Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ooh, more drama!

So today I was out for a run at about 4 in the afternoon...taking a break from the slow-as-molasses grading that was really making me mourn the fate of the planet. Not to mention question what, exactly, I am doing in this profession. Sometimes I combine my runs with trips to the video store, stopping on my way home to return and/or pick up a video. This time I was set to exchange one Ugly Betty DVD for the next.

Aaanyway, so there I was, running. And the next thing I knew, I was tripping over something on the gravel. (Don't even get me started on why the roads aren't paved properly so there is a car width of gravel at the edge of many major streets in this, a freaking city.) So I fell, I did, and the DVD went flying out of its case and possibly was ruined by being scratched on the gravel. Not only that, but I landed on my chin, among other parts. Thankfully, the chin is not badly damaged - just some scratches and light bruises - but both of my hands and one knee were torn up. I must admit that I was standing there in the street crying, it was so freaking painful. (Hands are the worst for this.) So I limped slowly over to the video store, which happened to be nearby, exhanged my videos (having three hours of TV to watch while I licked my wounds suddenly became very important), and called a cab from there - I happened to have just enough cash left over to pay for the ride home. I got home and discovered just how nasty it was...especially the knee. Incredibly bloody and oozing (sorry). All punctured-like, too, from gravel bits. Ew. And the thing is, all sorts of other bits of me seem to be wrenched or sprained: both thumbs - I can't chop or scoop, I have discovered, or use a pen normally - and one ankle. But the worst is my chest...I half-wondered if I'd broken a rib. I can't seem to move's like I have to hold my chest "in" or "together" if I try to bend down or twist at all. The best description I can come up with is, "something in my chest came apart."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this; something about it strikes me as funny. But part of me is just so exasperated and lonely and in pain. Sigh. Wow, I cannot wait for this November to end. Anyway, just hoping that a good sleep will take some of this extreme ouchiness away. And that I can hold a pen tomorrow, to finish grading. (Or not??)


Maggie said...

Oh Hilaire, you poor thing! What a wretched thing to have happen.

I know exactly what you mean about not knowing whether you should laugh or cry, though; sometimes you can't help but marvel at the absurdity of your predicament.

Take care of yourself, ok? You are going to see a dr., I hope?

adjunct whore said...

oh honey, this is hilarious and sad indeed. mourning the state of the planet from grading, i share this with you. and i general sense that my body seems to be slowly falling apart. take care of yourself!

Pantagruelle said...

Oh, Hilaire, I'm so sorry! I hope that a good night's sleep has helped and you're feeling better today. If your chest still hurts, you should probably see a doctor and get some x-rays. A broken rib could be serious.

Maude Lebowski said...

yes, do indeed go to the doctor, please.

i had a similar fall a while ago. i was training for a thanksgiving half marathon, but i didn't even have gravel or a bumpy road or anything to fall on. i just fell. scraped my hands and broke my elbow. but the break wasn't "bad enough" for the doctor to cast it (i question his medical training), and he told me that even though it was broken, just be careful not to move it too much. and it was my dominant arm. and i was on vicaden (sp?) during midterms. so i had to write and type with an uncasted broken arm. i had to get one of my friends to help me put on my socks for about a week. bless her heart for being on call.

i couldn't even call a cab. and i had to drive myself to the hospital with a broken arm.

have some wine, veg out, and let the student papers fall by the wayside--you're injured. they'll understand.

Hilaire said...

Thank you all for your commiseration and well wishes. :) I slept well last night. At first I thought I wasn't going to be able to sleep at all because it was really painful - I couldn't find a position that didn't put pressure on. But I did sleep, and it actually is a little better than it was last night. The chestal area, while still tender, does not feel quite as bad. I think I'm just going to wait it out...I don't really know what they could do about any of it, at the doctor. (I have been treating the knee with polysporin and gauze.) It might actually help, I realize, to bind my breasts! Seriously. I feel like that might be the thing that saves the chest, because it's essentially what I need to do every time I move my chest. Since I have no experience in the breast-binding area, I don't know if I'll be able to do this. But I'm going to try - I do have tensor bandages. Why not?

Maude, thanks for stopping by. What a sad story! You couldn't even put on your own socks! You wrote exams with a broken arm. Man, that sucks.

kermitthefrog said...

Ooh, I'm sorry! Glad you're feeling a bit better... do keep taking care of yourself.

Psychgrad said...

Oh yuck. As if things couldn't get worse...and then this happens. The caregiver side of me wants to send you some chicken soup.

Definitely go to the doctor if it doesn't feel better by tomorrow. I hope you have a good long break/trip planned for winter break. It sounds like you could use some TLC.

medieval woman said...

Oh god, babe, that's horrible! I hope you continue to mend unfettered - I wish you all kinds of chocolate, yummy cheese, and wine to help you.


Earnest English said...

What? My comment was eaten by the internets? I hate that. (Though, Hilaire, if you deleted it, I understand. I did advocate taking prescription drugs as a way of alleviating the pain of grading. I still don't know why I'm not doing this.)

But I second or third the call to go to a doctor as this might be a cracked rib. I don't know what they would do for you, but (insert prescription drug-grading strategy here) binding your breasts just sounds too Victor/Victoria. Just remember what she said: they'll look like two flat empty wallets!

I don't like at all that you are so far away from anyone who can baby you. This seems wrong, with you injured.

It has also occurred to me that this hate-of-the-semester that we both seem to be feeling might be part of the first-job-transition. Or maybe it's the transition into a new place. (People who came last year casually say how much they hated it last year, but now they are okay. This might be a natural part of the process. We should check in with others in their first year on TT.)


Hilaire said...

Thx, all, again. You are lovely. I seriously adore you.

Re the doctor: I don't think it's a rib thing, now. I now think it's a muscle thing - of some muscles in my chestal area. My completely non-expert self has self-diagnosed this. That's exactly where it's tender - in the spot where a muscle attaches the breast to...other things. (Don't you feel better knowing that I am self-diagnosing when I know absolutely zilch about what I am talking about?) The breast-binding does seem to be helping a bit. (And also prompted a funny conversation with R about what would happen if I were to transition.) But I promise you - if it is no better tomorrow, I will go to the walk-in clinic. There will be a particular kind of irritation attached to this, though - involving the fact that I still haven't got my health card for this province. Groan - this means bureaucratic hassles if I go to the clinic. This is part of why I really didn't want to go. But I will go if there is no improvement.

EE - Oh no, I didn't delete your comment! I'm not one to censor drug advocacy, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Re the transition: yes, this could be part of what it is, first year TT. I didn't feel nearly this bad in my two other years, though, as full-time Visiting Asst Prof at two different places. I know the TT factor is one part of this - it is very different from being an VAP - but the depth of the difference is a bit stunning. Partly because some of what the TT brings is positive stuff relative to the visiting positios. For me, I'm feeling partly like it's just the uni seems just so messed up. And I don't feel like I fit there. You know? A bad fit. Add to that some of the worst student work I've ever seen, and it's a deadly brew!

squadratomagico said...

Hi, Hilaire -- I'm coming late to the conversation, but I'm so sorry to hear about your wretched fall! (((Wishing your love and healing!)))

Earnest English said...

The deadly brew of a bad fit and incredibly awful student work? Yes. Indeed yes. Yes indeedy. (Do you get wheedling too? Dear lord. Where's the vicodin?! At least go get me some.)

Belle said...

Hilaire, this is the Goddess. Go to the d*&^d doctor. This is required, as fairness to students re: grading cannot occur if breathing hurts. The twit I'm using to get this message to you broke a rib two years ago getting off her couch. You took a hard fall. Ergo, it's only reasonable to go to the d(*&^d doctor!

Are you still dithering? Go to the doctor!

(oh, all right... twit wants to add something...)

Hilaire, I hope you're feeling better. Gentle hugs.

Pantagruelle said...

It's weird that breast-binding would make it feel better. I've done it many times, and it always constricts my chest and puts pressure on my ribs. The one thing that binding hurts is the ribs, much more so than the muscles or breasts themselves. I'm glad it's providing some relief, but I question whether applying pressure to the ribs isn't a sign that something is wrong with them. It seems to me even more reason why you should see a doctor.

Hilaire said...

Hi, Pan and Belle. So on Sunday night, I took a shower, and while I was awkwardly washing my hair, something popped back into place - that's the best way I can think of to say it - in my chest. Things were much, much better after that. And they have only continued to improve, so that by this morning, I am feeling pretty okay in the chest area. The knee is still bugging the hell out of me - I can't bend my leg and thus walk very awkwardly - but that's just because it's trying to scab over.

Pan, the breast-binding was effective because it stopped my breasts from's not so much that it felt good in the ribs, but I realized the hurting spots were muscles, and these were stopped from moving around if they were bound.

I really had made up my mind to go to the doctor yesterday, if things weren't substantially better, so I honestly wasn't trying to avoid that anymore - I had made peace with the probable bureaucratic hassle.

So, in short: I am going to be just fine!

Oso Raro said...

What a metaphor! Sorry for your fall, and hope all turned out well. But as an allusion to the emotive nature of the moment, well, the body reminds you. And like you, I will be thankful and glad not only to see the end of November (which we already have) but the end of 2007. Good riddance to a horrid time in my life.