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Monday April 28, 2008 // By Sandy

Bad break

Fighting off a stray cougar. Defending pedestrians from a runaway tractor-trailer. Motorcross jumping over seventeen school buses. Fending off a shark. Getting my bone replaced with Adamantium.

Just a few of the many possibilities that do NOT explain why my left forearm is wrapped in a new, stunningly solid fiberglass cast. None of these are true, yet they’re all full pay grades better than the honest truth. I know because every time I’m asked what happened, and I naively launch into the story as it really happened, I’m met with stares of disappointment and pity. Then those stares morph into wide eyes and out come suggestions for something better, something that involves a much higher risk of death, something that justifies the careless sacrifice of healthy bone structure.

In the interest of historical record, here is the god’s honest truth, no exaggeration. I fell off my bike. I was accelerating from a stop, up a slight incline, shifting my weight from pedal to pedal. Rather dramatically. No one was around, and I was close to my destination, and I was a little bored. A few seconds and a patch of loose gravel later, my wheel slipped and I was flying toward the earth with nothing to save me but my instincts. These instincts are the same ones I spend hours every day honing and preventing me from falling prey to my inner klutz. In this case, though, the best it could come up with was: Put out your hand, fool! Crunch.

The pain was immediate, but I honestly thought it might be a sprain. I iced it for a day and took a healthy regimen of painkillers, but a day later it was no better. So that afternoon, I and my high-deductible insurance plan walked into an orthopedist’s office and got x-rayed. Diagnosis: a minor chip, to the tiny lunate bone. Six weeks in a cast.

It’s not bad, really. It’s definitely not as bad as it could be. For one thing, my wrist no longer hurts at all. The biggest pain is the reduction of mobility, but even that is tempered. I don’t have two full hands, but it’s like I’ve got one and three-quarters. For instance, I can still do all of the following:

  • Type
  • Unlock and open doors
  • Control an iPod
  • Ride my bicycle
  • Run a 5K

(My first-ever 5K was Saturday, and I had to do it with a cast on. I don’t think they credited me time for that.)

Then there’s the stuff I can’t do:

  • Juggle
  • Throw a frisbee
  • Swim
  • Shower without the help of a plastic bag
  • Unscrew jars and bottles

Not so bad. But, really, it’s this last one…

  • Wash dishes

... that almost makes it all worth it. Being a cripple can have its advantages. Five weeks to go.

Posted by alison // Apr 29, 11:50
Posted by Peter Weisz // Apr 29, 13:48
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