade. Really ticked me off, because it was right before track & field try-outs, and the cast seriously hampered my ability to run. Still tried out for the relay race, though, and only missed making the team by 2.8 seconds. Yeah, I’m still bitter. 😉

    1. Linda G, I admire you a lot for holding onto childhood grudges. I still hate the kid who kicked my soccer ball over the fence in third grade.


  6. Stick and stones! WOW. You’re, well, talented??

    I wrote about when Bella broke her arm in my book – and couldn’t tell us! I put her to bed with two broken bones – not at all funny.

    My 83 y/o MIL is in a rehab hospital right now – she broke her ankle on March 3rd – and walked on it for two days, ruining it! Major surgery. And now the wound will not heal. She’s been home for only 5 days. Has another 7-10 days in the rehab hosp. Broken bones and elderly are not funny either.

    But Tawna, in her way, could make a day in a morgue laugh out loud funny – in fact, she breaks us up! (Ra ba bump.)


    1. I remember that story about Bella from your book! Definitely something not everyone thinks about. Ouch!

      And ((big hugs)) to your mother-in-law. That sounds painful.


  7. My husband has broken TEN bones in his life. In fact, the night we met, he had just taken off the sling from a broken elbow, his last broken bone to date. *knocks on wood 10,000 times* When he went away for his bachelor party before our wedding, I told his friends, go have fun, but DO NOT LET HIM BREAK ANY BONES.

  8. I broke my tailbone while inline skating. I couldn’t sit comfortably for long periods of time for YEARS after it happened. I’m fine now, of course, but it’s not a fun thing to do. I wouldn’t recommend it. 🙂

  9. You know the scene in Populazzi where we learn Cara has a really weird reaction to a certain substance because she goes all paralyzed? That’s what happens to me. And yet I kept trying, figuring there was a great experience in there for me, I just had to hit it (so to speak) the right way. Well, one night I was….um… practicing with some friends, and when the paralysis started to hit, I was determined to beat it. I went out on the balcony, pressed an ice-cold soda to the back of my neck… then fell over my own two feet, breaking my right leg in four places and requiring a full-leg cast. I spent the next two weeks doped-up in my then-boyfriend’s bed… and not in the good way.

  10. Tawna, how funny–I am also allergic to all of the above pain meds. I had a crazy experience with hallucination as a child when my parents gave me cough syrup with codeine in it. I still think about how scary that was!

Comments are closed.