No, this isn’t a post about drugs. I’ve broken my arm. Fractured the radial head, according to the doctor. Rather sounds like something a mechanic would say about a car, doesn’t it?
I wish there were an interesting story to go along with the injury. A rough landing while skydiving. A Memorial Day cruise on a private yacht with a slippery teak deck. Or even a few too many drinks and an ill-conceived attempt at reviving break dancing. But the truth is I simply opened the door to check on the steaks I was grilling, and the next thing I knew I was face down on the patio, having scraped my knees and hands raw as I tumbled down the steps. It’s a clean, relatively minor fracture. I may need some physical therapy to loosen up the elbow once the cast comes off, but no lasting evidence of my clumsiness.
The inconvenience of it all shows itself every few minutes. Try buttoning your pants with only one hand. Or tying your shoe. Or even blowing your nose. Ive not worked out how I will drive these next weeks. I ordered my own car with a manual transmission, so driving it is out of the question. This pains me…I do love my car. Darling will, of course, grudgingly trade cars with me, but the thought of making hard turns one handed doesn’t seem too safe, and fastening a seat belt over my injured arm presents difficulties.
Getting dressed is another issue. I can’t manage buttons at all, not a problem at home, where I can laze around in sweats or gym shorts, but I can’t very well have a coworker button my fly every time I have to answer nature’s call, now can I? The sleeves of my usual work clothes don’t go over my cast. So, today I set aside my one rule of fashion “never purchase clothing from a store that also sells produce“, and bought a stock of $7 polo shirts from Wal Mart, a store whose size Medium shirts could, in a pinch, be altered into shower curtains.
I also can’t shower. Today, we cut off the t shirt I’d been wearing since my accident, and I did take a bath. Darling had to help me in and out, and sit on the side to double as an arm rest, but we made it work.
And how has Mama reacted to this unfortunate incident? Well, in typical fashion, naturally. She’s never more “on” than when someone is injured, ill, or suffering. The phone rings every two hours or so. Usually, just as Ive managed to get comfortable or finally nodded off for some hard-to-come-by sleep. And it’s always the same conversation. “what drugs did they give ya?”, “how many milligrams?” “how’d you do it again?”, “was ya drinking?”. “I’ll come down and help if you need me to.” (I’d rather be put in a medically induced coma, thanks.)
Now, regular readers have probably gathered that mama is prone to hypochondria. A TV ad for a new illness will result in her being tested for it within the week. Mention your allergies, your stomach bug, or your headache, and she’ll have one of her own before the conversation ends. Darling wondered how long it might be before Mama broke her arm, and sure enough the phone rang this morning with a message saying “my arm is just about to kill me. must be sympathy pains I reckon.” As she chattered on, asking the same questions over and over, she wondered if I’d thought of my sister today.
“Not really, why?”
“It’s memorial day!”
“She wasn’t a veteran.”
“Memorial day is for our veterans who’ve lost their lives.”
“It is not, its for remembering your lost loved ones.”
“Well, technically, its for veterans…” She turned to Kenny to see if I was right.
“Well, that ain’t right. Ain’t right at all! They ought to make it fer everybody!”
And a few minutes later…”I cain’t believe you broke yer arm. You ain’t never broken nothing but your thumb. Then you move to South Carolina and break your arm.” This comment is funny on several levels. I broke a finger as a child, never my thumb. I broke my nose swimming, and my other arm in a car accident. And I have lived in South Carolina for over 12 years now…it’s not as if I fell off the steps of a bus as I came to a new town.
“It was my pinky, not my thumb.” I don’t know why I bothered.
“no, it was yer thumb. And your daddy took ya to the beach and got it wet.”
“I’m certain it was my pinky.”
“Well, Im gonna have to pull out those x ray films and prove you wrong.”
“You have the xrays from when I broke my finger in 4th grade?”
“I guess I ought to get rid of ’em, huh?”
“you sure it wasn’t yer thumb?”
“well, gitcha some rest youngin’. I always see things like this as the good Lord’s way of tellin’ us to slow down.”
Sigh. If she “slowed down” any further, they’d check for a “do not resuscitate” order.