Last night I broke my arm. Well, actually Mike broke his arm and now I'm sitting next to him coaxing the words out him. Mike wants to pull out his encyclopedia of literary terms to define what it is we're doing right now, double narration? Anyhow...the story. Ummm, long story short (yeah right) I went in to pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning as the PSSBL only allows its pitchers to pitch a maximum of five innings per game and Chris Park, our veteran ace, had just completed his tour of duty on the mound (see, how short this is becoming?). I retired the side in the sixth with ease, no one reached base, no walks, three up three down, I believe. Bottom of the seventh, I go in, I throw my first warm-up pitch, make an "aaaah" sound that's only audible to myself and the catcher, Andrew Rafferty.
He shouts out, "Are you good?" I say, "Yeah, I'll be good." After his throw down to second, he approaches the mound and says, "Are you sure you're good to go kid? It's only one game. Don't hurt yourself for one game." I say, "No, I'm fine. I wanna do this."
Things get a little gray, but I believe I strike out the first batter, then someone gets a hit. I walk one, and that's about as much as I remember before I get two strikes up with no balls on one of the batters. I believe Andy called a fast ball and I was thinking the same thing he was, a high fast ball out of the zone. I reach back and with all I had I deliver the pitch.
I go into my motion, my body goes forward and my arm stays behind and immediately I hear a snap. Everything goes white and I topple like a ton of bricks. I'm writhing on the ground making all sorts of deep guttural moans and yelps. As I twist on the ground, I see my forearm in what appeared to be the distance. My first instinct is to grab it and bring it close and I do so and quickly immobilize my once muscular arm which now seems to resemble a door snake, only this one is 30 pounds of dead weight.
About 20 faces descend, two questions for each face. Puppy dog eyes in a few. Genuine looks of despair, worry. Horror. My legs are elevated. Ice is brought. Minutes later an ambulance in the distance. Quickly enough the parameds, with help from my teammates, support my back as I stand up. The crowd, opposing team and spectators clap as I make my way to the ambulance where they fashion a sling for the ride to the ER.
At this point Mike is distracted by his pain, so I'm afraid he's not a reliable narrator. I arrived at the ER to find Mike being prodded and questioned, eyes downcast in pain and concentration. When the doc left us alone in the room, he told me he was going to "tough it out" sans modern chemistry. It didn't take much to convince him to accept a morphine drip and the doc immediately got him started. That took the edge off things, but only slightly masked the pain.
Last night was the last time Mike will ever pitch, and his last game of the season. It will also put a dent in his photography business. But he will be busy nonetheless, stitching together the humerus bone that the fast pitch had cleanly and efficiently snapped apart:
The nurses splinted him with fiberglass and ace bandages to allow for some swelling, then he goes back in a week for a plaster cast. Surgery is an option if his bone doesn't take to healing. If all goes as expected, it should heal within 4-6 weeks.
Those ER nurses are tough cookies. A Friday night must keep them busy, but having to set Mike's 30 pound arm while he was conscious was quite an exercise. Hats off to them!
I drove slowly and gently to Walgreen's for Mike's pain killers, ibuprofen, Gatorade and Chili Cheese Fritos. Then we hit Jack in the Box for a cheeseburger, probably not what the doctor ordered, but I almost never argue with Michael's stomach. By the time Michael was settled into his couch, it was 3 am. And here is Michael today, he wants all his people to know he is fine and will carry on as usual. As for me, I'm going to take a nap.