As sports fans, we see athletes going down with leg injuries all the time, especially during football season. We know that this usually means that the athlete for our team will be out for a certain amount of time, or in Tom Brady's case, the entire season. Everyone knows how detrimental this can be to a team, depending on the importance of that player, but what we don't think about is how an injury like this affects athletes throughout every-day life.
I recently pulled my hamstring, or at least that's what I think because I'm too stubborn to see the doctor, playing kickball...yes, that's right, I said kickball. Please don't ask anymore questions...just go with it. Anyway, I was upset about being injured because it meant that I would not be able to play for a while, but what I soon realized is that I forgot how difficult it is to function throughout the day when you have a leg injury. Here are a few issues that I have recently run into and please feel free to laugh at me as much as you would like since some of them are a bit embarrassing.
Putting on underwear and pants : After I grimace my way out of the shower and find a way to dry myself off without crying like an overweight cat in heat, the most difficult part of my day is putting on my underwear. I am being dead serious! At first I tried to put my red, jockey boxer briefs on the normal way, forgetting that my leg is tighter that the clinched jaw of someone that bet the under on the Super Bowl and more colorful than a parade in Key West, and let's just say that didn't go very well. So, next I tried dangling the elusive garment below my injured leg and dropping my limb with a blind hope that it would find the appropriate hole, however, I ended up grabbing the elastic band with my toes while still desperately holding my jockeys with my opposite hand. Well, let's just say this was a worse idea as I ended up dropping my leg in an attempt not to stub my toe, which created more pressure on my leg, causing me to fall face first on my unmade bed. I can only imagine what my dog is thinking, watching a completely naked man fall face first on the bed and screaming like he had just been stabbed and undoubtedly cursing about something his mother would not be proud to hear. So there I am, butt-ass naked, lying on my bed, still holding my underwear, and I realize that five minutes have gone by and I have failed to complete a task that a three-year-old can finish on his own in less that 10 seconds. That's when I knew it was going to be a long day.
Going to the bathroom : There is nothing glorious about sitting on a toilet so I will try and keep this as non descriptive as possible, but it must not go without being mentioned. I will never take for granted sitting on a toilet seat again now that I know what it feels like to have a breathing watermelon in my leg. And as you can imagine, you can't actually sit when your right leg is about twice the size of your left leg, so what do you do? Well, the only thing you can do. You lean to your left side and hold your right leg in the most comfortable position as possible and you pray that you are able to get the job done before your leg either cramps up, falls asleep or you actually fall of the boat, which are all dangerous situations to encounter. If you get lucky enough to finish your task at hand in an ample time frame, you then have to worry about the clean-up, which you would think would be easier since you are already leaning toward one side. However, an uncomfortable leg that doesn't want to do what you are telling it to do presents an unfavorable situation requiring quick improvisations. All I could come up with was squatting over my work space with a stepping stool to help secure my non-flexibly inclined leg and praying that nobody would ever see me in such an uncompromising position in my life.
Driving : First of all, I must make sure that I don't forget anything because once I get into the car, there is no getting out. I don't care what I forgot...it can wait until I get back. And if I am sitting in the passenger seat of a car, I have to have the driver close the door for me. You would think this would give you a feeling of importance with someone closing your door for you, but it doesn't. Mostly because the person closing the door for you has to get up and walk around the car after they give you a look like you are the biggest waste of space on the face of the planet, all the while reminding you how much you owe them and that if you were not injured, they would kick your ass up and down the street without feeling guilty about it. Anyway, back to the actual driving part. Thankfully, I have an automatic car, not that I would be able to drive a manual anyway (yes, it is one of the embarrassing failures in my life) because I need my left foot available to lift me up instead of pumping a clutch. It's not that painful to press on the breaks, but in order to actually get anywhere, a driver has to actually step on the gas a few times and since sitting on my leg hurts more than a scorpion attached to the tip of a nose, you can only imagine how great it feels to press down on my leg when I am already sitting on it. So I have devised a plan to lift my body with my left foot and work the pedals with my half-witted right foot. You can imagine that the process is not awesome in any way, shape or form and I hope than nobody has to actually witness such a feat, not that anyone with half a brain would actually get in a car with me after watching this display of idiocracy. Every light I approach usually involves me saying, " Please turn red, please turn red, please turn red...where are all these damn green lights coming from!"
Putting on/Taking off socks and shoes : After the first frustrating effort of attempting to remove my socks and shoes since I was able to put them on normally before I was injured, the process becomes a bit easier than the actual application of foot protection. Now, I am not saying that it's easy to remove my shoes and socks, but I usually have more time since I don't have a certain place to be and rubbing my feet together in what can only be described as a disturbing convulsion usually does the trick. However, the process comes with indescribable sounds of discomofort and relief once the process is over, but none of it compares to attempting to put a sock on my right foot. To make things worse, I am probably one of the least flexible people in the world and have learned to live with the issue, but having a hamstring that is more useless than the stock market makes things a bit more difficult than what I am used to. I first tried hanging the sock on my toes, which I actually succeeded in doing, but that's all they did, just hang there. I wasn't smart enought to realize that once I got them hanging, that I still wouldn't be able to reach that part of my foot and pull them secure. So next, I dropped them on the floor and tried to slide them on like shoes, but I quickly realized that it was probably the dumbest idea I have not only thought of but actually tried to implement. So as I was already late to work and going no where fast, I thought of the best idea I had come up with all week. Who needs socks anyway? My shoes have the appropriate lining and isn't that why they created shoe-odor spray anyway?
Walking : Once I have spent my entire morning just attempting to get dressed, I usually feel proud of myself if I haven't cried yet throughout the process, but that is short lived once I start heading down the hallway to my cubible, and I realize that I am walking like someone just sanded off the right side of my ass. So, I have been trying not to leave my desk too much, but there are issues which make this task difficult like hunger, having to empty my bladder, doing actual work and boredom. Maybe I should just pick up one of those motorized carts at Publix on my lunch break and maneuver around the office in one of those bad boys, but who knows how long it would take me to get on and off that thing. I guess I will just have to suffer like everyone else and learn to have a newfound respect for athletes that have to deal with constant injuries. However, Tom Brady has Giselle to take care of him, while I have a 90 pound pit-bull that stares at me with disappointment. Too bad I wasn't born with a rocket arm, but at least I have learned to embrace the wonders of humility.