April 22, 1998

Lessons in Pain: Rob Gets Injured

By Vanessa Nygaard
and Robin Davidson

Three weeks ago, Vanessa had ACL reconstruction on her left knee, a common injury in women's basketball - a lá Kristin Folkl - but one that requires five months of rehab and lots of pain medication. This week Vanessa decided that I should feel her pain. I didn't know how to be 6 feet tall and horrible at Monopoly, but she went on to explain her idea. Here's how it went down.

Va: Robin, you've never been injured.

Robin: That's not entirely true. I often sprain my thumb during heated tiddlywinks battles, and I think I tweaked my funny bone jumping over the softball fence.

Va: Just as I suspected, total wimp action. You have no idea what it's like to be injured. I bet you couldn't even get around.

Robin: You're on, suckabitch! I'll take that bet. What's so hard about crutches and a Velcro brace?

The next day I went to the training room, and Mark, Vanessa's rehab guru, fit me with a nifty, black brace and aluminum crutches. The plan was for me to continue my normal routine with the added obstacle that an injured athlete would face. It lasted less than 12 hours, and we decided to write about the ordeal.

Robin: Damn, this brace makes my leg hurt!

Va: No kidding. How was your day?

Robin: It sucked, but I really feel I have a greater appreciation for what you go through every day.

Va: So what was the first problem?

Robin: I didn't really get as much sympathy as I was expecting. In fact my roommate tried to trip me, and my other friends just laughed and attributed my injury to another UDI.

Va: That's what I would've thought. UDI's - Unidentified Drunken Injuries - are your specialty.

Robin: Stop making me feel like an alcoholic. Can somebody get me a beer?

Va: Not until we finish the column, Robin. Back to work. Did you have any problems getting around?

Robin: Yeah, that was the worst part. First I tripped in a puddle in White Plaza and a small child laughed at me. Then I went to the drugstore and lost my balance against a whole shelf of hair dye. (Sorry, Chandra.)

Va: That sounds horrible. I mean, funny. My worst balancing mishap was when I did a face plant in the bathroom while brushing my teeth. I'll never think of the shower curtain in the same way.

Robin: I don't even want to know. One thing I did notice was a change in my attitude.

Va: Did you become more chipper and loving of small animals, like me?

Robin: I wouldn't quite describe you that way. The word I would use is bitter. As the day progressed, I found myself falling into the same attitude. No longer was Screech on "Saved By the Bell" a cute dork with a hair problem. I found myself wishing Slater would, just once, beat the crap out of him.

Va: That's scary. I often wish for that too. Can't we go back to the good old days? Blair and Tootie fighting was far superior programming.

Robin: I think you watch a little too much television.

Va: Shut up, we've gotta finish. The new "Love Boat" is coming on. Gopher returns this week.

Robin: Do you have any more questions, or should I leave you alone with the TV Guide?

Va: Just one final quandary. Did you have to use the bathroom? I find this to be the biggest challenge of my day.

Robin: I don't know how you do it. I think you and Folkl must've held it for three weeks. I had to cheat and take the brace off. The physics of it all was way too complicated.

Va: What? You didn't live the true experience? You don't know what it's really like to be injured until you try to wipe your rear standing on one foot.

Robin: I'm sorry. But I do feel like the experiment was a success. I kind of understand how hard it is to get around, and the girl at the Corner Pocket gave me a free pity fro yo.

Va: Hey, I never get free fro yo. Bastards! There is one difference between the two of us - I'm in actual pain!

Robin: Oh yeah, that must really suck. Glad I'm not you.

Vanessa and Robin have decided to leave a short distance. Robin would also like to acknowledge the pain of Manhands and Vella.