I had to laugh when I saw that the Word of the Day for The Daily Post was “Disaster”. Let’s be honest here, 80% of my life experiences are rooted in disaster, so this is a topic that presents WAY too many options to choose from.
After MUCH deliberating on which disaster to blog on, I finally narrowed it down to the Planned Disaster. Did you ever see something and go “WOW that looks like SO MUCH FUN!!” and 1 second later as you are still watching your sense of self-preservation chimes in with “Yah, but that’s really a bad idea: you might die”? At the end of last summer, I was FaceBooking, when a VERY intriguing video came across my feed. The video was of a bunch of people playing a game that looked like kickball, but instead of bases it involved kiddie pools and giant “slip and slides” running between them. In case you haven’t seen any of the videos, here is the link to The Video that Started it All. Check it out now and I’ll wait here while you catch up…
Is everyone on the same page now? So it looks like SOOO much FUN, right? Come on you KNOW it does!! Then that portion of the brain in charge of rationalization and self-preservation kicks in:
“Meg, those are skinny people in their late teen/early twenties. You are NOT SKINNY (the vision of a freight train sliding into a lake enters my mind at this point), and are in your thirties now (this is where the freight train breaks in half in my vision)…Time to ACT like it.”
Then the idiotic, IRrational part of my brain (also known as Meg) takes over:
“Yah but OHHH MAN that looks fun! We have enough land to have it at our house. I know many of us are too old and out of shape for this…but we have KIDS. Yah, that’s it. We can do this party for the kids (*cough lies*). Then we will need a few adults to HELP the kids. That’s it. Then we will need some adults to…referee… and TEST to make sure everything is..safe yah, that’s it.”
So, since I was in a quandary, I did what every genius does: I shared the video to FB asking: “should we do this at our house?” As you can imagine, any person who CHOOSES to deal with me on a friendship level has questionable amounts of sanity to begin with. Sure enough, within an hour my feed was BLOWING UP with requests to come to the party…which I hadn’t even OFFICIALLY decided to have yet.
That’s all it took, and the hubs and I decided to host the first Slip N Slide Kickball game. We did our best to be proactive, since it’s pretty obvious that there were DEFINITELY going to be injuries. I had TONS of ice, Tylenol, ibuprofen, bandages, wraps, alcohol, Neosporin, and whisky (for medicinal purposes of course) on hand. But, KNOWING our luck, I took it one step further: I made sure when doing the invite list that we had a paramedic and a nurse on hand (seriously: Ri is a Paramedic and one of my second moms is a nurse).
The night before and the entire day of, I was PAINSTAKINGLY setting up the field, far enough from roads, rocks, trees and any other environmental hazards. Heck, I didn’t even stake the “slip n slide” part down because I was afraid of someone getting a stake to the knee, leg or other body part. I thought I had everything covered. Again, I KNEW there were going to be injuries, but it would be during the game right? WRONG!
Many of our guests were arriving so I left the “field” to go coordinate some of the food and drinks that were coming in. I was in my kitchen when I realize that I let my cellphone in the grass near one of the pools and the guys were running around with the hose filling up pools and getting the tarps wet, and they would either step on or drench my phone. As I went outside, I saw two more cars pulling in. I decided to take off in a sprint to get my phone before it was destroyed, and get back in time to shuttle more food/supplies in. I was not looking where I was running, and instead yelling instructions back over my shoulder (NOT SMART, but hindsight is 20/20), when I turned around I was right at my kids play teeter-totter and I didn’t have time to go around it. What did I do? I decided just to jump it (Note, my Fat ASSets are NOT used to JUMPING anymore). I think we ALL KNOW where this is going… I jumped higher than I thought, and forgot the the seesaw was on an incline, and the other side is not only lower, but there was a giant rut there. Sure enough, I came down on my right leg first, and my ankle simultaneously gave out as I landed, not on my foot and heel, but ON MY ANKLE!! There was also a VERY audible SNAP, heard by several people nearby, as I crumpled to the ground in a heap.
Now I like to think of myself as being pretty tough and having a fairly high pain tolerance. Also, my mom, sister Ri (my partner in crime sister referenced in Yes…I WAS ‘THAT BAD’) and I all have NOTORIOUSLY weak ankles that twist and sprain ALL the time, so I’m quite used to the twisted/sprain pain. This, however was VERY different. It was one of those instances where the breath gets TOTALLY knocked out of you, and the pain instantaneously causes tears to just show up without consent. And of COURSE there were 10 people all sitting nearby who saw this happen and came running over. As soon as I was able to talk again, I tried to joke it off, but the second I put any weight on my right foot…*YOW*!! I choked down my pride and asked a couple of my pals who were nearby to allow me to use them as crutches and take me inside. I sat down at the kitchen table which is (thankfully) just inside the house.
Instantly I was given ice, my phone and Ri (the paramedic who was MIRACULOUSLY on time). We took a look at the offending ankle and it was ALREADY swelling. At this point I started crying (from ANGER) that I dropped all of this time and money into this party (I EVEN SHAVED MY LEGS for crying out loud), and I couldn’t even PLAY?! I looked Ri in the eye and said “Ri, if I don’t need to be in the ER right now, I’m PLAYING so make it happen!” Luckily Ri and I are both cracked from the same stubborn, stupid Sicilian shell, so she VERY begrudgingly told me it didn’t look emergent and that she would ONLY signoff on me playing ONCE, and ONLY if I ace bandaged the ankle right that second, didn’t take it off, and sat and elevated my foot between turns. I agreed, we bandaged the foot, immediately took a LARGE dose of ibuprofen to help with the swelling. Another friend made sure I had a baggie of ice and SEVERAL “medicinal shots” (*cough Fireball whisky*) to keep the pain (and my “POOR ME” mental state) at bay.
Loong story short… I did play one game and ended up jamming my left toe, along with some great bumps and scrapes like everyone else, but at least that was DURING the game, when it was SUPPOSED to happen. The next day (Sunday) several of us were on FB playing 2 very rousing internet games: 1 with Photos which we dubbed “Whose item is this that got left at my house?” and another called “Who took the most ibuprofen this morning?”. I hobbled to our meeting (church) and had Ri look at the foot again. It was VERY messed up, but looked non-emergent so we could wait for the Orthopedic Specialist on Monday and she gave me her crutches, an air splint and taped my toes to hold me over til then.
When I went in to the Orthopedic Specialist Monday the verdict was: Four of my metatarsal bones in my right foot we broken for a total of 6 breaks (2 in 2 places, and 2 in one place), a damaged tendon and a bunch of torn ligaments as well as some damage to the nerve there as well. I was in boot cast for 4 weeks 24/7, and then 4 weeks whenever I wasn’t in bed, but at least I escaped surgery.
Would a “normal” person have sat out the game? Yes. Would they have sustained less injuries? Perhaps. But would they have had the time of their lives and earned the Crazy Tough award”? No. Sorry gang but I’m not a sideliner. On the plus side… it was an EPIC party 😉