The Miracle of Healing: Old Ouch vs. Young Ouch

This past year I turned 64, which of course makes me older than compost. When I was a youngster, dinosaurs still listened to radios with vacuum tubes inside them, and telephones had these weird things called “rotary dials.” Ahh, the good old days. I call them the good old days because when I was a kid it seemed like my body could really take a beating and bounce back for more.

No, this did NOT mean I was out picking fights. I was way too chicken for any of that monkey business. I’m talking about things like riding my big Columbia bike as fast as I could into a hurricane fence, just because I was convinced that this bike was the toughest thing on wheels. Of course, I became airborne when the bike stopped suddenly, but I got away with a few bruises and bumps and went on to the next self-destructive play adventure. Healing up didn’t seem to take too long in those days; and for the most part I could endure lots of bodily clunkings with little residual effect.

But now…

So like there I was, minding my own business, mowing the lawn, when I barely brushed past a wild rose bush; and it scratched my skin. Didn’t hurt much, I mean I knew I was coming up to some thorny stuff. Felt a little scratchy ouching, nothing very intense at all, and a few moments later my arm feels wet. I’M BLEEDING!!! AYYYYYEEEEEE!!! Well OK, I didn’t shriek… but I was amazed at how thin my epidermis has become. Sheesh!! In the “good old days” I would have had a few light scratch marks and maybe just a trace of bleeding.

Oh… and another time… I was playing with our grandson, and decided, “what fun it would be if I ran backwards in a very vigorous manner!!” I said this silently to my self in just that exact way. Or not. Anyway, the next day, my heel hurt like a Giant Squid had impaled me with a Huge Stabbing Thing while I was Using Capital Letters in a Silly and Ridiculous Rant. But seriously, it hurted me awreddy!! Finally went to a physical therapist after a few days, and they said, “oh, you have plantar fasciitis.” To which I politely replied, “Do what??” And they explained further, “yes, you injured the ligament in your heel. Do these stretching exercises and get some inserts for your shoes. In the meantime, be more careful and quit pretending you are 13 with the backward zooming ouch happenings.”

They may not have said it exactly that way… but after a few months… MONTHS… the foot thing finally healed up.

So there I was again, wrapping up a skid full of printers at work, going around and around and around and around (and I didn’t barf from being dizzy) with the shrink wrap roll thing, and on one of the around and arounds, I clunked the 1-inch thick glass table top with my shin bone; and I said many bad words, and began to walk in a limpy way, and thankfully not only did I have the inclination to describe this just now in a very long run-on sentence but I also had some ice in the refrigerator in my work cave (an old server room) so I could elevate my leg and put ice on it and Google what I did (and HOLY COW this can take weeks to heal???); and I’m SO GLAD I put ice on it right away because it helped a WHOLE LOT; but such an ouchy booboo can indeed take weeks to heal and the injury and swelling migrate downward toward your ankles more aspirin please OH GOD I’m gonna DIE from a blood clot, no I’m eating aspirin 2 or 3 times a day, breathe… breathe… and sheesh I think this may be the longest sentence EVER so I’ll stop now.

And it’s finally going back to normal after like 3 weeks.

OK. So the moral of the story is: young ouch is better than old ouch. Well sometimes… I suppose it depends on how big the ouching is.

But as the great Henny Youngman used to say:

“Doctor!! It hurts when I do this!! So the doctor says, ‘DON’T DO THAT!!’”