Happy Shark Week Bleeps!
Everybody sing with me now "It's the most wonderful time of the year...." I have loved Shark Week for as long back as I can remember...heck, I used to watch Bug Week back in college too. It's ironic as I have an intense fear of these creatures. But man they are fascinating.
Shark week starts at the beginning of August every year (I can only assume it was late this year because of the Olympics...for which I am forever grateful as I think I would have had to quit my job to keep up). I begin the countdown the day after it ends.
Well last year I was a bit distracted. The day before Shark Week began I was visiting my grandmom at her new house. It's a cute little house in the country. My aunt was in town and we decided to all go out to dinner (my mom was there too). For some reason I decided I would ride with everyone and come back for my car before heading home instead of following them.
It was quite late when we got back and out where she lives the only street lighting is by star light and moon light. We hadn't left the outside light on. Grandmom went first to turn the light on. I followed behind her, but not closely. Now remember, it's summer...so I'm wearing shorts.
One minute I am walking and the next moment I have searing pains in my knees and I am rolling around in the grass screaming. What the hell just happened? And why is no one running to help me?
It turns out that the sidewalk is not a straight shot. There is a small extremely hard concrete step. My left foot (in my flip flop) hit the step which caused my body to trip. I did not have time to react and I couldn't see so I was not able to react by bracing the fall with my arms. That may have actually saved me from more injury. By some miracle I had a football hold on my pocketbook and that seemed to brace my fall. It kept me from injuring my arms or even smashing my face. Amazing still, nothing was broken in the bag. Nothing braced my knees though which smashed the concrete.
Next it appears I rolled to the side into the grass and started screaming...but my grandmom thought I was laughing. It took a moment before my mom realized something was wrong. And then she was running to my side. It took a moment to get me to stand up and a few more moments to get me into the house. I could barely walk.
Now I am an emotional person. In general it does not take much for me to cry. But, I have a high pain threshold and it takes a lot of pain to bring tears. I was crying. I turned into the 5 yr old that jumped into the pool backwards and skinned her chin and needed stitches...seriously, concrete is not my friend. So here I am with bloody knees and I'm sobbing "Mommie it hurts!" It took a little while for the blood to start...thankfully because the roll into the grass meant flushing the debris out. I had skinned both of my knees right below the knee cap. There would be no stitches because there was no skin. There was also not bruising because I just bled out.
I was put on the couch with ice and my mom rubbing my back to calm me down. But we had a problem. I didn't have anything with me to sleep over. No glasses. No contact solution. No toothbrush. It was 10:30pm in the country...there is no 24 walmart. Eventually they went looking for a place. We also needed big giant band aids. We had considered going to the emergency room, but we decided to make that call in the morning.
When they came back the pain had seriously set in. I could not have been happier to see the little extra pick me up my mom got me: a dove chocolate raspberry bar. Nothing soothes better than chocolate. Please note - I now keep an emergency bag in my trunk including an old pair of glasses...no chocolate though.
Eventually I fell asleep and the next day was Shark week. I spent the day eating more chocolate and watching on grandmom's ginormous tv (that's the way to do it!). I could not bend my knees. And let me tell you, looking at all of those shark bite injuries was even more nauseating looking at my knees.
I did have to go home that night. It took me forever to drive. I had to pull over to stand up and adjust. That was challenging, but the real challenge was climbing the stairs to my apartment. I had to wear skirts for about 3 weeks because I couldn't bend my knees. Putting underwear on was even a challenge.
I got made fun of at work because a snail could out walk me. You know how much I have to pee and there was no "running" to the ladies room. I was lucky that I didn't pee myself. Try walking all day without bending your knees...and then times that by 2 weeks. That's how long it took.
Grocery shopping was a nightmare. I couldn't walk around, but I needed food. And of course much chocolate was consumed at that time.
The pain was frustrating, but what was even more frustrating was that I couldn't get out there and walk. The Former Fat Girl would have relished this time. It would have been so easy to hit the drive-thrus every night. It was the perfect excuse. And seriously, laying around watching tv was just about all I could do. I was terrified that I would fall into old habits. I could see the chocolate becoming a problem.
I was the happiest person in the world when i was finally able to walk. I needed to be very careful though because I was walking in the park on the path and worried about falling again on the concrete. I still wasn't able to wear pants so I didn't have the extra cushion.
For the longest time my scars were really dark and very big (one is the size of a plum and one about the size and shape of my thumb). They were actually very dark for a while. Today they are still there, but not as dark. I look at them every day and think how lucky I am that I didn't shatter my knee caps. I also think about how crazy it drove me not to be able to even walk for almost a month. That's what I think about when I start to feel like slacking. I would have given anything to have the body healthy enough to even walk. You can't take that for granted. If you have the ability you have to appreciate it and use it. So get out there and do something about it!
ps-I'll spare you the pictures of my knees from that time...just watch shark week and know it wasn't quite THAT bad :-)
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and
you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will
do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several
times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.