Damaged goods #postaweek2012

Broken Derby Girl

It’s been roughly three and a half weeks since I broke my arm.  In that time, the new Cherry Posse has started training, I’ve had to lay off working out at the gym, and I’ve been suffering from a crisis of confidence.

Last week, the Desert Dolls posted a photo of the new Cherries on their Facebook wall.  I’ll admit, I did shed a tear or two out of pure disappointment.  To know that I was so close, had talked about going out, written about it and then blown the opportunity with a bad decision, I was kicking myself.

As more time has gone by and my arm is still hurting, I’m starting to doubt myself.  I worry that maybe I don’t really have what it takes to be a derby dame.  Knowing how unsteady I was, combined with the real consequences of an injury, I’m afraid.  I have to constantly convince myself that I can do it; but, there’s a little voice inside me, whispering that I’m way too old for this shit (to quote Danny Glover.)

The teasing that I’ve endured hasn’t helped.  I realize that this whole derby thing appears to be pretty ridiculous to some.  Even my mother will occasionally ask, “Are you SURE you want to do this?”  That’s usually after I’ve been whining about my arm hurting.  It’s also been suggested that there are plenty of hobbies better suited to someone my age…knitting being the most popular.

A broken arm and a sling make great props for insurance open enrollment meetings, though.  Standing in front of a group of employees, serving as a real life Show and Tell example of how things like urgent care visits, x-rays, durable medical equipment and physical therapy sessions are covered, I provide a better understanding of their benefits.  My partner loves to have me explain how I broke my arm.  I know she gets a kick out of the idea of me on skates.

This morning, I had my first physical therapy appointment.  After a pile of paperwork, full of redundant forms, I spent about an hour with the therapist.  He moved my arm around a lot, took measurements to determine loss of range of motion and had me do several exercised.  He also used ultrasound therapy.  He reassured me that my wrist is probably not fractured, based on how it felt during the ultrasound and with movement.  He gave me a list of exercised to do twice a day, and cleared me to start going to the gym to work on cardio.

For now, I’m going to work on healing, conditioning, and my bruised self-confidence.  As soon as I get cleared to skate again, I’m going to have to put them on (along with my pads & helmet) and try again.  Maybe if I don’t think about things too much, May will get here and I’ll just get myself to the next Cherry Posse start-up and make this happen.

And then, the wheels fell off of the wagon… #postaweek2012

I was comtemplating a couple of posts before Christmas.  One had to do with the fun I’d had with my cousins, Rachael & Lisa.  We’d gone to a Desert Dolls bout and had a great time.  I had talke to more people with the league and had gotten contact info for sign-ups.  Lisa had customized t-shirts with our derby names.

The next post was going to be full of excitement.  I had emailed the league, and put myself on the list for the Cherry Posse training.  A response had come back and I was in!

With the holidays, and trying to keep up with reverb11 posts, I didn’t get either one written.  Christmas morning dawned, and Ben had adhered to our strict “Don’t wake us up before 6:00 a.m.” rule.  In the pile of presents was a brand new pair of sleek black quad skates!

You realize, of course, that I still hadn’t been up on skates in the entire six months since deciding to become a derby dame.  I figured that it would be just like riding a bike…I’d always been able to skate, so I’d have no trouble.

I was itching to skate, and I knew that the January 11th start date for training was looming.  I had the Tuesday after Christmas off, so Ben and I decided to head off to the skating rink next to the kids’ old daycare center.

We got a locker, and I stupidly put my elbow, knee & wrist pads in on top of my shoes.  I laced up my skates and stood up.  I was decidedly less graceful that I had expected.  I worked my way cautiously to the rink.  Because it was still Christmas vacation, there were a lot of little kids wobbling around the floor.

I successfully made it around the rink a couple of times, though I felt my confidence slipping.  I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t as easy to actually move as it was in my head.

As I came around toward the DJ booth, having successfully avoided a pile up of kids in front of the snack bar, a little girl fell in front of me.  I didn’t react correctly, and lost my balance.  I fell backwards, rather than to my knees, landing squarely on my left arm.   By the time I sat up, the little girl had popped back up and was merrily on her way.  The DJ came around from behind the counter and asked if I was all right.  “Yes,” I replied.  “Fine, except for my ego!”  He laughed and gave me a hand up.  I turned to make my way around to the seats.  I knew that something wasn’t right.

I met Ben over by the lockers…he wanted to change his skates.  I told him that I should probably sit down for a while.  He told me that he was fine with leaving, if I wanted to go.  We put our shoes on and walked out to the car.  The minute that I tried to pull the car door closed, I could tell that it was more than a bump.  Ben suggested that we go to urgent care.

We have a good urgent care office near our house.  With two active kids, and my susceptibility to pink eye, we’re well known there.

Taking x-rays turned out to be excruciating.  By the time we got to the x-ray room, it had been almost an hour and a half since I’d fallen.  I couldn’t extend my arm past a ninety degree angle, and my wrist and fingers had begun to swell.  The doctor mentioned to the nurse that they needed to get my wedding rings off, or else they would have to be cut off.  As soon as he left the room, I had Ben cover my hand in soap and help me pull the rings off.

The doctor showed me the x-rays.  The only fracture that he could see was at the top of my radius, just under the elbow.  It is a closed fracture, and the joint had filled with blood.  Because injuries like this can cause the elbow to freeze, they don’t put a cast or a splint on the arm.

I went home with a sling and a prescription for Tylenol 3.

Later that night, I emailed the Desert Dolls league president, Evol Starr.  I let her know what had happened and that I would need to be pulled from this round’s training team.  She was very nice about it, and said that she’d just bump me over to the May squad.  She also offered to let me come and meet the skaters and get to know the league.

I’ll admit…my confidence is shaken.  I’ve joked about broken bones, and tattoos in the shape of bruises.  I didn’t figure that it would happen this early in my journey.  I have learned a couple of important lessons, though.  I need to wear my pads.  Period.  If I’d been wearing my elbow and wrist guards, I might have come away with a bump or bruises…definitely a bruised ego, rather than a broken arm.  Also, I can’t quit…if, for no other reason, than to be able to say that I got hurt training for roller derby!