Tag Archives: my body betrays me

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

scooter

San Diego transportation, in style.

I don’t mean to brag, but I just got an 18-pack of Bud Light for $13.69 and BOGO parmesan cheese—I feel a sense of accomplishment. (Also, on Thursday I finished my book just in time for PTI—talk about vacation, right?)

Oh, yeah, and I got my cast off yesterday. (Woooooooo…ew, my body is vile.)

But the biggest accomplishments of this vacation—indeed, the whole point of it—centered on my trip to San Diego. Here are some of the things I did:

  • Sat next to a guy who was even more freaked out about the choppy-droppy flight than I was. (Seriously, he was shaking and twitching.)
  • Negotiated a two-minute layover in ATL. On crutches.
  • Learned  how to use a knee scooter like a skilled, responsible pedestrian.
  • …and then rode it bicycle-style down a hill before Thing 2 pushed me across the street.
Wore a basket.

Wore a basket.

  • Diagnosed the difference between a heat wave in Florida and one in SD. (AC is, apparently, optional in SoCal.)
  • Bought additional shorts and tank tops at Target.
  • Shopped for sugar skulls and socks and shot glasses in Seaport Village, Spanish Art Village, Hillcrest and Ocean Beach.
  • Saw sandcastles!
beaver

Took awesome pictures.

  • Slept with the door open.
  • Did my fantasy football draft in a dark, cool bar at 4 p.m. (Verdict so far? Fuck yeah Wes Welker.)
  • Witnessed a plethora of bananas.
  • Bonded with Thing 2’s friends over football, beer and Intervention.
  • Caught up on My Drunk Kitchen.
Hell yeah dancing bananas.

Hell yeah dancing bananas.

  • Got coffee at five different coffee shops and drinks at 10 different bars in six days.
  • Ate burgers, carbonara, pizza, pigs in blankets, homemade salsa and five different kinds of tacos.
  • Played “Boy Named Sue,” “Doin’ It” and “Brave” with a single jukebox dollar.
  • Danced in a stranger’s apartment.
Wore a pig.

Wore a pig.

    • Skyped with Thing 1 in Raleigh. (With special guest appearance by Captain Slack!)
    • Spent an afternoon/evening brewery-hopping for three different San Diego samplers and some home brew nightcaps.

And now? At long last, wrote a blog.

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Not as Good a Long Day

footTV

Started out a standard Sunday: Up at 10 for Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Radiolab, leftover pizza and coffee. Settled in with some Fandemonium and laundry.

2 p.m. left for the rink for our 3:15 game.

3:45 contemplated vomiting in pain.

Game had started well enough; got an assist. But not long after that, I was rushing to the back boards to get a puck that had been dumped in. Just before I got there, I turned in anticipation of (hopefully) snatching the puck clean and pulling it behind the net.

Instead, I lost an edge and in a blink went feet-first into the boards.

Feet-first always looks bad—it’s not an unusual source of hockey injuries—but I’ve done it a hundred times without incident, usually because I have time to position myself and/or bend my knees to absorb the impact. But this happened so fast. I saw a flash of light and for a brief moment thought, “Oh, this is one of those things that just looks bad.”

But within moments, the pain crept in, leaving me scooting forward on my hands and knees, and then knees and elbows, head on the ice.

Two guys—one from each team—helped me to the bench, one skate gliding, the other hanging.

There on the little recessed goalie bench, in a shaky daze of adrenaline, I took off my helmet. And there was a roach in it.

Apparently in times of sweaty, adrenalized semi-consciousness, bugs haunt me. It’s like they’re my incapacitated spirit animals or something.

Seriously—and this is the only time I will ever say this—but I couldn’t give a damn about the roach. The pain was preoccupying. Then after a few minutes I started pouring sweat and feeling nauseous. I wasn’t ever aware of an imminent fainting (although I’m not sure you ever see that coming without following through), but I figured I might have to throw up on someone’s backup stick, because I couldn’t fathom moving beyond leaning forward, and even throwing up on my pants didn’t seem to be something I should care about at the moment.

It was halfway through the first; a full period and a half went by before I could pay attention to the game. I’d left the team with eight skaters, and even as they scurried around me exhausted, I couldn’t even contemplate what was going on on the ice. I wanted to, but nothing existed beyond my lower left leg.

But that was the worst of it. After the game, with lots of hopping and scooting and help from my friends, me and my stuff got sorted out and stuffed in my car. Mrs. Harrible accompanied me to the ER, where Ma and Krazy Kevin eventually joined us. The docs gave me drugs and a splint and crutches and a diagnosis: broken fibula.

splinting

The PA prepares my splint.

So that’s that. After post-hospital dinner and a trip to CVS (yay pharmacy drive-through), I didn’t get home until 10. It took me five minutes to make it from car to door—my gear stayed put—and simply walking from here to there is now an awkward, painful spasm of hops, stumbles and crutches akimbo that leaves me panting and sweaty. My right leg is already exhausted. Every little task is some combination of baffling and grueling: feeding the cat; getting my water glass from the kitchen to the couch. I haven’t yet figured out an approach to bathing that would be sufficient for hockey stink.

ma kevin

Krazy Kevin keeps Ma entertained over dinner.

Still. Intense physical pain has a way of singeing off neuroses; hydrocodone amplifies that effect. So thanks to those two, I’ve mostly been basking in the loveliness of friends and acquaintances alike—feeling sincerely appreciative of the attention, instead of the guilt and embarrassment I’d expect to feel:

  • A total stranger from the other team helping get me to the bench.
  • Teammates I’ve only known through a handful of games gathering my gloves and helmet and skate and stick and socks from the bench, asking after me in the locker room, fetching an office chair to roll me to the lobby, even spending quality time with my stank feet to strap ice onto my leg with an Ace bandage.
  • Steadfast friends Krazy K and Mr. Harrible, one on each side, escorting me across the ice, taking great care navigating doors and corners.
  • Mrs. Harrible cheerfully taking me to the hospital in my own car, running inside to grab a wheelchair and dropping me off before parking the car, then joining me in the exam room.
  • Ma coming just to be there.
  • Krazy Kevin arriving after playing his second game of the afternoon, popping in to say hi, then staying another half hour alone in the waiting room because I was only allowed two visitors at a time.
  • Ma picking up the dinner tab to show her gratefulness, too, to these friends.

I’d gladly give my left leg for experiences like that.

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Sick Day

For all that it sucks to suffer a perpetual throat tickle and spasm rattling my lungs, there’s a loveliness to a phlegmy day at home. If this were a Saturday, I’d feel a pang of obligation to accomplish chores or do something more profound to better my life. Or I’d feel like I wasn’t truly relaxing to full capacity, and I’d have to come up with some elaborate recreation.

If I were at work right now, I’d feel guilty for not working. (Or, worse still, I’d actually be working.)

But since I dragged my laptop back to bed at 8:13 a.m. to send an email to my bosses, I could lie there dozing and surfing (and coughing) for a guilt-free three extra hours, only to get out of bed because the article I was reading about palliative care mentioned cottage cheese and mayonnaise, and I realized I really wanted some 50s-tastic pear salad (canned pear half, cottage cheese, spoonful of mayo, and shredded cheddar, if you’re feeling fancy). And also, I had to pee.

Resettled semi-upright on the couch, I watched SportsCenter long enough to see the Red Wings highlight, which still involved way too much Tiger Woods, then turned to Lifetime for a sweet, sweet Will & Grace marathon. When I felt like standing up, I padded over to the dining table to work on my 1,000-piece puzzle of Broadway Playbill covers. The cat did calisthenics.

My sick day: puzzle, cat, infomercial.

My sick day: puzzle, cat, infomercial.

And I am developing new and profound awareness of myself. Like how I would kick the absolute snot out of that Dance Moms behemoth. And this scented deodorant may have been a bad idea.

At 12:45 p.m., I made my morning coffee. But I didn’t have real coffee, so I used instant powder. And I didn’t have sugar, so I used honey. And I didn’t have milk, so I used Breyer’s Reese’s Peanut Butter ice cream.

One might think I should go to the grocery store. Except no: This is a sick day.

Aw, hell. Will & Grace is over. Ooh, never fear: The Wire season four finale.

Perhaps the sick day’s weirdest freedom of all is the complete absence of a mandated schedule. I kept thinking I was waiting for something—for 5:30, as I normally would be—but there’s nothing to wait for. Godot is not coming, nor did I expect him. If the day was to have a milestone, I’d have to mark it myself. And I dunno. That sounded like a lot of work.

My biggest ambition thus far? Epic grilled cheese. Caramelized onions en route.

At 2:30 p.m., I strolled out to the curb to get the mail—barefoot and in my matching horsey PJs. And the mailbox was empty. Low point of the afternoon. I realized that, barring a surfeit of lung mucus, I’d have to go to work tomorrow. I realized I’d have to take a shower at some point. I felt like I should exercise. I thought about getting a jump on tomorrow’s tasks. I was a disappointment. I eyed the dirty dishes.

Ooh, No Reservations? Yes, please.

horsey

Horsey PJs. Giddy up, bitches.

4 p.m. found me mid-round of Wii golf, doubt creeping in about the day’s value. You guys, I really miss Will & Grace. I assured myself that shooting a -13 and then reading TIME on the porch was of exceptional benefit to my health. And for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything better to do.

At 4:15 I realized I hadn’t seen the cat in four hours. And then I thought, “Y’know, when I compare my productivity with hers, I’m incredibly accomplished today. Frankly, I’m a little worn out.”

And then I bogeyed the 17th. Stupid cat.

5 p.m. Quittin’ time. No more murky sense of obligations neglected; suddenly sitting on the couch watching TV becomes appropriate again.

Whew. Rough day. Time to kick back and…keep watching TV. Tomorrow’s not gonna get any easier.

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