Saturday, April 01, 2006

How I Became Linear and Logical (-or- Lesson 47 : Free Fall and the Acceleration of Gravity)

The mountains jut up from the edge of town

They are tranquil and do not intend to harm you

We do not mean any harm either

But steep is steeper then good intentions


This is a one-handed, two-footed effort, and a total pain in the ass. My left foot cramps when a word is more then two syllables. I cannot keep up with my thought process this way.

So this is it. I broke my wrist in a violently explosive toss while snowboarding on a black diamond run. I was blue skies and bent knees till suddenly I wasn't.

I remember distinct thoughts between moments of successive impact. The very first thing was the snapcrack... worrying about my camera... impatient that I was still falling, remembering then on the next bounce that it was actually a very steep hill. (that last notion helpful, apologetic...)

I sat up, assessed myself and decided to ride down. My wrist was limp and trembling. My mother had ridden an adjacent chair up we had planned to meet halfway down. I found her waiting, refused to let her call for Ski Patrol and rode out the rest of the hill, edging and sometimes carving. I fell once. My mother skied down behind me. When I got to the bottom I was seeing stars and thought this was not my best moment. I was deeply and genuinely miserable.

The clinic staff set me with oxygen breathing tubes which eventually relieved my nausea and general bloodlessness. They were so familiar with wound and torment that my trauma normalized and I even took the time to note cheerily that the finger-thingy captured a resting heart-rate of 47 beats per minute. (Yessss!)

They iced, X-rayed, shot me with horse needles of novocaine, tractioned my arm and set my wrist with aerobic passion. I took two panting people to wrestle the bones into place. I do not recommended this experience. It is exotic and psychologically traumatic. The pain, and absence of pain, awareness of absence and general brutality of the event is scarring.

But I love them for they were kind and they fixed me.

For two more days my mother tended to every blanket-tucking, tea-sipping need she could invent till I was fairly bursting with well-being and self determination and snapped that I might damn well do something for myself. But I enjoyed my luck immensely.

We spent a whole afternoon making endless phone calls, setting tentative and progressively more timely and attractive appointments with various orthopedic surgeons back home. We revised the future and optimized the event until we were utterly convinced that the fall is a brilliant stroke of luck and that a broken wrist had prevented a dire and ill fated chain of events.

(Now I am home and I miss her terribly. )

Where I once had loose skin over my knuckle I now have a deep, taut dimple

This is a horribly timed and deeply ironic event. Everyone knows how I wrung my hands over the QE. Failing would have meant I would not be able to start an internship this spring term (beginning Monday, the day after tomorrow). I would have had to wait until next fall to test again, delaying my internship until next winter. Student loan money would be available only after stringent appeals...stress, wages lost, general malaise and reckoning with failure...

Now, a few short days before starting that coveted internship and my final term I break my left wrist... the most relevant bone in my body being a left-handed sign language interpreter. Most very likely I cannot work, no student loan money is coming, internship delayed, no health insurance, lost wages including potential interpreting income, no Pear Blossom, no running at all, financial holocaust, doom.doom.doom.

I really can't say anything definative until I meet with the surgeon but even after my prelimary audit of risk and loss, worst-case scenerios, I don't feel at all hopeless.

My baby, when I called him he said WE'LL MAKE IT THROUGH and met me at the airport with flowers. He is right, we will survive. My luck is pure gold and my timing is impeccable, and I am nothing, have nothing without the people who love me.

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