28 February 2011

Pot, Kettle, Black

Today I reached up to put some folded laundry on the top shelf of a closet and as I was pulling my arm down I hit my elbow - hard - on the shelf below. I learned two thing in that moment. First, putting laundry away is not worth so much trouble. Second, I will absolutely and despite best intentions use the F-word in front of Emmaline in certain scenarios. Unfortunate, but true.

So my elbow hurt, but of course I knew it was fairly unlikely that I would have broken it under such conditions. I had not been thrown from a horse or a snowboard or gone head over tea kettle down a set of stairs. I would be fine.

But I wasn't fine. I was hurting. True, it was only when I actually moved the elbow, or held something in my hand, but still it was enormously unpleasant.

I took a closer look. There was the beginning of some bruising, which I thought was entirely to be expected. But the elbow in question, my right, was essentially the same size as the one I had on the other side. The lack of impressive swelling made a break much more unlikely. I pushed on all the bits of bone and nothing crunched. I did, however, have quite a lot of tenderness over the olecranon. True, that might just be part of the whole bruise thing, but it could also mean a break. Not a horrible one, but still something that should not be ignored.

I gave it some time and I kept poking myself intermittently, which did nothing to help with the pain. I could pick up Emmaline (reassuring) but it hurt more than a little bit. Hours went by. I complained to my mother. I complained to my father. I complained in front of Emmaline and the dog, but I'm not sure either of them were really listening. Then, Daryl got home from work, and I complained to him.

Did I need to go to the ER and get an x-ray? Did I need a splint and an appointment with an orthopedist just in case? I didn't think so, but I wasn't one hundred percent sure. What if I did nothing and my elbow froze in some weird angle and my mother had to help me get my shirts on and off for the rest of my life?

Twelve hours passed.

"If you were in the ER seeing patients and you came in to see you, what would you say?" Daryl finally asked me. "What would you do?"

I paused and didn't answer.

"Have you even taken ibuprofen?" he asked.

I left the room.

"Whatever," I yelled back.

But I headed for the medicine cabinet. I shook out the pills. Miraculously, less than thirty minutes later, I feel much better. Just don't tell Daryl that.

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