Despite being the middle of March when we’d usually be getting a lot of rain and a freak snowstorm or three, this weekend was quite warm and a little sticky. On Saturday night, I had my sweaty husband pressed against one side of me and a furry beast of a cat sticking to the other and for some odd reason I just couldn’t sleep. I can’t imagine why.
Somewhere amid this hot mess, I developed a headache. So now that I was contending with a throbbing, sweaty, mouthbreathing, furry, toothful mess in my bed, I found my mind drifting as it so often does when I can’t sleep and my head is full of the drums of war telling me to mercilessly annihilate the cause(s) of my insomnia. As I was debating the merits of smashing a mallet into my head, I started thinking about all the times I’ve been hit in the head. In the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to share these debacles with you.
The first (that I can remember) happened when I was working as a housekeeper for a resort in the town where we lived. My partner and I were cleaning in our last cabin of the day, and he ran back to grab sheets to finish making the bed while I mopped the floor in the kitchen/dining area. As I was pushing the dirt around on the floor in the dining area, the stripped screw holding the fixture in place finally gave up its grip and let the heavy 80s glass light fixture fall from the ceiling onto my waiting head below. My partner came back to find me sprawled on the floor surrounded by broken glass and dirty mop water. I got a hell of a bonus at the end of the summer though.
A few years later, I was 17 and had a job working at a daycare (quit laughing, assholes). Because it was 14 miles away, sometimes my mom and I would share a ride, and other times, her schedule was earlier or later than mine and I took the commuter bus. On one morning, my mom was working an opening shift and I was running a little late to get 1/2 a mile to the bus. In my hurry to get to the bus on time, I whacked myself right between the eyes with the front door hard enough to cause 10 seconds of temporary blindness and an instant bruise. Being the trooper that I am, I ran to catch the bus in the nick of time and went to work. After a long morning of vigorous play with a monster headache, my boss looked at me and put me in charge of nap time. I had a hard time getting a few of the kids to go down (Seriously, quit laughing. Assholes.) so I had to lay down with them. Bad move. I ended up waking up 2 hours later to 6 kids bouncing on my chest and my boss saying, “Oh, good! I was afraid that the bruise on your face may have been a concussion or something.” Yeah, or something.
I managed to avoid any major head trauma for a few years until I was around 23. I was casually hanging out with some friends on the beach, tossing a football back and forth. At one point, someone told me to go long, so I took off down the beach. In an effort to avoid plowing down a toddler whose mother of the year was sleeping on a nearby towel, I took my eyes off the ball for two seconds. What did I get for my good karma? I caught a 30 yard spiral pass as it was bouncing off my face and ended up out cold on the sand, clutching a football in my cold, half dead kung-fu grip while a toddler looked on. The moral of this story is to never take your eyes off the ball, even if it means turning a toddler into road pizza.
Fast forward a few months. I was hanging out with my boyfriend at the time listening to music on his laptop while we were cooking dinner when the most horrific song came onto the playlist. Unfortunately it was his favorite and we both ended up diving for the laptop, me to change the song and him to save it. If you couldn’t already tell where this was going, he got there first and I ended up bouncing my nose off his hard, obstinate forehead. Despite the absence of blood and crookedness, it was technically a break, but I didn’t know that until two days later, after I’d spent a day riding rollercoasters at Six Flags and woke up to horrendous swelling. Given that the boyfriend liked to make jokes in public about my black eyes, saying “Next time, she’ll think twice before she talks back,” it’s no wonder he wasn’t around too long after that.
A few more years passed with no traumatic incidents (to my head) and Ken and I were packing my apartment to move in together. The night before we were scheduled to truck all my crap across town, I bent over to get my shower basket out of a box by my dresser, only it was dark and I couldn’t see the corner of the hardwood dresser which I ended up bouncing my forehead off of, so hard that I started bleeding out of my pores because the skin didn’t break. Then I had to move the next day in 80 degree weather with a huge bruise on my head and a probable skull fracture. This incident is one of many illustrating why the word “move” is a four letter word in our house.
The last incident I had was the year I moved to Wisconsin. I was working as a massage therapist for a chiropractor in California and on a slower day, he asked me and a coworker to go pick up a laser therapy unit from his other office. As we were driving off in my coworker’s brand new car, we were T-boned on my side of the car, just behind my seat. His brand new car had faulty side-curtain airbags, so I ended up shattering the passenger window with my head. I must have lost consciousness for 15-20 seconds, because the next thing I remembered was looking at my coworker standing next to my open door, wiping blood off the side of my face.
Apparently, whenever you lose consciousness as a result of a motor vehicle collision, the paramedics deem you “incapacitated” and strap your ass to a back board whether you want them to or not for a trip to the hospital while they ask you stupid questions like your name and how many fingers they’re waving 2 inches from your face. Then it all turns out to be a small scratch on your head from the broken glass and a minor concussion, and you’re an hour late for class on a night when you’re giving a presentation worth 50% of your grade. (Nailed it, by the way. 4.0 GPA all the way through, bitches.)
And the guy who hit us? Funny you should mention him – according to witnesses, he took off running after the collision since he was driving a stolen vehicle. But at least his airbag deployed.