Physical Therapy

You guys know I am pretty open on here about everything. I mean, I talk about my vagina. All. The. Time.

 

And puking. And having sex. And even peeing myself.

 

But there is one thing I am still pretty hesitant to talk about. And that is pooping and farting. I’m actually blushing just typing those words. I don’t know why I am so weird about that and apparently nothing else. It would make more sense for me to be shy about some of those other things.

 

My sister J loves to talk about those two subjects. And I do for her sake. Pretty much constantly. And it doesn’t embarrass me to do so with her. But with most other people I shy away.

 

So I have been putting off on telling this story for over two years.

 

You guys probably remember me falling down the stairs and hurting my back.

 

Well, the first thing I did. After having an allergic reaction to my steroids and staying the night in the hospital. Was to go see a physical therapist.

 

I had never been to one before and had this idea in my mind of what it would be like. Based 100% on movies. Which are really the best thing to base everything on, right?

 

So, if movies taught me anything it’s that my physical therapist would be a sexy but tough woman who would help me learn to walk again. She would be firm but fair. I would be in intense pain. We would fall in love. Cue to me haltingly taking my first steps into her open arms. End film.

 

Turns out my physical therapist, J, was a very attractive lady. Who was happily married with two kids. Also, she was maybe five feet tall. For those of you that don’t remember, I am six feet one inch.

 

So I meet her and explain about how I hate people touching me. As I do the first time I meet any doctor or person that has to touch me for their job. I like to set the right tone in my relationships.

 

J takes me back to one of the therapy rooms and does an examination of my back and has me bend and stretch and do all sorts of things. Just to see what I’m about. And what I am about is that I do a lot of yoga and she said she was impressed with how flexible I am. For my height (whatever that means).

 

She has me lie down on this little bed that looks like a weightlifter’s bench. And she’s telling me what she wants to do to help me with my back and my pain and all.

 

I’m cool with it. So I tell her to go ahead.

 

She reaches under me and kind of wraps one arm around me in an awkward way. Her hand is directly beneath my spine. My arms are crossed over my chest.

 

With absolutely zero warning, she throws herself down and kind of propels herself onto me. She was like a tiny WWE wrestler trying to take me down.

 

Two things happened at once.

 

She knocked the wind out of me. And…she knocked the wind out of me.

 

I farted. So long and loudly that there could be absolutely no mistaking what had just happened.

 

Despite my extreme mortification, I also immediately started laughing. Because I am an immature child.

 

She was very mature about the whole thing and pretended to not realize what I had just done. So she stood there over me, arms crossed. Patiently waiting for me to stop.

 

But I couldn’t. This was our FIRST meeting. I had known her for all of 10 minutes. This physical therapy was not going as planned. But most things don’t.

 

After a solid 10 minutes of me laughing so hard I couldn’t speak, my eyes filled with tears and my face getting redder and redder. I finally stopped.

 

She had barely cracked a smile. I don’t know how she managed it. But once I finished she just kind of nodded and said “Shall we?” And got back to it.

 

I saw her every week for over a year and she was kind enough to never bring it up. Ever.
And I did my part by making sure that little incident was never repeated. Ever.

Blood and Urine

Whew! I am back and ready to talk more about bodily fluids!

 

You guys may be asking yourself what I have been doing for the past month and a half. Well… I finished my novel. Like, finished finished. I turned 31. I got a new job. I made some jewelry. I found some new blogs to creep on that fill me with feminist rage. In short, I’ve been busy.

 

Incidentally, if anyone wants to read my novel and give me feedback please email me. I would appreciate it.

 

And now, to the story!

 

When I was a kid, I shared a room with my sister J. But when I was even younger, like 7ish, I shared a room with J and my brother T. Actually, J and I shared a bed. And a pillow. That’s right, I did not even have my own pillow.

 

One night while we were sleeping (I always made her sleep on the inside because I am a bit claustrophobic) I had a lovely dream. I dreamt I was on the toilet, urinating.

 

Unfortunately, when I woke up, I found that I had peed the bed. The downside of sharing a bed with someone is that if they pee the bed then you get peed on. And J got peed on. A lot. She still reminds me of it sometimes. I imagine it wasn’t as funny to her as it was to me.

 

We had to change the sheets. And mattress pad. And take a bath. All in the middle of the night.

 

I have not peed the bed, or myself ever since.

 

Until recently. Because I had the Essure procedure last year I have noticed a weakening of my pelvic floor. It is actually very common as women age and especially after giving birth. But mine started a few months after my procedure.

 

Image result for essure springs

The springs all up in my tubes

Basically what happens is that when I have to urinate, it is an emergency. I don’t notice needing to go more frequently, just more urgently.

 

I have had a few close calls where I barely made it to the bathroom on time. And maybe a few times where a few drops came out on the bathroom floor instead of into the toilet bowl. (I know I am coming back strong and with my typical class).

 

Today I was on my period. And for some reason, using my Diva Cup tends to put pressure on my bladder, which does make me have to go more frequently. These two things were the perfect combination for disaster.

 

Image result for diva cup

The cup all up in my vaginal canal

I was sitting on the couch, rewatching Supernatural and minding my own business. I suddenly felt a warm wetness in my underwear. I actually thought my Diva Cup had overflowed and was leaking out into my underwear. It happens sometimes during heavy flow days.

 

I pulled my underwear down to check and saw that I was peeing. I didn’t even feel like I had to go. But there I was, actually peeing myself.

 

I ran to the bathroom. I left a trail of urine like Hansel and Gretel through the forest. Only that wasn’t a trail any woodland creatures would want to follow.

Image result for hansel and gretel breadcrumb trail

Only with urine.

I took a shower and wiped the urine up off my floors. Thankfully they are fake wood and not carpet. I fucking hate carpet, but that is a rant for another time.
Unfortunately,  I had also peed all over my couch. So I cleaned it as best as I could and am now sitting on a towel. Like a sick cat. (Thanks to Debbie for that hilarious phrase.)

Waterbed Sex

Growing up, my period was as unpredictable as a wild animal. I could go months without getting it at all. And there were a few times I would get it twice in one month. Usually it would only last a day or two. But every once in a while it would come at me with the fury of a rabid wild creature.

 

Why have I been cursed?!

 

As an adult (and now that I am at a healthy weight) it is extremely regular and mild. Except those rare occasions that it comes at me like a wild rabid creature the way it did this weekend.

 

I was sort of expecting it, but I had no idea when I went to sleep Friday night that I would wake up to a crime scene in my sheets Saturday morning. But I did. And this is why women make good serial killers. We know how to get blood out of anything.

Not shown: cramps

 

But this weekend reminded me of another time I got my period.

 

In high school, I was dating the exchange student. We had only had sex once or twice and I was NOT comfortable with discussing bodily fluids with him (and I never would be).

 

My parents had a California King size waterbed with a massive wooden headboard and canopy awning. This thing was a monstrosity and it took up my parents entire bedroom. We only owned one blanket that fit it. A beautiful green and yellow quilt that had been a wedding present to my parents.

It was like this but bigger.

 

Naturally, G and I decided to have sex on it. I had certainly never had sex on a waterbed before. And I figured my parents’ would be my only chance. Unless I went back in time and slept with a dude from the 80s.

 

G and I started kissing. He was one of the worst kissers I have ever experienced. I’ll gladly take part of the blame since he was the first person I had ever kissed myself; I doubt I was any good either. But one time he burped IN my mouth while we were kissing. It was repulsive.

 

We got naked and had sex. Again, not the worst sex I have ever had. But even I knew this was not good sex and he was the only person I had ever done it with.

The quilt I tried to ruin was pretty similar to this one

 

Sex on a waterbed was also a total pain in the ass. The water makes it own waves that tend to fight against your movements. Plus there was no mattress spring action to help us out.

 

It was like trying to swim against a rip tide in the most unsexy way possible. Maybe that was just me, though. I’d love to hear about someone else having a better experience.

 

It was when he pulled out that we saw it. There was blood everywhere. All over him, all over me. It looked like he had been stabbing me with a knife instead of with his dick.

 

Oh, the horror

 

And there was blood all over my parents’ wedding quilt. I started freaking out when I saw it. My parents were never going to get over this if I couldn’t get the blood out.

 

G got angry with me. “Why didn’t you tell me you were on your period?”

 

“I wasn’t. I mean, I didn’t know I was.”

 

But he didn’t believe me. He thought I had tricked him into having sex with me while I was on my period. Then I got all pissed off because he thought I was lying. Plus I was embarrassed about what had happened. Embarrassed that we were now having a discussion about my period.

 

But let me tell you guys something, I have a rule: If you won’t bang me during my period then you don’t get to bang me at all. If you can’t handle my bodily fluids then perhaps you would be happier with a man.


And it turns out, G was happier with a man. So there you go.

We Hit a Bird

In school all of my friends were a bit older than me. I was the youngest in my class due to my birthday being over summer break. That meant they were all getting their licenses and driving months before I would.

 

My friend, K was seeing this guy that I didn’t really like. But we all hung out pretty often, he was older and had a car. Anyway,  he told me a superstition I had never heard before. It is apparently extremely bad luck to hit a bird with your car.

 

 

 

 

Seriously great movie. Though I do adore Hitchcock in general.

I myself am not superstitious, but I do kind of collect superstitions. I am really fascinated with them. So if any of you guys know any, feel free to share them.

She should also have some spilled salt there.

But I wasn’t sure how it was possible to even hit a bird with your car. Don’t they fly? I had never even heard of someone hitting a bird with a car.

 

A few years later T and I were living together and I was carpooling to work with him. We also worked together. I know that it is a terrible idea to date co-workers. A lesson I wish I could say I have learned. But, I am an idiot and will apparently never learn that lesson.

 

I mention T  here. It was very early in the morning, still in the grey light before the sun comes up. We were driving through a rural area.

 

I was in the passenger seat when I saw a tiny bird fly directly into the windshield. It hit the glass with a crunch right before my eyes. I knew it was dead. It had to be dead. I had heard it’s tiny little skull crack.

 

I need a bird skull ring.

 

I freaked out. I turned to T. “Oh my god! Oh my god! You hit a bird!”

 

It was stuck on the windshield. It’s feathers fluttering in the wind. “Do something, quick! Get it off!”

 

T calmly turned on the windshield wipers. But the bird was somehow stuck beneath the wiper. He smeared it’s crushed body across the length of the windshield. Along with a long rainbow of blood.

 

 

 

I couldn’t find one with blood, sorry.

“What are you doing! It’s stuck! Oh god!” I was really grossed out by this point. I’m not great with handling things so early in the morning. I was barely awake, let alone prepared for the bird carnage at this time of day.

 

By this point T was kind of grossed out too. “We killed a bird. We killed a bird.” He kept saying it over and over. But, for the record, I was an innocent passenger. I didn’t kill that bird.

 

The more he ran the wipers, the more blood he smeared across the windshield.

 

Finally, he admitted defeat. He pulled over and got shovel out of the back. He pulled the dead bird off the windshield and flung it into the woods.

I wanted to give it a proper burial. But T was in a rush to get to work. It was one of the few fights we ever actually had. The rest of that relationship was silent seething and constant misery.

He looked shaken and grey when he was done. I barely ate for the rest of the day. I kept seeing that bird hit the windshield. I kept hearing the crunch of it’s skull.


I don’t know if it gave us bad luck. I already had my weird luck long before  he hit that bird. We eventually broke up and I don’t speak to him anymore. Though I’m not sure that us breaking up was bad luck either.

Tonsillitis

Hey guys. My throat has been hurting for about a week. I finally looked at it in the mirror on Saturday morning. You might ask who is irresponsible enough to wait a week to investigate their throat pain? Me, apparently.

 

What I saw was horrifying and I instantly regretted it. It looked like those slime monsters from Adventure Time.

 

My tonsils. Sexy!

 

I went to Urgent Care, because why would any regular doctor or Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor be open on a Saturday? They looked at it and immediately recognized it as strep. I am a bit of a frequent flyer with strep throat.

 

The lady doctor told me I might want to think about getting my tonsils removed since I was habitually getting it. Apparently it can move into the heart and cause issues. Like I need any more of that. Also, I hear if you get them removed all you can eat is ice cream.

 

This is how I want to imagine it. Don’t correct me in the comments, please.

 

But my throat looked so bad it reminded me of something that happened with A. This isn’t really my story, but I was there and that relationship turned out so badly. The least I can get out of it is a good story. So here goes.

 

This was in February of last year. A and I had broken up in January, but he was refusing to move out. Luckily, there were two bedrooms.

 

He had  been complaining of a sore throat for a few days, but refused to go see a doctor since he had no money or health insurance. Finally, he could barely talk and his voice sounded weird. I offered to help him pay for the visit since it was his birthday and I was starting to worry that he was going to die.

 

We went to an urgent care, but the doctor there sent us away. He said it looked like he had Peritonsillar Abscess. Which is an internal infection that can occur when Strep or tonsillitis goes untreated. And his voice was a symptom that was sometimes called ‘hot potato voice’ you can look it up online, it sounds freaky. He said we needed to see an ENT.

Every image I looked up was nasty. So, no thanks.

So, we went to see this ENT. She took one look at his tonsils and told us there was nothing she could do for us. She referred us to another ENT. She even called and set up an emergency appointment for us with him. That’s when I suspected this Perio-tonsil thing was serious.

 

At the second ENT’s office we met the ENT I like to call Dr. DudeBro. He came in with a popped collar and was possibly younger than myself. He talked like a surfer frat boy.

 

 

 

Totally, bro.

 

He looked at A’s tonsils and told us, “it like, totally needed to be lanced.”  It was going to be $500 to do. He could do it right then, if we wanted. Which he “super recommended.” Because that infection could go into A’s brain and kill him.

 

But A didn’t want to spend the money. And he didn’t trust Dr. DudeBro to lance his tonsils. And he didn’t know what ‘lancing’ was.

 

Dr. DudeBro left the room so we could “discuss or whatever.” And that’s when I snapped. Just so you guys know, I am not always sweet and understanding (Ha! Did any of you think I was?)

 

I had just about had enough of A’s shit for one day. We weren’t dating anymore. He was abusive. And I had spent the whole day driving him all over to various doctor’s offices. I am pretty uptight about germs, so hanging out with sick people gets me extra freaked out. I am sure he was having a worse day as it was his birthday and he felt terrible. But I had lost the little sympathy I had for him.

 

I whirled on him and told him he was getting his fucking tonsils lanced or I would leave his stupid ass here and he could walk home. And then he was going to die and it would serve him right.

 

After my little pep talk, he decided to borrow the money from his father to get his tonsils lanced. I fronted him the money since the ENT needed it upon checkout.

 

Dr. DudeBro came back in. He had a scalpel and a suction tube. As you guys may know, I am totally fascinated by medical procedures. I wanted in on this lancing action.

 

 

Here is an old timey tonsil remover. I love the case.

 

Dr. DudeBro sat A down in the chair. He didn’t use any anaesthetic or painkiller. He peered into A’s mouth. There was a tension in the room as he slowly drew the scalpel closer and closer to A’s tonsils. He moved so slowly. I was holding my breath in anticipation.

 

Then, like a snake striking, he punctured A’s tonsils. The movement was so quick, had I not been staring so intently, I would have missed it. He shoved the suction tube into A’s open wound and started vacuuming it out.

 

They make those tubes clear so I could watch all the blood and pus get sucked out. It was shocking how much was in there. And why are they always clear?

 

He put A on a round of antibiotics and I never saw Dr. DudeBro again.

 

Bursting of the dam

I haven’t posted anything about my period or my vagina in a few weeks. But brace yourselves, people. The shame is strong with this one.

My fifth and most recent heart surgery took place just over two years ago. It was noteworthy in several ways. It was my fifth one. I had been chosen to participate in a clinical trial for a new type of catheter that had sense receptors on it. They were going to burn through my right heart atrium and into my left for the first time. And I was in my first few months of a new relationship with A. We all know how that turned out.

It’s not like burning holes in your heart is serious or anything.

My other four surgeries had been some of the worst experiences of my life. This one would turn out to be my worst. Because of the added procedure and the sheer quantity I had had by this point, they stressed very heavily that I could die.

I was at a crossroads. I could take medication that controlled my heart, but the medication was newly approved and there had been no research into the long term side effects. There was an extreme likelihood that I would die from liver failure in about 20 years. When I was 47. And I’d be on very expensive drugs forever. Missing even one dose caused serious heart problems.

Liver, shmiver. Am I right?

I was taking so many drugs that I had to set up multiple alarms set throughout the day. Or I could choose the surgery. It might work. It might kill me. It might not work and I’d still have to take the drugs. I decided that I would rather die sooner than later.

I had been on my period for three other surgeries, and it was no surprise to anyone that I was on it for this one too. As mentioned here, I use the Diva Cup. It is a little tiny silicone plunger that catches everything. It is comfortable and clean and good for your body and the environment. (Still no endorsement forthcoming).

Best thing ever invented for periods besides chocolate.

When I was wheeled into the operating room at 5am, I told the head nurse that I was on my period, I was using the cup, etc. She said she would note my chart and if I was under for more than 8 hours they would remove it for me.

I thanked her and didn’t know anything else for a long time. I came to in the recovery room. I have a post waiting to be written about the recovery room, but let’s just say this: It is the last place I would feel okay for several days. And I wanted to make it last. I spent two hours in there.

But, finally, they had to take me to my room. When I got to my room, my mother and A were anxiously waiting for me. What I didn’t realize was that my surgery had taken 18 hours. Plus 2 hours in recovery. They hadn’t seen me in over 20 hours. They were frazzled. But to me, it was around two hours. That surgery time is lost forever.

However, while they felt fine. Maybe tired and anxious. I wanted to die. I am not joking when I say this. For the 24-48 hours after every single one of my surgeries, I seriously wish I had died during it. It is the most miserable and in pain I have ever been in my life.

After this type of surgery, you are not allowed to move the lower half of your body, at all, for 24 hours. Not even to shift positions to get more comfortable. Whatever position the nurses put you in on your hospital bed is how you stay for the duration. And obviously, you aren’t getting up to urinate. Bed pans all the way. In fact, you can’t even wipe yourself.

This particular surgery is when we found out that not only does morphine do absolutely nothing for my pain, it makes me extremely nauseated. But they couldn’t give me something for my nausea in case I vomited it back up. And they couldn’t give me something for my pain in case I overdosed on morphine plus a second pain-killer.

Also, they apparently thought only drug addicts are immune to morphine. Not so!

Cue 5 hours of intense agony and bawling pain. And a healthy dose of abject, helpless nausea. Finally, when it turned out I wasn’t going to vomit (5 hours later) they gave me something for my nausea.

I was feeling a little better and the pain wasn’t consuming my every thought. I finally thought to ask the nurse where my Diva Cup was. I didn’t feel like I was using a pad, but honestly, I might not have noticed.

The nurses checked my chart and found that the head nurse (despite saying she would) had left no notes. The searched the operating room, nothing. They searched the gurney I had been wheeled in on, nothing. They searched the room, nothing.

There was only one place left to search. My vagina.

The nurse came in and sent my mother and A out. She lifted the sheets and my gown and started probing around in my vagina. It was in there.

I was starting to freak out. For those of you bad at math, this was only supposed to be in for 8 hours tops and we were going on 26. Not to mention the fact that I was on blood thinners and the blood wasn’t going anywhere.

She reached in and tried to pull it out. But she couldn’t figure out how it worked. I tried to explain that you had to fold in the wall to break the seal, but she couldn’t get it. After a few minutes of fumbling around in my vagina, she called in backup.

A second nurse came in and they turned on the brightest overhead light ever. It was like an old timey police interrogation and my vagina was the suspect. They pulled good cop, bad cop on my vagina. But their efforts were a waste of time.

Where were you on the night of December 11, 2010?

They were just tugging on it, trying to yank it out. Not only was I in agony, but it felt like they were jerking on my entrails.

This is something I have done to myself millions of times, but I couldn’t move to get to it without opening my wounds. It was a serious issue because I had lost a lot of blood during the procedure. I had already heard mention of a blood transfusion.

They covered me up and called in my mother and A. They explained the situation and I explained how to get the fucking thing out for the third time. My mother rolled up her sleeves and offered to give it the old college try.

My mother has long fingernails. She reached up there and began probing around. I stared up into the light. Wishing myself into unconsciousness. Or at least hoping to blind myself so that I would never have to make eye contact with her ever again. But she also failed.

Finally, A stepped in. He is a very large guy with big lumberjack hands. He did a few quick warm up stretches and dove in like a pro. At this point, I was beyond pain, beyond embarrassment, beyond any sense of shame. This was the fourth person that had put their hand in my vagina in the past 30 minutes.

He finally realized what the problem was. For all the genius of the Diva Cup, they were meant to be removed while sitting or squatting, not lying down. My pelvic bone was blocking it’s passage. But he was determined to succeed.

He thrust and parried, trying to vanquish this worthy foe that had defeated so many others. Finally, with one great lunge, the cup was pulled out. It was like the demolition of a dam. Everything was now soaked with blood.

Brace yourselves!

They cleaned me up and changed my sheets through a long and arduous process. I was free.

And that is how, less than two days after their initial meeting, my mother and ex boyfriend both fingered me while in the same room together, at the same time.

Falling

When I was 10 my family went to see my half brother and sister and their mother. I had seen pictures of us together when I was younger, but I was very suspicious of them. I knew they were related to me, but I had no recollection of them.

Who were these people claiming to be my family?

I would have been miserably bored on this visit, except that I had two new presents to occupy my mind. My mother had bought me my first diary. It was a small child’s diary with a photo of two white horses on the cover.

The beginning of my journaling career

The beginning of my journaling career

I was never one of those girls that liked horses. In fact, I was, and still am afraid of them. And they don’t like me either. I don’t know why my mother picked that cover out for me. But it didn’t matter. It was a real journal with a really shitty lock and key.

It looked like this and I broke it after 2 weeks.

It looked like this and I broke it after 2 weeks.

She had also bought me my first Walkman, which was life changing for me. And it came with a cassette tape. Paul Abdul’s Forever Your Girl. I didn’t particularly like Paula Abdul then or now.

But I listened to that tape until it got warped and creepy sounding. Like a talking doll whose batteries are slowly dying. And even though that was 20 years ago, I still know every word to every song on that fucking album.

They say you never forget your first.

They say you never forget your first.

I’ll never know what prompted my mother to buy me what was to become the two most important items of my youth. I had certainly never mentioned wanting a diary or a Walkman. But even at that age  had a passion for both writing an d music. Maybe she thought it was something that would be a quiet distraction for me. She couldn’t have known how much journaling would affect my life.

I spent the family weekend with my headphones on and my face in my journal. Which was to become my new look for the rest of my youth.

At one point everyone wanted to go on a trip to somewhere. I honestly don’t remember where. It’s possible that I didn’t even hear where everyone was going over “Cold Hearted Snake.”

But I didn’t want to go. I couldn’t be convinced or cajoled into it. And since I was 10, my parents didn’t want to leave me alone in a stranger’s house. So my mother decided to stay behind while everyone else went out.

She was inside working on a crossword puzzle and I was out in the yard writing and singing. I somehow came to the conclusion that I should attempt to climb the palm tree I was leaned against. I don’t know where that idea came from or why it even occurred to me.

So, I began climbing up the spines of the palm tree. I don’t know how they held me to even climb up. But I was young and very, very thin. I’m sure most of you have seen palm trees, but maybe not up close.

It really does make a convenient ladder.

It really does make a convenient ladder.

I am afraid of heights and yet had absolutely no issues climbing higher and higher. It was fun. Like climbing the beanstalk from Jack and the Beanstalk. The spines made a very surprisingly easy to climb ladder.  It was so easy that I lost track of how high I was getting. Little did I know that I was like Icarus, flying too close to the sun.

When I finally stopped and looked down, I was about 40  feet off the ground.  I froze. I was really high up. I had never been up so high in a tree. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t think I could get down on my own.

I stayed like that for a few minutes. I didn’t want to call my mother for help. I didn’t want to bother her and I knew she would get mad.

I waited and waited until I finally stopped feeling so afraid and decided to try to climb back down on my own. Climbing down is always harder and more dangerous than climbing up. Unfortunately I waited too long and my muscles were exhausted. My arms and legs were shaking with both fear and muscle strain.

I lost my grip and fell the almost entire way down. I somehow landed without breaking any bones. But I had hurt my arm. It felt raw and scraped up and sort of burning.

When I looked down I saw that I had cut myself from my inside wrist all the way down to my inside elbow. The cuts ran the entire length of my forearm and some were cuts were very, very deep. Which incidentally is also the better way to attempt suicide. I wrapped my shirt around my wrist, but it wasn’t enough to staunch the blood flow.

I snuck into the bathroom and washed my arm, hoping to wash away some of the blood and make it look less severe. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide it from my mother for long. Especially if I couldn’t get it to stop bleeding.

But I couldn’t get it to stop bleeding. It was gushing. And the blood didn’t want to coagulate. I rinsed all the blood out of my shirt and went to face my mother.

My mother tends to faint at the sight of blood. She saw my arm and freaked the hell out. We didn’t have the vehicle and this was before the days of cell phone popularity. We couldn’t even find any hydrogen peroxide.

We wound up using paper towels and finally managed to stop the bleeding. I never did go to the doctor to get my arm looked at. I probably should have received stitches for this wound, but didn’t. And even though it has been 20 years, I still have little scars all up and down my arm from it. Like little reminders of why you should never ever climb a palm tree.