Theories

Why does all the bad and annoying have to happen one right after the other in life? Ugh.

So, I got sick. So, I can’t go exercise. Then I couldn’t sleep. Then all the crap feelings combined with my living alone, and I was lonely. Then I was miserable because I was sick and alone, and it was even worse. Then I couldn’t make food, which made everything worse, including my recovery time. Then, as I think I am recovering, my lower back seizes up while stretching it out, and I’m in varying degrees of pain there.

What will tomorrow bring for my body?? Please, God and Universe, let it be full wellness…

Oh, and did I mention that there were somehow fleas in my bed, biting me? I don’t even have a pet…

Post-a-day 2021

Healing

Someone said something very hurtful to me on Monday. This is someone who is very dear to me. I have been dealing physically with an inner virus the past couple weeks, so I have been exhausted and unable to sleep well; workouts have been annoyingly difficult, due to the fatigue; I almost sent myself to the ER the other weekend, for fear of what was happening inside my body one morning. Put simply, it has been a tough and rough couple or few weeks for me physically, and then emotionally due to the physical strains and struggles. When this person made the comment on Monday, I just couldn’t take it. I simply started crying and got up and went home. The next morning, when I mentally didn’t want to go to the gym, because I wasn’t ready emotionally to deal with that interaction, I found that it didn’t matter: I couldn’t walk, and so certainly couldn’t go to the gym.

By Thursday morning, I could walk with almost no twinges of pain at all, and so went for a run. It felt really, really good. By Thursday evening, however, my legs were starting to hurt, and not just in a sore muscle way. They were hurting in a twisted muscle sort of way. I have rubbed them intentionally and often since then, and they are doing quite well now, with only some tightness and discomfort in the right leg and hip remaining at present. But that meant that I did not go to the gym Friday either. I considered not going today, actually, but I had agreed that I would make up the pull-up cycle stuff I had missed Tuesday, and today was the only option for that. So, the plan was always to go today, no matter what.

And so, I went today for the weightlifting workout, and traded out certain parts for the specific pull-up cycle work from earlier in the week. By the end, my leg was feeling a touch better, which was a positive sign. But the knee and hip and thigh are totally still iffy, to say the least. (Essentially, it sometimes feels like my top and bottom halves of my leg aren’t connected anymore, and my knee will give out suddenly, as though my lower leg is breaking…, even though it isn’t. That’s just how it feels, somehow, and so walking gets really shaky, as well as standing up or squatting down or doing stairs up or down. My knee just sometimes gives out, and usually in an odd direction.)

Anyway, I got fully clear before going to the gym about where I stood and what I needed to say to be complete around what the person had said to me. Once I had started working, I was kind of on my own to the side of the gym – there were only a few of us in this particular class, but loads of people had been on the previous class, this person included. This person came over to me before leaving, and asked me about my not having given a greeting. (I hadn’t intentionally avoided it, but I also hadn’t sought it out.) I shared what I needed to share – how I don’t share much detail about my physical struggles, and so he couldn’t have known, but how his comment, which was joking yet quite judgmental, hit me very hard and painfully, especially since he is someone important to me and whom I trust, and that, because of my fatigue and exhaustion, I hadn’t been able to deal with it emotionally until now.

The whole interaction was really great. I cried almost immediately, yet still was doing my exercise. He caught himself about to give a BS non-apology, said that, and then said that he truly wants to apologize, and then did apologize. He also requested that I tell him if and when he is being an a**hole. I laughed, and told him that it very much had been a total a**hole of a comment and was definitely judgmental. We both laughed. I reminded him that I love him and am grateful to have him in my life, and not to make fun of my physical body problems, but he can definitely tease me about my phone (It’s smaller than most these days.).

I was extremely satisfied with the interaction, and had a bonus follow-up message from him later on the day, which boosted my tired spirits when I was at work in the late afternoon and early evening.

I’m still not at full energy – or much anywhere near it, really -, but I am doing much better now, in large part due to my rest this week physically. But that rest helped me deal with my emotional struggles, which then helps somewhat further physically. (It all really is connected.) I am grateful to be healing, and in all ways, albeit somewhat slowly. But I can feel and see the healing happening, and I am relieved and grateful.

Thank you, God and Cosmos.

Post-a-day 2021

Ouch…

But seriously, who invented all the nonsense that goes alongside menstruation? Utter nonsense… ::facepalm

Anyway, this weekend, I saw the wife of someone I know. Though I had seen the husband many, many times, I had not seen the wife until this Saturday.

When I first saw her, it took a few moments to process fully what I was seeing. Then it took another few moments to allow for my initial reactions. And another few to crave indulging in them. And a final few to allow them just to be, and then, therefore, to release. Rather than being upset by what I saw, I knew I could have it be a positive experience – even if it took some effort.

“Body goals,” I told myself, letting it fall heavily from my lips, the initial sigh thereby dispersed. Music was playing loudly at the gym, so I had no overhearing ears. I really only could feel the words vibrate through my body, as it wasn’t loud enough for my own ears to hear over the music.

But I felt it… and in more ways than one.

After that, I kept going back and forth between awe at how amazing she was physically, and wanting to break down crying at how far away I am from that right now.

I knew pitying myself was neither necessary nor valuable, so I always let that one go. But that didn’t stop it from co to hint to pop up at intervals throughout the whole day afterward, and even the following day somewhat.

As a friend reminded me later, the wife probably wasn’t like that when they got married, and it probably took her years to get to that point. Same for the husband. (Though, he was always less intimidating or whatever, because he’s male, I suppose.) It wasn’t an overnight process for either of them, and they probably weren’t already like that when they first met one another or even got married.

That idea gives me hope… that I can find someone who is fit beautifully already and who values my own work thus far, but who will continue to grow with me and thereby support and empower me o to further-enhanced fitness throughout our future. I would continue this same road, but no longer on my own. I’d have a true partner in crime for it all. (So to speak, that is… haha)

Anyway,… there’s that ouch and the menstruation and resulting digestion ouch, and the utter exhaustion that they and all the other stress have brought for this evening.

Alas, I shall now go sleep… with an alarm every two-ish hours, of course, to use the bathroom. ::facepalm I swear…, whoever made up this nonsense must have been severely out of his wits at the time… Man

Post-a-day 2021

Oh, snap…

6:40am: Wake up groggily, in need of a bathroom. I have slept in by over two and a half hours, and my body is demanding that I get up to relieve it, at last. I do.

As I re-ascend, a flea lands on my ankle. I grab it immediately, destroy it, and flush it down the sink. This cycle repeats itself once more, but this time with the bug landing on my shin. I head downstairs a get plates and tea lights, set up the traps in a few spots, hoping to nab anything left while it is still somewhat dark outside, and pour the soapy water and light the candles.

As I am just about to head upstairs to my bed – for I had not felt as though I had slept eight hours, and felt a real need for more – , a pain strikes my lower belly. Oh, no… digestion problem, I think, rushing back to the bathroom. Everything had gone as usual in the bathroom initially, but my father’s (and my maternal grandfather’s) GI tract genes had been passed down to me, so it is somewhat always a toss-up as to whether by bowels will be normal or ridiculously sensitive.

Back in the bathroom, I find that nothing is interested in moving – it feels as though there is nothing to depart from my body, even. And yet, I am suddenly crying out in pain, it has become so intense. But nothing seems to be happening inside me. Just pain exists, increasing to a point I have never known. I have had success pains before, but they typically end within a minute, as things readjust inside me, and then I am fine.

But this is somehow different.

The cries of pain continue to escape my lips, shocking my more and more. What is happening?

There is a chance it could be the appendix. The position of the point of the most pain is appropriate. But I’d need a second opinion to be sure. Perhaps I would do best to call my mom and ask her, since I know that she knows. The cries and the pain continue and increase, as the phone calls.

Straight to voicemail. I call again, in case it is merely Do Not Disturb. Voicemail immediately. She’s still asleep. I could call the house, but only if absolutely necessary, as it would wake more than just her. Wait on that.

Thinking is growing fuzzy. As I begin to get up from the toilet, my ears lose full hearing, filling partly with a fuzzy, humming noise. My vision is shaking. I might be about to pass out.

I rush to wash my hands, and rinse some cool water on the back of my neck. It helps briefly and barely. I need water. But my bottle is upstairs. If something goes wrong, I need to be downstairs. There’s a cold bottle in the fridge, I recall.

I bolt in a slow stumble down the stairs to the kitchen, and open the fridge, shakily. I manage to pull out the water and drink some, then hold it against the back of my neck.

But I cannot hold it there. Before I really know how it has happened, I find myself on my hands and knees, my head laying inside the fridge, my breathing heavy and intense.

I just feel so hot.

And I hadn’t five minutes ago.

Something is definitely wrong.

I call my brother. He does not answer. I call the house for my mom twice, but it just keeps ringing both times. Some emergency contacts, I think, somewhere far back in my brain.

I might hurl, I realize. But I might just need a bowel release. Either way, I need to get back to the bathroom.

Because I always put things away, I put the water away in the fridge, though something inside tells me too weakly to bring it with me. Too hard to hold.

I crawl back up the stairs, so hot, out of breath, the pain only increasing in my lower belly, just above my pelvic floor, especially on the right side.

I make it to the bathroom. Nothing is moving in my bowels, nothing wants to exit. As I have been contemplating where to seek emergency medical care, should I need it – though, I had wanted a second opinion on that, this the phone calls – I am now faced fully with making the decision myself. But I know I cannot see well enough or function well enough to find the directions to the right place on my phone. Urgent Care, not ER, but I have never been there, so I’m not certain we’re it is; just that it is near.

First that, then see if I can drive… or even make it to the car.

I have been very near passing out this past several minutes, I know I need someone else to know of my situation, to help if I do pass out.

I call a friend on EDT, knowing she would be awake by 8:20am, even if it is a Saturday. She answers.

But I find that I cannot speak.

I manage a greeting of some sort, I believe, but then just continue breathing heavily, crying tears of pain and confusion and frustration. I know she will remain calm and evaluate properly, but I need to communicate what is happening.

My arms have gone completely tingly, shoulders to fingertips. When did that happen?

With much struggle and murkiness, I finally manage to say what is happening. I am only in underwear at this point. My shirt was wrenched off in the bathroom when the heat first began – I had thought that I only was overheating somewhat, but my skin was completely soaked with sweat once I’d slid off my shirt.

She first tells me that her husband (hems a doctor, but not the first reason I was calling her) is not with her right now, but then immediately tells me that I might be having a panic attack – BREATHE. At this point, I am lying face-down on the floor, my cheek just hanging over the first stair step. My left hand clenches a soaked paper towel… soaked with what? Tears, snot, sweat…, probably all of them, but I cannot quite remember how it even got to my hand. My right hand is pressed into my lower right belly, at the point of the most pain.

Staring at the phone – on speaker – on the floor next to me, I focus on calming my breathing, deepening each stroke. I am still terrified, but I already feel immensely better emotionally, now that someone is here with me. That helps my breathing ease better.

We laugh at her comment on how I should probably be talking to an actual doctor, not someone searching on WebMD. My face is soaked and my body hurts, my arms still tingling, but my hearing has been restored and I can see clearly, though my processing is still slow – it takes real effort to make the words come out. But I tell her that, if we determine I need to go to see a real doctor, I first need to make it upstairs to put on clothes. We laugh at the prospect of my showing up in my car in just a pair of underwear, and I wonder if I would end up with a ticket afterward for indecent exposure…. and yet an ambulance would have taken me in just my underwear, and that would have made their jobs even easier.

I marvel somewhere in the back at how I can even have such thoughts right now, but can barely manage to mutter a single simple sentence aloud.

I tell her that, even if it just turns out to be digestion issues, I am totally okay with that. I’m still glad I was able to get ahold of her. I’d actually rather not have it go that way if I ended up at Urgent Care, however. Not cool. She is giving me options of what might be wrong, assessing my specifics on the pain locations.

Nothing quite lines up as well as the facts that 1)I am near beginning menstruation, and 2)I have bad bowel genes. I ate brisket yesterday, which I do not usually do, but everything else was rather normal in my food.

As we sit on the phone, the pain slowly begins to ebb away, bit by bit. I ask her to stay with me, and she agrees with a firmness that she had already planned on that.

After an hour, I finally have been able to roll to my right side, and curl up in a ball for a bit, and then lie on my back, knees up. The pain has finally begun shifting around slightly, no longer covering such a great area within my body, but it has shifted partly, though gently, to the tender area just above the pelvic bone and in front of the uterus. It is relaxing its grip, nonetheless. I make it to my hands and knees. My arms are only barely tingling.

I need water. I had wanted some already, and had laughed as I’d told her that my brain felt like she could get it for me, because she was here with me now… that fogginess hadn’t been able to sort out the different between digital and physical presence, obviously. But so, I have finally made it to my hands and knees. After staying there a while longer, I finally make it shakily to my feet, and then head downstairs. Perhaps I should eat food, too.

I have some calm, dry food, after I gulp some more water, and she tells me she’ll check in again later.

It is almost 9:00 now. I use the bathroom once more – no BM or gas, of course – and head upstairs to rest briefly. For some reason, I have it in my head that I still need to go to the gym. I had already canceled the 9:00am cardio class, knowing that was neither an option nor a good idea. Not paying that no-show fee. But the 10:00 class is just calm weights, and part of that was something I had missed Monday and had been waiting to make up all week.

I couldn’t miss it… but that had been a thought I’d had before the morning’s insanity. However, my brain was still so murky that it was not able to notice that fully. It just knew that I had to go to 10:00. And that I had convinced someone to go with me, and had helped that person sign up for the class this morning… while I was lying on the floor in the hallway, shaking still…

(I know, right?)

And so, after a brief nap, I did go. Before we began, one of the guys asked about my morning so far – I think – and so I told him a brief summary.

‘And you’re still here?!’

My brain hadn’t even considered that yet. Life goes on, was all it could think, and so it had had me continue onward in my day.

It was still very difficult to talk, to make my body out forth the effort of creating and spitting out words, more than just a few at a time. But, once we got to work on our training, I didn’t really need words – not more than a few every so often – and so life felt somewhat normal. I was sleepy, exactly, but my brain felt something like sleepy, and my body was definitely tired. I had the wherewithal to take it all easy, but not to consider that I maybe should just go to bed or something.

I think I really wanted to be with people for a while. And whatever was wrong with me seemed utterly unlikely to be contagious. I’d even checked my temperature, and it was quite low. No elevation whatsoever. And I don’t feel that kind of sick, anyway. I just felt cloudy and a bit weak on endurance.

And I was. But I got through all that I’d determined to do for today’s workout, and I felt much improved by the end of it. Though, no longer having a specific, repetitive task in front of me, it was a struggle to walk to the car to get myself home. I stopped for bananas on the way, knowing I would want smoothies today and tomorrow, and feeling a call toward eating a banana, anyway.

I managed to make food and eat it, and drink some smoothie, and then shower and nap for a while before having to head to work. When I got in, I found that I couldn’t talk. Not quickly, anyway. If someone greeted me, I could only smile, and then wonder how speech worked, feeling mentally my throat and mouth. I set down my stuff, and acknowledged that maybe I couldn’t do this work today, despite my efforts to show up. My belly had begun aching again, but I wasn’t sure when. Every time I considered genuinely talking, my eyes started to burn.

I went a spoke to the supervisor. She reminded me what the store actually does, that they’ve been short workers before, and that it is significantly more important that I take care of my own health and well-being than suffer through helping there. They absolutely would make it without me, if I needed to go home. And the fact that I had shown up in the first place spoke volumes to my dedication. No, there were no negative repercussions for me, if I determined that I needed to go home right now. Think about it, she told me, and let her know. I had been crying from the moment I’d started telling her what had happened.

After a few minutes sitting there, chatting – well, sort of – with another coworker who had been in the room with us, I noticed that I was hunching forward. When I stood up, I could not stand up straight. The pain was too strong, and I was too weak.

I was going home.

Now, it is just after 6:30pm. I am lying uncomfortably in bed, that lower right spot gently twisting again. The aim is to sleep. The goal is to awaken healed tomorrow. We shall see what happens.

Post-a-day 2021

Pluses and minuses

Okay, I exercised again today. I was very aware of my bottom throughout several parts of the workout, wondering if my rash was doing okay, or if it was worsening. So, I was a bit stressed about that, off and on. Plus, ditto regarding my arm/elbow muscle situation. Depending on how everything looks and feels tomorrow, that will determine my next steps with each. I am really, really hoping that they both clear up by tomorrow night.

Ugh… speaking of tomorrow night, I have to work at that part-time job. And it is for a very long time. And it is until very late. I go to bed by nine pm usually. My body wakes me up before five am each morning. It is already dreadful whenI have to work until eight pm once a week. Tomorrow, I have to work until eleven pm. I won’t be in bed until midnight, best case scenario, which means I won’t even get five hours of sleep. What’s extra annoying is that I am given a mandatory 30-minute “meal break”, because I am scheduled to work for so long tomorrow night. I don’t even eat after five pm, even on my latest of days eating. Usually, it is three pm.

Ugh. The lack of sleep is definitely not going to help my current physical state. Really, it just makes me so frustrated that I want to cry.

Post-a-day 2021

Ouch

It seems that I might have strained a muscle that runs through my elbow last week. When I stretched before getting out of bed one morning, I yelped in pain and automatically yanked my arms back inward from the stretch. It has felt like something had just suddenly bitten me just above my elbow, in the direction of my tricep, etc. Something was definitely not okay.

I checked in with my mom on what to do – she’s a massage therapist – and she had little advice. I then checked with my aunt, who does a more rehabilitation type of massage therapy, and she gave me some things to do to see if I could handle whatever it was that was wrong. I did those, and they helped significantly. However, they didn’t heal the issue completely, only improved upon it. I could now stretch farther before the biting sensation would arise, but it still inevitably felt like a spider was attacking the back of my upper arm, whenever I got it into certain positions or used it in certain ways, all of them normal parts of any regular day for me.

Now, several days later, I have seen a chiropractor, and, though he only had a few brief moments to check it out, he thinks it might be strained. But it was definitely right, he said. Being a holistic nutritionist, he gave me a sort of regime to follow to see if my elbow issue can sort itself out in the next few days. If it doesn’t, though, he said to go back to see him on Saturday, when he’ll be able to spend more time on it all with me. I stayed away from the gym today, because so much of it was about pushing with the arms (bench press and push press and all that jazz), and I had barely been able to do the super light push presses last week already. Plus, it just seemed like the rest would be a good idea for my arm. I am following what the chiropractor/nutritionist said to do, so we shall see what happens tomorrow and if things improve – I certainly hope they do, and quickly. Things like this can grow rather scary. As it stands, I keep checking if my arm is swollen or red, because it feels like my arm is both in that area just above my elbow on the back side of my arm. And it feels consistently so. Even when I touch it gently, it hurts pointedly, like a burning sensation on my skin, though it is the muscle underneath that is so tender and sore.

Man… God, help me heal, please, that I may be fully fit to do my work here. Thank you for all. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

^Still had to think about it carefully while typing it

Watch me whip…

and watch me cry, cry. Today, as my brother put it, I was, “Both taking lashings and jump roping; aka [doing] dubs!” I took the time and had the energy to go pull out my outdoor yoga mat, and to set up my brand new, personalized jump rope (no kidding, it was expensive). I have gotten it almost to the right length, but I’m not sure it’s there yet. Nonetheless, I learned the valuable lesson that wearing sweatpants while jumping makes a hugely positive difference in not getting painfully whipped all over my legs. However, having long hair and being shirtless compensated for the saved whips – my hair actually hit the rope a few times, causing it to whip into my back and the back of my arm. Plus, I somehow got my hands and the tops of my forearms a lot. My shoes were surprisingly minimal today, though. (But definitely not fully safe – they totally got whipped a few times, and super painfully so.) Afterward, I was marked up as though I had a slightly crazy cat living with me, including one bruise I just now found on my lower ankle.

All in all, it was a really good time. adjusting and using my new jump rope. I actually got to a point where they are starting to click rather easily. I just have to work on the energy and momentum part of it all now, because I tire rather easily from them still. But they are loads easier with a rope that not only fits me but that is also awesomely designed for doing double-unders.

Thank you, RPM, for your lovely craft and product. I love my new speed rope!

Post-a-day 2021

^Easy

Oops

Uh-oh… There’s a tickle in my throat that turned into a small ache on the side.

I hope that lots of water and rest will heal this overnight – I have much to do and good, solid health is needed to do it!

God, help me heal this ache, that it be released as I care for my body and my mind tonight, such that I might be love in the world as my full and best self tomorrow and each day afterward.

It got surprisingly cold this evening, and I was not in the least prepared or dressed for it. May my body be appropriately warm and healed tonight.

Amen

Post-a-day 2021

^Almost missed it, but I remembered!

Scars and cars

Two things:

1) These scans are at the point that they have dried out so much, they now keep cracking when I move, ripping themselves open anew, sending immediate and searing pain through my hands or knee, when it does happen. I finally managed to drive okay, but it was an old stick shift today, and putting it into third gear was quite difficult with my right hand situation. It ended up busting open my scabs more than once, and drawing blood from them… yippee… haha

2) Speaking of driving that car, it is a ’97(?) Porsche 911. That means the speedometer only shows numbers in increments of 25 (up to a very high number), the engine feels very comfortable at around 80mph, and driving it is like a party for the senses in a way they always seem to forget that they adore. Driving such a car makes driving fun. A long drive into town, while mentally seems miserable, ends up being no big deal at all, and, in fact, a kind of total meditative experience as I am one with the wind and the glorious German engineering and power of an engine. I don’t even have the need for speed, myself – it really is the car. But, since I’m driving it, I tend to take it easy for the most part, and chill with traffic at safer and much slower speeds than one likely would expect from a driver of such a car. Nonetheless, that car makes driving fun. Really.

Now, I’m curious how this idea could affect my search for a reliable, responsible – both for me and for the planet – vehicle this weekend. The plan is to lease a Nissan Sentra, after verifying that I still like the vehicle, years and years later…, but that will be a hard comparison after driving this car again… oops. 😛

Wishful thinking, y’all. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

The Fall

So, here’s the short but sweet – well, you get the idea – version of what happened yesterday evening around 5:30.  I had a pretty bad fall at approximately .68 miles into my run.  I was supposed to do a little 5k to be in a sort of solidarity with a student I tutor, because we had to miss tutoring yesterday due to her mandatory participation in a 5k with her school.  (She is neither fan of outdoorsy things nor of running.)  I had already run just over that on Thursday, and I didn’t necessarily feel like getting out to run and do a whole workout (core upon return to the house, of course), but I’d told her I would do it on Friday, and I knew I always felt great after such a workout anyway.  So, I headed out.  It was an amazing start to the run, and the weather was great.

However, when my eye was caught by a mother doing a sort of super-protective stance between the road and her small child, possibly as a means of preventing his sprinting suddenly to the street when a truck was passing, that great feeling changed quickly.  Since I was caught off guard by her stance, and, of course, I had to process what I was seeing before moving on in life, I was mentally focused on the mother, even though I turned my head back to the road ahead of me.  And, though, I was looking at the road again, it was not quite enough time to process that one of the manhole covers a step and a half ahead of me, while it was supposed to be flush with the road around its rim, and concave for the actual cover, the indefinite-looking roadwork of the street turned that flush edge into a lip.

And yes, I did trip on that lip.

Put simply, I flew forward.  I got another step and a half-ish under me as I began to fall, but I was already turning Superman, and I knew I was not going to recover my feet.  I had a brief thought of not wanting to fall simply so as not to freak out the poor onlookers – it has to suck to witness someone fall hard or be part of some accident… I regularly think of how terribly frightening it must have been for that angel driving behind me when I went down on my scooter on the road that night last year.  Nonetheless, I saw before the thought even finished that, oh, well, they were just going to have to witness it, and I was just going not to worry about it, and to do what I needed to do for my own health and well-being.

And so, I went down, and I went down not just hard, but with a hard forward slide.  Man, it was like I were Speedy Gonzales or something, because there was no way I could have been running very slowly to slide that hard and that far, and so quickly.  And I always thought my longer running was slow.  Good thing I’ve been working on improving that for myself… it really paid off yesterday evening.  Not.

(Note: I’m not at all bashing improving one’s skills or athletic abilities – not at all.  I am merely having a fun thought and play at how, in this particular instance, being better at the sport actually made for a worse situation.  Think, I might not even have fallen, if I hadn’t been going so fast.  However, that changes nothing in my plans to continue to improve in my running.)

Anyway, so I went down, and I knew people saw, and I had slight concern for them, but also didn’t care and didn’t have the mental space for almost any thoughts aside from dealing with my own body’s safety and survival at present.

It really sucked.  I immediately rolled to my back.  I was just lying in the street then, tears pouring from down my temples and upper cheeks, as I quickly examined my hands.  They were a total mess.  Gashed terribly, tissue fluid and blood already everywhere, and grainy gravel bits of all sizes and dark colors everywhere on them, mixed in with the blood and peeling skin and tissue fluid.  My knee was stinging slightly, and I had a feeling it was much worse than it was letting on, hidden beneath my spectacular running pants – I could look at that more later, perhaps when I got home… it only would get worse once I let my attention turn to it.  The pants had held up, so I knew they would hold in most of the bleeding that likely was underneath.  Not that I spent more than a moment of thought on my knee… I just glanced and moved on mentally.

My hands… oh, my hands needed help.

While I was dong this self-evaluation and feeling growing intense pain, crying somewhat calmly yet entirely uncontrollably, the mother was talking to me from her spot back on the sidewalk.

Was I okay?  Did I want them to call an ambulance?  Did I want them to call somebody else for me?  I answer with obvious shaking of my head to all of them.  I was grateful to hear, when the husband was trying to move along, the wife (mother of the little kid) said pointedly, “No, she’s not okay. She’s really hurt.”  Though, I only slightly processed it, what with the pain and my own mental focus at the time.  When she asked if they could get me anything, I managed, after another several seconds of gasping-like breathing, to ask, “Do you have any water?”  After which I resumed the intense breathing.  The crying, of course, never paused.

I was still lying on my back in the road, and it had been at least a minute at this point.  Granted, I was to the side of the road, but I was definitely entirely in the road, at least a yard or two from the curb.  So, I ask again about the water, figuring out how to get water, if these folks don’t have any, and she answers to me that they do.  A few moments later, I hear someone begin to approach, and a hard plastic cup being set on the driveway next to me.  I say next to me, because it was perpendicular to the road, st the specific spot where I lay.  It was not, however, actually very near to me.  It was at least three yards away from me.

“Honey, just bring it to her, ” I hear the wife say, followed by the husband’s hushed, “No.”  Her response was borderline furious, and something within me felt like there would be a rage in their house tonight.

Alas, there was water, and I needed it for my hands.  There was no possibility of my getting up from my spot in the road, so, I stuck my hands above my head, Superman-y again, and rolled two-ish turns toward the driveway.  I then forced myself to sit up – though I’m really not sure how, seeing as my hands were no real use at that point.  But I grabbed the little blue sippy-type cup, and started carefully tipping the limited, precious water onto one hand at a time.  And it hurt.  And I knew it wouldn’t be enough – there was far too much blood and dirt that wasn’t going to come off by just dripping a single cup-full of water onto it with no real rubbing.

Not that I wanted to rub my hands…, but I needed to do it.

A truck driving past as I fell, – the one from which the mother had possibly been”protecting” her child – backed all the way up the block, and stopped even with me in the road (in which I am still sitting, of course, but I’m by the edge now).  It was, for lack of better descriptors, what I would call a Mexican work truck.  Likely, the guy had been working on building a house somewhere down the road – one of the new builds I had passed on my way there, perhaps.  The driver exited the truck and was doing something with the truck bed for a minute.  I was almost certain what would come next – it’s just a part of the culture, you know?

After a few moments, I finally comprehend that the guy is standing near me, setting down a bottle of water.  He then hands me a white piece of cloth and says, “Clean.  I’s clean.”  (That’s “it’s” without the t, by the way.).  I could barely form any words in any language, though I knew he spoke Spanish and possibly almost no English.  I believe I thanked him then.  I set down the sippy cup back on the driveway, and picked up the icy cold bottle of water.  This will hurt, I think, but I know I need to do it.

I struggle for a few moments in my efforts to open the bottle, but I cannot manage it – this simple task is impossible for me in this moment – and so I set the bottle back down on the ground.  Within seconds, the guy was back at my side, picking up and opening the bottle for me.  He then holds it out in a way that I know he is offering to hold it and pour for me, and so I extend my hands and allow him to pour.  I cough out some tears at the pain of it, but we can both see that it is helping clear away the mess.  When I’ve wiped away as much as I can tolerate, I nod and thank him a couple or few times, as I press the white cloth into my hands, absorbing what excess still remains, and shooting pains into my hands at every press.  I was barely able to see his upside down face through my tears.  But I saw him and thanked his face, even if I couldn’t see his eyes.

Meanwhile, the couple stood with their child on the sidewalk, watching, mumbling.  As the Mexican guy stepped back into his truck, a white Mercedes that had been briefly waiting, with the guy and me in full view on the side of the road, and his truck parked in the middle of it – keep in mind, this is a neighborhood road, not some throughway or anything – decides to squeeze between me and the truck, now that the guy isn’t standing next to me anymore.  When the mother on the sidewalk commented with fury at the fact that the woman had seen us and easily could have just gone around the block – and these are tiny blocks, by the way, in a traditional square arrangement – I genuinely agreed with her.  Though, I also felt sad at the driver of the Mercedes.  How miserable must one be to be such an a** during an obvious “situation” of someone sprawled in the road?

Anyway… I really liked the wife/mother.  Not so much the paranoia of the husband, though.  Which, by the way, he picked up that cup after I set it back down to give it back to them… Just saying.

Okay, so everyone moves on.  I have my keys and my phone again, and I roll myself the rest of the way fully onto the driveway.  I lay there a handful of minutes, still crying.  I hear a dog collar approaching on the sidewalk behind me, and am unconcerned.  Minus the tiny hope that the owner won’t be too distraught at the sight.

It turned out to be an older guy, out walking his dog.  He asked if I was okay, and I carefully told him that I wasn’t but that I would be – I could talk now.  Kind of.  He offered to bring me bandages, saying that he lived just right nearby, and I said that that actually would be really great.  His walk turned into a cautious jog of concern, as he raced around the corner, heading to his unseen home.  I hardly even knew how he looked.  I still couldn’t process such details.

And so, when her returned a couple minutes later, I sat myself up again, and got to work.  I poured the hydrogen peroxide on my knew first, then my left hand, and both were okay.  It hurt a bit, but it really just foamed and mostly was okay.  The guy was surprised at this.  He’d even said he would look away while I poured the peroxide, clearly indicating that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed at my likely reaction of intense pain.  An old man had approached at this point, and was asking questions.  I had already worked hard enough to answer them for the first guy – what happened; yeah, I’m definitely hurt; I’ll be okay, just not yet; I live about .62 miles that way – so I let him answer them for me.  He didn’t seem to mind, once he saw that I clearly wasn’t up to it.  Then, while they chatted, I poured the peroxide on my right hand.  And that, my friends, was the exact memory I had had of hydrogen peroxide from my childhood, and the reason I was terrified of it as an adult.  I had used it a couple times recently, and couldn’t understand why I’d been afraid of it.  My mom had given it to me last year (?), saying that alcohol burns, not hydrogen peroxide.  And it had been true so far in my adult life.  Until this moment, in a stranger’s driveway with two older guys chatting about me and my present situation.

My body took over control as I convulsed and wailed, and even more tears poured from my eyes, the rate increased significantly from the original fall’s.  I felt bad for this pour girl on the side of the road.  I couldn’t imagine how the onlookers felt.  (There was a secret onlooker across the street in the apartments, who had clearly been considering off and on whether to come help.  She, too, looked hispanic, and I fear her concern was one not only of COVID-19, but mostly of a fear of not being able to communicate.  I don’t exactly exude Spanish (or any language other than English, really), so I get it.

Anyway, so that really sucked, and I had to pour the painful cold water on it to make the pain go down at least somewhat – I couldn’t take it anymore.  Funny how that cold water was suddenly not so big a deal anymore, right?  Eventually, I blew my nose a bunch more with the rest of the paper towels the guy had brought, and I put a compress on my knee.  I had raised the pant leg while still in the street, and, aside from the clear layer of skin that was plastered to the fabric, my knee didn’t look like it needed too much immediate attention.  So, after the quick rinse of water and the peroxide, it was good to go, in terms of germ-prevention and safety until I made it home.

Now, all this time, I had been evaluating how I would be getting home.  No family lives anywhere near me, so that was out as an option, if I couldn’t walk it.  I considered a high school acquaintance who lived nearby.  I was rather sure he would come get me and drive me home, if I really needed, but I didn’t want to turn to that except as a last resort.  So, my options were really either to walk or to run home.  If I ended up being able to run, I knew I would end up finishing the 5k.  It was a slim chance, but it wouldn’t’ have surprised me.  However, walking was the most likely of the three options.  And, at this point in time, I noticed that I still had not felt that moment of, Okay, let’s get up, that we always get at some point after a fall.  And, so far as I could tell, it was nowhere nearby either.  I wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  I mean, I hadn’t even fully stopped crying at this point, and it had been ten minutes already.

I had started “chatting” with the younger of the two older guys, during the times that I could use my words, and, after I had finished all my dressings,  he offered yet again to drive me home – “We can put the windows down, be safe…” – I said, at last, “I think that would be a very good idea,” nodding and speaking with obvious effort, pinches of tears falling.  He hopped into action, and took his first aid kit and hydrogen peroxide and, even, the trash back to his home.  A couple minutes later, a Jeep came roaring around the corner, windows down.

I struggled to find the least painful way, and managed myself to my feet without too much disruption.  But, oh, did it hurt to use my right leg/knee…  The guy opened the passenger door for me, and I struggled my way into the seat.  I fumbled for a while, throwing in involuntary cries of pain, getting the seatbelt on myself and shutting the door… I just couldn’t use my hands almost at all: no pressure on them from the outside, and no muscle flexing within them.

We chatted on the brief drive back that almost-three-quarters-of-a-mile path, exchanged names, and wished one another well as we arrived and I struggled my way out of the Jeep.  I thanked him over and over again, both during the ride and at the end of it.  And also before it, too.  And then I slowly and painfully stumbled up the walkways and stairs, managed to unlock and open the door, and get myself inside.

I had sent my mom a couple photos after the first group had left, before I lay back down on the driveway, and then had called her when the guy had gone to get his Jeep.  I had known that she was driving before then, so I waited to call when I knew she would be able to see the photos.  At my first, “Hey,” she knew something had happened.  “What happened?” she asked, concerned, but not freaking out.  She probably had figured I’d had some terrible interaction with someone mean – that’s usually the answer to What happened?.  I told her to look at the photo I’d sent her.  She looked, and understood immediately.  I told her the present situation and that I thought I would be okay.  Now that I was home, I called her again, just to let her know that I was there, and also to see what she recommended I do to help myself at this point.

She prescribed me some time with an ice pack of sorts and an elevated leg, a shower, and then just before bed, rubbing gently hydrogen peroxide into my wounds with a Q-tip (cotton, you see), since I couldn’t get all the dirt off my hands.

The shower was long and hot and extremely painful at first, but it helped significantly by the end of it.  The hydrogen peroxide left me, yet again, wailing involuntarily in pain, pouring tears, and practically shouting half-comprehensible phrases and annoyances.  By the way, blowing your nose with a tissue and non-usable thumbs sucks.  That’s to say the least.

When I woke up in the middle of the night with a need to pee, I not only had to detach my palms from the sheets (painfully, of course), due to sticking tissue fluid, but hobble down the stairs, squat down to the toilet seat, and then attempt to wipe myself with a clumsy and burning left hand (the right was a solid no-go).  This repeated itself when my alarms went off at five forty-something to get me up for test proctoring today.

Today, my knee hurts. More like my upper shin than my kneecap, but it still hurts.  It’s kind of like a super bruise feeling, but the skin doesn’t really hurt.  My hands, however, have been bad. I still have no opposable thumbs for the time being… if I try to use them, I involuntarily wail from the instant pain in my lower palm. The right is the worst.  The left, starting this evening, has actually started to come around a bit.  They were both still producing tissue fluid 20 hours after the incident, but have since mostly ceased.  But any sharp movements or pressure, and they resume it.  They felt like fire last night period.  Tonight, they only get that feeling when they are either bumped or wet.  Or, of course, I attempt to use my thumb for any kind of grip, or clench my fingers in an attempt to grip anything.  (I almost couldn’t get out of my room this morning, because the doorknob is very thin and takes a lot of pressure to get open…)  In fact, it is extremely difficult even to type this right now.

All in all, that totally sucked, and it still sucks now, but I am mending safely, it seems.  And I am grateful for that.

On that note, I shall sleep.  But first, the photos:

This was yesterday, after rinsing off and rolling into the driveway.

This was the darned manhole cover with the “lip”.

This was after my shower last night.

I had to set the phone timer for this one.

And these were this evening, about 25 hours after the fall.  I had to set the timer on these, too, because I couldn’t both hold the phone and click the shutter button… no thumbs, remember.  (I tell you, it is one thing just not to have opposable thumbs.  It is something else entirely not to have them in a world designed for opposable thumbs.  I am having to learn drastic new ways of completing the formerly simplest of tasks[!!!].)

Post-a-day 2020