Sunday, August 23, 2009

HITTING THE WALL

I usually play volleyball on Thursday nights at the Harwich Community Center here on Cape Cod. Last Thursday I went to play a little after seven o'clock. Shortly thereafter during a game I was in the front row on the left hand side of the volleyball net when I saw the ball being hit towards the right hand side of the court on my side of the net. No one on my team was going for this ball at the time so for some reason I decided to run an dive for the ball and hit the ball before the ball reached the floor. I ended up hitting the ball but my momentum ended up carrying me into the solid wall located to the right of the volleyball net. This wall has a layer of protective padding that extends almost to the floor. As I was diving towards the wall I didn't want to hit my head on the wall area below where the padding stopped so I put out my right hand to try to slow myself down and protect my head. Hitting the wall at the speed I was traveling caused my wrist to fracture. I remember saying "OW" but really didn't feel much immediate pain as this all happened in a split second. I got up from the floor though an saw that my right wrist didn't look normal so I knew I was done for the night. My wrist had a strange bend to it so I decided that I better go to the Cape Cod Hospital emergency room and have my wrist evaluated. So, first I drove with my left hand only to my house and wrapped my wrist in an ace bandage and tied a plastic bag of ice cubes around my wrist. I drove to the emergency room in Hyannis and arrived there at 8:15 pm.

After a while waiting in the lobby area I was put in a wheel chair and entered the emergency room part of the hospital and was put on a rolling bed. I remember thinking to myself, "This hospital scene is just like the medical shows on television." There were a lot of ambulance crews wheeling people around strapped to ambulance stretchers with head restraints on the patients. One patients was just in a car crash and they were checking him to see if he had any head or back injuries. Another patient, a woman who looked to be in her upper eighties, was wheeled in and had an oxygen mask on as a lot of hospital staff were attending to her. There was another patient there that I didn't see but heard as he was either in a lot of pain or else throwing up non-stop as we could hear a continuous sound of "AHHH, AHHH!".

Someone came by to take my personal information and then a while later I was wheeled into an X-ray room for an X-ray of my wrist. I was then wheeled back to where I was before. The doctor came by and told me I had fractured my wrist. He said that I might need surgery but later the hospital staff decided that I could leave the emergency room so they wrapped up my wrist, gave me some prescriptions and let me leave the hospital. They gave me the name of an orthopedic doctor and told me to call him first thing in the morning and make sure that I didn't eat anything after midnight in case I needed surgery the next morning. I was discharged from the hospital a little after eleven o'clock that night and returned to my house just before midnight so I ate a bowl of cereal and finished eating the cereal at 11:56 a.m. "Whew!", that was close, I almost was still eating after midnight but finished just in time! I don't know what would have happened to me if I was still eating at 12:01 am.

Some times in life people are said to have "hit the wall" such as when running in a marathon or competing in a triathlon. Me, I literally "hit the wall" playing volleyball.