Thursday, August 12, 2004

Why Does Bri Know About Rope Burns?

You know, that is an excellent question. Sorry to disappoint the more perverse of you out there, but this post or no more sexual than the one about Hummers was. :-) The truth is, it is more about my knack for doing clumsy things than anything else...

Shortly before we completely moved out of our house in Chelmsford, Maya was making the rounds and saying good-bye to her various friends. She was supposed to sleep over at Lucas' house, but our dinner plans complicated thungs a bit and we got there late. She could have slept over, but it was close to bed time already and Luke's Mom had to be to work early the next morning. That meant no play time. So, while the two Moms tried to resolve the situation, I went out back to play with the kids. Luke has a really nice tire swing in the back yard. And it has a pull rope so you can....well...pull.

The kids were having fun swinging, but once I arrived, they wanted REALLY big pushes. So, I grabbed the rope, pulled it as far back and over my head as I could, and let go. Wheeeeeeee! Verify satisfying rides. Unfortunately, not satisfying enough. You see, they wanted what Maya calls "Underdog" pushes. For those who don't know, this is where you pull the swing back, hold on to it, and then run for all you are worth while still holding on. You essentially run underneath the swing and push it until you can't reach anymore. Then you push it off your hands as you go by. This makes for a pretty high push. It also made for my downfall.

You see, I failed to account for the pull rope as I swished past and it tangled around my leg and foot. I realized this as the swing was ascending and frantically tried to remove it. Unfortunately, it came back down and began dragging me before I could accomplish that task. I managed to stay on my feet, but the resistance that provided undoubtedly enabled the rope to slide rapidly around my leg and foot, causing some lovely rope burns. The kids didn't realize how much pain I was in and had a good laugh. Then asked for more Underdog. I limpingly did my best while holding the rope.

I couldn't do any first aid on the burns, because all our medical supplies had been boxed up earlier that day. In fact, all our posessions had been pretty much boxed up. I couldn't even do an internet search to make sure rope burn treatment was the same as regular burn treatment. What I would have done was put some burn cream on and leave it open to the air.

Searching the internet for what I should have done proved more challenging. Here is a Google searches I tried:

The top link? "Even with the best of care, horses occasionally injure themselves." Apparently, horses get rope burns more than people do.

The best link I found on that search was to a rock climbing forum. had some links to general first aid that weren't particularly relevant. I also got a bunch more horse links! Here's my favorite.

First Aid: How to monitor your horse's vital signs - temperature, pulse, and gut sounds. By Karen Hayes, DVM, MS for Horse & Rider magazine.

So, I learned two things. 1. When playing with moving objects, account for all loose ropes. 2. If you have to get a rope burn, you're better off being a horse.