Since Jackie broke her wrist, I’ve been surprised by the number of people—both acquaintances and complete strangers—who feel moved to chime in with some domestic violence humor.

Interestingly, they’re about equally divided between people who think it’s funny to imply that I beat up my wife and those who think it’s funny to imply that she injured herself hitting me.

I guess these jokes are really old. I recognize some from cartoons that were old when I was a kid, and they are no doubt much older than that. But they weren’t the jokes that I grew up with: my parents didn’t make these jokes; neither did grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, or family friends.

I guess that’s the interesting part to me. Is this a class difference? An education-level difference? An ethnic difference? Or is it more narrow and specific than that? Perhaps these jokes are passed down in families (rather than across whole communities), and this is just a matter of our own family history.

I’d be interested in comments on this one. Was domestic violence humor part of the milieu when you grew up? Do you still hear such jokes today?

(Jackie, by the way, is doing very well.)

Jackie with book and tea, keeping her broken wrist elevated.

Dismounting her bike as we were arriving at taiji class on Thursday, Jackie got tangled up with the bike, fell, and broke her wrist. (“Are you okay?” I asked. “Evidently not,” Jackie replied, holding up her hand which was visibly displaced from where it was supposed to be.)

Our classmates sprang into action. One ran into the Savoy Rec Center and got an ice pack. Another gave us a ride the emergency room. (Several helped her into the car.)

After getting x-rays and a temporary cast, we saw the trauma surgeon. Because Jackie was not in severe distress, he suggested that we have her scheduled for surgery with the hand and wrist surgeon the following day.

Early Friday morning, the surgeon opened her wrist, attached a plate to her radius, shifted the hand back to where it was supposed to be, and attached the bottom of her hand to the plate as well. Then he put on a smaller cast to support the wrist while it begins to heal. In 10 to 14 days she’s supposed to get that cast off, the stitches removed, some wrist exercises, and a plastic wrist brace to wear for several more weeks (but that can be removed for bathing).

All things considered, Jackie has done really well. She’s not in much pain. (She’s already off the hydrocodone—modest doses of ibuprofen seem to control the pain adequately). The new shorter cast seems quite manageable. (The temporary splint came past her elbow. It was much more inconvenient.) She’s permitted to use her hand, except that she’s not supposed to “push, pull, or lift anything heavier than a coffee cup.”

She’s still coming up with an exercise plan. No bicycling for a while. She won’t be able to lift weights with that arm for a while, although she should still be able to lift with her other limbs. Taiji moves may need to be circumscribed for a while as well. We’ll swap in walking for the bicycling and carry on with the other exercises in modified form.

It’s always a little odd, dealing with health care providers. Except for having a broken wrist, Jackie is in great shape—and that’s unusual these days. They took a medical history from Jackie several times (part of making sure anything that might be an issue for surgery is known in advance). Responding to a long list of potential health problems by saying that she doesn’t have any of them let Jackie feel pretty healthy in spite of her broken wrist.