My Left Foot

Before Liam was born I played vintage base ball. I was (and hope to again be) a member of the Providence Grays Vintage Base Ball Club. Although there are dozens of quirky differences in the rules that make the game of base ball in the 1890’s different from today’s game of baseball, the most obvious difference is that we don’t wear gloves. The baseball mitt’s common use was still about ten years away and vintage base ball teams are nothing if they’re not striving for historical accuracy.

Anyway, early on in my career I broke my hand. It happens. Taking some warm up fly balls in the outfield before a doubleheader I closed my hands a split second early and instead of cradling a long out into my chest the battered old practice ball smacked into the heel of my right hand. Knowing that until I got used to playing my hands were generally going to hurt I didn’t think it could be that serious and went ahead and played both games that day with a fracture in both my 4th and 5th metacarpal. It would be a few days of more and more swelling before the pain beat out my denial and I went to get it looked at by a doctor.

That was the first time I had ever broken a bone and sure it hurt quite a bit but at least it came with a story. Telling people I broke my hand playing a crazy version of baseball where finger and hand injuries were the norm was cool. Not only did I have something to brag about but I had a big brace on my hand which prompted everyone I came in contact with to ask what happened. This 33-year-old boy scout / band Geek / nerd finally had a jock story to tell and was asked about it by everyone. That was awesome.

Thursday night after a wonderfully relaxing thanksgiving dinner I broke my foot.

I tripped on the front steps of my parents house.

And that’s it! That’s all I’ve got. I turned back towards the house, I rolled my ankle, and broke a bone in my foot. I wasn’t even drinking. I had had more coffee than wine that day. It’s the most boring injury ever.

I guess I could tell everyone how I freaked out when it happened, shouting four letter words at family who were only trying to help as I limped down the road trying to walk it off.

“don’t tell me to RELAX!” I remember that one coming out. I don’t handle the initial shock of pain very well. I was a jerk.


I didn’t even know it was broken until Saturday morning. Again I underestimated the damage and figured that a sprain was about the worst of it so I wrapped it in a bandage the next morning and went to work anyway. Just about midway through the day I was sure that I had made a big mistake.

It wasn’t the pain so much as it was the grinding and clicking that my foot started doing as the day went on. I went home after work knowing that I better get it looked at but I still waited until Saturday morning because I assumed Friday night at the E.R. was going to be a madhouse. I’d just as soon try to get a decent night’s sleep.

So now I’m out of commission for a little while. I’ve got a walking boot and some crutches for balance but for support I’ve got the most patient and amazing wife in the world. Weekends around here are done without any nursing help and I try to help Karin with all of Liam’s stuff as much as I can since she does so much throughout the week while I’m at work. This weekend she’s pulling double duty, so not only is she doing everything needed for Liam’s care she’s also got the world’s worst patient on the recliner whining about the temperature of his ice pack. She deserves so much more than a medal.

She is of course taking wonderful care of both of us.

And Liam for his part is being a well-behaved little boy for his momma. (Even if he did pee through his onsie a mere seconds after she finished folding all of his laundry. It’s as if the universe will not allow her an empty hamper.)

I am a very, very lucky man.

I just wish I had a better story to go with it. Maybe I broke it skiing! Yeah! Or hockey. Oh hell I’d even take curling. Instead I get walking out of my parents house onto a step I’ve taken a billions of times before.

With all of my good luck, I guess I was due.

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