All my life to say that I am clumsy and accident prone is somewhat of an understatement. It was kind of a joke to everyone else around me. I would somehow always get injured in really peculiar ways from just doing regular, everyday activities. I could give you a dozen examples if I thought long and hard about it (and I am sure my mom could give you far more,) but without even thinking about it, two specific stories come immediately to mind.
· Example #1—The “Sports Injury”
When I was a junior in highschool I was stepping out of the tub one evening before bed and I slipped on the wet tile and cracked my knee. Hard. It hurt for a few days but it wasn’t too bad. Then one day, a few days later, it started to hurt a whole lot more and got extremely swollen. So, my mother took me over to Dr. Shwankler, our family doctor, and he took one look at it and shook his head and said this was something that would have to be referred to a specialist. (Side note: Turns out, in retrospect, Dr. Shwankler wasn’t actually a very good doctor, so most things WERE actually too complex for him to figure out or treat.) Now, slipping and falling getting out of the tub and injuring yourself doesn’t seem like much of strange or peculiar thing. Probably happens all the time. Heck, there’s an entire segment of lawyers who devote their entire career to people who slip and fall. The joke, in my case, was that I was referred to a doctor who specialized in sports medicine. Had I been involved in ANY sort of athletic activity (ever) in my life, this would not be so hilarious to those around me. But some of the same traits that make me clumsy and accident-prone, would also make me a terrible athlete. So there I was, all pudgy and non-athletic, hobbling into the sports medicine specialist. I sat in the waiting room with gymnasts and football players, weight-lifters and aerobics instructors until I was called. It was a pretty open and shut case of bursitis, and I had to wear this giant leg brace that immobilized my knee for about a month. And the whole time I was hobbling along and healing, my friends and family LOVED taking jabs at my expense about my “sports injury.”
· Example #2—“The Car Door Injury”
Those of you who are faithful, long-term readers of the ole’ blog probably remember I have discussed this one. In depth. (Or more accurately, I should PROBABLY say the one of you who is a faithful long-term reader of this blog—thanks Mom…) About 2 years ago while having my hands full of things such as a diaperbag, keys, a baby in a baby carrier, etc. etc. I was hastily trying to wrangle three kids into the car AND talk on my cell phone. (Now you might be wondering why I didn’t take multiple trips, but again, refer to the previous story—pudgy and non-athletic… that would have necessitated TWO trips to the car and really, my goal in life is to move as little as possible, so really, why take two trips when you can take one? But back to the story…) I opened the car door quickly, not really paying attention, and smashed it into my face which, in turn, broke a tooth. $4,000 out of pocket (we didn’t have dental insurance), nearly a year, and a couple of infections later, I was the proud owner of a dental implant. WHO DOES THIS? Me. That’s who.
So, with those stories in mind, you can imagine that my close family and friends (read: my mom) had some nervousness about me moving to a place like Haiti. Until last night, I had avoided most of my accident-prone tendencies and not had any really STUPID illnesses or injuries. Here’s the story about last night.
· “The Chemical Burn Injury”
Since moving to Haiti I have developed this persistant fungal infection called Tinea Versicolor on my face. I know, a fungal infection on your face is kind of a gross thing. But it wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was pretty unnoticable—just some small white (unpigmented) dots on my face. It was more noticable when I got tanner, because they would stay white, and the rest of my face would become browner. (Kind of like inverted freckles.) And so a few months ago when I first got it, it wasn’t too bad. But then I got more of them. And they started to fuse together into these larger patches the size of a quarter, or maybe even bigger in some places. I contacted a doctor friend I knew in the states and she sent me down some selsun blue and told me I needed to cover the white areas with that, let it dry, keep it on for about 30 minutes and then wash it off. The first time I had it, it went away pretty quickly and everything evened out again. However, since the quake, it’s come back again with a vengence. It’s way worse, and the fact that I have been spending a lot of time out in the sun makes it even more obvious. It’s to the point now where random Haitians I meet on the street ask each other (thinking I don’t understand them), “Wow, what happened to her face?” (Or actually, the more I think if it, they actually probably know I understand them and don’t care because, well, let’s just say it like it is--Haitians aren’t known for their tact.) But I digress…
So, there’s the background. Here’s the story. I am now very self-conscious about the way my face looks. I don’t like that I feel this way. I spent far too long in my life being self-conscious and have really made a concerted effort (especially since living here) to not really be self conscious about my appearance. Living here has made me realize there are SO many better things to spend your time doing. SO many. (Multiplied exponentially since January 12th.) But AGAIN, I digress…
While Nick is in the states (hopefully coming back today WITH MY KIDS I might add), he was able to acquire a prescription for this problem that over time should clear it up better. Until he arrives, I’ve been using the Selsun blue every night. Last night I was tired very early and so I did my nightly slathering ritual. (It’s now spread to my chest and even a bit on my shoulders.) So I had this blue past spread all over me. And I just had to wait 30 minutes until it dried before washing it off. The problem is that (as I mentioned) I was very tired. Very. Tired enough that I fell asleep waiting for it to dry. I did however, wake up about 5 hours later because my face (a little) and my neck (A LOT) were BURNING.
Yes folks. I gave myself a chemical burn with the Selsun Blue. This morning my tannish, blotchy white complexion also has another color in the mix—red. (And tinge of blue in some places because the Selsun Blue left a few stains on dry patches on my face.) I feel like I have a sunburn all over my neck. It’s red and blotchy, and extremely tender. In my head I am reasoning that some people pay LOTS of money for checmical peels. That’s probably what I accomplished. Just for a lot less money.
Normally I don’t wear makeup around here unless it’s Sunday or a date night. But until I can even out the speckly quad-color mess that was once my face, I am going to be a concealer and foundation kind of girl. Call me vain if you want. I’m good with that because for now, it’s totally true.