Here’s a story of injuring oneself:
When I was about a year old, I had to get stitches across the back of my head. You see, I was one of those willful babies – the ones who wait until her mother’s head is turned so I can again try and reach the shiny bauble she’s pushed out of my reach on her cabinet. Also, the baby that reaches too high, too fast, slips and bashes her head on the foot of the bed. The Baby that has a crying screaming mother rush her to emergency all the while, screaming at the top of her tiny lungs because her head hurts. The gash was sewed up and you can’t even see it now, though my Mom insists it’s still there.
Then I was six, memories having faded of that particular incident, I somehow got whiplash. On my neck. I had to wear a donut shaped pillow – to school – for weeks in order to let it heal properly. There was much mocking. But it did heal. Though the mockery lived on.
Then it was grade three, a whole eight-and-three-quarters years old. I had this annoying habit of biting my nails, so I never tied my shoes – why? Because the dirt on the shoe laces would get on my fingers, making me not want to bite them which would drive me to distraction until I snuck out of the classroom to the bathroom to wash my hands so I can lay seige to my cuticles. So, when I was running for the door for recess and a classmate stepped on my shoelaces, I went flying and hit the door with the top of my head. Another stitching up at the hopsital. This time, my crying mother knew I was old enough to get yelled at about being responsible and what not. But that scar healed – barley a sliver of my skull that has no hair on it, covered by all the other hair.
Then I was in grade 6. Soccer team, first year. So exciting. I was subbing in for net one game (much to my chagrin) and of course, the other team’s much taller, much stronger, very dedicated forward kicks the ball at me. Lucky enough, I catch it, falling on top of it just as she reaches the net. But as I said, she’s dedicated and the whistle hasn’t blown yet – so she starts trying to get at the ball … by kicking me repeatedly. Kicks me so hard, the fat pad of my knee is dislocated, making this horrible cracking sound when I stand up. Six weeks of rehab therapy, and it’s mostly okay.
Then grade eight. Nearly fourteen now. Soccer, again. Again, subbed in for net. This time, I catch the ball by jumping in front of a defensegirl. Only … she doesn’t see me. Kicks out and catched my left hand. Two broken fingers, taped up and boarded for weeks until they feel. They still get stiff when I have been typing too long.
Then high school. All about heels (a whole other post on that …) and short uniform quilts and girl power, and hell, even some boys. But no real injuries. Sure, I fell once going down the path – tripped on a waylaid brick and fell on my stomach, the wind rushing out of my lungs with an “Owies!” that two of my friends will never cease reminding me of. But all in all, I was pretty injury free.
And University and two law schools. No huge injuries.
Then last May.
I tripped over a pothole, as stupid as that sounds. And of course, I severely sprained my ankle. Man, did it hurt. Even lifting it high, not touching a thing, it throbbed and pain shot up my leg and curled my toes. It sucked – royally. But that first night, when the only relief was an extra strength Advil, I thought to myself “Meh, it will get better in a couple of days, a couple of weeks at most.”
Ladies and gentlemen – I still haven’t gone back to the gym. Whenever I have attempted to run, my ankle starts throbbing again, and the thought of the elliptical makes me cringe.
And it took me until last night to realize: Damn, I am no longer that young, am I?
I am not even thirty, but I feel ancient (thanks a lot, pot hole), because my ankle is not healing like all my other injuries. it’s not doing it’s thing and going away, it’s keeping, and it’s staying and it’s driving me nuts.
And the Boy, in the nicest way possible, agreed with me – with that long, pitying look that seemed to suggest he’d come to the conclusion that I was no longer eighteen eons before me …
The idea of getting old has never bothered me. When I was nine I distinctly remember telling my parents’ friends that I was nearly a decade old, with all the worldliness of a person who thinks she’s a decade old (a whole decade!) can muster. When I was seventeen, I remember waiting with bated breath for eighteen – I could vote! I could drink (in Montreal)! I could be called for jury duty!
The point is that again never seemed to scare me any.
Then this happened. The slow healing process really took a toll on my mentally. I can’t help but keep thinking to myself that this is not the way it used to be. And that’s scary.
Anyone else coming to terms with their own aging bodies? Sneaks up on you, doesn’t it …