Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Emergency Loser Room

This morning I broke my left arm at the wrist, shattering the distal radius into several pieces. Because I fell while skateboarding, I don't deserve or expect much pity. Assumption of risk and all that.

Still, though, I'll swing my remaining good arm at anyone who denounces me as an irresponsible clutz. Consider the two mitigating factors. First, I fell while supervising my daughter and her friend as they biked and scootered, respectively, around a large park in our town. I couldn't very well let them tour the premises alone, nor could I have easily kept up on foot. Hence my skateboarding.

Second, I fell not because I'm an awful skateboarder (I'm about average) but because I was trying to become a better one. I found the terrain so unchallenging that I decided to reverse my customary footing, putting my right foot forward instead of my customary left one. It feels a bit like writing left-handed to do such a thing. But advanced skateboarders routinely skate both "regular" and "goofy-footed," so I reasoned that the challenge would improve my skills. Alas, though, I fell awkwardly, and on concrete.

Though I am naturally feeling a fair amount of discomfort (hence my sleepless blogging), I count myself lucky. I hurt only my left wrist after all, and face a good prospect of a complete, if tediously long, recovery. I've been very impressed with how technology has advanced since I last broke a bone, back in the mid 80s. Back then, fortunately, I didn't need the sort of operation I'll almost certainly require this time. I'm not yet sure just what I'll get—screws, plates, pins, or what, but I'm confident it will work well. At the very least, it will prove more exacting than the self-administered resetting I performed at the park when, seeing my lower arm out of sorts, I grasped my left wrist firmly and, with some grinding and snapping, squeezed it into a more pleasing configuration.

I had no trouble finding the emergency room. We'd been there the day before to get A.J. patched up. She lost a wrestling match with her pajama tops and fell on bunk bed's railing, cutting her lip pretty deeply. She did not take it very calmly, I'm afraid. She squealed like a stuck pig about the pain and, when a phone call to the doctor confirmed our suspicions, yelled with fury, "I am NOT going to the emergency room! I WON'T! No, no, NO!" For some odd reason—a premonition, perhaps?—she added, "Emergency rooms are for LOSERS!"

You needn't worry about her. She got a single stitch and, as evidenced by the mishap that befell me while chasing her at the park, has returned to her customary diversions. If you want to worry, worry about whether our family can avoid a third trip in as many days to the emergency loser room.


dgm said...

i think kai and i will just sit home on the couch today. either that, or we should invest in a hospital parking pass.

anonymous said...

I wish you a speedy recovery!

lizriz said...


I waver between sympathy and "go you"! I am dying to learn how to skate board, but I fear I may turn 80 before I get to it.

Get well soon! :)

Greyfeld said...

What a spam! You're to old to be breaking those bones, they just don't heal like they used when you had time to burn.

Tom W. Bell said...

Thank you, Anon & lizriz, for your well-wishing. I think that greyfeld, however, more accurately captures my own sentiments. But, still, he's a flim-flam him-hammer, whose head I cup.

[Few of you will recognize that sort of code-speak, which does not translate very well in dry prose. Indeed, unless you went to high school with me, it probably doesn't translate at all. I can only say that you missed some major double-backhanded cupage.]

Anonymous said...

i broke my distal radius also (colles fracture)left arm & im left-handed also. i too old for this kind of thing, well im contemplating retiring anyhow (from skatboarding i mean)