Tuesday, July 04, 2006

You Never Know

You wake up every day and go through your everyday routine. Hell, I've even written about the monotany associated with all the routines I've established in my life and how I just seem to follow them, waiting for the next new routine to be added. But sometimes, you don't get a routine added. Sometimes, your entire routine structure is shot to hell and you're left to try and figure out how you'll cope with the hand you've been dealt and establish your new routines, regardless of whether they were your choice or not. In my case, the choice was not mine.

I woke up Friday morning like any other weekday, made my way to work and handed out the daily schedules for all my crews. It was slightly different today since my brother had left early for a 4th of July vacation and two of my employees had requested to start 2 hours early so they could take a break in the middle of the day to watch the Argentina game. These little adjustments I can deal with. I had known about this stuff in advance, and had planned and altered the schedules accordingly. As the day came to the end, I grabbed myself some Popeye's fried chicken (one of my other employees had gotten some and it smelt good), took my dog for a quick walk and headed off to my Friday night football game.

I had made plans to meet up with my buddy Dave later that night and had a wedding I was scheduled to go to on Monday night, so I was looking forward to a nice vacation of relaxing and having a good time with my friends.

The game began and we went down quickly, 6-0. Their team consisted of about 8 - 220 lb.+ black guys and 3 really shifty fast black guys, so they played to their strength and simply ran the ball at us. I got pancaked, our linemen were non-existent, and our other DBs couldn't catch up to this guy's speed, so it didn't look good for us.

Our first drive, however, things are looking positive. The DB covering me is biting on all my double moves and I get wide open on a stop and go only to have the ball thrown behind me. Probably could have caught it, but I'll get the next one thrown my way. Their safety noticed this and shifted over to my side, allowing our other receiver to beat his man 1-on-1 on the next play for a great TD catch, and after the 2-point conversion, we're up 8-6.

I'm on the ensuing kickoff team and the ball lands between their two rows of receivers and bounces back towards mid-field. I've recovered two kickoffs before and no one seems to be around as I lunge to cover the ball.

And then it's black.

I'm dizzy. I'm not sure what happened. I try to open my eyes, but there is still a haze in the top 3/4 of my vision. I stumble around on all fours, unaware of what is going on, and taste blood in my mouth. My jaw begins to throb and I'm beginning to get some bearings as I search the inside of my mouth with my tongue. My tongue is numb but I definitely feel the side of my bottom front teeth and unmistakenly know that some teeth are not where they need to be.

For years, I have had a recurring nightmare where one of my teeth becomes loose and falls out and then as my tongue moves to push it out, another comes loose, and then another until I am spitting out all my teeth and wake up in a sweaty mess.

Was I living this dream now. In my half conscious state, I couldn't be sure. I tried to get to my feet but the haze had not lifted and I stumbled back to the ground. I yelled that my teeth were missing and scrambled on all fours with other teammates and opponents looking for them, but to no avail. I guess I had swallowed them. In either case, I needed to get to the hospital. One of our players assisted me to the sidelines to grab my stuff and I stopped at the bathroom to examine the seriousness of my condition. I had not really opened my mouth since the event, for fear of spitting my teeth out or doing more damage to myself, and as I stood in front of the mirror and opened my mouth, a pool of blood flowed into the sink revealing my lower jaw. My teeth had not fallen out as originally thought, they were about a half inch lower than my other teeth as the jaw bone between them had cracked.

That was all I could see as my mouth quickly refilled with blood and the mess I made in the Sportsplex was already looking like that of a horror movie. My parents, thankfully, had come to this game, and drove me to Shady Grove Hospital to address this issue.

You would expect that when you walk into an emergency room spewing blood from your mouth and explaining that your jaw is likely broken, that they would see you very rapidly. Not the case. After standing in line for 10 minutes, I (my dad) filled out some paper work and we sat in the waiting room for them to call my name. After waiting an additional 30 minutes, in which time I begin to shake, become dizzy, shiver (which is really bad when your jaw hurts), and think my tongue is cut and I'm about to swallow it, and my father is begging the coffee lady for ice and the Staff for rubber gloves to put it in, they finally called my name. In disgust, I spit about a pint of blood on their waiting room floor for making me sit. I was tired of drinking blood anyway.

When the triage nurse finally asked me to open my mouth, you'd swear I'd just shown her a crime scene photo, as she shuddered back and quickly ran to grab a doctor. I told you they should have seen me immediately. A doctor comes out and has a hurried tone as she requests they get me in the back quickly for antibiotics because I have split my jaw all the way through.

Two hours later, 7 X-rays, and a visual inspection by a different doctor on staff and I am left with this glorious diagnosis.

You have broken your jaw in two places. One from the center of your mouth back at an angle to the right side of your jaw. The other on the left side where the jaw connects to the rest of your skull. You're definitely going to need to have your jaw wired shut and it'll probably be like that for 6-8 weeks, so I hope you like milkshakes. Unfortunately, it is Friday, June 30 at 11 PM and no oral surgeon is available to see you until Monday. Here's a prescription for pain killers and antibiotics and the phone number for the surgeon for you to get in touch with.

Fuck you. Fuck you very much Shady Grove Hospital. Fuck you for making me sit for 40 minutes doing nothing, then another 2 hours while you filled out paper work to give me some drugs and nothing else. And fuck you for expecting me to live with my face like this for the next 48 hours minimum. Yep, Fuck You.

So, it was off to the all-night CVS to pick up my drugs and my Ensure for dizzert so that I could live in a drug-induced commotose state on my parents' couch until Monday. And the light at the end of the tunnel is a new set of routines that involve an inability to talk normally, the necessity to eat only liquids through a straw, and the discomfort of permanently clinching your teeth together for 8 weeks.

And if you were wondering, an email from a teammate of mine confirmed that the player on their team who missed the ball as it bounced over his head towards me, kicked me in the face as I dove down, jolting my head back until it could not bend back anymore, before my jaw cracked under the force. I dropped the ball when I fell unconscious.

And the day started off so normal. You never know.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed looking at your site, I found it very helpful indeed, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing this wonderful site with us.