April 2018

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NL #23: Say ahh...owwww.

NL #23: I've just returned from a two-hour dentist appointment: some people's idea of hell, but not nearly as bad as eye surgery or brain surgery. Fortunately, I can say that most things aren't as bad as my surgeries. So far, the piggy flu is the only contestant. May it ever be.

I've done better with pain than I might have guessed, especially since I'm something of a wimp. When David Sedaris and I were in first grade together and I was playing kickball while he made clover necklaces in the field, I took the kickball between my ankles when I was running home and slid on the gravel. My legs looked like hamburger meat. I missed two weeks of school. My legs looked a lot like my hands looked when I slipped on a sidewalk a few years back. By then I was a teacher and went to school. Fortunately, a student's parent with whom I had a conference was a nurse and she told me how to heal myself.

When I was in junior high school, I sprained my ankle playing soccer and the coaches had me put my leg in an ice whirlpool. Once my leg went numb, it wasn't so painful, but going in and especially emerging ranked up there, not with surgeries, but with headaches after brain surgery.

In high school I remember getting leg cramps during a soccer tournament. I was eating at IHOP with my second family, the Whites. Not generally one to make a scene, I threw my legs out under the table and rolled around, hollering, while the White girls massaged out the cramps. No one in the restaurant even looked up from their newspapers.

My friend Katie F. and I used to have a bruise club. You had to have evidence of a really good bruise to be part of the club and had to renew your membership with a good new bruise three times a year. We were the only members. Contests weren't really fair because Katie was always falling and bruising herself. Since then, we've both had major surgeries and both now have footlong scars extending from our necks to our heads, so we're not so impressed with our bruises anymore. Maybe we should start a scar club.

Wanna join? Mary

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