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Marg-Ins - The Weekend Immune System

POSTED November 3, 2009 3:49 p.m.

Among the myriad of things that pass across my desk on any given day, one of them led me to the idea for this column. Actually a few things did but as I was tossing ideas around in my head regarding what to write about, a slip of the fingers sealed the deal.

An informational piece about the H1N1 vaccine came in from the county public health office and as I was typing it up for use, I went back to proofread and discovered that the phrase ‘a weakened immune system’ had been magically transformed — courtesy of my flying fingers — into ‘a weekend immune system.’

Wow, that gave me pause. What if there was such a thing as a weekend immune system? Could we go out and do all those relaxing type, no holds barred, just go have fun things and be immune to any consequences?

Right about now, I could use a weekend immune system. Football and the fall sports season is definitely a grind. I love my Friday night football games, following my team through the camera lens at home and on the road, but Friday night comes after a long day of work on Friday, an equally long Monday through Thursday before it and just prior to a travel day on Saturday for competitive soccer. And if it’s a tournament weekend, travel days on Saturday and Sunday, or perhaps an early morning drive Saturday and an overnight stay out of town.

My age is catching up to me; it’s not as easy to bounce back as it used to be and I am finding that it takes me a couple of days just to recover from the weekend.

I’ve also learned that in my old(er) age I tend to bruise easily, with my oldest son kind enough to compare me to a banana.

One nice recent bruise occurred when a team on the field behind us at a weekend tournament was going fast and furious, and other parents and I were setting up our chairs as our game was about to begin. A very loud ‘smack’ rang in my ears and the nerve endings in the back of my leg sent a message to my brain: THAT HURT.

Some Under 19 division boy had sent the ball screaming out of bounds and it hit me so hard on my right calf that it buckled my knees. Now, a week later, it is still an impressive purple bruise, with a few tinges of pink and yellow.

That one was a fluke, wrong place, wrong time. The other bruising I asked for.

Taking my daughter in for new cleats, she put on a pair and said they felt pretty good, about the right size, good support, etc.

She had been having trouble with her right foot, having pain when she kicked, so I wanted her to see if there was enough side support in the shoe. Being the helpful, caring mom that I am, I instructed her to kick me. What I didn’t say — because as a soccer player, she knows not to do toe kicks —was to use the inside of her foot and see how the support felt.

Never tell your teenage daughter to kick you. It just gives them the opening they are looking for.

She hauled off with a toe kick into my right ankle like she was clearing the ball halfway down the field. I let out a yelp that had the entire sports section of the store looking at us.

“You said to kick you,” she said, eyes wide.

I certainly couldn’t argue. Heck, I could barely breathe, let alone speak.

Two weeks later, that bruise has almost faded. It went through the color spectrum until now there is just a little bit of pink and purple ringing the area where the impact occurred.

Halloween has also come and gone for one more year; we were spending some time in the office reminiscing about costumes of years past and ‘when we were kids.’ My mom was always good about sewing and we came up with some inventive, homemade costumes that just seemed to be much better than any store bought kind. Of course, store bought kind has come a long way since then, but there’s still a lot to be said for ingenuity. I loved Halloween anyway, especially when I got to be older and started taking part in haunted houses instead of being the one going through them.

One year, my older brother was Spiderman with a great homemade costume, my older sister was a regal princess with lots of silvery glitter everywhere and I was actually Santa Claus, with rosy red cheeks, a pillow stuffed into my sweatshirt and shiny black boots. And, if I remember right, there might have been a few snowflakes in the air that Halloween; not unheard of in late October in upstate New York.

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