But, alas, I was leisurely walking and stepped in a gap between someone's driveway and the sidewalk and lurched forward onto the ground. I remember watching my hand as it stretched in front of me to brace my fall. Next thing I knew I was oh-so-slowly pulling myself up off the ground using the same outstretched hand to feel the blood on my lip that had smacked the pavement - all while I gingerly moved my banged-up knees. I slowly made my way home and when I walked in the door Mark appropriately said, "It looks like you've been in a fight."
I put an ice pack on my lip, checked my front teeth for any cracks, cleaned my knees, and though I felt like having a good cry, did not thanks to a mom and three brothers who taught me long ago that being overly dramatic when injured is not a positive attribute. As the day went on, though, my elbow started throbbing and I moved the ice pack off my lip and onto my arm.
At Sunday dinner that night I related my tale of woe to the kids who come every week for a family meal. They could see the fat lip and the bloodied knees and when I winced when I tried to put my elbow on the table they said all the right things, but I am the mom after all, and sucking it up is #1 on the job description. Even as banged up as I had gotten that day I managed to make most of our dinner for six so just how bad off could I be?
Every movement of my arm that week hurt and Mark said, "You probably jammed it." I wasn't getting enough sympathy for my jammed arm as far as I was concerned. I still went to work, I still made dinner (but left grocery shopping to my husband), I still threw towels in the washing machine even if it was at a slower pace and with one hand firmly on the handrail every time I went up and down the stairs. At the following Sunday dinner my left arm was old news replaced by something else and when I put my elbow on the table without wincing that must have meant I was getting better. But if I dared to reach or lift with that banged-up appendage it hurt like crazy. I kept dosing with Ibuprofen and icing it but after ten days of it not getting much better I finally made an appointment with the doctor.
When you go to a teaching medical center for your care you are often seen first by medical students - little Doogie Howsers that look like they are a week out of middle school. They can either be incredibly enthusiastic about your problem or terribly nervous basket cases. I got the former this time. In the family med office I am sure that anything outside of a cold, allergies, or stomachache on the last appointment of the day must be a thrill for the medically young and eager. My Dr. Doogie did all kinds of exercises on my arm and concluded that it was "probably jammed" but, thankfully, it was not his call to make but the real doctor who would come in after him. The Real Doctor pushed his thumb into a few spots until he hit the magic one that brought tears to my eyes and said, "I think you just jammed it but I'm going to send you for an xray anyways. Go get it and come back here and we'll look at it."
Thirty minutes later the three of us were looking at a picture of a fracture in the bone above my elbow and to these men in the room and the one at home I wanted to shout, "YOU GUYS AND YOUR JAMMING? WELL, LOOKIE HERE. I'VE BEEN INJURED. INJURED BAD." This kind of hairline crack requires no cast (thank you thank you thank you) but a convalescence of babying it while it heals. No lifting, no pushing, no vacuuming, no pulling, no pressure on it at all and a recheck in two weeks.
After I left the office I called my husband to
And then she spoke these words of pure gold, "I kind of think this family owes you an apology."
"Because this family thought I was faking?"
I already knew that but I took that consideration of an apology and hid it in a secret place like the jewel that it was, so that the next time I take a hit and jam-who-knows-what I've got something to fall back on.