Roller Derby Mama

Yoda has been invited to a roller skate birthday party.  Bashert has bravely stepped up to attend with.  I don’t do roller skates anymore.  She, however can be a glutton for punishment.

Now, once upon a time, roller skating meant family time.

On Saturday’s mornings, a four year old Nenè and I would join my sister Raquel and her family at one of the local skating rinks.  The Starlight offered three hours dedicated to kids under the age of 10 and their parents for around $1.50 a head plus skate rentals.

Imagine that – a good and cheap way to have fun with your family.

The routine was basically the same every Saturday.  We’d go in, the elders of us would rent our boots and hit the hardwood rink ready for about a half hour of precarious balancing.

In Nenè’s case, I buckled on her Fisher-Price “learn to skate” skates and she would walk around the rink – never was much of a risk taker in those days, Nenè.

We would all skate to the fantastic urban beat of “Ice, Ice, Baby” and “Ghostbusters”.  Those of us feeling brave enough would mime out the letters to “YMCA”, while still rolling.

After the half hour of free skate, the games would begin.

I always enjoyed the Hokey-Pokey, except for the turning about.  Turning about makes me motion sick, so I would end up doing some strange version of jazz hands while remaining in place.

They used to give out Tootsie Rolls at the end of that segment, but the floor ended up too gunky, so that had to end.  Too bad, I like Tootsie Rolls.

The next activity arranged was usually some sort of race.

The race that became my downfall, figuratively and literally was Red Light/Green Light.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this particular game, it goes as such;

The Moderator instructs everyone to line up at the start.  The Moderator then turns their back to the assembled racers and yells “Green light!” at which time all the participants run or in our case skate, like mad demons to get as far as they can before the Moderator turns and yells, “Red light!”  Anyone caught moving after the red light call is put out of the game.  First one across the finish line wins.

At the Starlight, winning usually meant a token for food or free skate rentals.  Stuff that brought out the competitive spirit of all those kids and parents.

So there we were, all lined up and ready for fierce competition – my sister Raquel, her husband M’pudi, daughter Noël, son Epic, me and Nenè.

Recall that Nenè is wearing skates that have stops on the wheels that prevent them from free movement.  We would not be in competition for first place.

“Green light!”  And we’re off.  “Red light!” We stop.  “Green light!” Another few feet for Nenè and me – Raquel has zoomed to the front of the pack.

“Red light!”  I positioned to brake and felt my knee with the torn cartilage start to give. As soon as I shifted my weight (which wasn’t so considerable back then) to relieve the knee, the world went black and down to the floor I sank.

I vaguely remember trying to avoid crushing Nenè as I came down.

Nenè began to cry saying she hurt her elbow.  My ability to speak was hanging in the air with the little bursts of light circling my head.  I eventually managed to squeak out a feeble, “Are you okay?”

It took the field of play a moment or two to realize that a player was down for the count.  Raquel often reminds me that she was about to cross the finish line first when I my accident called a halt to the game afoot.  She still hasn’t forgiven me totally.

M’pudi helped get me up off the floor and rolled me over to the side lines.  There I removed my skating boot and witnessed a rather large egg size swelling on the outside of my right ankle.

It was agreed that I should go to the emergency room and have it checked out even after a physician who was there with his kid looked at it and said it was most likely just badly sprained.

Yeah, badly sprained doesn’t make you want to throw up when you put the least little pressure on it.

M’pudi and Raquel loaded me into the car and M’pudi took me to the emergency room while Raquel took the kids on home.

Long story short?  Four hours later I was in surgery having two screws placed in my broken ankle and spending the night in the hospital, while my mother packed her bags and began her drive down from Virginia to come help me for two weeks.

About six years down the road, I got back on skates just to prove a point – what and why I’m not sure, but I did it.

Nenè was skating on her own and Bashert was with us.  That may have been the night that Bashert broke her coccyx, trying to avoid slamming into a small child.

Nope, I don’t do roller skates anymore.

Vacation Souvenirs

Today I found out that I brought back a souvenir from our family vacation.

Its not a t-shirt or baseball cap (first time ever I did not purchase either of these).  Its not a snow globe or even a miniature replica of the Washington Monument.

No, my souvenir took me to the doctor this morning.

Turns out that all that walking and running about resulted in a stress fracture of the second metatarsal of my left foot.

I should have known something was up when it felt like I was shoving my foot into a 5 inch, narrow toe stiletto instead of my sturdy, reliable New Balance® walkers.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

I wish I had gotten the t-shirt.

For those of you new to these posts, I will explain.

My left foot, and by default I, being attached to said foot, have suffered from chronic Plantar’s Fasciitis for over four years.  Together left foot and I have been through cortisone shots, icing, physical therapy, deep tissue massage, numbing creams, splints and three surgeries.

Its only three months out from the last surgery.  Silly me to apply such performance anxiety.

Dr. S. tried to give reassurance by telling me that there’s basically nothing done to treat this type of fracture.

I just love his bedside manner.

I wonder if I can get a copy of the x-ray?

CafePress® could print it and I’d get my t-shirt after all.

“What I Did On My Summer Vacation”.

Health, Wealthy & Wise – 3 part rambles

1) Healthy

The plantar fascia is a broad ligament just dorsal to the foot’s subcutaneous fatty tissue. Microtearing, and the body’s attempted repair of it, results in chronic inflammation.  Heel pain with the first few steps in the morning and after a period of rest is the classic symptom of plantar fasciitis. The pain improves with activity but recurs after prolonged weight bearing, often at the end of the day. Usually, the pain is felt in the front and bottom of the heel, but as the definition of “plantar fasciitis” indicates, it can be felt in any portion of the bottom of the foot where the fascia is located. Often, patients report that the pain is predominantly in the heel but radiates to the arch. (The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Vol. 26 No. 3 April 1, 2009)

When plantar fasciitis symptoms occur in menopausal women, it’s believed to be…compounded by a decrease in the body’s healing capacity. (

Had my one month check up on the foot yesterday.  Doc says looking good this time except for the stiffness of the scar tissue underneath the incision site.  Its preventing me from getting into my shoe just yet.  Put a piece of duct tape tightly across the bottom of your foot just where the ball starts to bend.  Now walk – that’s pretty much what it’s like, but tender, too. I keep thinking I’ve stepped on something that’s stuck to my foot.

This is the best and simplest diagram I could find to give an idea of what went on.  Doc has some great photos of my actual surgery, but I’m a bit chicken to ask if I can have a copy.

The 1st surgery was just a slice across and the ligament grew back together through the scar tissue.

The 2nd surgery entailed taking out a small square of the ligament, which then attached higher up.

The 3rd surgery was a bit experimental, higher on the foot and taking a larger, postage stamp chunk of the ligament out.   This was to try and avoid having to ‘strip’ the ligament where a zigzag incision is made down the length of the foot and the ligament is cut across in various places down the foot..  Not the option I hope we have to resort to.

I also had a cortisone injection in the other foot. Not fun.  He freezes with a spray of ethel chloride, which in itself stings like the devil as the skin temp drops.  I have no fear of needles, but when he hits the internal the spot where my foot is hurting – oh yeah, its bullet biting time.  Of course it didn’t help that my 7 year old kept asking me, “Does it hurt?”.  My inner childishness was thinking just wait until he has his next round of inoculations.

I can only describe the feeling afterward as if I’m walking on something stuffed inside my shoe.  Its definitely different from the novocaine shots the dentist uses to have you drool, not that this caused me to drool – just wince and wish I could let loose with a sailor’s curse.

So, now I look like I’m walking on hot coals trying to baby both feet at the same time. I feel a bit like those old ladies one sees hobbling around WalMart.  Or for those of you who may remember, Festus from Gunsmoke. “I’ll be right over Mr. Dillion.”

I’ve been on disability for this round.  First time I’ve had to deal with the insurance company in this manner. Its a joy.

We have saved the latest message from them on the answering machine.  Think extremely heavy New York accent – “I need to have the paperwork faxed back by the 10th ‘cawse, I’d really don’t want to have to deny this.”  Are the insurance companies now hiring goodfellas?  I’d made sure that the Doc’s office was up on the paperwork!

I get good parking right now, although I’d rather just park next to the cart return.  What good is it to park in handicapped but have to walk all the way back and forth to return your cart?  Parking lot planners did not think well in that area.

I also get to ride in those little motorized scooters in the store.  I’ve finally gotten the hang of driving them.  I can make hairpin turns now.  In the beginning it was a bit like the golf cart scene from Austin Powers.  My partner will walk with me without fear and that’s saying a lot.

That’s about it for this rambling, especially since I have an impatient 7 year old staring me down.  He wants to go to the store with me so that he can drive the scooter.  Whatever it takes, eh?

Next segment will ramble on about the second of Mr. Franklin’s suggestions: Wealthy.  That should be a hoot.