17 August 2010

Breathing Easier

I'm traveling today, so I only have a moment to tell this recent story on myself:

I broke my nose in high school. I took a knee to the face in gym class. My knee to my face. I was tucking and rolling after diving after a ball in what I can only describe now as the most beautiful, slow-motion maneuver I have ever executed--before or since--on the court of volleyball.

The acrobatics ended with a crunching pain and me sitting there, nose in my hands, trying very hard not to bleed on my new white gym shoes.

The gym teacher was of little help--she said that if I'd broken my nose, I'd be screaming in pain. Later that day, I convinced my parents to take me to the doctor. Didn't seem right that I could shift my nose back and forth, I told them. Later, the doctor agreed with me.

Not that there was anything to do about it, of course. My nose had shifted to a stable position--the doc called it a "green-stick fracture"--and only I could see the difference.

Fast-forward 28 years or so to last weekend. I was playing with 3-year-old Rain in his room. We haven't moved a lot of furniture into his room, so there's lots of floor to roll around on. We were playing "airplane," which involves me supporting his torso with my arms, and his legs between my knees. I swing him up over my head by rolling backward, using his weight to counter my backward motion.

Sometimes, he shouts "Mayday! Mayday!" like Orville or Wilbur from one of the Disney "Rescuers" animated movies. Bonus points if you know what I'm talking about.

On this particular day, Rain begged for just one more airplane ride. We'd done about nine such moves, and I must've been a little tired. Because, on the next go, I dropped 35 pounds of 3-year-old onto my nose.

Crunch and blood.

Mostly, I was worried about getting blood on the carpet. Then I was worried that Rain would think he'd done something wrong. Finally, I was struck by this thought: Here I am. I've gone through months of pre-mobilization--to include Army hand-to-hand "combatives" training. And I end up getting my face rearranged by a 3-year-old. A 3-year-old pretending to be a cartoon albatross.

I've had a headache ever since. I wince and get teary if I put my glasses on wrong. I can shift my nose slightly, back and forth. I've obviously broken it again. But the strange thing?

I can breathe more easily than I have in years.


  1. Oh man! There are no Purple Hearts, though I suppose Rain could give you a purple Barney to carry around.

    X-Ray? Maybe you re-set the nose.

  2. Ouch! I'm grimacing on your behalf and hoping you're well otherwise.

  3. OJD...
    BTW do you have 2 black eyes. Every broken nose I've ever seen always has black eyes.

    How did all the other soldiers react when they found out that your 3-year old make-believe cartoon albatross broke your nose when you dropped him on your face??
    Or ... have you faked a reason for that red-swollen-bit in the center of your face?
    Bathroom door at mid-night sounds pretty good to me. {snicker, snicker}

    Take care.
    Miss Em


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