How to Dress for a Trip to Urgent Care…

I’m getting old a helluva lot faster than I thought I would.

Remember the old commercials for the Life Alert? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up?

Yeah. That was me almost two months ago. Minus the falling part.

Life alert - Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

We all know my lumbar spine hasn’t exactly been the envy of all 29-year-old backs. First there was the velociraptor back jonesin’ for some queso. Then the show-offy yoga back that drank too much. And most recently, the panty-dropper back that decided I should have gone commando (and a whole bunch of other back injuries from my youth…).

So when I was nursing my L5 back to health, my doctor tried putting me back on the crazy meds…other than being the only time I’ve cried about the anxiety of wedding planning, they didn’t do shit this time around. So, I got an X-ray and referral for a chiropractor. While I was waiting for the referral to come through (this is maybe the only time an HMO sounds like a bad health insurance plan), I had a hot date to meet up with Andra Watkins, Lea Grover, and Christine Organ while Andra was visiting the Chi. I was initially planning to attend a magical-sounding literary festival in the far west ‘burbs, but woke up feeling a little pain, and even though it was definitely on the mend, I decided to take care of myself. Not to worry, I’d planned to stretch a little and rest a lot, and be ready to meet up with them for cocktails in the evening.

So I reached for a summer frock (I like to wear summer dresses in the winter as my “house clothes” because comfort, ease, and no pants) in the closet, and squealed in pain. Apparently the reaching part was a baaaaad idea. All of a sudden, the going out at all was becoming less and less a possibility. But I thought I’d wait it out a little longer.

While binge-watching Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t seem to find a single comfortable spot on the couch, and I could barely move…so I took to the only place I thought I might find comfort: The floor.

The first relief I’d had all day, I was able to have a lovely nap on the carpeted floor of our front room, while the Gilmores played on. But when I decided it was time to try getting ready for drinks with some writer friends, I realized with no uncertainty that getting off the floor was a near-impossibility. And so I texted Andra and told her to throw back an extra drink for me while I cried a little bit inside (partially because of the pain, and partially because of Andra, who is amazing and doesn’t live here like the other two ladies).

Brian heard me writhing on the floor trying to get up and came running (he doesn’t do this often because he’s so accustomed to my screams of pain). He attempted to help pull me up, but I was afraid I was either too big for him to pick me up or that he would break me. Mostly the second one, honestly. I take back everything I ever said about the previous pains I’ve experienced because this one topped the cake in an entirely different way.

Much like the past pain, I felt as if I had no control over the center of my body. The core is an integral part of functioning, people. If you lose that, you lose the ability to move. In addition to this inability to move, the muscle spasms were throbbing and nearly trying to kill me. It took 25 minutes and a LOT of effort on my end, plus help from Brian, to get myself off the floor.

As soon as I stood as best I could, I looked at Brian and said, “I need to go to urgent care.”

This from the girl who puts off going to the doctor until she really thinks she’s dying, because hypochondria makes her fear the results from the doctor. The decision was swift and immediate. Brian helped me put socks and slippers on, grabbed my purse and handed me my fleece. I was ready to do this thing. Dressed like a Polish war bride…again. I had no bra on, a summer dress, winter slippers, Brian’s man socks, and a fleece-oh and had super greasy hair. Obviously, it was perfectly appropriate for the middle of January.

I got into the car slowly, aiming to produce as little pain as possible (which was near impossible) and found a position that was only mildly debilitating. It took about 15 minutes to get to our destination, and the whole time, I was whining on the phone to my mom. My nearest urgent care clinic is on a busy road, two blocks from the downtown area of the town in which I grew up. With the speed in which I was walking, holding my back as if I were eight months pregnant, at least 40 cars whizzed past us, and I had Brian take a few candid snapshots because I was going to think it was ridiculous one day instead of painful.

How to dress when you're on your way to urgent care

It was…special.

They took me in right away, and Brian had to help me change into the gown they made me wear. I was pouting the entire time. Brian took pictures this time without my asking.

Urgent care is not fun for anyone...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave me a shit load of drugs, injected something into my thigh, and even laughed at my joke about how the last time I let a doctor give me a shot there, I gained 30 pounds and decided I was never taking a hormonal birth control again. (I actually love this part of going to the doctor. It’s like I have a captive audience to practice my own personal stand-up show.) And then she sent me on my merry way. It was just as painful to get back into the car, but at least, there was supposedly some relief coming soon.

A few days later, I was finally feeling better. And physical therapy was just around the corner (by a couple of weeks, because it takes fucking forever to get an appointment). And now, several weeks later, I’m able to laugh at my little visit to urgent care.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Let’s Talk About Warning Labels

For pretty much my whole life, I’ve ignored warning labels. I’m completely accident prone and have been known to injure myself in the most bizarre of ways, so it makes perfect sense that I should live in such a beautiful lala land and ignore warnings.

If you have any aversion to discussion of cuts on skin, consider this your warning label. The rest of you may find some humor in it. I sure did.

image

A few nights ago, I was sitting on the couch in one of the few comfortable positions I have, when I reached back to scratch an itch. It was in this brief moment that I realized I had some grievous malady on my lower back that I didn’t recall before. I yelped in pain and when I pulled my hand back, I took a piece of skin with me.

At first, I thought it was just a weird scratch. Maybe I scratched a back zit or something.  And so I did what any normal person would do. I stood up and tried to take a picture of it so I could see what was going on.

I reached back, tenderly sliding my hand  along my lower back for fear that I would brush against the cut too hard. I quickly realized that this cut was not on my lower back, but instead on my upper left butt cheek.

How the fuck did I cut my butt?

So there I was with my pants around my knees and my underwear pulled down  under my ass, trying to take a picture of my butt cheek to see what was the matter, when Brian appeared at the top of the stairs. He had heard me yelp a few times and figured I was trying to do something I shouldn’t with my injured back.

Oh, perfect. I need your help.

After nearly five years together, he has long since stopped asking what weird thing I’m doing and instead asks what happened or how can he help.

I told him I was trying to take a picture, and as he came closer, he noted the red spot on my back…by touching it. The bloodcurdling scream might have been overkill, but holy crap was that painful as fuck.

He jumped back, unaware of what was going on. I handed him my phone and told him to take a picture.

It looks like nothing. Definitely not like something that would produce such a visceral reaction.

Well, it hurts like a motherfucker. I can’t believe you just touched it with your nail like that.

“That wasn’t my nail. It was just my finger.” He rebutted. And then added, “It looks like skin is peeled away–”

I know. I got a piece of skin when I scratched my ass.

Did you have a blister? Could it be all allergic reaction from your jeans?

I had already considered my metal allergy, and knew it wasn’t that, but a blister totally sounded right. I thought about what I had done in the last day or two that could create a blister. Had I pinched myself sitting in a chair? On the toilet? Did I walk into something and cut myself recently?  Probably. What was it?  I couldn’t think of anything else…

Until it hit me.

Brian, it’s a BURN!

How did you burn your butt–

Heating pad.

OH!

Remember what I said about warning labels?

Apparently,  the warning label on a heating pad ain’t lyin’. For decades, I never believed the protective cover on a heating pad was necessary. I also didn’t believe the part where it says you shouldn’t lay on the heating pad. Or the part where it says you shouldn’t leave it on for more than 30 minutes. And especially not the part where it says you shouldn’t fall asleep with the heating pad.

Besides, the warning label faded off the heating pad years ago.

So now, I have a burned ass and I can’t heat my lower back until it’s better. At least I can laugh about it, because how many people do you know that would burn their butts with a heating pad?

Have you ever burned yourself with a normal household item? Do you follow or ignore warning labels? 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Summer of Food, Drugs, and Travel: How I Spent My Summer “Vacation” in 500 Words or Less

The summer is coming to an end, the kids are going back to school, and all the fun things are happening that happen in the fall. (I see you, Pumpkin Spice everything, and I’ll take two.) I thought I’d write you a quick little ditty in honor of my summer. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to put music or my voice to it. 

I kicked off summer, threw a birthday party, and celebrated my “29th.” Began the summer of pain and “fame.” My back was screaming, “Welcome to ’29 again,’ bitch.” Couldn’t get out of bed, sit comfortably or easily wipe my own ass. Worked from home, indulged in an overabundance of over-the-counter pain killers, and boarded a plane.

Landed in Baltimore, visited a breakfast nook, crammed 27 (or 5) bloggers into a small rental car, and traipsed to the quaint college campus we would call home for two days. People squee’d, hugged me, commanded me to yoga. Was loud, obnoxious, and confident. People still kinda liked me. Won a bunch of awesome shit, which sent me on a cool trajectory for the summer. Returned home to Brian, who wanted to bottle the energized Chrissy that came home, exhaustedly babbling about the amazing adventures of BlogU.

Lost my car in a flood. Cried. Roof leaked. Cried some more.

Made tasty snacks, drove to central Illinois with my parents, recorded them talking, and hung out with my family.

Raspberry picking in Michigan

Threw another party, drove to Michigan for an impromptu romantic getaway, dined on crazy delicious food-potato chip nachos, ribs, and bbq pork mac and cheese, returned to our fancy room for wine and Jacuzzi. Wandered the southwest corner of Michigan, antiqued, went to the beach, picked cherries and raspberries, drank wine, bought crappy cider, wore a bikini.

A photo posted by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

Traipsed to Indiana, hopped on a boat, headed to the beach and got dizzy. Jumped in the lake, swam to solid ground, and watched everyone hang on the boat. Got back on the boat, drank some beer, and watched fireworks. Fourth of July happened, Ate some food and took third place in the three-legged race. Played some games, went to bed.

Red moon at the dock

Published on Huffington Post, went semi-viral, received a call from a radio producer. Listened to everyone’s first period stories.

Woke up with more back pain, screaming in agony. Went to doctor. Got on insane drugs. Jumped on another plane, landed in New York, hung out with blogger friends. More yoga demands, more squees, more friends, more booze, more food. All appetizers. Weird feminism. More winnings. Talked to Jenny McCarthy, met Hickory Farms, went to a rooftop bar, saw Aladdin, stayed too long, felt lonely, missed Brian.

Came home, snuggled Brian, acquired more drugs, experienced serious anxiety, met up with friends, had my palms read, was told I was lucky, got drunk, changed my website, felt lonely.

Bought a new car. Trekked to Indianapolis. Played games. Bought games. Ate food. Won more prizes. Came home, basement flooded, fixed air conditioner.

Eating in Michigan

Started physical therapy. Tried to yoga. Asked for a raise. Worried about job. Began an episode of vertigo (still going), took more drugs. Received a KitchenAid Mixer. Joined a weight loss competition.

As it turns out, my themes this summer were pain, drugs, travel, food and booze. I’m sure more happened, but I was lost in a haze of everything else. With the summer winding down, we don’t want anything else to go wrong, so we’ve started gearing up for TV season, and consequently just started Season 2 of 30 Rock on Netflix, where Liz Lemon also returned from her summer vacation. And can I just say how much I’m obsessing over 30 Rock right now? Do you KNOW how many things Liz Lemon and I have in common? Pretty much, like…everything. Also, the topical nature of 30 Rock from 2006 is surprisingly working really well in 2015. 

I'm obsessed with 30 Rock right now

135 episodes of THIS on Netflix right now. If I’m not writing, blame Liz Lemon.

How was your summer “vacation” did you get away? Stay at home? Do anything spectacular? Tell me everything!

Anyways, as usual, I wasn’t paid to write this post, but I was given a free Netflix subscription and a device on which to watch 30 Rock and other shows. 

Netflix Stream Team

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things You Shouldn’t Do When the Side Effects of Your Meds Include Anxiety

I pinched a nerve in my back. Which, if you’ve never done so, is one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of dealing with. I believe that’s what I did about a month ago, when I thought it was just from yoga-ing without stretching…but now I think it was just something waiting to happen. And the yoga-ing was the straw that broke the camel’s my back. It wasn’t nearly as debilitating the first time, and it went away relatively quickly.

This time, it came back with a vengeance. A vengeance that was not willing to part with me quite so quickly. And it all happened days before I was supposed to board a plane to New York for one of the biggest parties of the year. Brian almost didn’t even let me go!

So I went to the doctor. Who prescribed muscle relaxers(corti-something something) and steroids (prednizone) after taking 37 seconds to press my back in 3 places (which will cost me something in the 3-digits)…thus diagnosing me with a pinched nerve in my lower back (sciatic nerve methinks, but non-radiating). She has since refilled the steroids (with a different, apparently more potent version) and told me to get my butt to physical therapy, a place I’m all too familiar with. And now that I’m  off the drugs, I’m stuck with a twice-daily PT routine that feels as tough as my most intense yoga class. Or personal training.

But when I was on the drugs, I got some serious fucking anxiety. Now I have a tendency toward anxiety and depression,  and whatever good Prednizone did to my back, it was wicked and evil to my brain. It was the worst anxiety attack I’ve had in years. And I’ve had a few.

So I did what any normal girl would do when hopped up on pain killers with a side of anxiety. I did everything wrong.

Things you shouldn’t do during an anxiety attack

When the meds for the pinched nerve in my back made me absolutely insane, I decided to do these really stupid things that only magnified my anxiety to the nth degree. Learn from my lessons people.

Have your palms read

In my infinite wisdom, while out with some girlfriends at a ladies day out event, I thought it would be brilliant to have my palms read. Sure I didn’t really believe in any of that mumbo jumbo but figured I’d give some quack 20 bucks, and she’d tell me some of the badass things in my future. Of course, I didn’t realize that her visions would be vague and could lean toward the negative or positive depending on where my head was. And fucking being the lunatic on drugs that I was,  I definitely leaned toward the nego. And my anxiety was through the roof the rest of the day. And just to drive the nail a little deeper, I fucking believed that bitch. The minute she told me I was on a lucky streak, I took everything she said and mentally filed it away.

Consume alcohol

With all that anxiety, you may find yourself in search of chocolate. When the only chocolate in the house requires baking (fuck that) or is the last piece of Easter candy (a hollow cookies and cream bunny) that you planned to snap photos of for a potential blog post next Easter (that you’re probably not going to write anyway), you know what you have to do. You open a bottle of Bailey’s and pour a largely portioned shot (twice) and take pictures. Since your tolerance is pretty much shite, you’re drunk…and you anxiety is now magnified even more. You’re probably going to start crying pretty soon, aren’t you? Oh, you’re too smart for that shit? Me too, guys. Me too.

Upgrade your website host

When your anxiety is already raging, there’s no time like the present to fix what ain’t broken. Well, my site was kind of broken. But not really It was running super slow, and the people at DreamHost told me if I  spent more money, my site would run faster. And everyone wants that, right? So I jumped on my computer after a few shots and went to town. I also panicked the fuck out and spent 30 minutes chatting with customer support who told me I should avoid making any changes for a couple days while it transferred over. They also said some other stuff which I promptly forwarded to Brian.

Contact your boyfriend who’s out with his friends

So now I’m freaking out about my stupid soothsaying palms, drunk, with a broken website…and alone. Brian was out with a friend,  catching a flick. After movies, they tend to stand outside and talk…sometimes for hours even when it’s balls cold outside. I couldn’t handle that much more of my anxiety alone. I needed to drag someone else into my crazy bullshit. Since Brian voluntarily lives with me knowing I come with my own brand of crazy… I played the part of psycho girlfriend.

First, I checked the runtime of said movie. Then, realizing he was still in the movie, sent a text…something along the lines of “hey. I’m crazy right now. My anxiety is killing me slowly. Please come home as soon as possible so I don’t accidentally die over-analyzation.” I made that last part up. I don’t think I actually thought I was going to die. But my brain was not pleased with where I was at.

When he didn’t respond shortly after the movie was out, I sent a Gchat message. Because crazy requires company…and gchat lets you see if someone has seen your message.  And I could be a little less anxious knowing he hadn’t actually seen my message. See? Batshit crazy. But I was just like…”hey no big deal, but just…let me know you saw my message. Kthxbye.”

When in doubt, visit Facebook

As if my anxiety wasn’t already rockin’, I took to Facebook where everyone’s joys were flying all over the place. Why is it that when you’re super anxious, Facebook is all look how happy everyone is? And when you’re flying high on life, it’s all, “OMG look at all this SAD.” Why? Because Facebook is a dick. Luckily, I have some pretty bad ass friends who I shared my anxiety with. They told me I probably shouldn’t have done anything I did, but hey while you’re here, let’s talk about squirrel-foxes, macaroons and nannies. Best. People. Ever.

Thankfully,  the drugs are out of my system and I’ve returned to normal levels of crazy. Well…normal for me, anyway.

When have you had to deal with crazy side effects?  Any experiences with psychics or palm readers?  Do you get anxiety? What have you done while anxious that just increased your anxiety tenfold?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The 3 Best Reasons to NEVER Dye Your Hair at Home

As you may or may not have known from my glamour shots, I’ve been dying my hair since I was 12. I started out with highlighting and going blonde(r)…but eventually went dark…then finally the ginger set in.

I’ve gone to professionals, had friends do my dye jobs, and done it myself. I’ve done it all.

Of the three, I obviously prefer the first. But I’d been known to frequently do my own hair (typically when I was broke). Now, I have a relationship with a hair stylist, like a grown up. And I could never cheat on her.

I used to be pretty awesome at it. I mean, dying your own hair blonde is no big deal. The blonde dye doesn’t really stain anything. It cleans up pretty easily…

After several attempts at dying my own hair, I finally only let a stylist handle my mane. Theses are the 3 reasons not to dye your hair at home as learned from my own experiences.

Reason # 1 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Stains

I did the auburn/brunette thing… That got a little trickier. I may or may not have stained the bathtub in my college apartment. I may or may not have almost stained mom’s bathroom floors, walls, sink, bathtub…you get the picture. Mom banned me from ever dying my hair at her house again.

So then I finally grew a pair…and decided it was time to go ginger. I had been waiting for so long to do this. Years! Friggin’ years! And finally…I was ready. I went to the store. I bought the color. It was awesome. Bright. Delicious. Ginger. Excitement!

I was living at my pal Mark’s at the time as he was uber busy working in some foreign land, and someone had to make sure Jerry the Mouse didn’t invade again. (Note: This is not like the time I stole his car. I had permission to live in his home.) So I took the opportunity to change my look (in not-my-mother’s bathroom).

Reason # 2 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: The Stains Hide

So, I may or may not have accidentally made a huge mess in Mark’s apartment bathroom. I cleaned it all up and made sure to get all of the red spots before they dyed anything permanently…or so I thought. A few weeks later, when Mark came home, he called me up and asked “What the fuck did you do?!” He found some red stains. I went over there with my trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and discovered that there were apparently stains that I had missed…quite a few of them…whoops! Those bitches hide.

Reason # 3 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Drastic Errors

That same dye job over at Mark’s apartment required a double process. The first was my own, in which I fucked up royally and had blotches of red, blotches of brown, and blotches of in between. It was a disaster. I had to call my sister (a beauty school drop-out) to come over and fix my huge err. Luckily, the second process was done by my sister, and she handled it like magic. And then once I thought it looked hot, I STILL got some pretty nasty commentary about going such a bold shade of red.

Of course, this wasn’t my last adventure in self-hair-dye.

After a few months of dating Brian, it seemed like an OK idea to dye my hair at his house (well, his roommate’s house). You know, since Mom banned me, Mark banned me, and I had already dyed my hair at several hotels–staining their white towels pink (I know, right–it was a terrible idea).

I had a system though. I would run a bath while dying and sit in the bathtub. That way the dye wouldn’t stain the porcelain. Brilliant right? Except that as I set the dye down on the tub edge, I learned (the hard way) that the edge was angled. I first dropped the bottle into the tub of water.

So I placed the bottle on the floor outside the tub. I had removed all towels and anything that could get destroyed in the process. But when the bottle fell onto the bath rug (that I had carelessly forgotten to remove or hadn’t noticed…I don’t even know–sometimes I’m not very observant), it was game over. I freaked out. Red toner spilling everywhere onto this rug.

Brian’s roommate liked nice things. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this rug, I assumed that it was costly. So I tried to do damage control. I scrubbed it. I loaded it with soap. I did everything I could think of to get rid of the stain. And it looked…better.

I Googled the brand on the tag. No luck. I didn’t know where it came from or where I could replace it. So I contacted Brian…and he told me it was his rug. PHEW and that it was from Walmart DOUBLE PHEW (and I should have known the minute he said it was his, because everything he owned was from Walmart–just like Danell Leyva’s Towels).

I told him we would likely need to toss it. He didn’t believe me and said it could be washed. I explained it was pretty bad and hair dye was permanent. I had just checked on it again, and apparently “cleaning” it made it significantly worse after it dried a little…it was blood red and the stain was enormous. I was still having a panic attack as I typed a G-chat message to Brian, even though he kept telling me it was fine and not to worry. (He still does this a lot because I have a lot of unnecessary panic attacks.)

The following weekend, Brian threw the rug in the washer.

It came out clean.

Who knew?

What errors have you made when dying your own hair? Do you see a stylist or do it yourself? What are your thoughts on stylist loyalty?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

This is What I Get For Showing Off Like an Asshole

Saturday was my birthday. It was also my bloggiversary (insert celebratory birthday and ‘versary music here to commemorate the anniversary of my 29th birthday and the completion of my THIRD year of blogging here on Quirky Chrissy). My blog is a toddler. And what an adorable little toddler she is. She walks, and babbles, and goes to fancy blog conferences where she pretends to be a grown up. My blog is obviously smarter than me.

I know this because on Saturday, after a few celebratory dark beers, a glass of wine and a couple shots of ice cold vodka, I thought it would be a great idea to play yoga with one of my most darling friends (who just completed her yoga teacher training and is, in fact, the reason I began practicing yoga again). Now let me clarify that while I had been drinking, I wasn’t drunk. It was a fucking marathon, and there was a long day of beverages that led to my happy fun yoga time. And snacks. Oh God, so many delicious snacks.

Anyways, several hours into the celebration, we made our way to my front room, cleared a little space, and busted out the most adorable pair of trees. CC had just perfected her handstand and wanted to show off, and I’m just happy to lift my leg to my knee. It was super cute.

Then, of course, I wanted to show off. Here are a couple of the cool brag-worthy things I can do on a normal day with and without assistance:

Quirky Chrissy Yoga

See? This is me, showing off. (Just remember, this is my highlight reel and not my bloopers.)

Here are the bragworthy poses I can do with a dress on:

Yoga Dancer Pose

I love dancer pose. But this is also the pose that got me in trouble.

So, we decided to rock out a double dancer. You may have seen it all over social media. You may have even liked it. What you didn’t see was the pain I’ve been in since I woke up Sunday morning.

I have a really bendy back. It makes me look like more of an advanced practitioner than I actually am. So I can do things like dancer pose, and wheel pose, and king pigeon pose. But (there’s always a but), I usually need a decent warm up to let my muscles bend in such a way that they’ve become accustomed to. Some light stretching before slowly working my way into these very deep poses.

But when there are 15 thousand people in your house, you can’t just bust out a 45-minute practice to take a few pictures. So you jump into a pose, show off your shit and smile at the amazing picture you took with one of your besties. Because she’s an amazing yogi and you want to be just like her when you grow up.

Double Dancer Pose

I mean…it was a pretty adorable photo & all…but I was definitely trying to hold my own and show off with CC by my side. She’s my yogi mentor.

And so, I spent all day Sunday, resting. I slept until 3 pm. I mean, I woke up a couple times and laid in bed and shit…but I was basically in bed until 3. When you get up to go to the bathroom and you can barely bend over to sit down, let alone wipe your own ass without screeching in pain? You go back the fuck to bed. Twice.

I worked from home Monday and Tuesday, resting. With the occasional squeal of pain with one wrong move.

On Tuesday night, I visited Craig, my massage therapist (who also does double duty as an emotional therapist without the fancy degree…basically he listens to my bullshit and tells me when I’m full of it) of almost a decade. After telling me I was an idiot (for the bazillionth time – and he didn’t ACTUALLY call me an idiot…but I know he was thinking it), he spent 90 minutes trying to work out the softball-sized knot in my lower back to some avail. At least he was able to confirm that it was muscle related and not a disc or something. But I kind of have to go into work today. And I’m still in pain. Because I was showing off like a motherfucking asshole.

This is what I get for showing off like an asshole

Lesson learned: Stretching before and after intense yoga asanas is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

So if you see me this weekend, and I offer to show you amazing feats of yogi genius, tell me to sit my ass down and stop trying to show off.

Now, tell me your story of injury, bravado or both, friends? Have you ever done something to show off and totally wrecked yourself in the process?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

And This is How Many Times I Injured Myself This Weekend…

This is how many times I injured myself this weeknd

On Saturday morning, I attempted to finish clearing the dead crap from my heavily landscaped yard, a task I had begun upon arriving home the night before (while wearing a damn dress, no less). Dirt, mud and pollen threatened to swallow my hands whole. The purple paint on my freshly manicured, middle fingernail chipped. A light scratch here, a plant-burn there. Is plant burn a thing? Because it should be. Similar to rug burn, only from pulling dead grasses, plants and other things from your garden/lawn. I had zero desire to rip up the rest of my hands.

Illinois prairie grass is a bitch. And look how cute that shit starts out.

Illinois prairie grass is a bitch. And look how cute that shit starts out.

At the hardware store, after eating a bag of free popcorn and grabbing a pair of gloves to protect my accident-prone hands, I found a single package with three cutting tools nestled under a plastic cover, attached to a cardboard back with staples. What a convenient little set for cutting. I have plans to cut more things today. THIS. Is what I need.

I stood patiently, waiting for my turn at the register, and as I dug through my purse hunting for my debit card (yeah, I’m the annoying bitch with the purse full of receipts and other shit I don’t need, while my debit card lies somewhere near the bottom…), I remembered throwing that fucker in my shopping bag at the farmer’s market earlier that morning. Panic set in as the cashier began ringing my stuff up. Balls! I don’t have any money to pay for this shit.

Like an asshole, I mumbled apologies, asking the cashier to PLEASE hold my purchase for 20 minutes as I went home to find my card. I retraced my steps, and tried to remember what I had done with my card, and if it was, in fact, still in my grocery bag. Once inside my car, I realized that the card was actually in the pocket of my sweatshirt, and returned to the store less than a minute later, with red cheeks and a sheepish grin. I feared they thought I was lying.

When I left the store, my arms were full of items I needed and didn’t need all at the same time. I stacked them in the car, and continued on my original mission. I walked with purpose to the backyard of my parents’ house, where a pair of green Adirondacks and matching footstools awaited my rescue. They were battered from several cold winters and bright summers spent outdoors, and so I wiped them down before trying to maneuver them into my car.

After they were cleaned (and I use the term “cleaned” loosely as the abandoned spider egg sacs were removed and the thick coat of dirt and leaves became a thin layer of dusty grime that was going to take more than a quick wipe down to eradicate), I awkwardly carried the first chair to my car. The uneven weight distributed uncomfortably in my arms as I knocked into each bush and tree branch along the path.

My first attempt was to slide the chair into the backseat of my Yaris, but the width of the chair in any direction was too much for my tiny back door. After unsuccessfully trying to push the Adirondack into the trunk, I only had one other option. I opened the passenger door and began bargaining with the car and the chair, promising car washes and a new home respectively.

After a few minutes, I was able to ease the chair into the front, with the back of the seat leaning as far down as possible and the Adirondack appeared massive in my subcompact sedan. And then it was time to repeat the process. I pushed and tugged and arranged the two chairs so that I could just barely make my way home in the car. Each time I shifted gears, I had to lift the chairs to move the handle. I was forced to sit on the left side of my own seat with the chairs digging into my right arm, as I held the seatbelt across my body with my right hand. Thank God my parents only live a few minutes from my house. I prayed every second of those several minutes that a cop didn’t pull me over.

bushes in the front of our house

As I pulled into the driveway, I admired the blooming bushes and flowers that spotted our front yard and made me wish I had inherited my mother’s green thumb instead of a clumsy, fall-over-everything, try-desperately-to-keep-plants-alive disposition. I removed the chairs with little effort, carting them to the backyard, one at a time.

Don't they look adorable on our deck?

Don’t they look adorable on our deck? Even with the dusty grime…

I prepared to resume my original mission to clean up last season’s dried stems and grasses to make way for the budding greenery in our yard. As I pulled out the gloves, I noticed they were attached to their packaging with a staple. I tried, unsuccessfully to remove it with my thumbnail, puncturing a small corner of the once-perfectly polished digit.

In an effort to preserve the rest of my fingers, I looked around for something to remove the fucking staple. The package of clippers and sheers seemed the logical (and laziest) way to solve my problem. As I attempted to delicately – wait for it – pry the staples off the plastic and cardboard packaging, I felt the sharp sting of my finger receiving yet another gash from a single staple. That motherfucker bit me.

Fuck that shit. I ripped the packaging to shreds with Hulk force, feeling the quick whip of a rogue staple whiz past my left ear on its way to the other side of the garage. At that point, all I could think was Welp. That could have been worse.

Once unlocked from the 27 staples, the small clippers acted as a pair of pliers to remove the remaining fucking staples that were causing so much agony. Who the fuck thought it would be fun and/or intelligent to staple plastic gloves together?

Once the seemingly harmless task of unpackaging my new garden toys was finished, I made my way to the bathroom in search of Disney BandAids and Neosporin. I dressed my wound, and gloved my hand so I could finally work on the beautification of our yard.

Several hours after clipping and shearing and pulling and tugging, I was just about finished. I heard the rustle of someone behind me, and I knew that Brian was actually awake.

“I was going to help.”

“I know.”


 

I wish I could end there with a few finger scratches and chipped nails…

Later that night, I felt intense bolts of pain shooting from my wrist when I rotated or pressed on it in certain ways. The pulling and tugging and throwing of the fucking dead grasses and shit was apparently a little rough on my arthritic wrists (which have actually built up a lot of strength thanks to yoga – alas, I’m not invincible). So I couldn’t hold my phone to fuck around on Facebook during the hour drive home from the North Side.

So by Sunday, my fingers were cut up, my nails were broken, my wrist was strained or something…and I’m not done yet.

WARNING: PAINFUL IMAGE DEPICTED BELOW.

A friend stopped by to donate a futon to our guest bedroom, and I went outside to help carry the pieces in. As we walked, three of us carrying the large mattress not unlike my awkward carting of Adirondack chairs the day before…when I tripped over my own bare toe. Why I thought carrying shit barefoot was a good idea ever at all…I’ll never know. But the image of the dirt-covered, bleeding, very large gash of lifted skin from the top of my toe with a giant flap where my toenail met the toe was nothing compared to the searing pain I’ve been in since it happened. My nail is pretty much digging into the raw cut, and I’m terrified of going near it with clippers, as the entire fucking toe is throbbing with pain. I figure I’ll be walking with a limp until June. So much for that spring pedi I was planning on getting myself.

Toe jam

This is my Flinstoe. Wrapped up in a lot of gauze and tape.

 

Blog Friends, what gardening/landscaping woes have you encountered this spring? Any recent injuries or mishaps? Got any tips for me so I don’t kill everything in our yard before we’ve been in our house a year? Am I the only one who finds staples to be among the most dangerous of packing materials?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Ow!

It’s really no big secret that I injure myself…A lot. Like that time I walked head first into a pole…or tripped over an invisible wire…or sprained my knee while skiing, walking, getting ice…And many other heartwarming tales of pain and unintentional self-abuse.

Accident prone and injuries - yelling ow!

What “Ow!” sounds like to Brian, according to me:

Mostly, “Ow!” sounds a lot like a trivia game, with a series of questions and multiple choice answers and really, none of them are probably correct, because all of them are correct in a sort of, but not really way…and regardless, the “ow!” ends in pain for someone (usually me) which doesn’t really make anyone feel good about life…or the clumsy existence that belongs solely to me.

OW!

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled life programming because your girlfriend has injured herself again. Do you

  1. Ignore it?
  2. Wait for uncontrollable sobbing?
  3. Pause, and wait for a slew of “Shit, damn motherfucking, hate whatever just injured me this time” cursing
  4. Race immediately to the aid of your damsel in distress for the umpteenth time because she did one or all of the following in a matter of 12 hours?
    1. Burned her hand because she touched the hot crock pot
    2. Knocked her head while trying to store stuff under the stairs in the basement
    3. Dropped a santoku knife on her toe while cutting cheese
    4. Discovers yet another mystery bruise or cut or both

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming. Though someone may have lost a little blood. I recommend chocolate.

Obviously, Brian is a gentleman. And just like a parent can tell the difference between a baby’s cries, Brian can tell the difference between most of my shouts of terror and/or pain. Usually.

And yes, all of those little…accidents…happened between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. And yes, I did slice the ever living baby cheeses out of my toe with the brand new fancy pants Pampered Chef santoku knife. And yes, Brian did come bandage me up.

He also came running when I was trying to hide the 4 laundry baskets full of dirty laundry (we FINALLY have a washer and dryer, so laundry is now done) under the stairs so people couldn’t see them.

I’m not sure he knew I burned my hand on the crock pot, and quite frankly, that’s okay in my book. He already thinks I hurt myself too much and too often…

I also found a mystery bruise on my inner forearm – no IDEA how THAT happened. It was like a few weeks ago when I found a foot-long cut on my leg and couldn’t figure out for the life of me where it came from. And seriously. Who has a FOOT-LONG cut that they don’t remember getting? Me. That’s who. And actually, on Sunday, I also discovered a mystery slice on my thumb that may have also come from that very dangerous santoku knife.

Blog Friends, do you have a tendency to injure yourself on the regular? What’s the most recent random injury that you’ve encountered? Do you ever get mystery scars or bruises?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Which Uncle Murphy Paid a Visit to the Girl Who Won’t Stop Bragging About Vacation…Which Starts Tomorrow.

And by Uncle Murphy, I mean the writer of Murphy’s Law. The bastard.

So yesterday, I started the morning with my usual dash to the train and had a few missteps. And once I passed those missteps, thought I was home free. So I Facebooked that shit. Because. You know…that’s what I do.

Crazy Commuter Morning


Note to self: Don’t post this shit on Facebook until the next day.

So I made it to the train; piece of cake. Stuff in tow. I sometimes get on the train on the back car and walk all the way to the front car. I like to be one of the first people off the train to avoid the Union Station cattle call. It’s a good thing. Usually.

As I made my way toward the front of the train, I started to unwrap the layers of warmth surrounding my body that were causing me to sweat. The train gets toasty when it’s full of people.

I sat down in the little vestibule like usual (So I don’t have to sit next to loud, annoying smelly people) and typed up my ordeal. As I started to re-layer up, I realized that my sweet Bears hat was missing. Somewhere between Car 137(this is a made up number FYI) and Car 1, I had dropped my warm and cozy hat. With a one-mile walk and a -20 degree windchill to look forward to. Awesome.

It’s okay, Christine (I call myself this, when I’m angry at self.) You’ve got the scarf and the face mask and the hood. It’s all going to be okay.

Winter 1: Chrissy 0

So I went on with my morning routine. Buttoned my coat, snapped my face mask, wrapped up my  sweet 12-foot scarf, slipped my glasses into my pocket and was on my way.

Doctor Who Scarf

Twelve glorious feet of scarf. More on that next week.

As I crossed the street just outside of Union Station, I slipped on a patch of ice. LUCKILY, I am a master of correcting myself so as not to fall. I know. I know. You’ve seen how many sweet spills I’ve taken. From spraining my ankle on a mountain to tripping over invisible wires to walking into No Parking signs…You can’t exactly call me Grace.

So I didn’t fall. Which is good, because if I had, I would have either A. face-planted into Adams street or B. gone backwards into the metal bridge dealie. But I screamed the obnoxious scream that usually scares the crap out of Brian.

Good work, Christine. You really sealed it with that one. It’s okay though. Let’s go find some breakfast.

I walked the cold walk to Pret, where I picked up a tasty little breakfast thingy with bacon (because all that matters is the bacon. Obvi.)

After Pret, it was only 3 blocks to the office, so I was almost there. I checked the time; things looked good.

We’re ready for the day. It won’t be that bad. You’ve got bacon. You can get a hat on your lunch break. Work’s going to fly by. And vacation is in 2 days. You can do it.

I stepped into my office building and started deconstructing my walk-wear. Because I was pretty blind when I walked (the face mask fogs up my glasses), one of the first things I did was pull out my glasses from my sweatpants pocket.

Well.

Part of my glasses anyways.

As I reached in to grab my specks, the motherfuckers cracked. Something about them being frozen and crackable made that the perfect moment to die.

“MOTHERFUCK!”

I’d like to tell you that I just thought that in my head. I really would.

But no. It came out in all it’s obnoxious glory. And the lovely security lady came to check on me, because I was visibly on the verge of a breakdown. She wanted to help. But she couldn’t. There was nothing anyone could do.

Glasses broke in half because of cold

FML. That’s about the end of that.

So I thanked her. And probably apologized, because I do that when I’m upset. And got into the elevator. Alone.

And then…I cried the ugly cry.

It started with a few Claire Danes sniffles and snorts, but then it went full-out bawling. I could NOT win this morning if I tried.

I crawled into my office, trying to hide my eyes, hoping that they were masked by the cold look everyone seemed to be wearing. I found the only secluded place I knew of in the open office and I just let it all out.

Eventually, I had one of my co-workers come rescue me and she even brought my SWEET work slippers. There’s something about sequined camo that makes the world seem just a little bit brighter.

Sequin Camo Slippers

I’m Polish, OK. So stop judging my holiday Minnie Mouse socks and camo slippers.

I was blind for the first half of my day, but picked up a set of contacts (after getting an unnecessary eye exam in order to get the free trial) and ordered some adorably sassy new specks. And then I remembered that vacation was only HOURS away now.

So here we are. 27 hours away from my flight outta this Frozen Tundra and after a week of vacation joy, I’m coming home to a new pair of specks, the Superbowl (Go Peyton! My LOVE!), the Olympics, house-hunting and so much more joy.

See, things can turn around for the better!

Have you ever had one of those days? Where you just can’t seem to catch a break? Tell me about it. No seriously, tell me about it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

If I’m Not Running Into Poles, I Trip Over Invisible Wires

Last night, in my mad dash to the train with Brian, I figured I would take a shortcut. There’s a small patio in front on Union Station, that is often cut-throughable.
So I was running about 5 feet in front of Brian, and saw the hole between tables that were clearly blocking the way. Except…
There was also a GIANT cable locked around these tables. Huge. And most important, INVISIBLE.
And so obviously…I jumped right over it…
In my mind.
There’s a very unique feeling when it comes to falling down for me. It’s almost always unexpected. And shocking. But it never hurts as bad as it looks. Except when it does.
And aside from the burn on my ankle where the cable caught me, and the invisible bruise on my palm, and the scrape on the inside of my right knee…and the gash on my left knee…and the throbbing pain in my knee… I just keep telling myself…it could be worse. Right?
Someone please tell me an injury story so I don’t feel so ridiculous.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!