Natural disasters at the History Museum, part 2

By Hannah Silverman

Welcome back to what’s turned out to be my medical journal. So there I was with-cast, resembling a partially wrapped mummy and attracting sympathy like the wounded war hero I wasn’t. I had been told the back slab would be needed for a week and then I would return for x-rays and potentially upgrade to fibreglass.

When I was told, ‘yes, still fractured’, the nurses offered me my choice in colours from a rainbow selection. I wanted professional, personal, subtle but something that was flexible and easy to coordinate with my wardrobe. So I selected fluro pink.

The following tips come to you after more than four weeks of my partially useless contribution to London life trapped within the “pink elephant” in every room.

Where the injury took place. Cue dramatic music. (Injury was totally my fault).

Part 2: The After

Chat me up

Once the cast is on prepare for it to become the uncensored pink elephant in the room, meaning everyone will talk about it. It’s like a creative alternative to weather conversations. Now I know people are sweet, well-meaning and genuinely interested in hearing me elaborate, but expecting to avoid discussing it is a rookie error. Those you hang with regularly will be delighted to hear the story after the 20th time. So make like parliament and prepare for question time.

Centre stage

Remember when you were in primary school and all the cool kids were breaking their limbs in the name of adventure? Then, armies of texta-weilding school children would congregate around the plaster-wearer to write messages of love and good health? Plasters became the hallmark card of pre-pocket money minors. But if you couldn’t break a bone in your body, you didn’t make new friends easily because strangers couldn’t graffiti you. Kids can be oh so cruel.

The irony here, however, is that it is no longer cool to ask your peers to play naughts and crosses on your arm. And rocking up to work with cheeky graphics and random phone numbers from the weekend isn’t going to score you a promotion either. So being an adult and being subjected to the very thing you thought was cool as an 8-year-old, isn’t. A modest sign of gratitude to well wishes is all you need to do if you find yourself fleetingly as the centre of attention.

Hygeine

There comes a time in every injured woman’s life when she needs to change her clothes and get in the shower. Whether it’s a broken arm, leg or pinkie finger, your once mastered art is going to be a challenge. Some choices include finding a boyfriend stat, smelling like an olympian’s locker room for the duration of treatment, or setting your alarm clock earlier to enable time to satisfactorily complete the things you once took for granted. For £12.99 you can also purchase a Limbo which, if you wait to order it long enough, will actually be as exciting as wearing a new outfit for the first time. It slips on your arm and prevents water from getting in so you don’t shower with your hand in the air like your in the middle of a rip trying to alert a life guard. Magic.

Wish I’d insured that

Like a ballerina who brakes her toe or a model who puts on a kilo, a writer who fractures her surrounding finger ligements is potentially at a severe disadvantage, professionally and passionately. Lucky for this author, typing was ok when the wrist was rested, but forget shorthand and note taking. Solution: hire a secretary.

Perk it

While many would rejoice to be told dont lift anything heavier than a tea cup, present company included, it’s not such a useful restriction for those who have to lift heavy things. Like babies. Yes, it’s highly advisable for parents to not go ice skating at all. So if your a doer this might frustrate you. If you’re lazy, it’s kind of like winning a lottery that lasts for the life of the cast. Other wins include people offering you their seat on public transport because your “injured”. Enjoy it, you’ll only be pregnant a couple of times and being old is way in your future. And men are rarely chivalrous so really this is one of the only times you can enjoy this kind of experience guilt-free.

Get out of gym free

Execrise bunnies are one of the most affected groups of injured skaters. Generally, depending on both location and severity, running is out if the question and weights are a thing of the past and future. That’s great if you prefer walking and coach surfing, but for everyone else, here is another reason to avoid the ice.

My naked arm. Also a cute picture of a cat.

Epilogue

I’m now confined to a removable splint, which is supporting the wrist but not restricting it. Life is good. Better. Will I get back on the ice? You bet your sweet penguin I will. I’ll be the one against the rail near the paramedic station and plotting my elegant fall. You know, just in case. Because like you, I’ve now graduated from a rather logical course in unskilled skating. Add that to your wall and frame it.

Part 1: The Before. This post might make more sense if you view the first part here.

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