When I was ten years old, I would play outside after school in good weather if I didn't have too much homework. (That's what we did before the Internet and video games.) In the fall of 1963, I was doing a lot of roller skating.
In 1963, roller skates were a heavy, clunky affair. They were metal skates (four wheels each) that you locked onto your shoes (using a skate key) and away you rolled.
On a Friday afternoon in late October, I was skating with friends when suddenly I was on the ground. I had tripped on a sidewalk crack. Coming down, my right skate slammed down on my left leg, just above my ankle.
I couldn't get up. It hurt. It hurt a lot.
I was on the grounds of the housing project in the Bronx where I grew up. A friend ran to get help from the housing police. Two policemen came, and, holding a nightstick between them, one policeman on each end, I was boosted up and carried to the elevator of my building. They delivered me to our apartment, where my Mom was cooking dinner.
Medicine isn't what it was like 50 years ago. In some ways, that's bad. In other ways, it isn't.
My Mom called our family doctor and he came right over. (Doctors still made house calls in those days). He examined the leg, declared I had a bad sprain in my ankle, taped it up, and instructed me to walk on it.
I walked on it all night, even after the leg became swollen. The pain got even worse - so bad I can still remember it today. But I was a dutiful little girl and did what I was told. I didn't even try to wake my parents.
In the morning, my parents took one look at my leg and took me to the doctor's office. I ended up being sent to the hospital for x-rays. They revealed I had fractured my leg in three places. I was put in a heavy plaster of Paris cast, from just past the tips of my toes to the middle of my thigh. Two months of being taught at home by a teacher sent by the district, missing a field trip to the UN and the game show Concentration, and no Halloween trick-or-treating that year followed.
And yes, my cast became covered with autographs and various words of wisdom scrawled in magic marker by the other neighborhood kids.
Thank heavens for those x-rays, which allowed the doctors to know what had happened.
I think of my childhood as being a museum piece. Playing outside, the black rotary phone my Mom used to call the doctor, the doctor who made a house call, the lack of immediately ordering x-rays for me...it seems like something that happened long ago and far away.
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives.
"X" day for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Only two more days to go!