I Get Hurt

Now watch his head explode


Illustration courtesy of D at SeafoodPunch!

A few weeks ago, I fell down the basement stairs. I literally tripped over my own foot and, because I was carrying some laundry (which we all know is delicate and breakable), in order to avoid dropping the laundry, I fell rather awkwardly. I did some sort of complicated twist-spiral-corkscrew landing whereby I managed to hit my head on the 4-inch strip of uncarpeted concrete floor. And by “hit” I mean “slam.” And by “slam” I mean “kill.” My dying thoughts were filled with regret that I was wearing my holey shorts.

I laid there for a minute. I could still hear the sound of my head cracking against the concrete. I looked around, careful not to move my smashed head, and wondered why heaven looked like my basement. How disappointing! Every detail, right down to the cats’ litterboxes, which hadn’t even been cleaned. Heaven kind of sucks. Then the phone rings (God?) and I can hear my mom’s voice on the machine. So my mom can call me in heaven? I have mixed feelings about that. THEN Gus comes trotting down the stairs and I know Gus is alive and well, so I finally get it through my cracked-open melon that I’m not dead. I’m not even unconscious.


Tell me, how can I fall with the full force of my body, crack my head on solid concrete, and not have so much as even a tiny headache and YET when the shampoo bottle falls on my foot in the shower, the pain causes me to spew expletives that would make Tony Soprano blush AND I have a giant bruise on my foot for 3 weeks?

In my short but accomplished life, I have withstood some mind-numbing pain: stubbed toes, paper cuts, that one eyebrow hair that just bring tears to your eyes when you yank it out. These little stupid things always hurt way more than they should.

But apparently, big stupid things can hurt a lot too.

Have you heard this story?

Some guy accidentally sawed off his hand, and in order to alleviate the pain, he did what most of us would do in that situation.

He fired a pneumatic nail gun into his skull.

Yeah. That’s what I would do. Ow, my hand just got sawed off. Let’s see. Is there a shampoo bottle handy? How about some tweezers? No? OK, I have no other option to stave off this mind-numbing pain than to shoot nails into my brain.

Doctors say that he actually distracted his brain into forgetting the sawed-off hand pain and thinking about the nails-in-skull pain. Ummm . . . good?

Either way, he ended up unconscious but was found in time to save his life and his hand. No word on those pesky nail holes.

Soooo, next time I drop that shampoo bottle on my foot, I know what to do. I don’t have a nail gun, though. Do you think a stapler would work?

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51 Responses to “I Get Hurt”

  1. 1 Kathy

    My favorite writer strikes again! Only you could make a skull-cracking experience sound so funny. The best thing about what happened to you? You fell down the steps with dirty laundry rather than up the steps with clean. Because, you know, folded laundry is a terrible thing to waste.

    You must be a very good faller. It’s a skill.

    Oh, and Guy With the Nail Gun? YEEEEE-OOOOOOUCH! Cripes. And I cry over a hangnail.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Windy Has More Company!

  2. 2 Canucklehead

    I need to saw off my hand like I need another whole in the head. That being said, given that tomorrow is Valentine’s day – I am thinking I might get screwed …

    / hammertime!

    Canucklehead’s last blog post..Canucklehead’s Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

  3. 3 Angi

    I second Kathy, at least you didn’t fall UP the steps with CLEAN laundry!! I’d be pretty annoyed, too, if Heaven ended up being exactly like a basement with dirty cat boxes and everything.

    Guy with nail gun is an idiot.

    Angi’s last blog post..Warning: Contains More Cakes

  4. 4 Lola

    You never did say what you scored. I mean a “complicated twist-spiral-corkscrew landing” should at least get a 7 by the judges. (Note that you would have scored higher had you broken something.)

    This past summer Anastasia and I went to a nearby home to dig up some iris’s (with the owner’s permission of course). Because of my bad back, Anastasia gallantly grabbed the shovel provided by the homeowner. She put the shovel to the ground, put her right foot on it to dig in and promptly twisted it and fell on her arse. Sorry to say I never laughed so hard in my life. (She was laughing too, so it was all ok.) She insisted on not going to the ER. I insisted otherwise and threatened to recruit her sister to help me make her go. We went to urgent care and she had ex-rays of her ankle and her arse. Turned out that she fractured her ankle AND her coccyx bone (butt bone). Between the twist, landing, laughter and broken bones I had to score it a 10. I’m sure the homeowner would agree.

    Lola’s last blog post..I LOVE LOLA

  5. 5 Daisy the Curly Cat

    Thank goodness your head did not break!

    But now I cannot stop worrying about whether that man ever got the nails removed from his head.

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..A Valentine’s Day Fashion Retrospective

  6. 6 Ilana

    “that one eyebrow hair that just bring tears to your eyes when you yank it out”

    I said “YES!” really loudly when I read this line. Good thing I’m home alone. Shouting at your computer screen and laughing maniacally are frowned on at my workplace. It’s SO true. I just gave myself a papercut UNDER my nail and it was bleeding…so disgusting and painful out of all proportion.

    Also, your falling story was hilarious. I just fainted twice this week (in my bathroom, and in the space of about 5 minutes) and wrote a blog about it, even though everyone thought I was crazy.

    My thought process went something like this: I just fainted twice. I could have seriously injured myself. I didn’t. Hmm…I think I’ll blog this!

    Ilana’s last blog post..Faint Memory

  7. 7 Prefers Her Fantasy Life

    I think the problem may be the size of your shampoo bottles. Are you buying those giant things at Costco like I am?

    Prefers Her Fantasy Life’s last blog post..From the H-Files (The Hippie Files)–My First Love

  8. 8 Julie

    OMG that’s just crazy! You are so lucky you didn’t really hurt yourself. My mom tripped up her 3 stairs on her porch and slammed her head into the metal screen door. She got 2 black eyes and a huge goose egg on her head.

    Julie’s last blog post..Lookie What I Got!

  9. 9 Stephanie Barr

    Life is clearly unfair. I tripped stepping OFF A CURB (and not a high one) onto dry pavement and fell down, spraining my ankle badly and causing a miscarriage (many years ago). I’m glad you weren’t hurt though. Stairs still scare me (and, now, so do curbs).

    As for the story you cited. What an idiot! First, you use that technique to address headaches and secondly, you use a drill! (And, yes, I frequently get headaches where taking a drill to my head seems perfectly logical – but I haven’t done it; don’t want to lose my hair.). However, I really have to question the doctors cited who seem to be backing this shoot yourself in the head with nails technique to address impromptu dismemberment. Perhaps they don’t ever intend to remove the nails in his head but use him as a poster boy for pain cessation techniques. I sure as heck know you could use him as a poster boy for something!

    Stephanie Barr’s last blog post..Thieving Thursday: My Writing Pet Peeve

  10. 10 Puglette

    I am very glad you did not hurt yourself! I fell on ice in late Dec. and still have hip pain! if you find yourself in this predicament again, throw the laundry down first so you will have a softer landing!

    as for the man and his pain therapy, i will be quoting this story to my daughter when she says something hurts and i offer to hurt something else so she will forget about her first pain. finally, proof that this is a viable pain relief method! “ow, my elbow hurts” “i can stomp on your foot to make you forget about your elbow!” “ok, that is a proven health care alternative! thanks mom!” ( l like to imagine conversations in my head)
    happy friday!!

    Puglette’s last blog post..Shameless Self Promotion

  11. 11 Broadway Matron

    Ouch! Glad you didn’t hurt anything, really!

  12. 12 D at Seafoodpunch

    Well, the lesson learned here is that one should always have a nail gun on hand…if my friend ever complains about her hangnail for hours, i’ll be ready to help!

    D at Seafoodpunch’s last blog post..Loving Robots A Little Too Much

  13. 13 absepa

    Funny–I fell down some stairs once, hit my head, knocked myself out, and the first thing I asked my mom was, “Am I dead?” Must be a standard response after a blow to the brainpan.

    As for the nail gun guy, I think this is a sure sign of insensitivity to human suffering: When I thought of that guy leaving the hospital with a sewn-on hand and nails sticking out of his head, the first image that popped into my mind was Frankenstein.

    absepa’s last blog post..I Get the Best Ideas in the Shower

  14. 14 Angelika

    I’m glad you’re okay.

    Because I would have felt guilty laughing my ass off at that story otherwise, LOL.

    Angelika’s last blog post..The rest of yesterday

  15. 15 Regan

    Yay! Who would write the blog if you died? I never want a post saying ‘I Died So You Don’t Have To’. I mean, it’s great you’ll die so I don’t have to… but please don’t.

    Regan’s last blog post..Girl Scout Cookies

  16. 16 Babs - beetle

    That’s a poor excuse for an accident JD! Not even a speck of blood!!!
    Paper cuts, hang nails and stubbed toes seem more painful because you feel cheated that you have nothing to show for the pain! You can’t go to your other half and say “Oooh! look what I’ve done” and expect sympathy. Nobody comes up to you and says “Oh dear, that’s a terrible paper cut you have. How ever did you do it?” In short it’s wasted pain!

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..Shower anybody?

  17. 17 Natural

    so that’s why we experienced a mild earthquake in NJ. darn it JD! you owe me a new vase!

    it was okay to laugh at this, right? heaven looked like your basement? giggling. hey you did the right thing. precious laundry.

    i know what saved your head from hurting. your hair! you have a ton of it. it broke your fall. consider getting an afro on laundry days, your head won’t even touch the floor. as long as you don’t hurt your wrists. you must blog, so i don’t have to.

    Natural’s last blog post..Incognito

  18. 18 JD

    Kathy: Aw, you’re too nice. And you make a good point about falling with dirty laundry. I shudder to think how much more awful it might have been.

    Canucklehead: You slay me, sir. Good luck with getting screwed tomorrow!

    Angi: I hate my basement, so imagine my disgust. And of course it would never occur to me that I’d end up in hell.

    Lola: Oh my gosh! That’s QUITE a feat. Anastasia has me beat: a broken ankle and broken butt bone—and I didn’t even have a sore spot. I’ll have to give myself a meager 6, I think.

    Daisy the Curly Cat: I’m very grateful my head is still intact. Must’ve been all the hair. Maybe they just kept the nails in the guy’s head. That happened in 2001, so who knows?

    Ilana: Oh, man, I’m so jealous. You fainted? Twice? What great blogging fodder. I’m a hafta go and check out that post. I should be so lucky. Instead I just fall and nothing even happens. (An under-the-nail paper cut? OWWWW!)

    Prefers Her Fantasy Life: Guilty! But sometimes even the soap drops on my foot and really hurts. But yeah. My shampoo is in an oil-drum size-bottle, so I guess it shouldn’t really be a surprise that it hurts so much.

    Julie: OUCH! Your poor mom! Do you think she’d let you blog about that?

    Stephanie Barr: Oh, I’m so sorry about your accident. If it makes you feel any better, I have injured myself plenty of other times due to sheer clumsiness. (I’m terrified of escalators.) I do think there’s something to the whole “distract your brain” thing, but a nail gun? What about just punching yourself in the stomach or something?

    Puglette: I wish I’d thought to throw down the laundry. Instead I clung to it, which made my fall even worse. I’m sorry about your hip pain. That is no fun. I like your imaginary conversation. I hope you never have to put the “stomp on your foot” method into practice!

    Broadway Matron: I know! Seriously, I was lucky. I don’t even remember it hurting—just the sound and the force with which I landed.

    D at Seafoodpunch: Yeah, I guess so! And I’m sure your friend will greatly appreciate your taking her mind off that annoying hangnail.

    absepa: HA! You’re right. Poor Frankenstein. But he kind of deserves it. I’m still rather skeptical of his methods. Wouldn’t you think one nail gun would be enough?

    Angelika: Thank you. And you could’ve laughed anyway.

    Regan: Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. But if I did, I’ve got enough Gus and Pru videos to last a while.

    Babs – beetle: You’re right! All that pain and no sympathy. And here I banged my head hard enough to turn my brain upside-down and not even a tiny swollen bump. Boo!

    Natural: HA! I wouldn’t be surprised if I caused some mild tremors. Yes: definitely OK to laugh, and you’re right about my hair. I’ll never get it cut now, knowing that it saved my life. I think I’d look good in an Afro . . .

  19. 19 Babs - beetle

    Just a thought… If Kathy had fallen and hit her head she would have sprung right up again – probably bounced all around the basement :O)

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..Shower anybody?

  20. 20 Lola

    Since you didn’t drop the laundry, the Russian judges gave it a 7. I would agree.

    Speaking of freak injuries, I’m still waiting for my thumbnail to fall off from my early December freak accident with the snow thrower clutch. It’s still dark purple and the nail bed has pulled away and I can see the new nail growing under. It’s quite gross.

    Lola’s last blog post..I LOVE LOLA

  21. 21 dana

    While coming down some steep steel stairs with no banister, I was accidentally knocked off and felt myself flying through the air and aiming at the concrete parking lot below. My brain (in those few seconds) said to “turn or you’ll smash your entire face”. I turned midair to no applause, and landed on my back and SLAMMED my spine and head into the pavement. I heard people yelling “CALL 9-1-1!!!”

    I finally got my breath back and was helped to stand up. . . . I felt FINE!! But as the ambulance backed in, I turned to step out of the way and broke my ankle!

    dana’s last blog post..AMSTERDAM HOTELS your internet resource

  22. 22 cardiogirl

    Isn’t it crazy how time suspends as soon as you hurt yourself and then your brain catches up and the pain starts to take over?

    I think I’m going to have to read about the dude who sawed his hand off and then remedied it with the nail gun. For a minute I thought you were going to say he “sutured” his hand with the nail gun.

    Now that’s a true MacGyver move.

    Oh yeah, if my parents can call me in Heaven I think I took a wrong turn and ended up in Hell.

    cardiogirl’s last blog post..The book of questions, Volume 29

  23. 23 Steve | Trade Show Guru

    hey JD,
    Ouch! I’m glad you’re ok. At least now, you can honestly tell Dave that it’s good that you’re “hard headed.” :)
    ~ Steve, the also-hard-headed trade show guru
    PS. I’ve heard Red Stripe is good for pain.

    Steve | Trade Show Guru’s last blog post..Watch This Video Or Else…

  24. 24 Jenny

    Well … was nail-gun guy wearing HIS holey shorts? Because that might explain at least part of it. Don’t ask me how.

    Surely next time you can rate a jumbo scrip of Vicodin and two days of pampering by Dave, Gus, and Pru? C’mon JD. You’re a champ. Show the world what you’ve got.

    Jenny’s last blog post..Hate Male

  25. 25 Tiggy

    This morning I fell backwards over nothing. I tripped over AIR! Is that really clever, or stupid?

    Tiggy’s last blog post..Tiggy’s Hit Parade – By Request Only

  26. 26 Lin

    I’m not laughing a bit on this one–not even a joke. I felt so bad for you. You are so darned lucky you didn’t get hurt. My mom just did a tumble like that and ended up going unconscious and fortunately, just broke her arm. Okay, like in a cabillion places, but she was lucky that was all. Sooo, I’m really glad you are okay.

    Please tell me that heaven does NOT have litter boxes that need to be cleaned OR that my mother could find me there. Rest in Peace? Are you kidding me? Giving my mother my phone number in eternity? I’ll take hell, please.

    When mom recouped from her broken arm, my aunt found her an extra special present. It was a small picture frame with an angel on the side. The saying on the bottom read: Faith is taking the first step without seeing the rest of the staircase. —Maybe I should get you one too! Glad you are okay.

    Lin’s last blog post..Happy Valentine’s Day!

  27. 27 JD

    Babs – beetle: HA! You’re right. I guess we’ll never have to worry about ol’ corkscrew Kathy!

    Lola: Ewwww! Can you take a picture?

    dana: Oh, my GAWD! Thank goodness you were OK—except for the ankle. How ironic and, I have to say, a little funny. Oh, man. I’m glad your spine is OK. You kind of need that.

    cardiogirl: I don’t think I ever even felt any pain. I waited for it, for the bleeding, for the dizziness, the fainting, the death, and none of it happened. I wouldn’t mind talking to my mom in heaven, but not every day (like now).

    Jenny: HA! I won’t ask, but I kind of see what you mean. We can blame a lot on our holey shorts. Yeah, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t at least score some Vicodin, but there was no physical evidence! Of course I could’ve faked a concussion again.

    Steve | Trade Show Guru: Boy, you just won’t give up on the Red Stripe, will you? OK, next time I fall down the stairs and break my head, I will try a Red Stripe. If it’s better than Vicodin, I’ve just made my life a lot easier.

    Tiggy: I’d go with clever. It takes a certain grace and natural flexibility to trip over nothing but air. You score a 10!

    Lin: Thank you for your concern. I have to laugh at these kinds of things (as long as they happen to me), probably because I WAS so lucky. I’m sorry your mom wasn’t quite as lucky, but at least she “only” broke her arm. And that’s a hilarious saying. It’s weird. MY mom just fell down some stairs, too, and luckily she’s fine. Maybe we need some T-shirts printed with that saying!

  28. 28 chat blanc

    o.m.g. if you’re going to try the stapler trick just be sure to have a staple remover handy too, cuz I’m pretty sure having the entire emergency department snickering at you would be most painful of all. ;)

    chat blanc’s last blog post..Train wreck

  29. 29 Musing

    Very glad you’re okay, and you saved the laundry!

    My kids still tease me because when they were little I gave them this big speech one day about being careful when you go down the stairs. Then I turned around and fell down them.

    Musing’s last blog post..I object to raisins in cookies

  30. 30 flit

    I managed to trip on a very small curb, sprain my right ankle…and broke my right in three places when I landed – several years ago … it was not my finest moment.

    Had to go off to read Ilana’s blog too …. is it bad for me to be someone glad to find someone else that does the FDGB (fall down go boom) thing once in awhile somewhat of a comfort? It is SUCH a pain in my posterior… nice to know i’m not the only one.

  31. 31 tucsoncarinsuranceguy

    One of my buddies is always talking about your blog at work – finally came and checked it out today, nice work! I’m subscribing to your rss feed – keep on posting!

  32. 32 Puglette

    hi jd,
    the voting info for charlie is correct on my blog now. :o) thanks for looking!

    ollie would love to win a category! when i asked him he seemed to look happy about it. he really is a happy boy, he is just the sweetest dog and loves to be held and kissed. he dances with excitement for his dinner. he is a sweetie!

    Puglette’s last blog post..Happy Valentine’s Day Please Vote Today!

  33. 33 Jeff

    Very funny – as usual. If that had happened to me there would have been brains on the floor for sure, on account of the fact that I have little to no hair on my noggin to cushion the blow.

    Jeff’s last blog post..My non-Valentines Day post

  34. 34 JD

    chat blanc: Oh, man, you’re right. I’d rather be handless and bleeding to death than be the object of ridicule. Of course, those guys have probably seen it all.

    Musing: What a selfless mom you are! Teaching a lesson by showing what NOT to do! I bet your kids were very careful from that day on.

    flit: OW! There’s just something about ankles that bothers me more than most other body parts. They seem so breakable. I’m glad you found Ilana. You two can talk about fainting techniques: the best way to land, how to get up after an awkward fall, etc.

    tuscincarinsuranceguy: Thanks for stopping by!

    Puglette: Goodie! I’ll go vote for Charlie. I know Ollie is a happy, well-loved little boy. I just like to tease you because it’s a pug’s nature to sometimes look so serious and sad. But it’s obvious that both Ollie and Charlie are the happiest little pugs in the world. PS: I LOVE OLLIE!

    Jeff: Yes, I do believe my bountiful hair saved me. Brains on the floor? Ew. That would not be cool.

  35. 35 flit

    There’s a plan …. dang it, I could have done a whole blog about FDGB LOL

    But today.com only lets us have 2 so guess I will have to hold off on that.

  36. 36 Fashion Paramedic

    OMG, JD! As I was reading this, I was picturing you lying on your basement floor looking like Mr. Jack In The Box, with your head cracked open and big blue “X’s” for eyes. Thank GOD you’re okay. Did you ever change your shorts? The cat box litter?

  37. 37 Janna

    wondered why heaven looked like my basement.”

    This made me laugh out loud. :)

    I love how seeing Gus made you think “Oh, I must still be alive, then.”
    Instead of “Oh, my God! I must have fallen on Gus and killed him, too!”

    Janna’s last blog post..Because legumes are better after becoming junk food

  38. 38 Jenn Thorson

    I think you might very well be Indestructigirl… it’s the only thing that explains it.

    Jenn Thorson’s last blog post..Rip Slaughter: Zombie for Hire

  39. 39 Preston

    OMG you had me laughing. And I know what you mean about the “minor” accidents causing the biggest pains. I have bruises that I have no idea where they came from? Isn’t that awful? It sucks getting old…

    Preston’s last blog post..Measure For Measure Backstage Pictures

  40. 40 JD

    flit: Today.com lets you have only 2 blogs? I see. Well, time to start a new blog on WordPress then. Get cracking!

    Fashion Paramedic: HA! The X’s for eyes. The international symbol for “dead.” I like that. I don’t think I changed my shorts. Their very holeyness is so comfortable, especially after a trauma. And it’s Dave’s job to clean the boxes. Sorry to leave so many loose ends!

    Janna: I got a LOL! I don’t care how hard I hit my head, I will NEVER allow myself to think of any harm coming to Gus. If Gus is there, everything MUST be OK.

    Jenn Thorson: Except today I twisted my ankle while performing the dangerous act of walking from my desk to my chair. Not feeling so indestructable today!

    Preston: I get those mystery bruises too. Sometimes they’re really scary looking. And I have no clue as to their cause.

  41. 41 The Hawg!

    Ow! I would suggest that further maiming of yourself to forget about pain in another part of your body is a terrible idea. Just my opinion, of course.

    Now, I do have to ask you a question. Whenever my wife hurts herself, I invariably say something like, “Well, you shouldn’t have done that!”

    Did your husband say something that stupid after you fell down the stairs?

  42. 42 Grog

    Vivid description of cracking the skull…awesome!

    Grog’s last blog post..A Closer Look At Alzheimer’s disease

  43. 43 Maureen

    Holy crap, JD, you ARE damn lucky; or damn talented at falling…

    Can you give a klutz like me some lessons????

    Glad you weren’t hurt. Also glad that heaven doesn’t sound like my basement either; litterboxes and all.

  44. 44 JD

    The Hawg!: No, he said something like, Why didn’t you do my laundry while you were at it? Equally stupid.

    Grog: Yeah, it WAS awesome! I can still hear that sound. Skulls must be very hard indeed to withstand such a cracking.

    Maureen: I think I’m damn lucky. I can’t believe landing on the one strip of floor that didn’t have carpeting could be called lucky.

  45. 45 Angelika

    You have a High Five from me HERE.

    Angelika’s last blog post..Because I have nothing…

  46. 46 Corrina

    You’re one tough cookie! And that guy is insane. I’m just sayin’.

    Corrina’s last blog post..I’m Cold!

  47. 47 JD

    Angelika: Thank you again! Woo! HIGH FIVE!

    Corrina: Well, my head is a tough cookie at least. And you’re just sayin’ the truth. Who thinks to do something like that? Oh, yeah. He wasn’t thinking.

  48. 48 Baron von Rochester

    It’s probably wrong and bad that I laughed and laughed at this. Not at your accident, but at the part about the guy and the hand and the nail gun. Oh, Lordy.

    Baron von Rochester’s last blog post..Because You Just Never Know

  49. 49 JD

    Baron von Rochester: Oh, come on. You and I both know you laughed at my accident, too. It’s OK. You’re only forbidden to laugh if brain damage was involved.

  50. 50 Really?! in Texas

    If it is any comfort to other clumsy souls, about a month ago I ran a bubble bath with the last of my favorite tangerine scented bubbles, and as I was beginning a lovely soak I felt something brush my leg underneath the bubbles. Thinking it was a bug, I freaked out, jumped out of the bathtub, missed the bathmat, slipped and fell on the tile floor. When the large bruise healed but the tenderness in that spot remained, I came to the horrible realization that I had cracked my tailbone. I can’t help but laugh at myself.

    By the way, the cause of my freakout, which I thought was a bug, turned out to be paper from the label on my bubblebath. So, I cracked my butt over wet paper. lol

  51. 51 JD

    Really?! in Texas: Oooh, tangerine! Anyway: OW! I’m always terrified I’ll slip and bang my head in the bathtub. And I am just the sort of person to freak out over a piece of paper touching my leg. But seriously, I’m sorry you cracked your tailbone. Yikes. At least you can laugh about it!


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