I am fairly certain that I am somewhere in the range of five feet, six inches tall. I also weigh one hundred and eighty pounds, and am fairly athletic. So, when the call went out for a game of pumpkin rugby, I was delighted.
For those of you who are not in the loop, rugby is kind of like soccer with tackling and no forward passing (and you carry the ball), or like football without the full suits of body armor or thirty-second breaks every ten seconds.
It is, in short, death. And a lot of fun at that.
We were playing with thirteen people per team (usually fifteen), and it is called pumpkin rugby because you use pumpkins instead of rugby balls.
The twenty-six people form some rough semblance of two lines facing each other, just like in football, and then the game starts.
Well, our "team" was playing the actual rugby team (motto: "many deaths, one life"), so we were slaughtered before we started. I had more rugby experience than most people on our team, so I was a starter, and I am both decently fast and decently strong, so I was put on the far right wing.
Trouble started immediately, when ten of our thirteen people began rushing the ball carrier. This happened a few times, and possessions were going back and forth, when it happened. Patrick Swanson. He literally has fourteen inches and about a hundred pounds on me, and generally just carries those who try to tackle him as far as he feels like. He lined up right in front of me, and I have one other person within twenty feet.
So, they passed him the ball.
My whole team now begins to run this direction, but it's a bit late for me: I have two options. One, I can just get out of his way, or two, I can attempt to tackle him the way a bowling pin tackles the ball.
I chose the latter, figuring I could at least slow him down enough to prevent their team from getting a try (goal).
I did. I hit him low, just below the waist, and as hard as I could. I was literally thrown backwards, landed on my head and then on my feet, and by the time I had re-oriented myself, he had been tackled by the loyal (if belated) rat-pack of ten teammates, and there was thunderous (or at least somewhat loudish) cheering, I presume for my suicidal charge or for his Kevorkianesque assist.
I figured, due to rather severe nausea, that something was wrong, so I subbed out. By that time, I realized that it wasn't my knee, but rather my shoulder that was hurting. I had full sensation and motion and all of that jazz from the elbow down, but I had no ability to move my arm from the shoulder to the elbow.
So, Gretchen Rice (using my shears, I might add) cut my shirt off, and I literally saw that my shoulder was quite dislocated (qua: forcefully ripped from its socket and less than pleasantly relocated in the vicinity of my armpit). A friend offered to put it back in the socket. I had just landed on my head at an uncomfortably rapid rate of transit, so I agreed. When I woke up, I was seated in a chair and about to vomit from the pain (did I mention that this hurt?).
So, I went to the hospital, where I was given four mg's IV dilaudid by a staggeringly beautiful nurse, and was then shown the location of the head of the ball of the ball and socket joint, which I could feel just between the deltoid and the pectoral. The doctor said that it was a "rather horrific" dislocation, and the nurse placed me at a ten on the pain scale, though I would have done Holly proud and never went above a six.
So, they put me under a general anesthesia, and put the shoulder back in. I woke up quoting John Donne and asking Holly if she wanted a tingle touch. I'm still trying to get some more of whatever drug they used.
So, here I am, typing with my left arm on a swivel sling (I undid the body-strap), and in retrospect I have to say, I wouldn't have changed a thing.