|OPINION PAGE - JUNE 30, 1999 - DANIELSVILLE, GEORGIA|
The Madison County Journal
June 30, 1999
How I broke my face (well, almost)
"No, I didn't have a wreck"; "Ha, ha, no, I didn't put my face into a wall" and "NO, my husband did not tell me to be quiet one too many times," and on and on and on.
Like Zach Mitcham, who has a broken arm, I too have been answering a lot of questions and doing a lot of explaining about my appearance this past week. I am currently - although I hope by now not so obviously - the bearer of what some would call a "shiner," a black eye, along with several other abrasions, contusions and assorted scratches.
How did I do it - well, you see, there was this picnic. My husband Charles and I took his aunt and uncle who were visiting us last week from out of state to visit the town of Helen and afterward decided to have a picnic lunch.
Charles tripped on curbing around the picnic pavilion we chose to have our lunch at while he was unloading the car, but thought no more of it. After a peaceful and enjoyable lunch, I was returning from the restroom when I tripped on the very same curbing. Unfortunately, I stopped my fall with my face. Not very smart, you say, and I couldn't agree more, but I assure you I didn't do it on purpose.
All I remember is falling, arms flailing, and thinking in my mind - "oh no, oh no, oh no..." until I felt my head bounce like a basketball off the concrete floor (the bouncing was apparently halted by the picnic table I landed under). Glasses flying, I recovered enough to grab my head - to find one of my hands smeared with blood.
By this time, Charles and his startled relatives were making a beeline for me - their pleasant afternoon - and mine, ruined.
Luckily, I didn't lose consciousness and felt more pain from skinned-up knees than from my head. In fact, despite a large growing knot and a cut that kept bleeding, everyone kept saying all I seemed worried about was my glasses. (For any of you that depend on them like I do, I know you can sympathize, because to be without them is truly a scary proposition.)
Charles called a park ranger to report the incident and the dangerous curbing, while numerous people walked by me as I sat holding my bleeding and continually swelling head.
Some were sympathetic, including one young man whom I will never forget, who came over with his companion, placed his hand on my shoulder and said very gently, "I'm so sorry." At that point, having still not taken a look at my face, I almost began to sob. "How bad must it be?" I thought. "Will I be disfigured for life?" My fingers told me I had a huge "goose egg" forming over my right eye and that I was still bleeding from a couple of places.
Other passers-by came by to offer help and a few just stared. I remember seeing one fellow just shaking his head. I could just read his thoughts: "A little too much to drink on your picnic - hey, sister?"
I'm sure this image was encouraged by the fact that by that time our Uncle John had me laughing about the whole thing - including offering me the large bald spot on the top of his head to view my injuries.
Happily, a trip to the doctor reassured my shook-up husband that I was not about to check out, but simply had surface injuries - I had already told him I had a hard head.
But as the doctor gave me instructions about cold and hot packs and antibiotic cream, he warned me that I could probably expect a black eye.
"But my eye isn't injured," I protested. He placed a gentle finger on the ominous swelling under my right eyebrow. "That blood under the skin will have to drain somewhere and that will most likely be around the soft tissue of your eye."
"How long?" I said, stricken.
"Oh, a few weeks... but you'll begin to look better in a week to 10 days," he hastened to say after seeing the look on my face.
My forehead is healing up pretty well now. The swelling, abrasion and bruising are almost all gone and the knees are better too - but the eye, well that's a different story; it seems determined to turn every color of the rainbow. Right now it's kind of a purplish, yellowish sickly green.
My daughter summed it all up tonight by saying, "It looks like someone just hauled off and socked you in the eye one good time."
Well, I suppose it could happen, who said journalism isn't a dangerous job?
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.
The Madison County Journal
June 30, 1999
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