How Quickly Can You Recover From Trauma?

Not quickly is the answer.

I got new temporary teeth, which took over five hours at the dentist on Friday. And after my whole face swelled and then calmed down, I actually ate some food. That was shockingly refreshing. In fact, I felt so good yesterday that I went to a TRX class and did some swimming and water running. People at the gym weren’t quite sure what to make of me. It was no longer obvious that I’d had an accident, but my lip was still swollen and cut. Mostly I looked like I might have had a lip job that went wrong.

image
By today I looked mostly normal. But worn out.

I may have felt too good, though, and overdone it. We had an outing planned, which turned into too much for me for the night.

This morning, I was supposed to go to an event, but when I got up for some work it became clear that I did not feel as much better as I thought I was getting. Why? Because it always takes longer to recover and deal with this kind of trauma than you think it will. Because stress is stress. Because, even if I mostly look better, it still feels like I got my face smashed in.

It’s always hard to know how hard these kinds of things are going to be to come back from. But, really, by now I should know that it’s definitely not easy. I was just hoping it’d be different this time.

Another Trip to the ER

Last night I smashed my face into the ground. It was insanely stupid and has little, if nothing, to actually do with training other than that I really feel about to throw in the towel on everything.

(There’s a picture at the bottom, but it’s pretty gross, so don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it.)

After some swimming and yoga, I was biking the 15′ back from the gym yesterday and had stopped to get some fries from McDonald’s for a snack. And, I wanted to eat my fries while they were still warm — cold fries are basically not even worth eating — so I was cutting through the neighborhood to get home quicker and I cut across the mall parking lot. I never cut across the mall parking lot. It’s not really even worth it; it’s maybe 45″ time savings. Riding along, I was about to take the closest exit out of the lot, but I was pretty sure there was a better exit under the parking structure, so I headed that way. Only the exit wasn’t where I thought it was. So, I was looking up ahead and ‘oh, the exit is over there’ and thinking how I needed to go up on the curb behind the pillar to get out that way. And, then I was slamming my face into the ground.

Evidently, I hit one of those cement bumpers at the end of parking spaces. But, I never saw it. I didn’t see it before I hit it; I didn’t see it as I hit it; it only registered that I must have run straight into it as I was hitting the ground and couldn’t correct the bike.

Usually, I wouldn’t fall on my face. I know how to fall. I’ve done it a lot. If I had rolled at all or gotten a hand out, I would have just been cut up. It wasn’t even that hard a fall. But, because I had no idea what was happening, none of my instincts kicked in. Not a single one. I took the whole fall right to my face and broke off my four front teeth. And, I don’t have any other scratches on me.

I started yell/crying pretty much as soon as I hit the ground. I think I may have said “Fuck” about 600 times in two hours. It hurt, but mostly I was just so pissed. 1. It was insanely stupid. 2. It was all my fault. How could I be so stupid. 3. Fuck. 4. It is totally going to screw up my training — when training’s already been so screwed up. I bet they tell me to run, since I won’t be allowed to swim or probably bike for a couple days. Too bad I can’t run either. 5. It totally is going to screw up my day and my weekend. And, everything was finally going so well. 6. Teeth are really fucking hard to fix once they’re knocked out. I know.

I did one of those 30″ checks, where you try to figure out how bad this is. For a second, I thought I might be able to bike home or bike the mile to urgent care. But, as I was spitting up blood and fragments of teeth, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Steve was on his way home from Sac, so I didn’t have a car, and it was entirely possible that I would — at any second — have one of my passing out episodes. So, I frantically started dumping stuff out of my bag to find my phone and call 9-1-1 before I could pass out. When I did get a hold of them and said, ‘I crashed my bike and knocked out my teeth and I need an ambulance,’ the dispatcher kept saying, “I’m going to need you to calm down.” And, behind the crying and the swearing and the constant spitting up of blood — so much blood — I was like you know I’m pretty damn calm considering.

I’m about to go to the dentist now and they’re going to figure out what kind of fake teeth I’m getting now. At one point, someone asked if they were going to be able to put them back and I had to point out there really wasn’t anything to put back. The teeth shattered and broke.

The super terrible thing — in terms of commentary on people, not in terms of whether or not this string of events is going to crack my top three worst weeks in the lore of Kelly’s awful times — was that as I was crashing I heard someone on the edge of the parking lot laugh. Very distinctly at me. “HAH, HAH, LOOK.” And, it must have looked pretty stupid. But, then, once I was sitting there with the blood pouring out and crying, whoever it was that saw me crash didn’t come over to check if I was ok. No one stopped to see if I was ok. It’s not that I love people crowding you when you’re having a personal crisis, but what if I had passed out, what if I hadn’t had a phone, what if I choked on the blood. That’s some fucked up shit.

This is what it looked like:
wpid-img_20140403_210002_164.jpg