Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Non-Sports-Related Injuries

Some of our blessings.
Caution: Lift with care.
I’ve been fairly active all my life.
And I have the scars to prove it.
I had all the usual bumps and bruises learning to walk as a baby.
Climbed and fell off of numerous fences, buildings, and assorted furniture.
Got trampled by an angry mama cow in the barnyard and got a flattened right boot.
Tried to fly using mom’s circular clothesline and almost bit my tongue right through.
Took a high-flier off my brother’s horse and landed on my face, resulting in impressive scratches and bruises.
Got a faceful of hoof from the same horse moments later.
Had an altercation with the arm of the armchair in my parents’ front room which resulted in one remarkable eyebrow.
Tore a twenty-two-inch groove in my leg from ankle to thigh, when I fell headfirst over the barbed-wire fence I was trying to cross.
Nearly lost my right hand in a cattle headgate.
Put all of my lower teeth through my lip when I got head-butted by an angry mama cow whose calf I was sitting on at the time.
And these were just injuries incurred in the course of growing up on a ranch.
I also sprained each ankle numerous times playing basketball, volleyball or baseball.
Sprained every single finger at least once – ditto.
Broke a wrist doing a celebratory leap.
Wrecked a knee running marathons.
Wrenched shoulders.
Sprained backs.
Twisted necks.
My purpose in telling you all of this is not so you will think I’m tough.
Or superwoman.
But because I don’t want you to think I give up easily.
That I can take pain and carry on.
But recently, I’ve developed a new injury.
Something I’ve never had before.
And I’m really struggling with it.
I went to the doctor complaining of pain in my elbow.
You heard me correctly.
My elbow.
She examined the offending joint. Worked it around. Hemmed and hawed. “You have tennis elbow,” she said decisively, moments later.
“Tennis elbow? How on earth did I get that?!” Since the knee injury, my sports participation has been strictly limited to laps of the pool.
And the occasional bike ride.
I’ve never even picked up a tennis racket.
“Well . . . golf elbow, then.”
Golf?! “Umm, that’s a game, right?”
She stared at me. “Well, what activities do you do?” she asked.
I frowned. “Swim. Bike. Play with my grandkids.”
Her eyes sharpened. “Grandkids?”
I nodded.
She smiled. “Do you lift said grandkids?”
I scratched my head. “Ye-es,” I said slowly.
“A lot?”
“Well, two of them live with me and one I babysit every day.”
She nodded, once more crisply confident. “That’s it, then.”
“What?” I was confused.
“I’m sure that the pain in your elbow can be directly attributed to the constant lifting of small bodies.” (Doctors talk like that . . .)
“I have . . . toddler elbow?”
She smiled. “In a word.”
Huh.
It’ll never be discussed in ‘Sports Illustrated’.
Never be the topic of concern for professional athletes.
But it’s real.
Toddler elbow.
To be found at a many grandparents’ houses near you.
You heard it here first.

5 comments:

  1. Ha ha ha! I had "grocery" elbow years ago and went through a similar interrogation with the doctor and the same verdict! (lifting bags of groceries into the trunk, out of the trunk, into the house, repeat) I am not a very big person and I was trying to carry too many of them at once. And the only cure is to rest the affected area ... how is that going to work with those little ones around?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Toddler (and grocery) elbow are much more acceptable injuries (to me) than tennis elbow.
    Mind you, I don't know how you are going to give it the rest it needs. Actually I do know. You won't.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like you are on a first-name basis with the doctor's in the ER! Do they give you a discount or "frequent injury coupons" to help you save on your next trip? (Pun intended!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's an impressive list of injuries you have there!
    I've heard of toddler elbow, didn't get it myself, as soon as the grandkids were crawling size, I mostly stayed on the floor with them so they could just crawl up into my lap. I'd had a badly sprained back in the past the keeps coming back to remind me, so I was never game enough to try lifting them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am of the same graceful ilk. I think at one time or another I have broken every single bone in my body. Now that I have RA it's a different joint that swells on a daily basis. I've had that elbow thing and it is definitely painful! Hope it feels better soon, but I'm sure like me the "lifting of small bodies" waits for no injury!

    ReplyDelete

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