Saturday, June 4, 2011

Da Playa and da Compression Fracture

AN OLD FRIEND. I met the player today. Or maybe I should call him ‘da Playa’. His younger brother is called Longhair and once upon a time he too was also a player. I remember Longhair in the old days, coming into the school bus, a musky but sensitive cologne perfuming the air around him, his school shirt sleeve rolled-up, his face wearing a thin Errol Flynn mustachio and winsome smile. I was not one of the cool kids. Anyway I was a bit younger than him, so back then we weren’t friends, just bus school mates. Oh wait, I am supposed to be talking about da Playa and his recent injuries…

COMPRESSION FRACTURE. Da Playa is just back from hospital after being hospitalized for what the doctors call a compression fracture. One morning, da Playa was torn by a gripping unbearable pain cutting across his right torso, just below the heart, and was immediately brought to the hospital. Initial ideas of his pain being caused by gastric complication or a heart attack was soon dismissed after a full check-up, including MRI scan. Only after 5 days of interrogation by the physicians (“No, no. you MUST have had a fall or accident recently!”) did he finally recall a fall in the washroom, “Waitaminute, doctor. Now that you mentioned it, I do remember…”

PAIN DELAYED. The problem was that when da Playa fell, he did not suffer any serious pain. And in fact for two whole days he was going about his daily routine sans any pain, until that fateful day when he felt an excruciating inflammation “like a claw gripping and squeezing me and refusing to let me go…” Once the doctors received the clue, they were able to trace the injury back to a compression fracture in his spine. The pain was so bad that da Playa remained motionless for hours after an attack, fearful of triggering another attack. The attending physician would come calling on him and asked da Playa, “Mr. Playa, please turn a bit”, to be responded with a curt and dismissive, “NO, I don’t want to.

THREE INTERESTING FACTS. 1. The doctors said that the inflammation which he suffered was a natural defensive reaction of his body to protect the fracture from further deteriorating. 2. Also interestingly, you may have hurt your spine, but you feel the pain in your torso. 3. And it appears that you could have suffered some really bad injuries after a fall, and your body won’t be giving the warning signals (ergo the pain) for months on end. Now, that is something to worry about! So if you do fall, please see a doctor, even if you are not in pain, okay?

EARNING HIS STRIPES. Da Playa is not a title that I grant to him lightly (in fact I am sure he hates it.). When he was younger (way younger), he would be a default invite to any party because he had with him his little black book which would ensure a respectable attendance of girls to any occasion. But most of all, da Playa is da Playa to me because he is steeped in the old manners of delicacy and courtesy. Both men and women find his company entertaining, and he is always patient, polite and attentive (Basically he is my opposite). If Providence had it that da Playa was born in the USA, I reckon that he would be a proper southern gent - gallant to the ladies, discrete and thoughtful to everyone else.

Well, the point is that I am glad he is back on his feet and smiling. This is turning out to be a pretty good Sabbath, sunshine. God bless all our true and wonderful friends.

Pax Taufiqa.

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