The Norman Transcript

August 24, 2013

Bruised but not broken

By Elizabeth Cowan
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — There are some injuries that require a grit-your-teeth-and-live-with-it approach. Why?

Well, perhaps it is because nothing constructive can be done to speed up the healing process. Besides, learning to deal with pain puts hair on your chest.

Let’s say little Johnny is playing baseball with his friends and his nose gets in the way of a fast ball. Consequently, the ball and the pitcher are justifiably furious. After all, Johnny stuck his nose where it did not belong and impeded the intended path of that superbly pitched ball.

As you would expect, there is a collective gasp in the stadium. Johnny grabs his nose and falls on the ground, writhing in agony. The loudest gasp/shriek comes from the lips of his loving, and now freaked out, mother.

He is rushed to the Emergency Room. The staff stop the bleeding, plugging his nostrils with rolled up gauze. Since it is a simple fracture, they straighten his nose as well. After that, with instructions to use an ice pack to reduce swelling, the boy is sent home to wait for the healing process to run its course.

What else did you expect? There was no need to wrap a bandage around his nose and all over his face because it would not help. Besides, the kid would resemble the boy from the movie “The Mask.” Not the best look for a macho wannabe lad.

Cracked or broken ribs are yet another one of those injuries which require the unfortunate person to endure the pain and have a great deal of patience during the healing process. The injured person may wear a rib belt to stabilize the ribs, but no cast is applied.

If the poor bloke was shackled with a rib cast, imagine the combination of pain inherent to such an injury and the added weight he would have to cart around. Not the best way to get six-pack abs. Unlike a broken leg where a bit of hobbling is involved, it is impossible to make hobbling movements with a rib cast, unless you are an inch worm or try to imitate one. Quite preposterous to imagine and endure.

For inexplicable reasons, folks insist on stumbling around in the dark. Consequently, a broken toe is a common injury. Except for the “buddy taping,” which entails wrapping the broken digit together with a healthy neighboring toe for stabilizing purposes, there is not much to be done. For those with a talented middle toe, it also means forgoing the pleasure of giving folks “The Toe.”

Now we come to the injury with which your humble writer is most familiar — the bruised tailbone. It does not take an Einstein to figure out that if you fall off of a motorbike and bounce on the ground, you will have a sore tailbone for an extended period of time.

Can anything ease the pain?

Since there is no quick fix for such an injury, the chilled-buns approach of applying an ice pack is recommended. Aside from having a sneezing fit, it can be a cool experience.

Sitting on a donut was another suggestion. Well . . . it was not that comfortable. Besides, the filling squished out and made a big mess.

Another suggestion was to take an Epsom salt sitz bath. Using a small basin for said sitz bath worked fine, until Hubby walked in the room and fell over laughing. It could have worked, but I did not want Hubby injured by laughing so hard.

Since the tailbone normally does not “stick out like a sore thumb,” putting a cast around it was out of the question. Just as with the slightly broken nose, the cast would be in the way for many reasons.

What is the best solution? Wait until the pain is gone and climb back on the motorbike.

Elizabeth is an author and freelance writer. Visit her website, elizabethcowan.com. Please check out her novels, “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man,” at Amazon.com.