Adding injury to insult in the extreme sport of aging
SO I was bungee jumping last weekend, and the cord was a tad long and…well, that’s how I came to tear all the ligaments in my left foot.
Don’t believe me? Try this: I went sky-diving and landed awkwardly… No? Well, there was this cage-fight, see… Okay, here it is – in all its pedestrian banality: I was the victim of a particularly vicious hole that was lying in wait, cleverly disguised as lawn.
I’ve spent a good part of the week testing out more sensational explanations and have had a number of helpful suggestions ranging from a skateboarding or abseiling mishap, to the nearlethal but triumphant pursuit of a fleeing bandit and, my personal favourite: “Tell ‘em you should see the other gal!”.
Truth is, it seems just getting older is an extreme sport.
When an ordinary but ill-timed stride can put you up on blocks for a month, you know you’ve reached the age at which everything starts to wear out, fall down or seize up.
To add insult to injury, there was no psychedelic bruising; no hideously swollen sasquatchlike swelling with which to garner widespread commiseration.
Just what the physio says is a “grade two” tear of the ligaments – a sneakily concealed wound that, like the hole that put it there, lies in wait until you’re lulled into thinking it might be time to test the healing process and… wham! Over you go. And turn the air purple with the kind of language that would make Gordon Ramsay blush.
So my new fashion accessory for the new year is a particularly unattractive black “moon boot” – so called because you’d rather fly to outer space than go through the pain of re-injury.
Like most rugby props I know, it ain’t pretty but it’s effective.
At first, I was sceptical. “Do you really think it’s necessary to wear this thing for a month?” I asked my husband, The Oracle.
“Nah…” he said, rolling his eyes. “They just want you to wear it to piss you off and make you walk funny.” Excellent, because it’s accomplished both. While the boot remarkably successful in immobilising the wayward ligaments and the foot to which they were previously attached, it makes for a gait reminiscent of Quasimodo. I lurch inelegantly from side to side, frightening the dog and small children, and looking like I’ve just been to lunch with Sir Les Patterson.
It doesn’t do much for the overall sartorial effect, but that’s the least of my worries. My ol’ Mum used to say you have to suffer to be beautiful, but that ship sailed some time back, and I don’t have the stomach for the kind of suffering torn ligaments will wreak if not treated properly.
A friend – an aspiring comedian, apparently – pointed out that the new footwear isn’t exactly conducive to romance, but that’s just as well.
At this point, who knows what kind of harm a harmless roll in the hay might inflict?
The upside, said the sunshiney little voice in my head, is that I could look forward to at least a few days of pampering and indulgent mollycoddling from your nearest and dearest before the novelty, and sympathy, wears off.
Both the offspring promptly skipped town. And The Oracle – on whom I was left counting for peeled grapes, cups of tea with bickies and constant pandering – instead decided to steal my thunder by pulling his right hamstring.
What a pair we make. Between us we have a working set of pins – his left, my right – so we’re grateful for small mercies. It’s not exactly life threatening, but it’s awkward.
The worst is that he has a better story. His injury was sustained during a valiant and ultimately victorious effort to stop a 230kg motorbike from crashing to the ground and breaking some pretty significant bones. Me? I just stepped in a hole. And now I’m the one tying HIS shoelaces and fetching his English Breakfast. I could just kick him. Oh, wait….
I lurch inelegantly from side to side, frightening the dog and small children, and looking like I’ve just been to lunch with Sir Les Patterson.