Article in brief: The author shares how suffering from a fractured arm due to a horse riding accident made her aware of the importance of modern medicine objects used in hospitals today.
“Crack”! Was the sound my left arm made as the horse I was riding flung me against the metal fence. The sound was deeply rooted within my body; it was very loud, but only loud enough for me to hear. As I sat up and glanced over my arm, the sight of it reaffirmed what had echoed moments ago: I broke my arm. The events that followed after are too painful to recount, but since the overall purpose of this column is “making” I had to reach far enough to reveal my appreciation for the objects that made my recovery possible.
As I was rolled out of the ambulance and into the ER, the hustle continued into the X-ray room and back into the observation room where a doctor and four male nurses tried their best to piece me back together. Their best method consisted of them pulling me up and down roughly and quickly, while telling me to hold myself together so they can do their job. It didn’t take long for me to feel the weight of the rolled cast that clung very tightly around my arm; in fact, it was so tight that what was exposed of my arm wasted no time in swelling and getting darker in color. The next day, the doctor informed me that metal plates were the only answer to my ailment. I was told I had to get two plates inserted in place of the fracture and screwed together.
My family thought it might be best to transfer me to another hospital; this is where my fascination with medicine began to stir. The new doctors that took on my case were alarmed at the poor quality of my cast and sent over a specialized casting technician to release my arm from its gypsum prison. This time around, the new cast was light and much more forgiving; just from the use of minimal casting materials and simpler techniques, thus a big fraction of my pain was alleviated. In the case of the metal plates, I was told I only needed one metal plate; its curved and perforated features shunned the need for screws to be inserted as well. Post-surgery, my room was lined with guests, most of whom shared their recollection of being treated for something and comparing who got what planted in their body and how they dealt with it.
All this has made me grateful for the treatment I received although it is not ideal to live through situations like beeping through airport security for having the metal plate accompanying me in my future travels and writing this article using one arm, but other people had to live with much worse and less tolerable obstacles. It also has made me look into the work of product designers who have created objects such as aesthetically appealing prosthetic wear for those who need it as well as the constant testing of various materials such as 3D printed objects as a substitute and solution for heavier materials used presently. Designing is one of the tools that when used correctly can become a factor in bettering the quality of life.
Note: both hospitals that I have been admitted to were generously provided by the UAE government for the public, the difference in treatments I have received stemmed from one hospital purely exercising better and much more dedicated management.
Moza Almatrooshi is an Emarati artist and designer. After attaining a BA from Zayed University Dubai in Interior Design in June 2013, Moza began her journey in trying to find a place in the creative industry in the UAE, starting with catching a plane to Italy to intern in the UAE Pavilion in the Venice Art Biennale 2013. Since then Moza has dabbled in several experiences such as architecture, design, event planning, art exhibitions, and writing for independent publications. Moza continues to journey through life, art, and design.
With mass production sweeping the globe, artisanal talents struggle to retain relevancy. This column celebrates the beauty and human value added to a product that is created with skilled hands.