Good Stuff
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
Ms. A is a roller derby girl.

Apparently this has been a dream of hers for a while. Whether I knew it or not, it's something she's always wanted to do. Kind of like me wanting to do cartoon voice overs or flying a fighter jet; if you get the chance, you take it.

So she took it and is now going to practices and schleping equipment for bouts. Her first practice went well and they invited her back. She goes through more practices, then some evaluations and by some time in October, the league will determine if she's up for selection and then teams will pick.

It's very exciting.

The other day I went skating with her. We've been a few times since a friend of Lil Miss Austin had a birthday party at a local rink and we were reminded how much fun it is. I'm not a great skater. I used to be, but now I wobble a lot. I rarely fall, have to figure out cross over stepping and how to stop without running into the railing. But I'm not horrible.

But everyone falls.

Tuesday I was cruising along and something stopped me, or more precisely stopped my wheel. I was thusly catapulted into the air and landed jarringly on my left hand and wrist, jamming my elbow into my ribs. At first it was just my wrist that hurt; a mild sprain, no bruising. I spent the evening icing it and wore a bandage the next day. The pain began to lessen and by Thursday I was able to play a little basketball.

Last night I was laying down and I stretched with my arms above my head and something pinched and twinged from just above my left nipple all the way down to below the side of my ribs. I thought I was having a heart attack. The paint wasn't enormous, but once it happened, it didn't go away like a cramp. And any pain you get in the left side of your chest is worrisome. After a bit of deliberation about going to the hospital, I went to the after hours clinic where the doctor assured me it was a chest wall injury, probably from my fall. Here's some pain medicine, relax and don't lift stuff.

I called Ms. A to give her the news that it wasn't cardio related and she teasingly hazed me about having owies. Apparently, I have a habit of blowing small pains out of proportion. Though a sharp unrelenting pain in your chest I hardly think is crying wolf.

But it got me thinking about pain. I usually keep my mouth shut about the small pains I get. My ears ache a lot and I get the odd sharp, knee-wobbling pain in my head. I don't say anything usually because I don't feel my pain is worth it. It's an odd description, but one a friend echoed when talking about similar pains. You don't think it's worth taking medicine, going to the doctor, even telling your friends and family about. You don't want to be a bother.

Which makes comparing pain quite difficult. Ms. A's going to be a roller girl and she's given birth twice. Unless I impale myself on my own compound fracture, she's going to give me grief over my little owies. It's out of love and fun that she does so, she's not being mean, but how do you compare pain? Some pains are different, some are events you can cope with, others are just merciless. But what makes my pain less or more than yours or his or hers?

We're built differently. Even if you've had a painful experience, it doesn't make each new one something you can relate to. I've had someone kick me in the face, breaking my jaw. That, to my memory, wasn't really painful, any more than running into someone while playing a sport. However I've also had hangnails that make me want to cry like a girl. How to explain that?

While I work on that and try to find books on neuropsychology and pain, I'll go back to taking my drugs for my non-heart-attack chest pain and wait for the next almost-broken-finger and nearly-stroke-like-pain-in-my-head.

Carry on.

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