Humor In a Golf Injury
Humor in a Golf Injury
We were playing golf at the Audubon Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida. It is old and elegant country club where condos and estate homes start at $1 million dollars each and work their way upwards. Every year, from May 1st to September 30th, you can play on these magnificent courses in Southwest Florida,for $35 or $40 per round if your home course pro shop calls and arranges a reciprocal round.
After your bags are picked up outside the club house, a caddy arranges them for you in your cart and leaves it near the first tee. When you have paid your greens fee, you walk through the elegant two-story club house admiring what money can buy for you. Just near the exit onto the first tee, three types of coffee and several types of soda are laid out, along with fresh pastries, rolls and snacks, for any club member who wanted to have something before playing. Did we really belong here, I wondered to myself?
The course itself is carved out of a series of duck ponds and marshes that would make a naturalist proud. Hidden greens, water hazards, all manner of marshes and deeply wooded fairways lie in wait for the errant shot. Great Oak and Cyprus trees, picturesque with their gray beards of hanging Spanish Moss line the fairways. It is an artful naturalist painting in progress, a portrait of the old South on every hole.
For the first nine holes, we enjoyed the scenery and managed to lose only a few balls to the ponds and marshes. Our scores were a few strokes more than usual due to difficult conditions. Still, we were enjoying the round even in the ninety degree heat. The course had several way stations where water, ice and rest rooms made a player more comfortable.
The tenth tee sits right under the observation of the second story of the club house dining room. It is a considerable tee shot over a large pond onto the fairway in the distance. All golfers know that though the pond may only be 125-130 yards across,on the score card, it looks like a 200 yard chasm over a raging ocean.
With this in mind, I teed up and swung like a rampaging gorilla who had just had his last bunch of bananas stolen from him. At the top of my follow through swing I heard a very loud “crack” and I went down in a heap. My left knee had dislocated itself and now bulged out about eight inches to the right. The left leg stretched out an equal amount to the left, not the way nature had intended the knee to function. The dislocation was extremely painful. It felt like someone was holding a blow torch to my left knee. In the process of writhing around on the ground in pain like a gut shot albatross, the knee snapped back into place. The blow torch feeling immediately receded to something like a dull ache. My first questions was “Did I make the shot? “ It turns out that I had. The ball lay some two hundred yards away in the center of the fairway. At least there was some good to come from the shot.
My wife Mary and our playing companions helped me to my feet. In that I was no longer squawking like a wounded Gorilla they said “We are finishing the round.” So, I packed the knee in a towel full of ice and rode for the next two hours occasionally even managing to putt on a few grounds while gimping around.
The caddies were helpful in transporting our bags back to the car. I tipped them liberally. We decided that since were here and I wasn't making too many painful grunts, that we would have lunch in the elegant club house. It was every bit as good as the place looked. We much enjoyed the late lunch.
Irony is always delicious if you look for it. In that it was a ninety degree day and very hot, the other guy playing with us decided he would wait under thye shaded portico of the club house while I went to get the car. Sure I thought to myself, “I only dislocated my knee and tore the shit out of the tendons, you fat fuck, I will go and get the car so you can stay cool.” That is of course what I wanted to say, but I just shrugged my shoudlers quietly and trouped off to get the car. Hey! Maybe the guy was having a bad day!
A regimen of ice and ibuprofen kept the knee from swelling up for the next two days. As it happened, we were just getting ready to leave Florida for our annual Spring journey back to Amherst N.Y. We managed to pack up the vehicle and drove the 1500 miles back to Buffalo in three days time. We had planned to visit James Madison's Presidential home and the Appamattox Court House in Virginia, but my lack of mobility canceled those plans until next year.
At home, I got an appointment in a few days to see my personal Physician who is very capable. She decided to send me in for an MRI of the knee. There, I sat for 20 minutes in that claustrophobic nightmare and had the knee examined. A week or so later an Orthopedic surgeon examined the knee and didn't look too concerned. He suggested casually that if I was going to play golf in the next few days I might consider one of those cheap elastic bandages for support. I though he was breaking my chops until I found out he was serious. The Lord save us from those who bury their mistakes. He suggested some physical rehabilitation. Gee, Thanks, I thought. His rehab person looked at my chart and said “You can mange this can't you? “ Jesus Herman Christ ! We pay $14,000 a year for health care and I get “take two aspirins, gargle and call me back in six weeks? This is the best they all could manage? I was taking care of the injured knee by myself. Christ on a crutch.
So I am now in the process of “rehabbing the knee by myself.” I walk further and further each day and hit the local gym, to use the recumbent bike in strengthening the knee. It seems to be coming along nicely enough. A few more weeks and I can swing a golf club again. Now why does the story about Charley Brown, and Lucy with the footbal, keep coming to mind? Hmmm, it will come to me!
Joseph Xavier Martin