Yesterday I posted about my dad having surgery for a hernia that he pretty much knew he had for a month. Later in the evening, I was laying on the bed doing something on my phone when I dropped it onto my face. The top edge (I have an iPhone 4S, and the case I have on it, while kind of heavy, leaves the top front edge exposed) hit me in the chin, actually breaking the skin a little. An inch higher and I would have had to make an embarrassing return to the dentist’s office.
It got me to thinking about the dumbest injuries I’ve suffered. That one is certainly up there, but I thought of two others, and both happened when I was in seventh grade.
Sometime in mid-March, I went to a local playground with my dad, my sister, and a friend to shoot some hoops. It was going…well, I mean, about as well as you’d expect four horrible basketball players to do. I was, however, getting nearly every rebound, because I was taller than both my friend and my sister, and my dad wasn’t trying.
After one hilariously pathetic attempt at an acrobatic layup, I found myself under the basket as the missed shot came down. Not content to let one go by the wayside, I reached for the ball, arching my back as I leapt in the air over whoever was next to me.
I did not get the rebound. Instead, I ended up on the ground in a crumpled mess. With the weird angle, and the physics of trying to reach backwards over someone, I had hurt my back. Walking was no longer fun, and basketball was out of the question. My middle school marching band was performing in a St. Patrick’s Day parade the next day; suffice to say, I did not take part. I went to the doctor and found out that despite the agonizing pain, all I’d done was strain a muscle. He gave me some muscle relaxers that zonked me out in the living room chair; to this day, that may be the last time I went to sleep before midnight.
Unfortunately, this was also the final week of tryouts for the baseball team, so I ended up as a manager, since the coach was also my soccer coach. I went to games and kept the scorebook, and also went to practice.
Coach had told me that at some point during the season, I would probably get a chance to play. That went by the boards a month later.
From time to time, my sister and I were allowed to get something from the Jack & Jill ice cream truck. One Sunday evening, I was playing ball with some of the guys that lived on the street when my sister bounded of the house with money. I guess my mom wanted a popsicle, so we could get something as well. I hemmed and hawed on what to get, so my sister said she was going to get me a “Firecracker.” You’ve seen them before, those red, white, and blue popsicles that, if you suspend your disbelief, can kind of resemble a rocketship.
I quickly decided I wasn’t having that, so I yelled after her to get me one of the chocolate milkshake-y type things that I don’t remember the name of. She kept going, not hearing me. Instead of just accepting the inferior product and moving on with my life, I went up the street after her. She had a head start, so I started jogging.
About 15 feet into my journey, I came across a block of sidewalk that was uneven. I had walked, and run, up this sidewalk a hundred times; I knew it was there, and avoided injury every time.
Every time, that is, except this one.
This time, my toe hit that block and I went down. I put my hands out to break my fall, but I was in front of a house that had an elevated yard of sorts, and the grass was surrounded by some kind of fancy rock. As my left hand shot out to break the fall, it smashed into the rock structure and the ground at nearly the same time.
I got up and looked at my hands. My right hand was scraped up, but my left hand had a flap of skin that was hanging off near my pinky. It wasn’t bleeding, so the scrape wasn’t very deep, but the hand hurt quite a bit nonetheless. I started walking back to my house to get cleaned up when one of the guys I was playing with yelled across the street and asked me where I was going.
“I fell,” I said, holding up my hand. “I might be back, I don’t know.”
I went inside and explained to my mother what had happened. She used a nail clipper to cut off the hanging skin and helped me clean up the scrapes. When she made contact with my pinky, however, it really hurt. Not the stinging associated with scrapes, but actual pain.
My evening was done. I showered (carefully), and we wrapped up my finger to protect it. While we were doing triage on my injury, we got a phone call from the mother of the boy I had spoken to after falling; apparently, when he saw the white flap of skin on my hand, he thought it was my bone sticking out and had told his mother that I broke my hand.
It turns out, he wasn’t far off. After a day and a half of no improvement, I went to the doctor and had x-rays. The doctor, who I remember to this day first and foremost because of his aggressive nose hair, showed me a little chip in my pinky, right above the first knuckle.
I had broken my finger chasing an ice cream truck.
He gave me a plaster-ish splint that went from the middle of my forearm up to the base of my fingers. A cast wouldn’t be necessary…until I went back for a follow-up visit and it turned out I had broken the splint, probably within 24 hours of getting it. That’s when the cast went on.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my sister had no idea what had happened until she got home with the loot. She never heard me yelling after her, and she bought me that stupid Firecracker.
I never ate it.