Friday, September 9, 2011

K is for Kangaroo Pouch

Have you ever looked in your closet, sighed dramatically, flopped on your bed and moaned, "I have nothing to wear"? Me too.

 Have you ever tried to squeeze yourself into pre-pregnancy jeans hoping they will somehow magically stretch? Me too.

Have you ever secretly wished you knew how to play the bagpipes? No? Well, maybe that's just me.

Anyhoo, I have this new body part that makes dressing quite difficult. It's droopy. And saggy. And squishy. It flops. And it flails. It has to be tucked into my pants. It makes my belly button look ... cavernous. "Can a belly button even be cavernous?" you ask. In a word, yes. Especially while doing push-ups with really bad form.

(pretty much)

This puffy protuberance reminds me of a kangaroo pouch. Without the functionality. Or the cute little Joey peeking out. It is the reason mom jeans were invented. It is the culprit of the "butt in the front" phenomenon. This decidedly un-Fergie-esque Lady Lump has shrunk substantially since Baby T came along, but I have a sinking feeling there's always going to be a little extra sumpin' sumpin' there.

A few weeks ago, an unfortunate series of events made me wish I really did have a handy dandy notebook marsupial offspring holder. What happened? Stupidity happened.

I was feeling mommy frumpy and needed to do something DARING and DANGEROUS. So I went swimming in shark-infested waters. Just kidding. (Soul Surfer cured me of that little bucket list wish. Did you see the size of the shark that actually bit that girl? No? Well, allow me to cure your morbid curiosity. Here's the picture. Go on, look ... I KNOW, RIGHT?!? THAT THING IS H to the UGE!!! YIPES.)

Okay, now back to the story. Where was I? Oh yes. Stupidity. I body surfed down the river during the highest runoff season we've had since I was 7. It was cold and fast and nasty. I almost drowned. Chance valiantly jumped in to save me ... after I had made it to the side.

During this little escapade I somehow managed to whack my foot on a rock. I didn't even feel it when I did it ... possibly because I had hypothermia ... I KID YOU NOT. When I got out and warmed up, however, I could barely walk. Uh oh. I had this little accident on a Sunday, so I decided instead of going to the E.R. (ick ICK DOUBLE ICK), I would wait and see how it felt in the morning.

When I woke up the next day, it hurt worse. Well, that can't be good, I thought. Duh. Maybe I shouldn't let y'all in on my genius thought processes.

I didn't want to go to the doctor, but my hubby insisted. He's annoying and practical like that. They took some x-rays, said it wasn't broken and sent me home. I taunted DH, "I told you so, I told you so." I  may or may not have stuck my tongue out at him like a five-year-old. Poor man.

I tried to go about life as usual. But my foot still hurt really bad. I figured I was being a weenie and gave myself a pep talk. Well, more like a pep yell.

WIMPY ME: N-n-n-o-o-o ... it just really hurts.
BUFF ME: OH, so you ARE a SISSY.
WIMPY ME: But, but ...
WIMPY ME: But, but ...
BUFF ME: *slap*
WIMPY ME: *crying* Y-y-y-ess, sir
(In case you're wondering, I did not actually slap myself in the face.)

A week later, I got a call from the doctor. He says, "So, the radiologist called and your foot is probably broken."

Wimpy Me was like, "Yessth ... "

Then something weird registered. Did you just say, "probably broken"? 


Didn't you people go to school for like ... I don't know ... 12 EXTRA YEARS?!? And all you can tell me is my foot is "probably broken"?!? 


I end up going back in for another appointment. The doc looks at my foot and decides it needs an air cast. Except an air cast is for your ankle. So we go back to the drawing board. We talk about a J-splint. Sounds good to me. I can take it off. I can walk on it. I can shower with some regularity. I also ask about a boot. Doc hems and haws for a bit ... doesn't give me a straight answer ... says he'll be right back. Then the nurse comes in with ... dun dun dun ... the cabinet. 

I've seen that cabinet before. That is THE cabinet. The last time I saw it was when I broke my wrist snowboarding. The nice nurse sees the look of dread pass over my face and assures me it's for the J-splint. She leaves. A million years later, the doc comes back. He wraps my leg and foot up in cotton batting stuff ... "padding", he says. Like I need more of that. I figure this is standard procedure for a J-splint. Then he puts the sock thingy on over the padding... now things are looking a little suspicious. When he puts the bucket in the sink (the same dingy white one they used when I got my wrist cast 4 years ago ... it says Carapace, which is French for "BUCKET OF DOOM"), I am ready to bolt ... but I can't because my foot is broken. Hoover Dam.

The Doc asks me what color I want. How kind of him to let me pick ... like giving crazy people the choice between blue pills and red ones.

I choose hot pink. As he's soaking the wrapping in the BUCKET OF DOOM, I timidly ask, "Will I still be able to walk on it?" "Oh yeah, sure," he says. "Because I have a baby I have to lug around, you know." No response. 

Okay, well ... he did say I could walk on it. So I let him entrap my appendage in garish pink fiberglass. Unfortunately, the second package he grabs is red. Bummer. 

The doc leaves. I am left alone to stare at my fire engine red foot, beacon of my stupidity. Then the nurse comes back in. She knows I have a baby to carry around. She looks at my foot, sighs heavily, and says "Well, poop." Yeah, except replace that last word. As she rubs the cast with lotion (why do they do that?), she keeps muttering over and over, "all providers do it differently ... they all do it differently". I can tell she's not happy with the good doctor's ministrations. Too late, lady. Exit Nurse. Another millennium passes. She comes back in. 
"Is it dry?" 
"I think so." 
"Can I try walking on it?" 
I soon discover my foot is permanently fixed at the weirdest angle on the planet. I can't walk on it without hyper extending my knee.


The doc pops his head in. Nurse says, "She can't walk". Doc says, "Oh, good, we don't want any weight on that foot." Excuse me, wha? What happened to, "Oh yeah, sure"? HUH?
I say, "Can I get at least get some crutches or something?"

The doc leaves for good this time and the nurse goes to find me some crutches. 

My hair turns gray ...
                   My boobs sag to my knees ... 
                                               All my teeth fall out ...
                                                                   I get fitted for dentures ...

Finally, a different nurse comes in with my crutches. Adjusts them. I sign a paper saying if I am an idiot and manage to kill myself on these things, its not the hospital's fault. Then I go pay the bill. All I can think as I leave is, "At least I didn't bring munchkin along. It would be impossible to carry him and all his baby paraphernalia with this stupid cast."

I'm out the door when it actually hits me. I can't carry my baby. Or his paraphernalia. How the heck would I survive the next few weeks? 

I found myself wishing I had a kangaroo pouch. I wanted  to hold my munchkin, carry him, keep him safe. And I couldn't. It was a terrible feeling. It gave me new appreciation for my puffy protuberance, though. Now, every time I do a push up with really bad form, I am thankful for the fact that I was able to protect my baby for 9 precious months (well, the last three weren't so precious ... or the first three). And I am thankful for the fact that I can keep him relatively safe now. I know as he grows this is going to become a luxury, a sweet memory I cherish when he learns how to ride a bike or climb a tree. I am trying to enjoy it while I can.


Luckily, I have an awesome family. I owe a huge "THANK YOU" to my husband, my mom and my brothers. Mom helped me out for an entire day when my hubby was working and my brothers drove me and Baby T to and from the newspaper office (I work there a few hours a week), church, et cetera (I did mention it was my RIGHT foot, didn't I? Meaning I was unable to drive ... I KNOW, RIGHT?!? And the unintentional pun strikes again ... ). The rest of the time I just scooted around the house on my knees. I have some bad ants knee calluses going on. I could probably scoot across cut glass with nary a tear.

And in case you're wondering, I took my cast off myself a few days early. Because there was no way in h-e-double hockey sticks I was paying for a third appointment. It turns out if you soak a cast in vinegar water for about an hour (all hail the mighty Google machine) and then coerce your dad into cutting it with tin snips, you can save a trip. This is not recommended. But it works. Just sayin'.

Cherish those pouches, ladies!


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