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you should see the other guy.

13 July 2009


so, i’m going to tell you the story of how i came to look like i got in a barfight, and why i forget things now and have to be santa in july – making my lists, and checking them more than twice.  this is going to be long, so feel free to just look at the pictures and cringe/recoil.  and then say nice things to me 🙂

when summer began, i had the bright idea that this summer i would begin to learn how to long board.  a long board (maybe longboard, if you are into that brevity thing) is just a skateboard that has different dimensions: it’s longer (obvs), and has larger wheels.  some argue this makes it easier to navigate.  all i know is that after years of skateboard envy and a very unsuccessful stint in learning (or not learning, in my case) how to snowboard, my desire to want to learn was at an all time high.  i was jealous.  i didn’t want to do tricks, i didn’t want to go fast, i just wanted to get from point A to B in this alternate form of excellent transportation.

i promptly announced this to the boy who decided that this was a sound endeavor, and that he, too, would learn.

good times.

our friend garrett, a long time longboarder, happened to have a very old board in his car that had been drafted into service as a furniture dolly.  he graciously lent it to us, and we freed the board of its unfortunate servitude in search of smoother pavement and a return to its true calling.

sounds grand, doesn’t it?

we were suprised to find that we took to it quicker than we had imagined.  we took it to a smooth parking lot near our church, turned up the music, and rolled around.





indeed.  it was lovely fun.

flash foward to last week, when i arrived at the boy’s house monday evening and we decided that we should board around a bit in before we ate dinner.  i was wearing flip-flops, so we walked up a block to my brother’s house and stole borrowed some shoes from my niece hayley who was napping there.  now, i had wanted to ride on the mostly flat road in front of the boy’s house, but in order to get there, we had to walk back down the block between my brother’s and the boy’s houses.  this road, it should be said, is also not steep, but it does have a downhill slope.  it also is much rougher than the pavement we had been riding on.  it didn’t look bad, so i decided to ride the ONE BLOCK to where we wanted to board around.

one measly little block.  oy.  what is that saying about the majority of accidents happening within 1 mile of your house?

anyway.  i hop on, going fairly straight.  i turned a little to my left, but generally was going straight because the rough road and the somewhat loose trucks on the board were making it a little wobbly = hard to maneuver and stay upright.

as the road got a little steeper, and i started going wobblier and faster, i decided that this would be an opportune time to divest myself of the board and regroup.  i was approaching an intersection full of holes and cracks, and did not want to crash in such an area.  being that the only way we knew how to stop was to jump off (which had worked successfully up until now), i made a quick decision to hop off.  girl genius, i am.

i should say that from start to finish, this entire scenario was about 20 seconds.

as soon as my feet meet the pavement upon hopping off the board, i quickly realized that i was going a bit too fast to simply hop off.  i start putting one foot in front of the other, hoping i can keep up running and slow myself down.

yeah, that didn’t work.

after a few steps, i fall on my left shoulder and right wrist.

and then…nothing.

totally blacked out for the next few minutes.

i woke up to a very fuzzy vision of the sky, the boy’s face on his phone saying something about our location, and two strangers staring at me.

the boy later tells me that he watched me fall, and it didn’t look too bad, so he just kept walking behind me (he was up the block watching me ride).  but then, i didn’t move or get up.  so he sprinted to where i was and asked me if i was okay.  my eyes were open, with a huge knot on my forehead the size of a ringbox, but i wasn’t saying anything and my eyes were rolling back in my head.

he freaked.  and by freaked, i mean he calmly took control of the situation and called 911 and stopped thinking about me being brain damaged for the remainder of my life.

so, when i woke up and realized the boy was calling an ambulance in my delirious state, i promptly said what anyone else would say: “i can’t afford an ambulance; i don’t have insurance.”  i am nothing if not pragmatic in traumatic situations 😉

so the ambulance came quickly, checked me out, and we rode to the hospital.  once i was safely under the EMT’s care, the boy then became woozy and felt sick, having not eaten dinner and also witnessed me become unconscious with an orange under my scalp.  the EMT put an IV in, asked me a bunch of questions and told us that i had a hematoma, one of the largest they’ve ever seen, and i needed a CAT scan.  my vision had that blurry-edged feel that looks so great in photographs, but notsomuch in real life.  i also became really nauseated.

so we hang in the ER: the boy, me, and our longboard.  they give me painkillers, do a CT scan, it looks all clear; i fill out paperwork and we wait to get discharged.  all told, about 1.5 hours in the ER – the least time i’ve ever spent in one visit.  my parents were called and they picked us up from the ER.   the diagnosis was a good-sized concussion, sprains to my wrist (and neck too, although i didn’t really feel pain in my neck at the time), and abrasions on my arm and forehead.  weeks of recovery, and a large hospital bill.  good times.

i was feeling alright.  sore, beat-up, and with a fairly pounding headache, but altogether in good spirits.  apparently i was making sarcastic comments in the ER, as is my modus operandi for serious situations.  it makes me feel more normal.

this is what that first night looked like:


see?  i wasn’t worried, this would be fine.  swollen, sure, but otherwise happy.  the boy filled my prescriptions, got me in bed, and stayed in the guest room so he could watch me during the night and wake me up to make sure i was okay.  because that’s just how he rolls, in all his dreaminess.

i had no idea what i was dealing with.

the next three days ranged from painful to excessively painful, like, i would pay someone to cut my head off from the rest of my body.   i was up all night monday and wednesday night, and i went to the chiropractor on wednesday.  by thursday morning i was in such pain i had to see the doctor to get something to alleviate the pain from my neck, which was, at this point, immobile. they prescribed muscle relaxers, and i almost made out with the nurse right then and there.  seriously, muscle relaxers and ibuprofen were my dream cocktail, and i spent the weekend in dreamy haze, sleeping my pain away and trying to do productive things like, say, shower and talk coherently.  this is what wednesday/thursday looked like:


yep, that’s a swollen shut black eye and swollen head.   beautiful, no?

but now it’s monday, and i am finally feeling better.  and better means that i only take pain medication once a day, have more range of motion in my neck, and feel pretty spacey most of the time.  the temporal lobe handles focus and critical thinking, so a blow to that area means that i get dizzy often (even just sitting down), can only concentrate on writing or reading for about 15 minutes at a time, and get headaches from too much stimulation (tv, computer, people talking), etc.  according to my doctor, it can take a few months for this to fully go away.  this is great news, being that i will be student teaching while experiencing a daily hangover feeling this fall.  PARTY!  this also allows me to make very inappropriate domestic abuse comments when i go places with the boy so that he gets dirty looks.

just kidding.

but, i am thankful that it wasn’t more serious – brain surgery or death, like natasha richardson.  i am taking a few online classes, but have managed to not get behind.  i don’t have any huge pressing engagements right now, so i was able to take the entire week last week to recover without much worry.  although expensive, i will be able to (slowly) pay the bills, my parents have been cooking for me, and the boy has been nothing short of amazing in taking care of me.  get this: he even drives slower and more carefully when i’m in the car so as to not make any sudden moves that would make my head hurt.


so now i just have to slowly make my way back to the land of the living.  i drove to school today ( i can only handle very short and straight distances), and was able to work for about 2 hours, and get a bunch of administrative things done that i needed to.  and then i took a good long nap because i was exhausted.  that’s what my life will be for awhile: many lists (as to not forget things), many breaks, taking things slow and putting off cutting my long bangs that currently cover up most of my black eye.

i feel the need to apologize to people for my face, or wear sunglasses indoors.  ironically, i had just told the boy the adage that there are only two kinds of people who wear sunglasses indoors: blind people and assholes.


and, apparently, head injury patients.

it hasn’t put me off longboarding, actually, i’m anxious to ride around again, but on FLAT roads with very smooth pavement.

the boy has already tightened the bolts on the board.

so, that’s the story, folks, with the much inquired about photos.

i’m sure the people of vancouver won’t care if i look like a hoodlum when i fly there next week, right?

fin.  the end.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 July 2009 4:37 pm


    I can’t really think of anything else to say.

    Glad you’re going to be okay!

  2. erin permalink
    13 July 2009 7:12 pm

    Oh my goodness. Was the elementary school bike incident not enough for you??

    Glad you’re doing better.

    And I can relate to the feeling of needing to apologize for your face– went through that after my moped accident.

    Keep up the convalescing!

  3. Sarah permalink
    14 July 2009 11:18 pm

    I’ll second that:


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