This week is nemesis week. Not this actual week 2007, but just this week of the year, third one in July, has commonly been one which has produced a gentle ripple on the old mill pond of Rex, perhaps even a quake measuring 8.2 on the Rexter Scale on occasion.
In 2001 sporting injury reared it's homely countenance. July 22, in a league cricket match, I ignored all usual common sense and dived forward to attempt to catch a ball which was obviously going to reach me on the half-volley. Indeed it did, landing on the ground in front of my mid-air body and outstretched hand. It hit terra firma at the precise moment it hit the end of my right third finger, stopping the first two bones of said digit abruptly. As misfortune would have it, the other 150 lbs of my body carried on.
There was a flash of brilliant white light in my head. Intense pain began coursing through more nerve ..er... thingies than should be expected. Other cricketers, being of a caring and empathic disposition, began shouting calming words like "Get up, get the fuckin' ball" Not possible, I was 100% endorphin rush, a quivering wreck of my former self. After a short walk in heat to the pavilion, watched by my 4 year old son who still remembers his literally watery-eyed dad running a fast swelling finger under a cold tap, it was considered best to strap the finger to it's immediate neighbour and go to hospital. However, cricket is a game involving 11 vs 11, and so Einstein here decides to return to the pitch because there wasn't a twelfth man. I fielded one ball, saving two runs. When I threw it to the 'keeper, my hand throbbed almost visibly as if in a Tom and Jerry sketch. In a close game, we won by the two runs I had saved by just being in the way.
Amidst all the typical victory celebrations, (large doobies all round) the hospital visit was totally forgotten. Indeed I toughed it (like a twat!) out for 7 weeks before seeking professional medical attention. Needless to say, despite surgery, it was all a trifle late by then. Re-calcification is a fickle bodily function. My son and I call that digit "The Gonzo Nose" To know what it resembles, visualise the space muppet's shnoz sideways on.
I don't like how it looks. The nail doesn't grow properly if at all. It doesn't bend more than 25 degrees. It hurts in a mildly arthritic way. The bones and cartilage were so smashed in places that the ligament now does the job of the cartilage because the cartilage doesn't exist any more.
Would I change anything? Would I travel back in time and back out of the altruistic dive forward to help my team?
As my old Aunt Flossie would have said if she'd ever existed, "Fat boy, you bet your arse I would!"