IN a career spanning 25 years as a rugby player, I would occasionally find myself at the local hospital casualty department.
Nothing earth shattering, a dislocated shoulder once, stitches here and there and a few bad sprains and many bruises was the overall total.
Unlike some of my teammates none of my injuries forced me to retire early, although they did cause many sleepless nights.
It never unduly worried me, it was all part of playing a body contact game that I loved.
When you are young you do believe you are bullet proof and comments from a few casualty department nurses saying “you’ll pay for this when you get older” didn’t hold much weight.
Unfortunately, they do now and my knees are complaining a lot more after a game of social tennis.
The injuries did provide me with abundant knowledge about just what I had done and how long it would take to recover.
I have relied on that knowledge in later life and I am always ready to dispense my expert diagnosis when someone suffers an injury.
Unfortunately, my injury assessments over the years have all failed the hospital test.
After accidentally closing the car boot on my daughter’s hand before a touch football game some time ago I quickly told her it wasn’t broken and to come onto the field because we were short a few players.
After complaining for four days that her finger was still hurting my wife insisted I take her to the casualty ward even though I was still adamant it was not broken.
Yes I was wrong and I was reminded regularly over the years of this poor diagnosis.
On the weekend my wife tripped on a step as she left the gym and hurt her ankle.
Having sprained numerous ankles over the years I once again offered my expert diagnosis and said it was just a sprain and to ice and elevate it and it would be okay.
My daughter, who is now a registered nurse, came over the next day and decided that the ankle needed looking at by a real doctor.
You may be guessing where I am heading by now. Yes, the ankle was broken in three places.
The result of all of this is that I have lost all creditability in assessing injuries, cuts or bruises.
My advice to any dads or mums reading this who may believe they can diagnosis injuries is to stay quiet and just go with the flow.
Whether I can do that in the future remains to be seen. I just know whatever I say will be met with a shake of the head and raised eyebrows.