Just wanted to write this out, in story form, so I can use it later, if I ever need to write a scene in which someone gets hurt.
Don't get me wrong. I don't set out purposely to hurt myself, but hey, there is no point in not taking advantage of it when it does happen.
Later, the scene would unfold in J's head, without her being quite able to pinpoint exactly how close she had been to the ball. She had been running towards it, but couldn't remember being very close to it. She must have been close enough though, because suddenly, out of nowhere, the goalie from the other team threw himself on it, right in front of her.
One minute she was running, the next her belly was sliding over his back. Her hands stretched in front of her, she intended to simply tuck her head in and roll.
Her left hand struck the ground just before the right. She must have been going too fast, because her elbow turned just slightly to the left. She heard a crack. Then it turned just slightly to the right. Another crack.
"That's funny," she had just the time to think, "it cracked!" And then the pain hit and it wasn't funny anymore. Intense, searing, hot pain hit her elbow, and she was already screaming before she hit the ground.
"Shut up!" she told herself, "You sound like a girl!" She made herself stop screaming. But then sobs came. The pain was still intense, still searing her elbow. It didn't slack off. She made herself stop crying. Her eyes were closed, her teeth were clenched. There was nothing but pain. Somewhere, out there, around her, there were people, but she couldn't make out what they were saying through the pain, couldn't see them.
All the muscles in her body were rigid with pain. She couldn't move. She heard someone mention ice. Later she couldn't quite remember if someone had asked where it hurt, nor if she had answered, but she thought it quite possible.
She had expected the pain to let up, as it usually did when she had broken something before, but it did not. It felt like the last contractions before giving birth, only it had been immediate in its intensity, there was no building up of pressure and no release. It was a like a fierce contraction that just went on and on. Later, she would have no idea how long she lay there.
Close to her head, she heard D's voice, "Bring your arm down, we're going to turn you." He said. He must have been kneeling close to her head. His voice was like a link to the sane world, a world in which pain this bad did not normally exist. She tried to move her hurt arm, but he said, "No, the other one."
J realized she was lying on top of it. She brought it down to her side, and felt herself being rolled over. The tiny plastic "rocks" from the stadium's artificial turf were in her mouth and she spat them out and rubbed her mouth on her shoulder to get rid of the rest.
"It looks like everything is in place." said F.
"I'm sure it's broken." She managed to gasp out. "I heard it crack."
By now, whoever had gone to get ice was back, and J held it to her elbow. The pain almost instantly diminished by half.
"Do you think you can get up?" D asked. J nodded. She felt herself being pulled to her feet. Her vision took in the rest of the field again, instead of just the immediate space around her. She walked, unaided, to the player's bench, while people in the bleachers clapped. Normally, that would have embarrassed her, but she barely cared.
Sitting on the bench, with nothing to lean against was tiring. J suddenly felt extremely tired. Her muscles had been so rigid, she now felt tired all over. She just wanted to lie down, or lean against something. She got up and half sat, half lay against her bag, until D came and said she shouldn't stay there, someone might trip on her.
Later, H would admit to having been even more worried at seeing her lying there.
The game ended 10 minutes later. J's muscles were starting to go numb. Her teammates were deciding what to do with her, and she could barely concentrate on what they were saying. The circulation was almost cut off in her left arm, and her right arm and both her legs were also going numb. It must be that having held them so rigid for so long was now having an effect on her.
J tried not to panic. She imagined the worst, a limb full of gangrene, then told herself to calm down.
It was decided that JM would drive J to the hospital, while J's husband would come pick up the kids. J still had some trouble following the conversation and just went along with whatever the others decided.
By the time they arrived at the hospital, the pain had become a dull ache, and the numbness had disappeared. J was able to converse intelligently with JM and even joke a bit. He stayed with her for about an hour, then left. J's husband walked in, not long afterwards.