Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stupid Ways to Hurt Yourself

Way back in high school, I jumped off a high brick wall and managed to give myself something that the doctor referred to as a “bone bruise” on the bottom of my right heel. I remember that it didn’t hurt that much right away, and it didn’t swell, but there was a deep ache that felt like it was coming from my heel bone rather than the muscles or flesh below it, and the ache lasted for days. So when I hurt myself a few days ago and the pain reminded me of that old injury, I googled the term “bone bruise” to see if maybe that’s what it was. The category my injury fell in was called, rather impressively, a “subperiosteal hematoma.” And the most likely cause: “High velocity trauma to a bone: In general, any type of direct impact or high velocity trauma to a bone brought about by an incident such as a car accident, a high fall, or a blunt force can result in a hematoma, a contusion, or a bruise to the bone affected.” In my case, the cause was blunt force.

In medical terms, I am currently suffering from a subperiosteal hematoma caused by high velocity impact on the phalanx of my digital secondus manus by a glacialis slab of ground Bos primigenius.

In common terms, my right index finger is throbbing because I whacked it really hard with a frozen hamburger patty.

This has got to be the stupidest injury I have ever incurred in my entire life. And that bar is set pretty high. Aside from the previously mentioned jump off a wall, I knocked out my two front teeth falling off a balance beam, I have a scar on my left hip from attempting a high-speed turn in sand at the bottom of a steep hill on a bicycle and another just under my left eyebrow from attempting to see what was on top of the dining room table, I gave myself a goose egg from poking at a giant icicle hanging from the eaves, I nearly burned off one of my fingerprints in metal shop in junior high, and I’ve fallen out of more trees than I can count. But hematoma by burger is by far the stupidest. And the funniest.

And yet, it doesn’t hold a candle to my husband’s stupidest (and funniest) injury. When he was in college, he thought it would be funny to steal a keg of beer from a neighboring fraternity. A FULL keg of beer. Which he attempted to steal by himself and promptly dropped on his own foot. To make a long story short, he now has only 9-1/2 toes.

I can’t mock him too much, though, because stupid injuries seem to run in my family. My grandfather managed to accidentally both drill through and cut the tip off of my dad’s finger. (Same finger; two separate accidents.) My sister once crashed her bike into the neighbor’s trash cans and knocked out (and subsequently swallowed) one of her teeth. My mom slipped on some ice on the way to the mailbox and broke her toe. Twice. (Same mailbox; two different toes.)


So I can only imagine the stupid sorts of injuries my children will come up with over the years. But judging by the scrapes they’ve gotten into thus far in their short lives, I have no doubt they will be spectacularly stupid. If they want to outdo their folks, they’ll have to be.

First Birthday, First Shiner. A Portent of Things to Come?

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