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Life's little twists and turns

When I returned from San Diego earlier in the week, I had a desire to play basketball. So, I called a few of my friends, and we gathered at BU's gym Friday night about 6:45.

The four of us -- Brian, Geoff, Shane, and I -- formed a team for half-court play. We played very well together, winning most of the games we played. Geoff was the star of our team, as he rarely misses a shot anywhere on the court, plays good defense, and is a good rebounder.

But I was impressed by my contribution. I guess I have learned better how to use my size to my advantage; now all I need is to get in better shape, because my foot quickness on defense, while better than the last couple of weeks, is still not as good as it needs to be. But I was grabbing rebounds, setting screens, making shots, deflecting passes. I was doing a good enough job of playing the low post that at one point (after I had put back two straight rebounds for baskets) the opposing team changed its defensive match-ups to account for me.

As the evening wore on, fewer and fewer people hung around the gym. About 9:45, we finished up one game, and there was an accident on the other end of the court. There had been a collision and one kid turned his ankle pretty badly. I was starting to get the vibe from others that they were done playing for the evening. Despite having played for three hours and not having eaten for eight, I was rarin' to go. Brian, not about to let fat ol' Derek demonstrate better endurance than him, said, "Well, if you're not done, I'm not either." So, while the trainer was attending to the kid at the other end, Brian, Geoff, and I played a game of 21 (that's basketball one-on-one-on-one to 21 points). Geoff was beating both Brian and me pretty badly when I Geoff and I went up together for a rebound.

And that's the last basketball I'll be playing for a while.

I landed on the side of my right foot and felt my ankle roll under the weight of my massive body. I heard the ripping sound a split second before I felt the pain shooting through my body. I knew immediately that I was down for the count: I wasn't walking this one off.

I have a very weird habit. When I am in pain, I sing. Some people cry, howl, scream, etc., but I vocalize, sometimes quite loudly, depending on the level of pain. I was told I let out a few very loud, very resonant, head-turning tones.

Fortunately, I did not have to wait long for the trainer, since he was in the gym already. We decided that I couldn't put any weight on my ankle and that it would be best to call an ambulance. Better safe than sorry. I tossed Geoff and Brian my car keys amd asked them to meet me at the emergency room.

The other kid who hurt his ankle was hopping out of the gym, aided by his friends, when the EMTs arrived. They stopped to help him when someone told them that he wasn't their guy. This guy had skinny little legs and a lump the size of an orange sticking out of the side of his right ankle, a sign of a torn tendon that has rolled up. But he refused medical treatment, despite our insistence that he should get that looked at. I would have been willing to wait for the next ambulance, because his injury looked far worse than mine.

Ironically, the ambulance driver had recently turned her right ankle as well. One of the other EMTs was a complete freshman (might have been her first night on the job), and the third had taken voice lessons in college. Combined with the Nor'easter that was beginning, it made for a very entertaining ride to the hospital.

(I found the whole procedure quite entertaining. The EMTs strapped me into a wheeled stretcher with my arms crossed under a white blanket. I felt as if I were in a straight jacket. And my Hopkins was right on the money when I said, "Hello Clarisse," as I was wheeled out of the gym, eliciting a few laughs.)

I was checked in, had X-rays taken, and was discharged in a very short order. As expected, I don't have any fractures but quite possibly might have a ligament tear. I have to schedule a follow-up appointment with orthopaedics to have an MRI done. Soft cast on foot and crutches in hand, I walked out of the ER.

Brian drove me home in my truck. We went upstairs and he fixed us a couple of steaks I had in the fridge. We watched a little t.v. while we ate, and then I paid for his cab home...at about 3 in the morning.

This injury really threw a wrench into my weekend plans. As you all know, I love football. And, in my opinion, the most enjoyable football is played in the snow. So here we are, blizzard conditions on Friday and Saturday and a sunny but snow-covered day on Sunday, and I won't be able to play football. I can deal with the one-legged showers and other inconveniences, but I am really bummed about not being able to play football.

And, of course, there was the more immediate situation. Saturday was our scheduled book club meeting. Scotty lives in Dedham and has, for the past year-and-a-half, been driving up to Revere, Lynn, Medford, Cambridge, and Arlington without complaint, so this time we all agreed to drive to Dedham. And then the Nor'easter hit. After consulting everyone, we decided to continue with our original plans. I acted as the point person between the different parties in case there had to be a change of plans, but as long as there was just snow and no ice we would all probably make it. And I promised to give treacle_well a ride home afterwards, since we live so close to each other.

But the ankle complicated my plans far more than the weather did. I could no longer drive. I called JC to see if he could give me a ride, but he had opted to take the T rather than deal with driving in the storm. I called Michael but found out that he lives in Jamaica Plain (about halfway between where I'm at in Medford and our destination in Dedham). I called Aran and found out that he doesn't own a car and was taking the T from Medford to Michael's place. So, I called Keya and Dan. They agreed to take the huge detour from Revere to Medford to transport me.

For anyone who has never tried to walk through a foot of snow on crutches, I don't recommend it. Not only do the crutches serve as walking aid, they occasionally have to double as snow shovel as well. I found myself quite often using one crutch to sweep a path in front of me. Also, hopping along on one foot with crutches is not particularly easy when you can't see what's under the snow or when a crutch gets stuck in a deeper drift.

We saw several cars spinning out, and several more that had spun out before we got to them, but Dan, a native of Maine, ably maneuvered the snow-covered roads. We did eventually all make it down to Dedham safe and sound, albeit an hour and a half later than planned and at a different location. (Panera closed early because of the blizzard, so we had to convene at Friendly's.) We spent about an hour and a half discussing Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell. (An entertaining account of the revolt in heaven, but very two-dimensional and perhaps not worthy of being a book club selection.) And then we all headed home...

...sort of. Dan was the only one who drove, and we couldn't all cram into his car. We couldn't very well ask JC, Michael, and Aran to wait in the cold, driving snow for a bus that might or might not show up either. So Dan drove the three of them to the nearest T stop (15 minutes in good weather) and Scotty home. Then, an hour later, he returned to Friendly's to pick up Keya, treacle_well, and me and drive us all home.

So, now I am home, resting on the couch, wondering how the hell I'm going to manage to do the loads of laundry I have to do. And hoping I'll be able to put enough weight on my ankle tomorrow to allow me to drive to church.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2003 03:29 am (UTC)
well, if it's any consolation, it's a Whole 'Nother Movie with the extra footage.
Dec. 7th, 2003 04:18 am (UTC)
I wouldn't mind having the extra footage right now, if you know what I mean.
Dec. 7th, 2003 01:30 pm (UTC)
yes dear
i deliberately set you up for that. needed to provide you entertainment somehow...
Dec. 7th, 2003 04:57 am (UTC)
That sounds painful. I hope you're back on both feet soon.
Dec. 7th, 2003 06:34 am (UTC)
Dec. 7th, 2003 03:37 pm (UTC)
I hope you heal quickly!
Dec. 7th, 2003 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 7th, 2003 03:55 pm (UTC)
When I am in pain, I sing. Some people cry, howl, scream, etc., but I vocalize, sometimes quite loudly

And everybody claims that all those opera scenes where a character sings while dying in agony are unrealistic!

blizzard conditions on Friday and Saturday and a sunny but snow-covered day on Sunday

Say what? "Sunny"?

I'm sorry you got hurt. I hope you heal quickly.
Dec. 7th, 2003 05:44 pm (UTC)

I think it's an instinctual thing to want to release noise when I get hurt, but to do so in a vocally safe manner.
Dec. 8th, 2003 04:06 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about the ankle. If it is any consolation, I have a friend who used to always say "Ankles mend, but knees are forever."
Dec. 8th, 2003 04:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, tell me about it. I tore ligaments in my ankle in high school but was active again after several weeks. I have never injured my knees but have developed chronic patelar tendinitis which limits the amount of running, etc., I can do...and probably always will.
Dec. 8th, 2003 04:41 pm (UTC)
I have had a lot of problems with patelar tendinitis in the past for which biking seemed to solve a lot of the problem.
Dec. 8th, 2003 08:16 pm (UTC)
I've been told that biking is very good for patelar tendenitis. The way folks drive in this city, though, I absolutely refuse to bike in Boston.
Dec. 8th, 2003 09:21 pm (UTC)
Well, you are quite close to the bike path. Plus, you really do get used to biking in this town. The cars are predictably bad. In fact, you should know how the drivers will react from years of driving in this town. It's the peds that drive me insane, because they are so unpredictable.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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