Pique n' your interest 

True believer

Around Canada Day, I get a little sentimental. I, unlike nearly six billion other unfortunates on this planet, was lucky enough to be born a Canadian and to grow up with hockey, maple syrup, five per cent beer and The Tragically Hip. I was also lucky enough to grow up in a country that has universal health care – because when all is said and done, I’m really unlucky.

I was born in a hospital, and I’ll probably die in a hospital – in the meantime it seems that I’m destined to spend a lot of my time there.

It’s not that I "go big," because I don’t – I’m too afraid I’ll wind up back in the hospital. Compared to a lot of the adrenaline junkies in this town, I’m a total pantywaist.

Most recently, I dislocated a number of ribs from my vertebrae – I’m not sure of the exact number because I don’t know how many the chiropractor and physiotherapist popped back in between them. My physiotherapist said she got three, so judging by the number of pops I heard at the chiropractor I’m guessing five ribs altogether.

I didn’t notice the injury when it happened. I got tackled in rugby, and a ruck formed (a ruck is a play whereby players on one team attempt to push the players on the other team off the ball).

As soon as the pile had moved over me, I started to crawl up and out of the pile of bodies towards the light. Before I could get away cleanly, however, a couple of big guys that were still grappling for field position collapsed on top of me. I got a rear end to the shoulder and was pinned briefly beneath about 400 pounds of bulk.

I thought I heard something pop, or, more accurately, I thought I heard everything pop. It didn’t hurt much so I kept playing. Two days later, when the pain kept me up nights, I went in for a few X-rays.

The doctor noticed the problem immediately – my ribs were indeed out of joint, probably because I had bent and twisted some of my vertebrae out of place as a result of up to three previous spinal injuries.

Without going into too much more detail, I’m going to be just fine. The ribs are back in place, and I’m doing stretches and exercises to straighten my spine out. But for how long will I be fine?

It all started back in kindergarten. I was playing Star Wars with glow in the dark swords in a darkened basement with my older brother, and he was working me over pretty good. I got in close to get out of the way of his slashes and grabbed him. We lost balance and fell to the floor.

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