Broken Wrist, Or, Life-Long Learning November 14, 2014

I can’t say that breaking my wrist playing hockey was high on the to-do list.

It actually comes quite far after Go to Galapagos Before Ancient Tortoises Die Choking on Plastic Bags, and Don’t Get Killed in Alaska, and even Take Out Garbage, although a tad before Develop Post Concussion Syndrome, as one of my hockey buddies pointed out as I came out of shock in the dressing room.

“I’d rather break my wrist than get a concussion,” I think she said. “With a concussion you can get headaches for years. But six weeks in a cast and you’ll be fine.”

IMG_1660Inglorious truth: I wasn’t flinging myself to the ice to save a goal during a crucial play-off game. I caught an edge during a noon-hour shooting drill and fell badly, landing on my left wrist. I’d never broken anything other than my baby toe before, but I knew right away that my wrist was broken, an amateur diagnosis that was confirmed when my doctor friend Sue skated over.

“That might be a Colles’ fracture,” she said. Since Sue is in fact a psychiatrist, it was probably a far kinder diagnosis than she could have made—although to be fair, no one has actually asked me why in hell I play hockey when I’ve got so much else going on that I can’t really afford to be injured.

However, since I do play hockey and I did break my wrist, I’ve decided to look for the upside, which is this:

1) I can feel smug when people post articles on Facebook about how we’re all too busy and need to slow down. Given the fact I can’t drive and that it took 20 minutes this morning to put on my jeans, I am slowed.

2) I’d actually planned to slow down so I could write my new novel, and can’t now be pulled into other commitments and opportunities to, for instance, earn money.

3) I have learned the use of the second Shift key on the keyboard for right-handed people.

4) I have also learned about a teenage you tube theme from my niece, Rachel, who very sweetly phoned to ask how I felt. We chatted for a while, then she asked, “Are you doped up on painkillers? Because you sound like my friend who got her wisdom teeth out, and she made this hilarious video and put it up on you tube. You know those videos people make after they get their wisdom teeth out?”


5) I had planned to stop being distracted by Facebook posts and you tube videos, and now that typing out anything takes so long I WILL.

(There’s also this cool movie trailer:

4) In all seriousness, and despite its shortcomings, the Canadian health care system is fantastic and needs to be preserved from marauding politicians. After arriving at Mt. Sinai Hospital, I was quickly seen by a team that indeed diagnosed a Colles’ fracture. This included X-ray technicians, nurses, aides, an emergency doctor and an orthopaedic surgeon who put me under twice to set the bone because he wasn’t satisfied with the X-rays after the first try, and said he wanted to get it perfect.

(“Propofol,” I heard him tell the nurse, ordering the anaesthetic. Me and Michael Jackson, I thought of saying, before telling myself, Jinx, and waking up with a cast on my arm.)

5) The great warmth of my hockey buddies, who are stopping by later today with dinner. Nothing beats being part of a small community inside a big city, if you really want to know why I play,

And now to write that novel.