Friday, March 15, 2013

Ides of March

The Ides of March and I have a history.

There was a day in college where I just kept dropping everything.  Dropped the shampoo on my foot.  Dropped the conditioner on my foot.  Fell on 2 stairs walking to class.  Dropped by bow, then my rosin, then my bow again within 10 seconds while practicing.  Fell down more stairs.  What is going ON? I asked myself.  That's when I realized it was the 15th of March!...which got me to thinking...when did I fall in high school?

After going back and doing the research, I realized that I fell and broke my leg on March 15th.

I had found my rollerskates; you know, the old school kind with 4 wheels in each "corner" of the skate?  I got super excited, put them on, and started my skate adventure around the block.  I turned the first corner, and thought, "Uh-oh, I'm going to fall."  Now, by this time, I was a senior in high school and had already broken both my arms, and knew that I just don't fall correctly.  I had also sprained several fingers in a few falls, too, and I had All-State Orchestra coming up and was going to solo with my Youth Symphony in a couple months.

As I rounded the 2nd corner, two things happened.  1.) It started to lightly sprinkle.  Over the years, strangely, the story has turned into "Naoko went rollerskating in the rain."  No.  I went rollerskating and then it started to rain.  2.) I realized I was going to fall which meant I was going to break something.

Skating on (for some reason turning back didn't seem like an option at the time), I thought of all the responsibilities I had lined up for myself and how much I didn't want to hurt my hands or arms.

That's when it happened.  That stupid acorn.  That is what led to my demise: an acorn.  I tripped over it, and immediately tried to go to the grass.  USUALLY, when you are on rollerskates and go to long grass, it stops your momentum.  That is, unless it has been raining, and the grass is slick from rain.

I wish I could have seen it.  I did a Hollywood kind of fall, where one leg goes up, the other leg goes up, you land on the first leg and it rolls from under you again, and then the other leg, until both legs are in the air at the same time.  That's when I made the conscious decision, and I fell with both of my arms in the air.

Yes.  I held my arms up so I wouldn't try to land on them, so I wouldn't break them.

When I landed on the ground, in a fully sitting position with my legs out in front of me, it sounded like 20 people had cracker their knuckles.  I sat for a moment and thought, that wasn't a good sound.  Then, I looked at my right leg.  My knee was facing up like normal, but my ankle had turned and my foot was pointing to the right.  Surprised, I said, "Ew!" grabbed my foot, and turned it so it would be facing upward again.  More cracking ensued.

In retrospect, it was probably a bad decision to attempt to reset my foot myself, but it really was my first instinct.

I took off my rollerskates (the additional weight didn't seem like it would be good for my leg), and sat, trying to figure out how to get home.  I was sitting in front of the house directly in back of my house, so I was exactly half way away.  I sat, trying to surmise if there was a better option than crawling back.  That seemed a little undignified, but I didn't think hopping was a great idea, either.

At that point, the door opened and a man walked out.  He saw me sitting on the sidewalk and walked over to me.  "Hello!" he said.

"Hi," I returned.

"What happened?" he asked.

"I think I killed myself," was my reply.  I still remember this very clearly.

"That's not good," he said.  "Well, I'm on my way to work, but my wife is at home."

When his wife came out, she recognized me as the kid who lived on the other side of the fence.  I guess it helped that we were the only Asian family on the block.

She drove me home, and I hopped up to the door and rang the doorbell.  My mom answered the door, confused, and asked what happened.  "I broke my leg.  I need to go to the doctor."

I'm not sure why it is, but everyone in my family are panickers.  I don't think that's a word.  But I've decided in this context it is.  In any remotely emergency situation, everybody freaks out very easily.  Except me.  I am always the calm one.  I think it's because I'm the one who always has the emergency.

My mom said, "You didn't break your leg!  Don't say that!"

"Oh, it's broken.  I heard it," I said knowledgeably.

My dad drove me to the walk-in clinic.  When they asked what was wrong, I said I broke my leg, and my dad got mad.  "She fell down.  Her leg hurts."

"It doesn't hurt that bad, but it IS broken," I said.  I still don't know why they were in such denial about my leg.  It's not like I had gotten shot or anything, or had fallen and injured my spine.

We waited.  And waited.  I remember sitting in a wheelchair and having to lift up my foot and rest it on my other knee.  My leg went kind of numb, so I had to use my arms to pick my leg up, which struck me as amusing.  Until my leg fell asleep.  I entertained myself by poking my foot.

I have a rule in life, where...the more cranky people you have to deal with, the friendlier and more polite I'm going to be.  So when the doctors and nurses finally called me in, I was my normal jolly self.  The pain has to be pretty bad for me to be snappish.

They wrapped my foot, took x-rays, and sent me home with crutches.  The next day, I went to school and had the worst time maneuvering on those stupid crutches (maybe it was because my backpack was literally 25 pounds) and was late to all my classes.  When I got home, I had been scheduled to go to the doctor again.

 I went in and was told I had broken my leg and had to go to see an orthopedic surgeon.  When I went to see the orthopedic surgeon, he told me I had broken my fibula, shattered the bone around it, and had tore all my ankle tendons and/or ligaments, so there was nothing keeping my foot in places for everything to grow back properly.


I was to have pins placed in my leg.  I stayed home for a few weeks (yay!) and had surgery, where they ended up screwing a metal plate into my bone.  I guess it was worse when they opened up my leg.  More time at home.  Then spring break.  It was great.  Except I had to take baths with my leg hanging out of the bathtub.  And my leg was itchy.  And I couldn't walk.  Or drive.

When I did go back to school, my friend drove me, because my dad complained about having to drive me places.  As I started healing, and my parents complained more and more about having to drive me to rehearsals and lessons, I finally had it and just drove with my left foot.  I found it rude that they were complaining.  =)

By May 17th, which was the day of my Youth Symphony Concert, I had had my cast off for a week and could very slowly kind of hobble.  I was intent not to walk out on crutches.  Grad night at Disneyland was very hobbly, too.  After graduation, my mom said she could spot me because I was limping, and I slowed down the line.  Thanks, mom.  And for sober grad, when we bowled, I had to walk up to the line and throw the ball with my left hand, because the extra weight was too much for my leg.  I am still proud of the 92 I got.

And it all started on the 15th of March.

So what's the point?

I bought a lottery ticket today.  Maybe something GOOD will happen this year =)

Could be worse.  I could be Julius Caesar.

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