I have often said I would rather be laid-up with a broken leg than a common cold. Of course, I’ve never actually had a broken leg, so I guess that’s an easy assertion. I might change my mind if I had more information.
A friend in the upper peninsula took a fall on the ice last winter, that resulted in a compound fracture. Bleeding from a two and a half inch gash made by the bone, and with a broken leg, she dragged herself back to her vehicle and drove herself to get help. That is one tough woman! She is, however, still recovering almost a full year later. It doesn’t sound like fun.
I broke my foot when I was in the third grade. A second-grader and I were on the teeter-totter. She had a definite weight advantage. When I was in the “up” position, she held me there, bouncing now and then to make it seem even more dangerous. I begged to be let down. She giggled. I wrapped my arms and legs around the heavy board. Then, the bell rang. She jumped off, which sent my end crashing to the ground. Unable to disentangle myself quickly enough, the teeter-totter landed on my foot.
My brother, Ted, walked me back to my classroom. I was sobbing, which drew attention. Children were pointing and laughing. Mrs. Snoddy took off my shoe and had a look. “Quit making fun of her,” she told the class, “she’s really hurt!” [I doubt it happened exactly like that, but I swear that’s the way I remember it!] Because we didn’t have a telephone in our house, the word got to my mother through a call to the neighbor.
Because my father was working and my mother didn’t drive (and it was decided that I was incapable of walking the three blocks from the school to the bus stop), Mrs. Snoddy drove me home…after she was done grading papers. I hope the accident happened during late recess, and not in the morning, but I don’t know. It seemed like a long time to sit there. There was a lot of throbbing pain.
It was the next morning before my parents brought me to see Doctor McBride. He took x-rays, then wrapped my entire foot and my leg to just below the knee in a big plaster cast. Then, I had to wear a large ugly, plastic-soled red-patterned knit slipper instead of a shoe on that foot. I did not get crutches. I had to miss Brownies.I couldn’t ride the bus. I had to wait in front of the old school until Mrs. O’Connor got out of work at the hospital, for her to pick me up and drive me home. When I visited the doctor after six weeks, hoping to have the cast off, he took more x-rays, added a little reinforcing plaster to the cast, and sent me off for another month. It wasn’t fun. I never say I’d rather be laid-up with a broken foot than have a cold!
Still, I’ve had plenty of colds, and they aren’t fun, either. When I imagine myself with a broken leg, I picture me in a comfortable bed, television at the ready, a stack of books nearby, and plenty of time for rest. I look pretty good! Someone (WHO??) brings me coffee or other soothing drinks and dainty meals on a regular basis. Like I said, I’ve never actually had a broken leg. When I have a cold, my eyes are blood-shot slits, my head hurts and my ears ache. I snuffle, cough and snort my way through the day. I’m too tired to accomplish anything productive, too groggy to read, too uncomfortable to sleep. I don’t feel good, and I certainly don’t look good. And that, in the end, is the point I’ve been trying to make, really. I hate a cold!