I had a nasty bike crash a while back, which was sadly not due to some sort of badass Nitro Circus maneuver but the result of clumsily swerving to avoid a small child and promptly colliding with a whole lot of cement. Multiple places on my body took a beating but most of the impact was directly on my right shin, and if you’re wondering whether I reacted to the multiple horrified witnesses by allowing anyone to see if I was truly okay or if I instantly rode off in a wobbly trail of blood and humiliation while shouting through actual tears that “I’M FINE HA HA HA OH NO MY LEG ALWAYS LOOKS LIKE THAT,” well, I like that you gave me enough credit to even consider the first option.

After about a week of side-eying the giant lump that rose so majestically from my shin I thought about hanging some Tibetan prayer flags on it, I reluctantly dragged myself to urgent care for an x-ray, which was of course one of those self-fulfilling medical prophecies. Yea, though it may appeareth to be broken, choosing to get it checked shall instantly prove your complaint to be both baseless and frankly kind of whiny. Forsooth.

The lump was determined to be a hematoma, which is 1) one of those words that is just somehow gross without even trying (MOIST HEMATOMA PANTY), and 2) a huge relief to hear, as I definitely did not want to find out I had fractured something, yet somehow embarrassing? I mean no one laughed at me or gave me a Bad Luck Brian t-shirt that said “CAME IN FOR X-RAY, ONLY HAD BRUISE,” but still.

Eventually the hema-bleargh retreated but not before ever-so-slowly draining down into my foot, which briefly freaked me out one day when I managed to forget altogether that the injury had ever occurred while staring at my Wall-E cankle and frantically googling whether swelling appendages were a side effect of my typical diet which centers around large handfuls of cheddar/caramel popcorn eaten at 10 PM or maybe an advanced stage of cancer. Bitch, you’re definitely dying, said the Internet, and I was like I FUCKING KNEW IT.

Now, if this were a modern blog I would have a great inspiring wrap-up along with a perfectly-staged photo with lots of white space and a mystifying amount of highlighter applied to the tip of my nose plus a brand mention, but this is old school shit so we’re just gonna hit publish.

Comments

22 Responses to “Back in my day we didn’t need a point to tell a story about our own stupidity”

  1. Amy on October 16th, 2020 10:29 am

    Just the way I like it, and why I keep coming back.

  2. Bridget on October 16th, 2020 10:39 am

    Would hearing an even more extreme relief/embarrassment urgent care story help?

    My baby had blisters on the knuckles of two adjacent fingers. One healed correctly, and one got infected. My husband and I bickered about how important this small infection was. Then, one night after dinner, he was playing with her when he freaked out and shouted, “her nail fell off! She needs to go to urgent care asap!” Her nail did look bloody and gross. The next day was her first birthday party, so we chose to take her to urgent care that night instead of waiting. Fortunately, the children’s urgent care place we took her to was by appointment, but the only appointment we could get was long after her bedtime.

    So at 9:30pm, I put aside the half-finished cake I was working on, dragged my sleeping baby out of her crib, and drove 45 minutes to urgent care (where she said her first word – “Hi!” – to some strangers in the parking lot). And the doctor was like…well, I can give you a prescription for an antibiotic ointment similar to Neosporin. But it’s fine.” What about the fingernail that looked bloody? Oh, it was pizza sauce leftover from dinner.

  3. LEW on October 16th, 2020 11:06 am

    Just delurking from feedly where I usually read my blogs to say I have been a reader for years (we were pregnant at the same time if that tells you anything!) and really enjoy your writing! Even if it’s old-school shit!

  4. sara favoright on October 16th, 2020 11:19 am

    “Bitch, you’re definitely dying, said the Internet, and I was like I FUCKING KNEW IT.” This made my day, lol You’re awesome.

  5. Leslie on October 16th, 2020 11:20 am

    Long live old school!! HEMATOMA is a truly disgusting word, and I’m convinced on the weekly I have cancer of something based on the google.

  6. Kathleen Rear on October 16th, 2020 11:35 am

    OMG! Bridget! Similar to your tale my year old son was walking and crawling weird one day and my MIL was convinced he had dislocated his hip.

    My husband and I were skeptical (wouldn’t he be crying? wouldn’t he be not trying to walk?) But after much insistence by her that he HAD to go to the ER we went. (not her, us)

    We waited for 3 hours to see a doc and while we were waiting or son seemed just fine walking and crawling just…FINE.

    When we finally saw the doc he pronounced our son perfectly healthy. It was now 12:30am. I wanted to give my MIL a call and tell her off but my husband said no she was probably already asleep.

    It is my lasting regret that I didn’t call and wake her up.

    PS: Linda, you go ahead and stay old school :)

  7. Mary on October 16th, 2020 12:29 pm

    Its so weird how the leg bruise moves down into the foot! I had a beginner-skier-on-the-big-hill wipeout resulting in helluva bruise on my calf. An expensive MRI later, I got a ‘it’ll heal by itself’ diagnosis from my doc. My ankle and foot turned a nasty purple-yellow as the bruise went a way.

  8. Marty DeLaney on October 16th, 2020 2:43 pm

    I Took a sidewalk fall recently and was dizzy enough to stay lying down on the cement. It was really quiet and peaceful there but all kinds of people kept stopping to see if I was ok. SHEESH,

    love the pizza sauce story! Your readers are almost as fun to read as you are!

  9. Marty DeLaney on October 16th, 2020 2:44 pm

    I Took a sidewalk fall recently and was dizzy enough to stay lying down on the cement. It was really quiet and peaceful there but all kinds of people kept stopping to see if I was ok. SHEESH,

    love the pizza sauce story! Your readers are almost as fun to read as you are!

  10. Donna on October 16th, 2020 7:34 pm

    So I fell during pt the other day whilst trying to walk sideways with the rubber band thingy around my ankles.
    Lots of running freaking out and concern. Not by me, I was ok. Not even embarrassed. You know why? Cause I’ve fallen down enough I don’t even look around to see who saw me lol.
    Cheers to our legs hon.

  11. Belle on October 17th, 2020 11:02 am

    Well, I guess that’s better than when my daughter ran into the wall at indoor soccer and could not use her right arm unless she held it up. Because she was a drama queen, healthwise, at age 10, I put off taking her to the doc because I knew she was just milking it. A couple of days later (bruising) I finally took her and lo and behold, it was broken. She’s never let me forget it and she’s now 40.

  12. Valerie on October 17th, 2020 1:20 pm

    I fell getting out of the car outside of a crowded restaurant. Turned my ankle and whoop down she goes. I ended up UNDER the front end of the car in a dress and had to be dragged out by my feet in a most embarrassing way. Did the whole NOPE I’m all good and marched into the restaurant trickling blood down my legs. After pretending I was fine for 5 minutes, I excused myself to the bathroom to find road dirt all over my face. Not my finest moment. Oh and yes I did go to the hospital convinced I had a broken ankle. Sprain of course.

  13. Kim on October 18th, 2020 8:44 am

    I’ll play.
    The other day I set off on a much-anticipated lunch hour walk around campus. Autumn has finally arrived here in the South & I was wearing my favorite burnt orange pants. I make it a point to set up my ear buds/podcasts before getting started because I refuse to be one of those looking at my phone while walking assholes. It didn’t matter. Tripped over an uneven sidewalk, landed on my right knee and was more dismayed by the hole in my pants than the amount of people who saw/rushed over to help me. This happened last week and it still hurts to walk.

  14. Nine on October 18th, 2020 9:58 am

    My brother was in a car accident a couple months ago. The driver got lost in some fog on a sketchy road and drove off a cliff into a telephone pole. The only reason my brother lived through that is because he’s a professional (aka been through some shit) and when he saw the pole coming towards his side of the windshield he noped out of the passenger side of the bench seat and into the driver’s lap.

    In the aftermath (it was a work truck, the driver walked away without a scratch) he called his own ambulance because he was positive he broke his leg. When the EMTs showed up he told them his leg was broken and to take him to a hospital where they wouldn’t kill him by accident.

    I should mention here that he has an insanely high pain tolerance and when he’s in pain he’s either a) making jokes, b) being a total dick or c) both. I’m pretty sure the EMTs were treated to option C the entire ride.

    He was taken to the ER, scanned, x-rayed, BAC’ed (insurance), etc. They let him go after a couple of hours of tests and told him he was lucky he was just banged up and bruised. No pain meds. His PCP signed a doctor’s note that he was ok to return to work.

    Fast forward a month and he is still in pain. After his boss had him drive 6 hours one day for some crazy off-the-books errand and his leg swelled up like a sausage, he got a second opinion. 2nd opinion doc found 3 fractures in his leg.

    He now has crutches and appointments with PT to ‘rehab his knee.’ He’s not sure what crutches or rehab is going to for a leg that’s been fractured for a month when they think it’s his knee. He’s also not sure if anyone actually looked at his first round of tests.

    TL;DR: Doctors eff up too.

  15. Jill on October 18th, 2020 11:43 am

    Linda-that last paragraph is ON POINT! Love it!

  16. Koa on October 18th, 2020 12:13 pm

    Top 3 of my favorite things you’ve ever written FOR SURE. Flashbacks to the time my tire slipped out from under me going over a speed bump (my actual speed about .005 mph) in front of a crowd heading to an Ems game, and when I fell, in glorious dramatic fashion and like for real got badly hurt (how?!?!) the first thing some lady said to me was “you really should be wearing a helmet” so that was how I became a murderer AND a really gnashed up bike crash victim just trying to get to the Y.

  17. Caitlin on October 18th, 2020 1:49 pm

    Haha, “Wall-E cankle.” I love you.

  18. Shawna on October 19th, 2020 11:18 am

    My husband and I stopped at a lookout in Hawaii once, and we had to cross the road to get to the lookout. He went ahead of me for some reason, so I ended up crossing on my own. It was a winding coastal road and I wanted to cross fast so I was hurrying across when the toe of my sandal caught on… nothing. I ended up rolling the rest of the way across the road. I was bloody and scratched and so DIRTY! I had dirt on all my limbs, my clothes, and during my roll I had even somehow managed to scoop up dirt with the back of my waistband and I ended up with dirt down the back of my shorts and underwear!

    I daubed off as best I could with paper towels and we went to a centre we’d seen a few minutes back up the road. They looked at me with their mouths open when we walked in, and when I explained one dude shook his head and said “Girl, you did a huli maka flip!”

    I still have small bits of Hawaiian dirt embedded in my elbow.

  19. Kate on October 20th, 2020 8:11 am

    I am HERE for the Old Skool.

  20. Donna on October 24th, 2020 11:02 pm

    Okay – one of those entries where I laughed all the way through your post AND the comments!

  21. Jennifer on October 25th, 2020 4:49 pm

    Love your story and stories in the comments!

    Related to shin draining into your foot – I took a softball right to the shin once (playing 3rd base in a Co-rec game, the biggest male hitter came up and BOOM) and it swelled up to the size of, well, a softball. Then it drained into my foot and heel and both turned black; that was pretty impressive.

  22. Emily on October 27th, 2020 5:33 am

    Aren’t those the weirdest? I gracefully fell and hit the side of our coffee table and after going to bed, woke up a few hours later to a Kardashian-sized hematoma on my saddlebag area. So huge that I almost passed out when I stood up because my blood pressure dropped so much due to the pooling. The ER doc could only chuckle and shake his head because he’d never seen one so big. That’s what she said…

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