Apparently, we were too caught up in the excitement of the day to smell the stink of disaster that hung in the air.
We rented our skates, joked about needing padding for our behinds, and headed out onto the ice. Twenty minutes later, I was surrounded by concerned staff (one who was looking a little sick), wondering how my kneecap had managed to make its way to the back of my knee.
The helpful doctors at the hospital ER confirmed something I had already started to suspect: ice skating is nothing like riding a bicycle. You do forget, it will not come back to you right away, and anyone over the age of 21 should not attempt it at home.
That’s right. For my 38th birthday, I found myself on crutches, with my knee so swollen that the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man’s legs look like a Rockette’s compared to mine.
I’ve had better birthdays.
Nothing is broken (except my ego), but I won’t know if I’ve torn my meniscus until the swelling goes down, which has yet to happen. I’ve quickly realized how fortunate I was in the past to be able to do things like carry a cup of coffee on my own or go to the bathroom without asking my coworkers to help me with the doors (those locks on the stalls can be tricky with crutches!) It’s very humbling to have to ask my friends to help me up the stairs or to microwave my lunch for me. Poor Jason has had to help me dress myself, tie my shoes, and maneuver up and down the stairs. My birthday was particularly tough, and when I hobbled home that night, I had a mild case of crybabyitis, followed by a bout of feeling sorry for myself.
Things perked up quickly, though. Jason had stopped by his parents’ house that day, and his mother sent him home with dinner for the two of us, which officially qualifies her as a saint in my book. My mother called me and let me wallow in self pity for a little while, which was really all I needed – someone to confirm for me that the whole situation did indeed suck, but that this too shall pass. And then Jason surprised me with my birthday gift – two volumes of Bloom County and a pound of Munson’s chocolates, which worked wonders to improve my mood. I was going to be all right after all.
So the lesson for today, boys and girls, is that if you are even thinking that although you haven’t been ice skating in 25 years, it might be fun to try again, DON’T do it. It won’t be fun and you will wind up with legs like the ones pictured below. Sure, it will be amusing when your nephews want to bring in photos of your injury for show-and-tell at school, but other than that, it really isn’t worth it.
The other lesson is that good chocolates, funny comic strips, and great family and friends can cure any ailment.
Now where is Jason with my @!$!! coffee?