The Human Body is Fragile

I know that I don’t often think about the limits of my body. I take it for granted that I am young, agile, and athletic. I run and jump and play on a regular basis. I still skateboard too. Some people might think I am just a big kid. In fact, I’ve heard comments to this effect time and time again.

I really don’t see a problem with being active and playing. It doesn’t matter that I am thirty-something. You are only as old as you feel, right? That’s what I believe anyway.

I look after myself too. I’m not just a careless daredevil. I stretch before I exercise. I go for 5-kilometer runs at least 3 days a week. I do cool down walks and don’t try to overexert myself. I know my pace. I know what skateboard tricks I can pull off and what is beyond my ability.

So last week when we had track and field day at my school, I knew that I could still do the events. I wasn’t being stupid at all or trying to show off. I was actually demonstrating the proper techniques and trying to coach the students. I was doing everything right and I still managed to hurt myself. I can’t believe it. If I was being stupid, I could understand being in this much pain and still recovering, but I wasn’t. It’s crazy.

I hurt myself Thursday morning and spent the day in waiting rooms. My girlfriend typed up a blog entry for me that day because I was in too much pain to sit at the computer.

I can’t believe how much this still hurts. My neck and upper back are really, really stiff and it hurts to lie down or move in certain ways. This really sucks. But, at least I can sit here for a little while and continue the story.

It starts Friday morning with the phone ringing. It was the doctor. She told me that she got the x-ray results and wanted me to go to the emergency room. I was really scared when I heard this. She wanted me to get a CT scan and told me to come by the office to get the report on the way to the hospital.

It was hard to drive since I couldn’t turn my neck to check blind spots but I jumped in the car and took it easy as I drove to the hospital. When I got there, they put me in a cervical collar and made me lie down on a board. It was very uncomfortable.

I had to wait on that board for most of the day. I had a CT scan and nervously awaited the results. I didn’t think it was going to be anything serious since I had been walking around the day before and they sent me home after the x-ray but it was still really scary.

So I got the results. Apparently there was a slight narrowing between C4 and 5 but there were no fractures. That was good news. But after spending all day in a collar and lying down on a board, it was strange that they suddenly took me off the board, removed the collar, and said that I could go home.

I don’t really know what to do. I am stiff and sore and it hurts to move in certain ways. I’m sure that if I just take it easy, I will recover from this. Maybe I just strained my muscles and bruised them. It should get better with time.

It just goes to remind us that the human body is fragile. We need to be careful what we do, especially as we get older. But I’m not willing to alter my active and athletic life.

I know that I’m not as fast as I used to. I can feel myself getting older but I am still capable of being athletic, using my body, and enjoying myself. The day I can’t do that is the day that I truly am old.

4 responses to “The Human Body is Fragile”

  1. I think it’s great that you’re still active and everything. Sometimes things just happen, sometimes it doesn’t matter how old you are. I was about…eight or nine, maybe, playing at my aunt’s house in the country, when I got brave and tried to a cartwheel for the first time in a year or so, and twisted my wrist. And that’s really the only injury I’ve ever had.

    But anyway, hope you get feeling better soon.

  2. Hi Alexis,

    I think you’re right. This injury really doesn’t have anything to do with my age. It just happened.

    Thanks for the well wishes.

  3. I know how you feel, my friend. I've been there. Ended up with an agonizing pinched nerve a few years back just from sleeping in a tent — an unpleasant reminder that I may be in my 30s and young still but I am not 15 with rubber bones and fiber-optic nerve cables anymore.

  4. Hi ECD,

    It sucks getting old. I still think I can do anything and I still push myself sometimes. But I think it is important to know your limits. I know I can still do high jump but perhaps, it is time to retire from that event.