08 March 2008

Save me

Every few years, I have to have an incredibly stupid accident. They are incredibly stupid because they are my own fault, usually perpetrated in a moment of unthinking and single-minded activity. Luckily, they haven't yet been life-threatening, just painful and excruciatingly embarrassing to own up to, especially when I'm trying to explain what I did to the person taking the x-ray. This is one area in my life where I don't ever seem to learn from my mistakes, which partly explains the quantities of crutches, ACE bandages, and other medical appliances I own. I am perpetually in a hurry, so I run half way down a flight of stairs, and fall down the other half. Give me a moving sidewalk in an airport and I'll trip over it, five minutes after I stumbled over the jetway getting off the plane. But these aren't my greatest hits. Nope, those happen when I'm single-mindedly pursuing something to the exclusion of all else, including common sense.

1. Objects in the view finder are closer than they appear: I was framing up a great photo for the yearbook during a football game, squatting on the sidelines. I got my second concussion when the player I was photographing and the three guys who tackled him landed on top of me. (I got my first concussion in a biking accident, courtesy of my brother, through no fault of my own, so it's not counted here).

2. If the power's out, stay in bed: In the midst of a raging thunderstorm, I whacked my foot on a large, inert and very heavy wooden box, breaking three toes. The day before I graduated from college. Hiking around the amphitheatre where graduation was held in high heels was a true pleasure.

3. Watch where you're going! We still don't know how I missed the step in the garage. The doctor who looked at my ankle recoiled in horror, exclaiming, "Well, THAT'S broken." It actually wasn't, but the tech who scanned it looked at the mess of shredded muscle and torn ligaments and said, "You're going to wish it was." He wasn't kidding.

I could continue, but this morning's accident report will explain why I'm not.

4. Replace those unsafe household appliances: This morning, I was hooking up a new mouse on the son's computer, and seeing all the dust on the back of the tower, decided I should really vacuum it. I have a Hoover Windtunnel upright. It weighs a ton, and is incredibly unstable should one be so foolhardy as to use the hose attachment. It falls over with very little provocation, damaging furniture as well as landing on my foot on more than one occasion. The Wise Woman would have replaced it years ago, and reported the damned thing to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Wise is not something to which I've ever laid claim, so I keep using it. I did promise I'd get rid of it as soon as I used up all the bags, and the last one is in there right now.

So, there I am vacuuming the back of the tower, and I feel the hose slacken in my hand, and here comes the vacuum. It missed my head, and I'm grateful for that. But it was going straight for the tower, and I did what any idiot who doesn't want to replace a computer does: threw my hand out to stop it.

Neither my hand nor my wrist appear to be broken, just nicely bruised. I can type, though the pain is still shooting down to my pinkie and up to my elbow. As I sat there on the son's bedroom floor a few hours ago, dazedly cradling my right arm, the daughter, who witnessed the whole fiasco (and hopefully learned something useful like "replace those unsafe household appliances!"), finally ventured timidly, "Should I call 911?"

I looked at my blackened fifth metacarpal, and the rapidly expanding purple patch on the outer edge of my wrist, and I had to laugh.

I am planning a suitable demise for that vacuum cleaner. Even if it did provide blog fodder.

Go listen to some music: "Save Me" from the album Tripping Into Divine by Dexter Freebish.

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