Tuesday, February 5, 2013
I injured myself at a town council meeting.
It wasn't one of those cool injuries that you tell stories of for years and gradually exaggerate the circumstances every time you tell it. So, no, I didn't hurt myself performing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking old guy or pull my shoulder out of the socket catching a falling lady. Heck, it would've been cool if I scraped myself up in a diving attempt to rescue a plummeting, expensive camera.
Nope. I suffered nerve damage by keeping my arms bent on the table in front of me and with, apparently, a decent amount of pressure on my ulnar nerve. At least that's what I've inferred from Google searches.
Go ahead. Laugh at the kid. Now, sit down, grab a notebook and pretend to scribble things down while I lay back in one of those leather chairs in a psychiatrist's office and talk about my feelings.
When the meeting adjourned and I walked out – for whatever reason, the joys of freedom feel so good after enduring a council meeting – I noticed my arms were tingling.
No big deal, I thought. They just fell asleep. I shook 'em loose a few times and drove away. A half hour later, I still felt the tingling in my arms, specifically, my pinkie fingers and ring fingers with a little bit spilling over into my hand.
Two hours after that, still tingling. I went to the internet for answers.
Generally, this isn't a good thing, because there's always some moron online that does his/her best to convince somebody else that the sniffles they're experiencing are life-threatening. Then, virtual panic ensues.
Anyway, I found a Yahoo! Answers thread of someone with the same thing. Sure enough, the poor guy took it too far and included: “Any advice? Is my arm going to fall off?”
Thankfully, no one said yes. Several people responded that it was an ulnar nerve problem, which is the nerve that runs through your elbow and provides sensations to your outer three fingers.
Various other sources online confirmed what the Yahoo! Answers folks were saying, and it makes sense for my case. By the way, I've regained the feeling in my arms, so it's not a big deal.
My point for sharing this is not to ask for pity and chocolates, although you're certainly welcome to send a box of sweets my way.
Am I getting old?
My years don't even total a quarter of a century, yet, I injured myself at a town council meeting. No offense, grandpa, but that should be happening to you.
What's next? Is my hip going to go out while riding an elevator? Why do I seem destined to have a glass of water by my bed to keep my dentures from drying out – in a few years?
The other day, my girlfriend told me what the weather forecast was going to be the following day. It was supposed to be cold, windy and rainy.
My first thought: man, my elbow and ankle aren't going to feel great. About a year ago, I severely sprained my ankle and a few years before that, I tore a ligament in my elbow. Already, I'm thinking about arthritis.
This is the moment where you put down your notepad, walk over to me leaning back in my comfy chair and smack me across the head.
I recently joined a group of guys who play basketball every Thursday. One guy showed up just as we were starting a game two weeks ago and I said, “You can stretch out a little if you need to,” gesturing that we could postpone the start for a few minutes.
“Nah, man, I'm fine,” he responded, pulling one leg off the ground and pulling it behind him.
“Don't pull a hammy,” I said, referring to a hamstring.
He laughed, but I was serious. I got to the gym in advance, to make sure I had plenty of time to stretch.
Am I getting old?
I shared my bizarre injury story. Now, it's your turn. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and try to top my experience of getting hurt at a town council meeting. Your submission could be used in an upcoming Eye of the Tyler column.