Things you learn during an extended stay on crutches:
• That we as a nation have made incredible strides. We are innovators and overachievers capable of dreaming big and overcoming all manner of great hurdles. We’ve landed men on the moon and cured major ailments. We feed the world and, as far as I know, invented duct tape. Yet, we have never come up with anything better than the lowly, awful, excruciating device known as crutches. Why not? Millions of Americans a year get injuries and hobble around on these horrid things. Is this the best we can do? What about levitation or a third leg that you can strap on to your hip? How about crutches that walk for you, carrying you effortlessly to your destination?
Or at least add some frills to the wretched beasts, like drink holders or satellite radio. Nothing is more frustrating than digging a nice, cold frothy beverage out of the refrigerator, only to realize you don’t have enough hands to make it back to the sofa. One day I put a beer in the pocket of my shorts, and it nearly exploded it was shaken up so much.
• That co-workers can have an awful lot of fun at your expense. It’s so easy. All they have to do is put your crutches a little bit out of reach as they leave your office, or even more diabolical, change the height of them so you end up hunched completely over. A real cruel co-worker will just change the height slightly of one crutch so you end up walking around lopsided. It’ll take you days to realize what’s wrong, but will be a relief to realize that the world is not tilting at strange angles.
• That it is possible to rub your armpits off. And when I say rub off, I mean completely erase them from your body. You walk around on crutches long enough and you will totally pulverize your pits. And I have to tell you, armpit callous removal is neither fun, nor cheap.
Continue Reading »
The worst part of being laid up with an injury, besides that you sit on the couch so much that you might as well throw it away once you’re healed, is the long distance telephone care you get from your mother.
That’s not to be ungrateful or unappreciative. Moms will be moms, no matter if you’re three years old or 73. The truth is moms care and moms worry. And more than anything, moms want to be there for you and they think they know the answers, even if they have no idea what the problem is.
“Brian, did you ask them about clotting?” she quizzed me the day after my freak surfing injury a fin punctured my upper thigh and left me with 40 stitches on the surface, and many more in the muscle beneath. “There could be a problem with clotting. You know it runs in the family, and the doctor probably needs to know that.”
Continue Reading »
We were supposed to be on our way to Amelia Island to celebrate our 10th anniversary in a wonderful seaside lodge. Instead, I found myself firmly planted on the sofa in boxer shorts massaging a three-day-old beard and gathering up the strength to go…um…pee. How is it major injuries always hit right before momentous occasions?
I guess an explanation is in order. But first, some much needed thanks. To the outstanding paramedics who tended this wounded surfer on the beach last Thursday night; to the doctors and nurses in Flagler Hospital’s ER who laughed at my jokes while putting over 100 stitches in my thigh; and to our good friends Len and Kristy Weeks who happened to be there on the beach in my time of need and helped not only me, but also my wife and daughter as I stained the beach red.
“It’s pretty bad isn’t it?” I asked Len as he kneeled by my wounded leg. His answer I’ll never forget: “You know, Brian. I don’t really do that well with blood, so I’m trying not to look down there right now.”
Told me what I needed to know, and you guys were great. To all of you, I can’t thank you enough. You don’t know how much it means.
And a huge thanks to my traumatized wife who easily could have drawn up divorce papers right there, but played it cool, stuck by my side and never once said, “See, I told you surfing would kill you one day!”
Gather up enough information yet? Need more? Let’s just say that while surfing on a day that I had given blood, I took a tumble and my thigh tangled with one of the fins beneath my board. It didn’t just slash me like most fin injuries, but instead punched a hole in my wetsuit and punctured my thigh. Continue Reading »