I guess it was bound to happen: my first real injury. Sure, I have pulled muscles, gotten rink rash, and other things, but recently I hurt my stupid finger. It was at practice and we were doing a never-ending jam. Tank and I were next in line and the girl jamming was looking tired, Tank runs to the girl in the box to take her place and the jammer comes out. I act like I am upset that I have to jam, but deep down I am excited because if truth be told I would love to be good enough to jam. So I don the star panty, jump on the track and get hit and fall. I notice my finger hurts so I wiggle it some, and strangely it pops back in place. I don’t think much about it because I have to get around and score some points, which I do. I come off the track and just keep moving my fingers so they don’t get stiff from the dislocation. I finish practice and decided to run to the store and get some finger tape and a splint.
When I wake up the next day, my finger is super swollen and bruised, I still don’t think much about it. At work I talk to the EMT and she says I really should get an X-ray, I laugh her off but start thinking about it. On my way home I decide to stop at Urgent Care and get it looked at, just to prove I am fine. Except I am not fine – my finger is broken and I should see an Orthopedic Doctor. I still don’t think it’s anything. I go to our season opener party with taped fingers and say I am fine, I can just tape them and go on with my day. On Monday I call and make my orthopedic appointment thinking I can get some exercises and it won’t even have to be taped for the first bout in two weeks, pus the roster for that bout comes out today and I worked super hard to be on it. YEA!!! I made the roster along with my wife and my brand new daughter it was a grand day. I went to practice that night fingers taped well and it was fine, I could do everything and thought I was good to go.
Until my orthopedic appointment on Tuesday, which did not go as planned. I got 20 more X-rays and learned the difference between my index finger and my middle finger. Finally my doctor comes in, and says I have a small break in the knuckle that is most likely from the dislocation, and should be fine with therapy (see, told everyone). Then he looks at the X-ray more and pokes at my hand and keeps asking if this hurts, which it doesn’t hurt that much and the he says it. This looks pretty bad, we need to do SURGERY Thursday. Wait! What!! Surgery? It’s just a finger, what is the heal time, what if I say no. Heal time 6-8 weeks no derby and chronic problems if I don’t do it including losing the use of the finger. Also I can’t wait I have to have it now or not at all because of scar tissue. I tell him I need to think about it, but he still has me fill out all the paperwork.
I talk to Nat, my captain, about what to do. Do I miss 8 weeks of derby and our first home bout for a stupid finger? I get some good advice, encouragement and logic from her. I am the girl who gets mad at all her teammates for not taking time to recover, they come back to early and are not at the top of their game and never heal properly. Now I may become that girl, so I do what I need to – call my mom because she will make me have the surgery and take the time off, and she does. I cried and thought of a zillion reasons not to do it, but in reality I need the use of my finger, my job requires it. So on Thursday 4/7/2011 I have surgery on my left middle finger, now I can’t move my fingers for 3 weeks, in a cast, in pain and a zillion other things that depress me (however Super Vicodin makes me feel a little better). So I typed this with one hand knowing I won’t be skating in the first bout (probably not the second bout) and praying I can make roster for the third after being out for so long. I didn’t realize derby had become so important to me that I would risk my health to keep doing it. I love this sport and my team but I have to heal to be better, to be my best and missing bouts may feel like the end of the world right now but if I didn’t do this I could have been out forever and that would be worse. So I will go to the first bout, cheer for my team, my wife and my daughter and know that I will be back – better than I was before, better, stronger, faster, and who knows – maybe one day I will earn the right to wear the star panty!
-Shaken and Stirred