Sunday, June 7, 2015

the story of how i hurt myself... again.

time gets away from me. like, really easily.

for instance, may was my off month for both of my jobs. i was only teaching four swim lessons a week and only working three hour shifts once a week at the ballet.

and i was like, "i'll get so much done! i'll write a new novel! i'll make a poetry chapbook! i'll start working out! i'll start boardwalk empire season one!"

what did i do?

... just about nothing. except watch daredevil.

time also gets away with me when it comes to blogging. so this post is about something that happened on december 11th, 2014.

yeah, last year. and i never blogged about it.


we'll never know.


it's difficult being as accident prone as me. when i didn't break a bone in four years, there was much rejoicing.

of course, during that four years, i tore my groin and strained it three times, tore my meniscus, and was hospitalised for a week with severe convulsions that still persist into the present.

so it wasn't like... smooth sailing.

but there's something that i've noticed: when i tend to break things or injure myself, it happens at the natatorium.

i've had two three jobs (two consecutively), since october. two of those three jobs have been at our natatorium, HPB. one was coaching my high school swim team, and now i'm teaching public swim lessons.

i've spent a lot of my life there. i swam there consistently for probably seven years. now i work there at least two days a week.

if something is going to happen to you, you want it to happen at HPB. like, straight up. the lifeguards are ellis trained, which is as HARDCORE AS LIFEGUARDS CAN GET, and the supervisors there are trained even further. they are prepared for pretty much any disaster that could ever happen on this earth, including a nuclear holocaust.

so when i broke my heels there, it was fine.

when i broke my foot there, it was fine.

when i went into hypoglycemic shock there (TWICE), it was fine.

when i sprained my ankle there, it was fine.

totally fine.

the only thing that's not fine is the gigantic incident report file with my name it that my bosses make fun of me for. constantly. like, every time i come into work.

i hadn't had any sort of incident report there in a long time. like, four years. so it was only a matter of time.

flashback to december 11th, which is incidentally the day that i broke my heels.

it's evening swim practice. i'm on deck with my head coach, ben, and we're having a good time. our team has the entire diving well and practice is going great. we practically have the entire pool to ourselves because it's late practice, which we have twice a season.

they're playing good music. it's a good time.

i'm standing on the blocks to watch my kids' breaststroke kicks. there's a pole next to me and i'm holding onto it, and on the other side of the pole is the lifeguard chair. cameron, the only lifeguard that i know decently well because one, he says hi to me everyday, and two, he also teaches swim lessons, is in the chair. i want to talk to him but i'm not allowed to because he's supposed to be scanning the water to make sure none of my swimmers are drowning.

i'm tired of being on the blocks. so what do i do?

i step down.

this is a swimming block.

getting down involves crouching down and grabbing the sides of the blocks with my hands. so i do that. of course, i don't think to use the step. i have long legs, i'm already crouching down, i can just step down onto the pool deck. it's like, two feet. i'll be fine.

i should know better than this. i have fallen off the blocks twice in my 6 years as a swim coach, and each time i have broken my left fourth toe. so i should know better.

i step down onto the pool deck. my shoe slips.

this was not a slow motion fall. this was one of those falls that went like this:

i'm crouching on the blocks.

i'm flat on my face on the pool deck.

i think a few things immediately.

1. i just fell off the blocks.
2. how did i get on the floor?
4. ... my aunt fell running and broke her jaw. IS MY JAW BROKEN?
5. i still have all of my teeth.

that's right, i hit my chin. smack on the pool tile.

apparently i attempted to stop my fall with my right wrist, which is now throbbing, but not nearly as much as my jaw. before i can even get off the floor, cameron is crouching next to me and asking me if i want to stand up.

i do not want to stand up. i want to sit on the went floor for as long as i can because i am dizzy as hell and i feel like my teeth are going to fall out.

seeing as i get hurt like, all the time, especially at the nat, i'm rather cheerful about the situation. i smile at cameron and tell him i'm fine. he waves over a supervisor so he can get back in the chair. but before he goes back he says, "you're kind of like... bleeding a lot."

guess who split her chin open on the pool deck?

this girl.

i've had a fear of splitting my chin open for a while. the idea of falling and landing on my chin and splitting it open just sounded so awful and painful that i dreaded it.

well, now i'd done it, and i could confirm that it was indeed really hella painful.

stephanie, one of the supervisors, crouches down next to me with a first aid kit. i tell her that i'm okay but i'm a little dizzy and my jaw hurts a lot. she tells me that if i can talk just fine, it's not broken. she begins to clean up the cut on my chin, which absolutely POURING blood onto my shirt and the tile floor, and tells me that it's relatively deep.

by this time ben has come over as stephanie tapes gauze to my face. he's telling me that we need to fill out workman's comp so that i can go to redimed and see if i need stitches.

this is the first time that i panic. stitches? NO. NOPE. NOT A THING.

after about ten minutes of sitting on the floor and getting my ass soaked, stephanie finishes cleaning me up. the paperwork has been filled out, my athletic director has been contacted, and redimed knows that i'm coming. i get to my feet and what do i do?

keep coaching.

i don't like to give up easily. when i broke my heels, i swam a race about two minutes after i did it. when i broke my hand, i went to colorado for a week, came home, and then volunteered at church camp manning the rock wall, all before getting it checked out. when i broke my elbow, i continued to haul 45 pound banana boxes.

i never said i was smart.

ben sees me from across the pool coaching.

ben: what the hell are you doing.
me: coaching?

so i go to redimed.

they're waiting for me and have my paperwork filled out, which is good, because i'm relatively sure that i have a hairline fracture in my right forearm and don't want to write anything. a nice nurse takes me back to a big room and she's followed by a sweet old lady PA. they lay me down, numb my chin, and talk to me about swimming. it turns out that they know a few of the ballerinas that i work with at the ballet. one of their sons used to be a swimmer.

one of them vaguely knows my mother.

they give me five stitches. it wasn't nearly as bad as i thought it was going to be.

by the time the stitches are done, the reality of everything that's happened in the past half hour has set in and i'm really dizzy. i need help walking to the x-ray room to get my arm checked out. the x-ray tech is a little bit done because by now it's eight thirty at night and he wants to go home. the nice nurse that took care of me at the beginning has me call my dad because she doesn't want me driving.

my dad: hello?
me: daddy, i split my chin open. i'm at redimed and really dizzy. come pick me up?
my dad: ... i'm watching survivor.

he got me anyway.

my brother drove my van home and i sat with my dad in the front seat of his tiny stick shift, holding my arm, which was fine except for a small contusion.

i looked like santa with all the gauze that i had taped around my chin and halfway up my face.

i thought about not going into the ballet the next day, but i had never taken a sick day before, and i get paid hourly and i wanted the money. so in the morning, after carefully washing my stitches, i put a bandaid over them and went into work. besides the gigantic bruise that was blossoming on my chin, you could hardly tell that i did anything.

the only problem was that my jaw and my teeth hurt so much that i could barely eat.

the jaw pain went away after about three days, i vaguely chipped a back molar and got that taken care of at the dentist, and ten days later, i got my stitches out.

now i have a pretty wicked scar on the bottom of my chin and i get to tell people that exactly seven years after i broke my heels, i slipped and split my chin open.

in the exact same lane where i broke my heels.

maybe lane four in the diving well isn't my lucky lane. it used to be.

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