Eye of the Tyler: Three-step process for sharing injury stories

  • Thursday, February 14, 2013

Injuries can be debilitating, painful and demoralizing. They can also be a source for bonding.

Last week, I wrote about accidentally injuring myself at a town council meeting. Before I started, I discussed other injuries I had over the years with a co-worker. She talked about broken bones. What a lovely, the-glass-is-half-empty kind of chat.

Call it a sick game of tag. I tore the UCL in my right elbow. Tag, she’s it.

“My son broke his femur,” she said. Tag, I’m it.

I severely sprained and possibly tore a tendon in my right ankle. Tag, she’s it.

“I broke a bone in my upper right arm,” she said. Tag, I’m it.

That continued for a couple minutes. The reactions are the same: you grimace initially, say, “Oh, that sucks,” and then find something to laugh at.

Once I embarrassed myself discussing my injury to both ulnar nerves from a mean, ol’ table at the council meeting, I got a couple responses from people also willing to share their war stories. Tim also messed up his ulnar nerve, but the extent of his made me look like a sissy.

“I too damaged my ulnar nerve, but in a much less cool way,” he wrote in an email. Was that supposed to be a compliment?

“A few Aprils ago, I spent about three hours at my desk, on the phone with Turbotax tech support. When done, the pinky and ring finger on my left hand were numb,” he said. Right now is the grimace part of my reaction.

“Tried ice, saw my doc, steroids and finally had a new zipper – 12-inch incision – across my elbow. Ouch,” he said.

Now I share the complimentary, “Oh, that sucks.”

“I had mine treated in time,” Tim continued. “The surgeon said another few weeks and the damage would be beyond repair. Got lucky.”

Tim added that he blames the IRS. (Zing!) There’s the common thing we laugh at.

Laura, from our Facebook page, commented on the Moultrie News page: “Bless your heart, it’s only just begun,” she wrote. “I’m 47, and every day I seem to strain something new.”

There’s no grimace there. That thought just sucks.

But, hey, at least I’m gaining entrance into this not-so-exclusive club. Let’s laugh it off.

Read more Eye of the Tyler columns online at www.MoultrieNews.com.

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