Just Call Him Gimpy

I have a fear and loathing of sports injuries. Never having experienced a broken bone (because I am bionic as you will recall from this blog)  but having had lots of ugly spills on roller blades and bikes, I find as I have aged I have become more cautious.

Cautious as in, “protect that body at all costs.” Duh. No brainer, right?

My son traumatized me for life when one week from law school finals and with a job waiting for him to finish and graduate, he played softball and shattered his knee. It was a painful time for Brett, but just as emotionally painful for his mom who cared for him through the ordeal, including getting him through finals, surgery, and recovery.

You would think all people in their 50’s would take the same caution as I do. But no.

My husband Gary plays exactly two sports. (well okay, three if you count the occasional yearly golf game)

Both of his sports, which his weekly routine revolves around, are high contact sports: Hockey and Basketball to be specific.

From Hockey, he has sustained a scary enough injury to his head that afterwards, I forced him to take out a disability policy. He frightens me sometimes. I know guys need their heavy-duty contact sports, but really – wouldn’t a regular golf game be more appropriate at this age level?

Lots of other bruises and injuries have been part of the weekly hockey game – groin pulls, finger jams, etc.  Various degree of doctoring necessary, and my husband always delays in visiting the doctor even when he knows he needs to.

Basketball has been worse for him in terms of injuries. He was hit in his eye with the ball one year (Yes, I know most people would have used the blink reflex) and that damage to his eyeball lasted four to five years. He has gotten scratched, hit, bruised, and I often have to be reminded he is not doing professional wrestling during his several hours of this, he’s just playing hoops.

Yesterday I received the dreaded phone call – and I knew it was that right away when his number and name showed up on my phone a mere hour into his game.

Gary came down on his ankle and knew something was really wrong. He at least left the game, but I had to order him to our doctor’s office, which luckily has Saturday hours.

The x-rays were negative, and that was good, but it also brought some bad news: ligaments may have been torn, requiring an MRI later on.

So with his leg raised, his ankle under an ice pack, and a brand new brace to wear, he was mostly out of commission this weekend.  He is not a whiner or complainer, and has a very high threshold of pain, but he knows something major happened to three parts of his ankle.

The good news: He won’t be playing sports for a while, so I won’t have to worry about further injuries for some time.

The bad news: Gary will be gimpy for the foreseeable future.


  • Sorry to hear about your husband’s injuries. My dad, when he was almost 94, practically in a wheelchair, and suffering from a number of ailments, insisted upon climbing up on ladders. When he fell, as he inevitably did, he said that he would rather be dead than stuck in a chair for the rest of his life. I think perhaps this attitude explains why your husband and others insist upon engaging in activities that could injure them. Playing sports or taking on other physical challenges makes us feel alive.

  • Praying Gary heals quickly!!

  • I’m hoping this turns out to be nothing more than a bad sprain. Worse than any I’ve had before. It was better this morning than last night and I did not get a prescription for a pain killer. I can take very high levels of pain, which always feels like supreme discomfort. I’ve donated bone marrow twice and never took a pain pill once afterwards and that recovery lasted 3 to 4 weeks from the multiple holes punched through my rear deep into my pelvic bones. In the pouring rain this morning one of our drains and an area of our gutters clogged, backing up the water, threatening to flood into the house. I strapped on my waterproof boots , got out the wet dry vac and cleared the blockages from the drain and the gutter. Pretty good for gimpy, if you ask me. I don’t do the gym or exercise machines and love, love playing ice hockey and basketball. Those provide my exercise and according to my doctor are extraordinary for my heart and overall health. I like golf, played in high school but don’t love it. Won’t be playing much golf and once I can’t play ice hockey and basketball anymore I don’t think I’ll be able to golf. I’ll be fit for walks and grazing.

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