Thought storage post

Disclaimer: 'kay, this post sums things up for me and offers a kind of "introduction" to my blog. I am working to make sure it stays in the top spot of my homepage but if it doesn't, sorry and you need to go look for it.


This day keeps getting better and better

Part 5...usual disclaimers

Whoa, where the hell am I and who the hell is standing over me? “Lady, are you all right?” Hell yes I’m all right – why wouldn’t I be?

Scanning the surroundings a few things dawn on me. First – I am lying in the street which explains the “Lady” question. Second, my head is killing me and I am not sure I can get up. Third, squinting is the best I can do. Shit, this is a little awkward and people are beginning to gather ‘round. It’s time to get vertical again.

Slowly getting to a sitting position (much more dignified than lying on the street) I am overcome with a bout of dizziness coupled with nausea. Man this isn’t good. “Do I need to call someone?” my teenage Knight in Shining Armor asks as I struggle to retain my stomach contents. This isn’t going well.

Opening my eyes and glancing upward, I realize the sun is shooting arrows into my retinas. This is actually quite painful (arrow-retina thing). Using my eyelids as shields against the attacking sun, I realize my quest for verticalness (yeah, it’s not exactly a word but you get my drift) may need to be tweaked a bit. Quickly deciding vertical isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I decide to go horizontal again. Yeah, it is a conscious decision, completely in my control. Completely.

A grandmotherly type woman, at least she sounds that way, gently pats my shoulder and tells me help is on the way. Now, usually I would insist that help was completely unnecessary; I was fine and quite capable of taking care of this myself. However, the arrows-retinas thing coupled with the ‘spins from hell’ leave me surprisingly agreeable. Amazing what pain and nausea can do to decision making processes.

Hearing the siren and yes, it is pretty freaking loud, only serves to bury the ‘retina arrows’ deeper into my brain as I struggle to get up. “Don’t even think about it.” I recognize that voice and quickly decide to remain prone.

You see, that voice belongs to my partner of seventeen years. She is a lovely woman with soft hazel eyes, long brown hair and an athlete’s body to die for. Tina is an English professor at the local college and was certainly not expected home at this hour – at least not by me. Yes siree Bob, her arrival is definitely an unexpected event and I have a feeling she has surveyed the surroundings and has a pretty good idea of the underlying cause of my current position. Oh yeah, she is a quick study and knows me well.

This is definitely not turning out how I planned.

Groaning, I do the only thing left and just let my head fall back. I feel her hand on my shoulder as she gives me a little squeeze. “You’ll be okay honey,” she whispers softly in my ear. For some reason her voice quells the nausea a little and she deftly places her hand over my eyes to further thwart the sun’s attempts to impale me. Bad sun…bad, bad sun.

The paramedics arrive, ask some basic questions and determine I would benefit from a quick trip to the ER. I don’t share their enthusiasm for this plan and am not shy about stating my views. Tina quickly takes their side (I’m the one she loves – not them!) and informs the nice healthcare professionals (and me) that I will be making the suggested trip.

“Don’t worry lady, I’ll put your board on your front porch,” my ever-so-helpful Knight in Shining Armor assures me. I can just hear the scowl (can’t open eyes) on Tina’s face. Yes, I said it… “hear” the scowl – ever heard of prose? A few things are bound to rub off from living with an English professor.

The nice paramedics quickly scan my body for injuries (ask “where does it hurt” – pretty scientific if you ask me). One attempts to open my eye and shine a 1000 watt spotlight in it to check for pupil response or so he says. This is quickly met with a wave of nausea as I attempt to explain the light-retina-arrows thing. Apparently the green hue on my face conveys the problem and I am quickly moved into the relative dimness of the ambulance. They do pause a moment to make sure I wasn’t actually going to hurl (just looked like it). This is definitely not turning out how I planned.

After asking a few more questions, ensuring I am securely fastened (tied down) to the stretcher, and placing a garden-hose (IV) in my left hand, the ambulance pulls away to begin the short trek to a healthcare facility. The waves of nausea subside as long as I keep my eyes closed and don’t move my head in any way. Focusing on not moving is a welcome distraction from the incessant throbbing right behind my left eye. Yeah, a definite silver lining moment.

See, this whole thing is gravity’s fault…maybe global warming too. We’ll see.

Anyway, this is what happened. I have been experiencing what can be described as a little restlessness as my fortieth birthday looms closer. Tina understood that (she experienced her fortieth last year) and has been very supportive of my need to change things up a little. Get out of the rut – know what I mean? Not get crazy (I didn’t dye my hair or stop wearing a seatbelt for God’s sake) or anything but I did decide to try some new sporting activities.

We had agreed a long time ago that I wouldn’t participate in a sport that involved leaving the ground – nothing that involved plummeting to the Earth- until I was eligible for Medicare. I’ve already begun scouting around for parachute instructors that offer AARP discounts.

Last week I noticed some kids riding this skateboard with only two wheels and it seemed to be two pieces. I asked about it the next day and was informed that is was a Ripstick. “It’s lots of fun” mixed with “It’s very easy” filled the classroom and I knew I had found the sport for me. Street surfing on a Ripstick – how cool is that? I went in search of this exciting object after work and quickly located a red one. Completing my purchase, I turned towards home and the exciting new world of street surfing. Oh yeah, this was definitely going to be fun.

There was only one problem (didn’t realize it until I got home, of course) with my plans. I discovered this after reading the directions (how hard can it be after all) and watching the instructional DVD (it really did look easy). I should have noted that no one under the age of twenty-five was in the DVD – that would have been helpful. Yeah… really wish I have been a little more observant.

You see, a helmet is suggested when riding this thing. Some might argue it is required (guess who?) but I subscribe to the “freedom of choice” camp (closeted Constitution fan). I knew there was a helmet somewhere in the garage. After an exhaustive search (five minutes) in which I scoured the bowels of our garage, no helmet was found. Oh well, how hard can it be…I’ll be fine.

Yeah, fine.

Quickly donning some sweats and tennis shoes, I bolted for the door with my new toy, sorry, exercise equipment. I was afraid Tina might not be as enthusiastic as I was about this and would point out the potential for injuries. I decided to save her from worrying (her well-being guides my every action) by beginning my Ripstick career two hours before she was due home. I figured I’ll be a pro by then so “no harm, no foul”, right? Let’s not forget this is actually a way to improve my health (exercise, remember?). This is turning out exactly how I planned.

So, I’m standing next to the car with my hand resting against it for balance as I step onto this board. Okay, it might be a little harder than I initially thought (apparently you need perfect balance) and will take a bit more practice. I am nothing if not tenacious and I set out on my quest. It’s not like I ever let a silly thing like ability keep me from doing something (case in point – the reason I’m horizontal now).

I can feel the years melting away as I ride this new mode of transportation, hair blowing behind me as I whisk down the paved streets of our neighborhood, neighbors stopping to marvel at my skill while kids shower me with cool points. Yeah, I’ll be the coolest teacher in my school. That’s how I saw it in my minds eye.

The truth is I would start and get maybe six inches before the board vacated its location from under my feet. Once I went a whole foot before Mr. Gravity reared his ugly head and I was once again standing still while the board continued on its journey. I would like to point out I always remained standing during this endeavor regardless of the circumstances. ALWAYS. Until that fateful moment (there’s always one in every story) when I fell forward as the board shot out from under my feet. Fortunately I was able to spare my hands and wrists from any injury as my left cheek broke my fall (always looking for the silver lining). Yeah, it was as nasty as it sounds…my left cheek landed on the pavement full force. BTW – the asphalt didn’t give at all. My face did.

So, that brings us to a tied-down me (not in a good way) riding in the back of an ambulance as it barrels down the road to a hospital. Thankfully the siren is off and this nice paramedic has put away the spotlight. We arrive at the emergency room where I am whisked into a room and surrounded by a bunch of people in white coats. Well, maybe not a bunch but certainly more than one. We go through the entire “where does it hurt” and “how did it happen” again (lack of communication is the bane of healthcare).

Someone puts twenty pieces of paper in front of me to read. I opt for the condensed version of the forms (amazing how flexible the rules are with the threat of projectile vomiting) and sign my name continuously for ten minutes (had to do this by feel due to the arrows-retinas thing). Sheesh, no wonder the rain forests are disappearing. Man, my head hurts – where is the morphine?

After determining I, in fact, am not going to die (they don’t know Tina) but a CAT scan would be prudent, the nice doctor authorizes some pain medication. It is about time!! I thought this but couldn’t really articulate my words (blinding pain thing). After four hours (supposedly five minutes) this nice teenage nurse brings me two Tylenol. I knew this had to be a mistake and am about to inform the youngster of this when Tina magically appears next to me. One look at my face and she knows what I am about to explain emphatically to this “supposed” healthcare provider.

“Sam, this is all you can have right now,” she gently informs me. Before I can respond, she further explains that any stronger pain medication would mask worsening symptoms. So what!!! I really didn’t care and inform the occupants of my room (probably the hall way too) that I need relief and they had better quit being so cruel to patients.

A voice whispers in my right ear, “Samantha, cool your jets right now.” Fuck, now I’m definitely not going to get any morphine. I decide the best course of action is to keep my mouth shut and simply lie here in excruciating pain. That will show them. I do take the Tylenol though – I’m not a masochist.

Finally I am informed of the CAT scan results (normal which I already knew) and am being released to the care of a responsible adult (not me). The next twenty four hours will require someone to wake me up every two hours (at their own peril) to make sure I don’t get worse. Of course I cannot have anything stronger than Tylenol for pain (this concussion thing sucks). This day keeps getting better and better.

The trip home is conducted in relative silence. I focus on preventing the vomit thing (coincidentally Tina is also focusing on ‘me preventing the vomit thing’). Definite conversation stopper. Thankfully we arrive home after thirty minutes (didn’t have to stop and pick up a prescription – lucky me).

Tina quickly comes around and helps me into the house which is a good thing as the freaking sun is still in the sky. She had the foresight to grab my sunglasses before heading to the hospital which provides some protection from the evil rays. Times like this I wish I had sacrificed appearance for those ugly-ass wrap around babies you see old people wear.

We (Tina) decide the safest place for me is the couch in the living room. Personally, I couldn’t care less as long as I can lie down in the privacy of my own home (public displays are uncouth and tend to require damage control later). I collapse onto the couch and quickly realize the importance of: 1. moving slowly and 2. ensuring no part of my face comes in contact with ANY surface (have a sneaking suspicion this won’t be the only part of me that will need to be contact-free). Finally I am able to find that perfect position in which all light is prevented from impaling me and my head is secure enough to prevent accidental movement (yeah, about a 5 on the vomit meter – don’t actually hurl until a 7).

“Get some rest honey,” my beloved tells me as she gently places a kiss on my forehead (I thought the same thing – what am I, a five year old). Placing a blanket over me (this is an adult thing – just shut up) I hear her quietly take a seat next to the couch. I know she won’t leave until I am asleep and she knows I am okay. This concussion thing does suck but having Tina within arms reach is nice.

Finally, sleep comes a calling… Feeling a nudge on my shoulder ten minutes (two hours per Miss Watcher) later, I am forced to surface from the relatively pain free state of slumber. Fuck – the arrows are still in my retinas and Bob Marley is playing the bongos in my head (Reggae rhythm – beats Barry Manilow). Moaning, I slowly open one eye and try to focus on the person foolish enough to attempt waking me. I’m irritable enough when rising from slumberland on a normal day, throw in pain and I become downright homicidal. Fortunately the excruciating pain with movement prevents any rash actions on my part…for now (wonder if I could get morphine in jail).

“Sammie honey, it’s me. I need you to open both eyes for a minute.” Yeah right, like that is going to happen. I respond with a “get away” and quickly snap my open eye shut.

“Come on honey, I need to make sure you’re okay and I have something for pain,” this glorious angel of mercy informs me in a soft voice. The mention of pain relief could be clouding my perspective bit. Gritting my teeth, I open my eyes and try to sit up. Suddenly the Earth gets tilted on its axis and begins to spin out of control. The other alternative is this spinning phenomenon may be related to my sports, sorry exercise, related injury.

Quickly discounting that option, I elect to resume my prone position - at least I’ll be comfortable for the eventual Earth crash (I should be able to get morphine then). Tina decides to ask a few questions (apparently she is oblivious to the upcoming disaster) regarding the state of my general health, head and presence of any additional symptoms.

After eliciting satisfactory answers from the patient, she offers me some soup, soda and two Tylenol. Did I mention the Bob Marley-in-head thing? That is not a pleasant experience and I have serious doubts that freaking Tylenol will be an adequate substitute for the required morphine. Big, big doubts!!!

Tina patiently informs me that Tylenol is the only option to prevent worsening symptoms from going undetected. Once again, who cares about that?? I would welcome worsening symptoms if it curtailed the throbbing pain in my head. Being conscious is not all it’s cracked up to be – a position I emphatically relate to my current healthcare provider. She is unmoved by my pleading words and refuses to provide anything stronger. Good thing she hasn’t quit her day job to be a nurse. I decide to keep this comment to myself – Tylenol is better than nothing.

Twenty four hours pass and I am finally allowed to sleep without interruption. I cannot begin to describe my appreciation at this possibility and eagerly embrace this future state of being.

I have moved into the bedroom (completely light-free) and snuggle under the covers. The pain is better and it is possible for me to bury my head in my pillow (silver fucking lining moment). Tina is off doing something – I probably should care but can’t quite bring myself to do so at the moment (quite shaking your head – I’m injured, remember? Fine, I’ll buy her a present later – satisfied?!)

The next couple of days pass without incidence as the pain in my head subsides and the nausea has completely left the building. Currently I have a little headache and Tylenol is actually an appropriate pain reliever for it…NOW. I am slowly resuming my life and have stowed the offending piece of exercise equipment in the closet (NO need to bring attention to it – no need at all). Tina has been wonderful and not said anything about my date with gravity. Great, I’m living with a Stepford lesbian (must come in two models now – het and ho). Truth is that is probably safer right now.

One Saturday (a week after the ‘unfortunate incident’) I have an inkling my day of reckoning is here. It's not that Tina says or does anything – it’s just this sixth sense I have developed over the years (I know – you’re surprised at that revelation - I am too).

Grabbing a cup of coffee, I make my way to the kitchen table. I give my lady a “good morning” and quick peck on the cheek first. Every little thing helps right now. She greets me with a smile and resumes reading the paper. Now, she knows I know something is up. She cannot hide behind this façade of niceness forever and she knows the waiting is making me crazy.

Deciding that two can play at this game, I pick up the sports section (no, I’m not reading it – get real. Who could read under these circumstances ?) and look like I’m reading it. As the minutes tick away, the butterflies make their way to their summer residence (my stomach). Fine, I can wait for her – no need to borrow trouble here. Maybe I’m just over-reacting and she will be so filled with relief that all will be forgiven. Shit, I must have brain damage.

“So Sam, how are you feeling honey?” she asks in a soothing voice. Maybe I don’t have brain damage after all!!

“Better thanks. My head doesn’t hurt at all,” I reply before I can help myself. There is no reason, no reason at all to bring up the ‘unfortunate’ incident and I just did it with my head comment. Maybe she didn’t notice it…yeah, maybe.

“Good, I’m glad to hear that.” I can’t help but smile at that –she does love me. “Let’s go talk in the study.” Her tone of voice quickly brings my head up as I try to gauge what is going on.

There it is – she has her Gloria Steinem/Karl Malden face (odd pairing I know but that’s what she looks like – a shiver runs down my spine too). This is so not good.

Following her into the study, I decide the best course of action is to sit anywhere but the couch. Yeah, out of arms reach is a good idea about now. “Now Sam, care to explain to me how you ended up with a concussion?” Her voice is calm but flames are dancing in her eyes.

Gulping, I decide the best course of action is just the facts. “I decided to try something new to make exercising more appealing. The kids all raved about this Ripstick and it looked like fun.” So far she is sitting quietly and looks very relaxed. Yeah, so far.

“Anyway, I bought the board and decided to try it AFTER reading the instructions and watching the DVD.” Want to make sure I throw in that I did both and didn’t jump in half-cocked. Tina continues to lean back comfortably on the couch, her eyes never leaving my face (she is polite that way) and nods for me to continue.

Here is where it can get a little tricky for me. I need to tweak the truth without actually lying about it (yes, I DO see the problem with that statement but self-preservation trumps Miss Honesty-is-the-best-policy under these circumstances). After bitch-slapping Miss H. I decide to continue my rendition of events.

“I changed clothes and went out to try the board. As I was practicing, I must have lost my balance. The next thing I know I am lying in the street and you are next to me telling me I am going to be okay - that was very sweet by the way. You know the rest from there.” Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Tina just sits there and continues to look in my direction. Yep, she just keeps sitting there and looking at me….she’s not even blinking.

“Sam!” Oops, I was focused on the non-blinking thing - didn’t realize she had turned on verbal mode.

“Sorry, honey. Guess I zoned for a minute,” I say with my angel eyes coupled with a look of total adoration. Maybe she will be overcome by the depth of my love for her and shower me with kisses (ya’ know I can see you rolling your eyes, right?).

Her face transforms into Karl/Gloria again and I wonder if I can become one with the chair.

“I asked you where your helmet was? I didn’t see it on the road.” Like she really thinks it rolled underneath a car …shit, I almost roll my eyes.

“Ididnothaveone,” I respond while examining the beautiful craftsmanship of the Tiffany lamp. Man, those freaking butterflies are having a field day and have been joined by their friend “butt tingle” (both unwelcome guests, btw).

“Didn’t think so.” She understands “Sam freak-speak” so it wasn’t necessary to repeat myself. With the preliminaries out of the way, she quietly asks (tells) me to join her.

Taking a deep breath, I manage to rise from my very comfortable seated position (it was nice while it lasted) and shuffle my way to her waiting hand. Grasping my hand, she quickly relieves my legs of their burden and allows them a needed rest from supporting my body. Yeah, they were really freaking tired.

I don’t have to wait long for the festivities to begin as Miss Iron-hand begins to make her views quite clear regarding my past follies. Damn, she spanks hard. First one cheek then the other in this unrelenting cadence from hell. Initially I decide to accept my punishment stoically– it was stupid to get on the board without a helmet and I knew better. After four minutes of my ass being pounded I’m wondering if I need to rethink that strategy. The decision to cry is in my control. Completely.

Finally, her hand comes to rest on my posterior (just in time, let me tell you). Tears are leaking out of my eyes by now and I have professed my deepest regret for my actions in the sincerest voice possible (aka begging her to stop and promising NEVER to do it again).

“Sam, why are you getting spanked?” I knew this was coming (Miss Predictable) and let out a little groan. I really, really, really, REALLY hate it when she does this – I become this naughty ten year old (the point – I know).

“Because I didn’t wear a helmet.” There really is no defense or anything else for me to say. She knows Mr. Self Loathing and Ms. How-Can-You-BE-So-Stupid have been visiting my head…and soul. Those voices lurk in the shadows, just waiting for a chance to make an entrance. I know these are remnants from my childhood and do not reflect the true me as a person. It just doesn’t feel that way right now.

“Lift up your hips Sammie,” she commands in a soft voice. I find comfort in that command, know that forgiveness will be forthcoming and this heavy blanket of guilt and shame will be lifted. Tina quickly lowers my pajama bottoms and rests her hand on my bare skin. I want this over with, this ache inside me to go away. I know Tina will take care of me. I feel her hand move away as she pulls me closer to her body. Shit, this is not going to be pleasant.

Smack followed by smack followed by smack descend on my bottom. I thought she was hitting hard before – it was nothing compared to what she was doing now. “Ow” mixed with “I’m sorry” and a little sprinkle of “please, stop” are my contribution to today’s events. Tina is contributing a little more.

Smack – YOU-Smack-WILL-Smack-NEV-Smack-ER-Smack-RISK-Smack-YOUR-Smack-HEALTH-Smack-A-Sma ck-GAIN!! She opted for the spank-per-syllable rule. The pain I am experiencing is beyond description right now. My entire being is consumed with this sensation of hot pokers touching every part of my ass. Does take my mind off the returning headache (lucky me).

DO-Smack-YOU-Smack-UN (please, not that word)-Smack-DER (no such luck)-Smack-STAND-Smack (guess she wanted to emphasize her point)? I quickly inform her I completely understand and will never do it again (luckily she understands Sam sob-speak also…multilingual).

Tina helps me up and deftly sits me on her lap. She makes sure nothing comes in contact with my ass (very skilled at that). I put my arms around her neck and continue to let the tears cascade down my cheeks. I feel her arms envelop me as she rocks my tired body. She whispers those words I need to hear to heal my heart. Those words that soothe my aching soul and quiet those voices in my head. I love you. All is forgiven. I’m not going anywhere. Those same words my mother whispered in my ear many years ago.

Finally the tears subside and I nestle close to her chest. I risk a glance at her face. She smiles softly as her eyes reflect love and acceptance. Tina offers unconditional love and acceptance to me - never withholds her forgiveness. I struggled to trust this gift. I don’t anymore. Finally I close my eyes and drift off to sleep. I know Tina will hold me in her arms as long I want …and need.

Life is good. Life is very good.

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