It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Where’s the Glamour? I Demand Glamour!

The elderly man in the waiting room at the physiotherapist’s this afternoon watched as I gingerly eased myself into the chair and sighed my way slowly down to my bootlaces.

“Done your back in, have you?” His voice is sympathetic, a fellow-sufferer.

“Yes, it seems I have.” Maintaining the perfect posture I have practiced all week, I walk across the room then place my boots on the mat by dint of doing very deep knee-bends while keeping that back very, very straight. When I get as low as my quaking thighs will allow, which is far lower than I could a week ago, (this would be my silver lining) I drop the boots from my fingertips. Two points for a straight landing. I am getting very good at this.

“A sports injury, was it?”

Well. What a wonderful old fellow he is, yes he is. Sports injury? Uh-huh. Young and spry, I am. The only reason I’m moving like a woman of eighty-two is that little incident I had while pole-vaulting last weekend. Yes, indeed. I like this. I like this man. This kind and perceptive man. He returns my smile, probably a bit bemused by its enthusiasm. Sadly, honesty compels me to disillusion him.

“Nothing so glamourous, no. In fact, I tripped over the baby gate while carrying a basket of laundry.”

He winces appreciatively, and so do I. He’s thinking of the pain. I’m thinking of the lack of cachet. Baby gates and laundry baskets are not in the same league as “sports injury”. The sad truth is that in my line of work, stubbing your toes and bruising your shins on a baby gate as your legs stop dead in the kitchen, followed by wrenching your lower back as your torso plunges into the dining room, your body coming to an abrupt and muscle-searing stop when your arms slam the laundry basket down onto the dining room floor, while your butt forms the dramatic apex of your not-so-graceful descent in the air over said baby gate — the pathetic truth is that in my line of work, this ridiculous event constitutes a work-related injury.

But if anyone asks, it was the pole-vaulting.

January 17, 2006 - Posted by | the dark side


  1. Ugh–back pain is the WORST! After you’re healed maybe you should switch to the 400 meter relay.

    Comment by Sharkey | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  2. Having had some sports injuries, I’m not so sure that I agree that there is that much glamour to them. It took me about six weeks to recover from the judo contest that I entered back in the summer last year and I don’t remember feeling any glamour! Mostly I remember feeling that I got what I deserved for getting into fights with other big guys who know how to hurt people.

    Comment by Simon P. Chappell | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  3. I had an incident with a baby gate myself.
    While carrying my oldest (younger one wasn’t born yet), I attemted to step over said gate. My loving dog came excitedly running toward us sweeping my unplanted foot out from under me. In the attempt to save my poor child from falling upon her soft little head, I landed squarely on top of the gate, forcing my “rod and tackle” up through my pelvis and somewhere into my midsection.
    That was a fun one to describe to the nurse in the emergency room.

    Comment by Jeff | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  4. And here I thought the kind old gent was going to ask you how old your babies were.

    Comment by ieatcrayonz | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  5. I’m with crayonz up there…I was waiting for that question!
    The only other advice I can offer is MOTRIN. (the 800mg prescription kind…not the diluted version on the pharmacy shelf)

    Comment by LoryKC | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  6. Oh, ow. Poor you. Last fall I stubbed (and permanently bent) one of toes, doing laundry. It was so awful to tell people who asked why I was limping that I hurt myself in a laundry accident.
    So I started telling them I hurt it kicking the shit out of someone for asking nosy questions.

    Comment by L. | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  7. Sharkey: I’ll do that. No more pole vaulting for me.

    Simon: Well, no, of course there’s no glamour in the recovery. No matter how you injured yourself, it hurts just the same. But you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t rather say, when people ask how you banged yourself up, “Oh, silly me, I entered a judo tournament with a bunch of big guys” than “Oh, silly me, I had an accident with a laundry basket?” If one must go through six weeks of suffering (I’m in week three), let us at least be able to brag a bit about the source…

    Jeff: OWWWW-OW-WOW-0WW!!! Okay, you win! Hands down. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain. But, since there was another child after that, I’m assuming all’s well that ends well?

    Crayonz: Nope, I was there sans babies. And I get asked that question All. The. Time., so it doesn’t come as any kind of surprise – I’m so used to it, I’ve never thought to blog about it!

    Lory: Thanks for the tip. I took pain-killers pretty steadily for the first week (Ibuprofen) with minimal effect, so I’ve since ditched them. Now I don’t need them so much.

    Sometimes Emma and I amuse ourselves thinking of just how all these kids could be mine: “Well, the triplets are three, little Zach is two, and baby Nigel will turn a year old in a week.”

    And I’m on a day pass from the asylum right now…

    L: Aha! Someone who understands! So far no one has asked. The parents have no idea, because I’m careful to be standing upright when I greet them, and I’ve not been out of the house a whole lot… So if I’m lucky, I won’t have to deal with that question a whole lot. But I’ll take your approach under advisement. 🙂

    Comment by Mary P. | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  8. Oh Mary! I am so sorry! I hope you will recover soon!

    Comment by Misfit Hausfrau | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  9. Ow, ow, ow. I’ve tried back pain, & didn’t like it:-) I knew there was a reason I can’t be doing with stair gates all over my house!

    Lots of best wishes & virtual hugs being sent your way.

    Comment by Mrs.Aginoth | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  10. Oh, Mary! I’m so sorry! That so sucks. And backs injuries are the WORST. I hope you feel better very soon!

    Comment by MIM | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  11. Oh, ow! Did you write about this last week too, and I missed it?

    Back injuries are worse than dental pain. My sympathies!

    Comment by jen-o-rama | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  12. I fell on my bums once while I was attempting roller blading. First day ok. Second day, I can’t turn in my bed, neither can I get up. For whole of the week, I can’t lift anything heavier than a book.

    Take good care, and watch out for any toy or obstacle in your path…

    Comment by Queen Bee | January 17, 2006 | Reply

  13. Get well soon Mary — back pain is the worst!

    Comment by aaron | January 18, 2006 | Reply

  14. Hausfrau: Thanks. Love the picture. I think I recognize it from your “fridge art” post, no?

    MrsA: I’m not much liking it, myself. I can’t do without the gates, unfortunately. Sort of a professional must-have. Ironic that they’re intended for SAFETY now, isn’t it?

    mim: The day after posting this, I feel WORSE. I felt better immediately after my first physio appointment, and yestereday, too. Today? Urgh. Another physio appointment this evening…

    Jen: Nope. No other posts on this. I was being stoic. But I’m tired of that now, and feel like having a bit of a tantrum about it all!

    QueenBee: Isn’t it nasty? I’m very tired of hurting. Stoic as I generally am about discomfort, I’ve about had it. Good point about toys, etc: this house is FULL of them!

    Aaron: Yes it is, and thanks. Here’s hoping it’s gone soon!

    Comment by Mary P. | January 18, 2006 | Reply

  15. Hi Mary, thank God that the injury went away after 2 weeks plus. 🙂 I learn never to fool around with a fall, esp a bad fall.

    Comment by Queen Bee | January 19, 2006 | Reply

  16. […] under-threes out. (Homemade, and very sturdy. I once tripped over it, carrying a basket of laundry. My back blew up. The gate held […]

    Pingback by They call this “busy” « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | December 24, 2008 | Reply

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