Arrrgh, I have the perfect picture of the current torture device I must wear 'round my ankle right now, but I cannot upload it from my otherwise trusty Droid. Suffice it to say it has unceremoniously been dubbed Das Boot because, honestly, it isn't really helping me out pain-wise right now. What I CAN say is that I am 38 years young and I have possibly learned some lessons.
1. Even though my brain pretty much thinks I'm 25, or 21 on my best days, it reverted back to my preteen self the second I walked into the skating rink with my son for his school's skate party last night. I was never a roller queen as a kid, but I did enjoy it. I strapped those rental skates on with some relish, helped the little guy get his on, and we gamely stumbled into the carpeted area surrounding the huge, flat oval. He headed for the kiddie rink while I took a few turns around the big one, turns that weren't half bad considering I hadn't been near a rink in a couple of decades. The trouble began when I got back on that loud carpet to get the kiddo.
2. My powers of denial are something to behold. Truly. Put mine up against any current GOP presidential wannabes and I'd leave 'em all in the dust. Ankles already weakened from some trips 'round the concrete floor, plus even greater crowds of stumbling kids to avoid, plus having to make sure a stumbling little guy was staying intact led to my falling on my butt and trying to cushion the fall with my right elbow. My right foot was also not feeling so good. I carefully removed my skates right there, made it to the picnic table where I'd stashed our shoes, struck up a conversation with the parents of a new kid in my son's class, and asked them if they could get me some ice for my ankle. The elbow wasn't doing as bad at the time, but boy did that change. Dan was at a band practice near the lakefront, so it was just me and the little guy in Metairie. Don't even ask how I made it to Touro's ER. I'd probably have admitted even then, with the pain finally getting to me, that sheer denial that the swollen ankle could be more than a sprain, but hey, let's get it checked out for kicks was stronger than anything else getting me to a doctor last night.
3. ERs ain't nothing but elaborate reassurance machines, a reality I've only really had to face in relation to the little guy's care up to this point. The most the X-rays got me were crutches, Das Boot, and a Vicodin prescription Dan didn't think he could refill unless I was at our local pharmacy in person doing it, so I haven't had much more than a couple of ineffective Percocets until this afternoon. Putting me on crutches with this bum elbow is kinda ridiculous right now, but ERs are not known for expert interpretations of X-rays. Plus, I live on the second floor of a grand ol' New Orleans home with high ceilings, a house that is already four feet off the ground to begin with. Don't ask me how I got up 24 steps with a broken bone in my ankle and possibly a broken one in my elbow. "Possibly?" you're asking. I couldn't get in to see the orthopedist referred to me until tomorrow. Until then, I've gotta struggle. A good first step on the road to using my left hand more is, apparently, using chopsticks. Thanks for these lessons, Touro ER.
Ultimate moral? If you're old and decide to roller skate, wear pads. I talked about my dreams and fears about becoming a Big Easy Rollergirl to Dan in the ER waiting room, among them that I'd become injured and it'd throw the household out of whack because my primary responsibility is the care of the little guy, and he said, "Well, here's your biggest fear realized. Is it really so bad? Besides, roller derby's great exercise. You should go for it." He was dead serious. No idea if he'd fallen on his head on the way to helping me into the ER.
Then again...they say a broken bone becomes stronger after it's healed...and I wasn't wearing pads...oh, somebody stop me before I try out for the BERG!