Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Almost Never Feel Young Anymore

We had planned the roller skating excursion for weeks. I had long anticipated the feeling of being on skates again.

I was a good skater when I was a kid, going to the local rink in Independence, Missouri nearly every week for some of those elementary/junior high years. (Not relevant to the story, but I DID have a slight concussion and spend an entire night in the hospital after a skating fall years ago.)

Vaughn had never been a skater as a kid, so I was quite surprised when he ordered his size 10s at the skate counter.

Putting the skates on didn't frighten me one bit. In fact, it seemed very familiar in a weird way, since it had been about 20 years since I'd been on a pair last.

I have to admit when I first stood up on them and started trying to roll around on the carpet, before entering the rink, I wondered if I could do this thing anymore. I mean, I'm 48 these days. It seemed like I needed more effort to make the wheels go than I had remembered as a youngster.

Fast forward about a minute, the time it took me to get to the entry of the coolest rink ever (Norman Star Skate).

Instantaneously, I transformed into this young girl again, feeling free and fun, giddy and girlish, my hair blowing as I traveled faster than I had even anticipated. I went around the rink once, twice, several more times, then went back to the short wall to see Vaughn and check to see if the grandgirls had arrived. Sure enough, there they came. I kissed Magnolia and helped Cora get her skates on and assisted her on her first ring around the rosy, I mean the rink. Brie came along and we made it around again with Cora in tow. I had found my skating legs again and was loving every minute.

This is where something went bad wrong. I was standing, not moving, along a short wall, visiting mostly. Some friends and I had all stopped to rest/visit while some kind of Hokey Pokey or something like that was going on. Maybe it was the Limbo. (Oh, I used to be good at that too.) I was talking with some friends about the good ol' days of skating and was dragging my skate sideways to show how I used to stop myself. Next thing I know I'm falling, for like forever. I reached out for the short wall and my skates took my legs and bottom half the other direction, pulling my arm really hard. I felt the pain in my arm instantly and couldn't put any weight on it to get myself up. I recovered in a few seconds and was able to stand. For a little while I tried to tell myself I was okay. I swung my arms around and everything seemed okay. I ate some Hot Tamales and drank a root beer while the grandgirls ate their snacks.

As I began to feel more pain when raising my arm, I realized it would be a good idea to get it x-rayed while in a larger town. Vaughn talked me into leaving the skating party then and going on over to Immediate Care to let them check me out. As we drove away I cried a few tears. That feeling of being young again, that fleeting feeling, was gone, gone, gone. That YES feeling was quickly replaced with a NO feeling of humiliation and even stupidity for thinking I could still do an activity from my childhood. I was so sad to leave the party. Magnolia, in Offey's lap, my sons skating and talking, Brie making rounds with Cora, friends laughing and enjoying time together...the time I had so looked forward to.

The results from that day's x-rays came back as no breaks, just a sprain. I got a sling to keep my arm still and took my prescriptions on home. I managed Monday at school with very few problems, although it was quickly apparent I should keep my right elbow stuck to my waist. By no means was I to try to lift my arm up to write on the board or pull or push anything. Late in the day on Monday I got a call from Immediate Care, advising me a second-opinion radiologist had looked over my x-rays and thought something looked suspicious on my shoulder. I have a CT scan set up for Wed. afternoon.

When people at work have asked me what I did to myself (the sling catches a lot of attention), I admit "roller skating". Almost everyone laughs. I figure they're thinking I shouldn't have been on skates at my age. Most everyone has a comment about skating and how dangerous it is.

But me, I secretly dream of the day I can do it again, maybe to a song like "S-A-T-U-R, D-A-Y NIGHT" or "The Locomotion".  I'm thinking it might be worth falling to get that feeling of joy I had before my fall. I mean, I almost never feel young anymore.

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