Friday, January 22, 2016

Get Up - You're Alright (and fine and ok and not that hurt)

The blood trickled steadily out of my nose as I struggled to get up while spitting out small pebbles and holding my hand under my nose to protect my shirt from the aforementioned blood.

One miscalculated, or perhaps over-confident, **Mary Lou Retton inspired, "penny drop"  -  and that was it for my face.

"Get up. You're alright!",  my Dad cried from a few feet away.

I followed protocol. I got up and walked over to him to show him the damage. He picked rocks out of my nose. "It's not too bad. You are fine."

Rocks embedded in my nose, skinned knees,  a TOTALLY bruised and battered (potential future) gymnast ego, and you are telling me I am fine ?!?!  What kind of bs is this?!? 

*      *      *

This is very much the way injury is treated in my family of origin. Physical, emotional, or otherwise, the advice remains the same: "Shake it off. Get.Up. You are alright."

Now that I have my own tribe of rabble-rousers, I hear my Dad's voice in mine all.the.time.  My husband mocks me gleefully, "Okay Randy", Troy says when I tell my kids they are not hurt.

I am known for my lack of sympathy for physical injury.  I am known to minimize and jump to the "Aah, no big thing, you'll be fine" response.  Phoebe occasionally has Asthma events wherein I attempt to say that 86% oxygen saturation is sufficient. "You're fine. How important is *breathing anyway?"  

Perhaps that sounds uncaring. Maybe you're judging Randy Porter harshly for handing down this tough-guy response to his first-born daughter.

Hold on, before you send sympathy cards to my children, hear me out.

Perhaps there is a place for coddling and ... you know, caring, when an injury happens... 

However, I believe that the "Get UP - You are alright" mantra has served me well for several decades.

When mosquito-borne tropical illness and/or crushing cultural misunderstandings and/or 7.0 earthquakes and/or loss of loved ones happen, the "Get Up" recording playing in my head has saved me from the threat of near total shut-down.

Today I submit to you, dear one reading, that we all need a person in our life that tells us that we are alright and to get the heck up.  

... And, hopefully we also have someone that excels at empathy and sympathy and commiseration and lament. I think there is absolutely a place for that amazing person too. 

Thank-you, Randy Porter, (DAD) for being my 'Get-Up' person. 

** The only thing I finally achieved that gave me some connection and commonality with MLR is incontinence. Sneezing and trampoline jumping is dangerous business for both of us now. 

*This is hyperbole - I don't really do that to Phoebe. I give her a breathing treatment stat.