Taking a break…
October 01, 2007

So J. Allen broke his collarbone (or clavicle for you medical types). It’s the first broken bone since high school… when he broke his other collarbone.

Everyone should break a bone every couple years. American’s have become such pussies – afraid of everything because they don’t want to get hurt. But we argue that every person in the country needs a little more pain in their lives. We aren’t talking about boo-whoo “my girl-friend left me for someone with a nicer car so I’m going to turn on Dashboard Confessional and sit in my room crying for the next month and a half” type pain. We’re talking real pain. Broken bones. Stitches. Concussions. Herniated Discs. You need this type of pain to remember how good not having the pain is. – maybe even to remember what it feels like to be alive. Maybe those high-school cutter chicks are on to something. Next time we see one at Hot Topic we’ll give them a hug and let them know we understand. Then we’ll take them over to Walgreens and help them pick out a really nice and fancy set of razorblades.

When you break a bone you learn several things really quickly. The first of which (and the most obvious) is what that real pain we mentioned a moment ago feels like. It’s kind of amazing how a person can forget what real, pulsing, throbbing, unending pain feels like when you don’t have to go through it very often.

The next thing you learn is that medicine has changed since the last time you broke your collarbone. When J. Allen was a kid he was treated with care, options were given, nurses came by to check on him as he sat in the E.R. waiting room and doctors explained everything very clearly. Now, in today’s healthcare system, J. Allen got a couple pills, a sling and was told to just suck it up. J. Allen was in and out of the E.R. in 40 minutes. The doctor came in, took an x-ray, looked at the x-ray and handed over a prescription for pain killers and a sling . No options, no nurses coming by, no explanations. Drugs and slings – that should be the motto of America’s healthcare system.

Once back home, the next, and most fun thing you realize is that getting dressed (or undressed) is seriously difficult when you can’t move a quarter of your body. With a broken collarbone, shirts present a really fun challenge. J. Allen thought about just wearing a shirt over the sling or going sans shirt altogether but decided against it. That really puts things in perspective. As you stand there in your underwear, shivering in the morning cold, starring at your closet trying to figure out what shirt will be the easiest, and least painful, to get on… the realization soon comes that making that decision will the most difficult of the day so from here on out, everything is a piece of cake.

When you are older, the sympathy level goes down. In high school, having a broken collarbone came with a minor (very minor) amount of celebrity. All the girls wanted to know how it happened and all the guys were impressed that it happened. The fact that it came during a wrestling match also helped to add a little machismo to the event. The current break however has been met with much more of a “way to go dumbass” attitude from the ladies. The guys are equally unsympathetic but really, who cares what they think? When you are older, sympathy is reserved for life threatening issues. A broken collarbone doesn’t qualify as life threatening so no love for the patient.

With all that said, breaking a bone isn’t as bad or traumatic as you remember it. It’s just something different to break up the days. So go out this weekend, get drunk, start a fight with a cop and make them take you down with force. Just to break up the monotony.