Hello Edhat Readers
by Nicole Freire
I had a much better column planned for today, which is why the photograph accompanying this brief article won't make much sense. But never fear, I'll write one later this week that ties in with the photograph. Whoo! A two-fer! And during a short week.
I am at home today. Because, please hand me my Darwin award, I am an idiot. Last night I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, an event that if it appeared in a mystery novel would not be screaming, "foreshadowing!" I finished brushing and flossing (I love taunting my readers with the mundane dental related details of my life), and here's where I made a grievous error. I decided to leave the bathroom.
Leaving the bathroom involved a complex series of maneuvers. I had to turn off the bathroom light (located right next to the door), get close enough to the door to open it and rush right out to my next big event (which was what? Taking my evening meds? Putting on pajamas?).
Somehow it all went awry. I managed to turn off the light and open the door. But somewhere between those two things I managed to sort of trip over my big ole LL Bean slippers and propel my entire body (because I was rushing, remember?) and therefore MY HEAD right into the corner of the door.
It hurt so badly that I was speechless. My usual sailor-like filthy mouth failed me. All I could do was stand there moaning, cradling my head in my hands while the other members of Chez Freire came rushing to see what the giant noise was. Said giant noise was my HEAD smashing into the DOOR. Turns out that the skull coming into contact with a stupid door corner makes a lot of noise.
You know what else? It hurts. A lot. I have a lovely little egg of pain on my temple. I've complained before about pain, tonsillectomies, blah blah blah. But holy cow, my head. My HEAD.
If I did mixed martial arts and made it into the octagon, I would last approximately 15 seconds, because I can be brought down immediately with one hit to the temple. No tap outs for me. Just falling to the floor clutching my head and whimpering.
I spent the next few hours holding a giant red Lifesaver to my head bump. And lest you think I'm hallucinating, we really do have a giant red Lifesaver in our house. It's one of those frozen plastic things that you put into your child's lunch - to keep the yogurt and string cheese you've lovingly placed into their lunchbox nice and cold - and that they won't eat anyway. It looks like a giant donut.
Donut shapes are good for putting over giant eggs on one's temple because the inside of the donut fits nicely over it.
Did I mention how much it hurts? I had to stay home from work because my head hurts so much. Nothing is more embarrassing (well, technically there are more embarrassing things, but this head thing wins for the week) than leaving a voice mail for your boss and your coworkers saying you can't come into work today because you ran into a door. With your head.
Maybe I just should have left a voice mail that said I wouldn't be able to come into work because I can't exit the bathroom without injuring myself and so cannot be trusted to drive a car to work.
There are also no good painkillers in the house. I searched in vain, hoping there would be something left over from my tonsillectomy, but there is nothing but Tylenol and Ibuprofen, which is akin to taking a feather and rubbing it gently over my head egg and by that I mean that it does nothing for the pain. I might as well be taking sugar pills.
And so I had to stay home and lie in bed because the very act of moving my head hurts. Thinking about my head hurts.
I had to ask my husband to take the kids to school and that made him a little grumpy. Probably not as grumpy as me peppering him with questions like these:
Question: "Should I go to the doctor?"
Question: "Do you think I have a concussion?"
Question: "Why not?"
Answer: "Because you didn't lose consciousness."
Question: "Why does it hurt so much?"
Answer: "Because you hit your head really hard."
Question: "But my entire head hurts, not just the part I ran into the door. Why?"
Answer: "Nicole, you hit your head really hard, on your temple. It's a vulnerable area and you've bruised your head. That's why it hurts."
Question: "How long will this pain last? Because it really hurts!"
Answer: "Honey, I'm taking my book and going to Peet's Coffee for a while."
(Translation: "Woman, you are making me crazy with your small but painful head injury. Take some ibuprofen and go lie down while I leave the house to escape you.")
The other problem with running one's head into a door is that it sounds so ridiculous that it becomes a suspect injury. It's not bleeding (although that would have been very dramatic and would garner me much more sympathy than a flesh colored egg-sized bump on my temple) and it's not bruising yet (but I'm hoping it will because then I'll have proof that I really did run my head into a door and am not merely malingering.).
It just hurts. Hurts like many fine cuss words that I am not allowed to use on a family friendly publication.
So, to sum up.
Author: Dumb, self-inflicted but seriously painful head injury.
Editor: Big sigh, hit "publish" anyway.
My mom: You're not at work?
Other readers: How can she make running her head into a door into an entire column?
Husband: Did I know she was this clumsy when I married her? I can't remember.
People who will comment on this article: Maybe you should pay more attention when opening your bathroom door. Also, are they paying you for this?
I'm going back to bed now.
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Nicole Freire is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara.