Amy goes BOOM
A new blog look for a new school year! I’m procrastinating from doing my studying, clearly If you have comments or thoughts please be sure to let me know; I’ve tried to maintain all the functionality of the old look while changing it up and making it more streamlined. Still working out some bugs (like how the featured picture repeats in the older entries, kind of annoying) but I hope you like it!
At the beginning of September, I moved into a big, grand apartment with tons of space and light. And then, the next three weekends, I was travelling to Memphis, Dallas, and Toronto. And while I love to teach, with grad school classes starting and homework and 9-to-5 work, I had almost no time for about a month to get anything done at home or really settle in. I felt like I was living out of boxes still (well, I was) and it was driving me a little crazy, especially since I just couldn’t stay organized without a home for everything.
So, about two weeks ago, after flying back from Memphis on a Saturday night, I found myself with (gasp!) a WHOLE ENTIRE SUNDAY to do some reading for school, and do some organizing around the apartment. Because the clutter was driving me crazy—basically just sleeping at home meant that I came home, threw stuff wherever, changed, left, came home—I mean, it was a mess. And the weather was changing to cooler fall temperatures, so I figured I would do some serious cleaning to get some energy out, and then spend the rest of the afternoon and night doing schoolwork.
I had a crappy folding chair from Ikea that I borrowed from work to do choreo for a chair class I taught. And I was taking heavy sweaters out of storage in my closet and putting away the little bikinis and tank tops (cry!) that were no longer weather appropriate (because in NYC, closets aren’t very big, and you can’t have all your year round clothes out and available all the time. Unless you are very rich and have a huge, huge apartment). So. Of course I decide, sure, I’ll stand on this folding chair (even though I do actually own a very stable step ladder) to take this huge container of clothing and hoist it up to the top shelf of my closet.
Do you see where this is going?
At some point, I’m standing on the chair, and my arms are overhead with this huge heavy bin of clothes, and then because this is a crap folding chair, it doesn’t lock into position. So I have my weight on the wrong part of the chair, and it just folds. And as I’m falling backwards, I’m thinking: bin, please don’t land on my face. And then I’m thinking: Amy, you are such an asshole (yes, I thought asshole) to have done something this stupid. And then I landed, and hit the ground directly on my back, landing exactly on the back of my pelvis, right where the point of the bone is right under your skin, next to your spine? And the world dissolved into a flash of blinding white stars. It was the kind of pain where you fall and you can’t breathe because it hurts so bad, and also you realize you are making very, very sad moaning noises like a sheep in labor, because you can’t help it.
Did I paint a sad enough picture? I’m laughing about it a little now, because it was just so terrible. So then I crawled into bed and laid there literally spasming in pain. And of course, in my fit of cleaning, I had started the laundry going downstairs, so I’m laying in bed trying to figure out how to lay without it hurting, and also realizing that I have to somehow get up from my bed (the new frame wasn’t delivered yet, so the mattress was on the floor) into a standing position, get down to the laundry machines in the basement, move my laundry to the dryer, and move my dry stuff upstairs. And I laid there literally in the pits of despair because when you’ve hurt yourself, who the hell wants to go and deal with laundry? But instead of just leaving it alone, I went down hobbling literally wincing in pain every step down and up again. Because in NYC (I’m not sure about elsewhere), if you take too long with a machine, the impatient person who’s waiting to use the machines will literally take all your stuff out, and unceremoniously leave it on top of the washer or dryer and put their own stuff inside. And since my back was FREAKING OUT at me, I threw all my nice clean laundry on the floor, because I couldn’t bend over. So that sat and cooled and got all nice and wrinkly.
THEN I went to take a hot shower, thinking that could help ease the spasms, when I was soaping up and realized I had a HUGE HUGE HUGE THE SIZE OF MY FACE HUGE bump on my thigh. So apparently I hit my leg on the chair on my way down. It was horrifying large, I’d never SEEN such a large bruise. Here it is in all its glory, the night of:
That’s not my butt, that’s actually my leg. It’s a hematoma! And it’s still hard although not nearly as large. It’ll go away eventually. Oh, wait, here’s the bruise that I got from it:
I don’t know if you can really tell, but there’s yellow and green around the entire thing. The bruise was so big that it actually started to drift down my leg as the blood moved out of the area and started to heal. Gravity. Amazing.
Anyway…So, after this whole thing, I was completely laid up in bed for two days. Then I went to work and literally was on a heating pad for the next 48 hours, and tons of anti-inflammatories, and basically miserable. Not because of the bruise– that hematoma (I still need to name her, I’m thinking Nelly or Helen) actually doesn’t hurt. It was landing on my back, because there’s a lot of muscles that weave their way through that space and I apparently made a bunch of them pretty angry by landing right on them and where they connect to my hip bone. I had to postpone my workshops at Xpose in Maryland (which will now be in November instead, yay and thanks to Xpose for being so understanding!!) because a week after the fall, I was still not even walking normally or able to lay in bed properly. It was absolutely horrible. The learning experience here has been, really, DON’T STAND ON A CHAIR when it is not completely stable. No, really. I didn’t think something like this could happen to me either. This is the worst injury I’ve EVER gotten and of course it was falling off an effing chair.
It’s now been three weeks and I am 90% back to normal functionally, although I have been taking it easy and not doing ANYTHING active– my body tells me to rest, I rest. The thing with a back injury is that you don’t realize this, but the muscles of your back and core really DO work to stabilize your body in everything you do. Want to reach across the table? HA! You use your back when you do that. Or get up? Yep, back. What about when you bend over to pick something up? Yes! And for future reference, if you ever need to, you can always use salad tongs to pick things up off the floor, it works. Although it makes you feel a little silly. Also, if you use a heating pad on heat that’s too high, about a day later your skin will ITCH LIKE A MOFO and the itching will last a couple days.
But really– I mean, I’m telling you this story because it’s been all that has really been going on with me for the past– oh, almost month now– and it’s driving me kind of crazy to not be able to dance, move, stretch. It’s made me slow down a bit but also renewed my appreciation for how strong and able my body typically is. You might not realize it, but us pole dancers, we really are a special bunch. We work towards lifting our own body weight, splitting and bending and twisting and spinning and all these things that normal people don’t have the range of motion or strength to even attempt. I’ve been feeling a little bit like Superman faced with Kryptonite– all of a sudden my normalness is weighing heavily on me, when all I want to do is fly and feel strong again.
So do a little bit of honoring your awesome self today. Remember what you used to be like when you were an ordinary human being, and treasure how far you’ve come.