It’s February, and the first month of 2016 has come and gone.
I didn’t expect 2016 to start the way it has, nor did I expect 2015 to end the way it did.
We had no business doing what we were doing that afternoon.
The Scornavacco family and Dr. Karla’s sister’s family checked out of our ranch hotel on New Year’s Eve and had a few hours to kill before heading back home from Grand County.
My daughter had been asking and asking for us to all go ice skating, which fit in perfectly with our plans, so we obliged.
Did I mention Dr. Karla’s sister lives in Virginia?
So there we all were, parents and kids, constantly off-balance in our ice skates, struggling to keep from falling on our rear ends as we slid around the ice rink.
Good thing we were the only ones on the ice; I think no one else wanted to be in there with the family circus.
But skating wasn’t enough, we had to grab some sticks and start a pick-up game of broom ball (it was too hard to hit a hockey puck).
That’s when the fun began. We were having a great time, even with all our slipping and sliding.
We were falling all over the rink. We crashed into the goal, crashed into each other and I crashed into the wall and fell on it.
When my nephew face-planted, worrying everyone he might have suffered a concussion, Dr. Karla said, “maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.”
A prophetic line, one we should have listened to.
But, he picked himself back up and it was Game On!
I recall watching Dr. Karla from my spot in goal. It all happened so fast, but for me it looked like she was moving in slow motion.
She was on the other side of the ice, turning the corner of the rink when I saw her skates shoot out from under her.
Just like that Dr. Karla was horizontal, a few feet off the ice, seeming to levitate for split-second.
I watched her right arm instinctively extend behind her, and her entire body drop to the ice on top of it.
By the sound of her scream, I knew, without a doubt, her wrist was broken — badly. This wasn’t just a sprain.
What followed was “The Ski-stone Cops” — 6 elderly members of the ranch’s cross-country ski patrol arrived on scene, vainly trying to figure out what to do next.
It was infuriating to stand there and watch. My wife needed to get to an ER, like now, but I had forms to fill out while they looked at each other wondering what to do next.
Worse, I could tell she was about to go into shock.
Then, a lifetime of training kicked in. I had enough of sitting there hoping for someone to make a decision, so I grabbed her and bean walking her to our car, telling them I was taking her to an Emergency Room before she passed out.
Ever so politely, they followed us to my car like a gaggle of goslings doing their best to be helpful, when all I wanted were directions to the ER and for them to get out of my way before I ran them over.
We finally escaped to the hospital where, after the obligatory hours-long wait, we got X-rays showing the extent of the damage.
My wife’ wrist looked like Elmer Fudd’s shotgun after Bugs Bunny puts his finger in it and Fudd fires, shards blossoming out in all directions.
It was ugly, but least the doctor (and his wonderful nurse) set her arm and got us some pain killers before releasing us.
We made it home just in time to ring in the New Year with our relatives.
What a night to remember!
Surgery, complete with metal plate and screws, was a week later. Recovery (she’s now on her fourth cast) is ongoing, with no driving for 6 weeks, no using her right arm whatsoever and lots of painful days and nights.
If I have been less-than-efficient at SMAA this year so far, it’s because I’m taking care of family.
A huge thanks goes out to all the people who have helped out with transporting kids, cooking a meal here and there and to the SMAA staff (particularly Ms. Michelle) for continuing to give great student service while I’ve been indisposed.
Hopefully you haven’t even noticed.
Boxing legend Mike Tyson has a great line, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” meaning that it’s hard for people to bounce back, adjust and carry on when things don’t go as they intended.
Tyson’s point is, what are you going to do now that life hit you with a surprise left hook? Are you going to fold or forge on?
I’ve been hit a whole lot in my life, physically and psychologically, so this is just the next problem to solve. The hardest part for me is knowing my wife is in constant pain.
As for the rest, I follow our family motto, “figure it out.”
See you in class.