Friday, March 25, 2011

The Time I Broke My Neck

I'm not big with the exercising. Partly because of my falling down problem but also because I can think of so many other things to be reading or sleeping. I have, however always enjoyed a good dance class. I did bellydancing for a years, during the course of which I both broke and dislocated my roommate's ankle. I've also done some strip aerobics and took a lap dancing class once. The new thing these days is pole fitness and I signed up pretty quickly.

I figured my lack of grace and penchant for falling down could only be improved by pole dancing. Why wouldn't I be sucessful? There's a pole to hang on to so no problem, right? It's really great fun and for all the skeptics out there it's also really hard and a killer work out. The sparkly six inch platform heels really add an extra something to the workout too. I particularly enjoy the spinning. So far I have learned (if not mastered) the: catch, reverse hook, pinwheel, reverse pinwheel, fireman, "Marie's", and one leg sticking out spins. I made up the name of that last one; not quite sure what it's actually called.

That's me doing the pinwheel. Wee!!

One night fairly early into my class taking our instructor decided to get a little advanced with her pole 1 students. So we did headstands.

You can already tell that this isn’t going to turn out well for me can’t you?

It really didn’t seem all that complicated. Granted we weren’t able to pull ourselves up from a prone position using only the strength in our abs as did the instructor…but really it wasn’t that hard. We started face down on the floor gripping the pole and with our foreheads resting on our forearms. Then all went up into a kind of downward dog so our backs were flush against the pole. From there all we had to do was kick up and ta da! And the beauty was that you couldn’t really fall over because the pole was there. The pole also helped keep us supported.

Once I figured out the mechanics then I was fine. Attempt number one and I was a rock star.

Attempt number two and Huston was alerted.

I’m still not really sure exactly what happened but at some point during the upright (or upside down if you prefer) back to downward dog transition my neck went one way and the rest of me went the other. So instead of my head being on the floor the left side of my face was.

I knew there was badness as soon as I managed to get actually upright again. I sat out the rest of the class to test my newly limited range of motion and see how much pain I was in. A lot as it turns out. The couple blocks to the metro was torture, only to be compounded by the jerkiest metro ride ever. If you’ve ever been on DC’s metro you know what I’m talking about. That abrupt start and stop driving method many of the operators like to employ. 45 minutes of that. About halfway home I called my doctor, i.e. my sister who’s a paramedic. This is not the first time I’ve called her for a long distance ‘I’m hurt/sick, what do I do’ consultation. I’ve also called my brother from literally half way around the world to demand he fix whatever computer problem I was having. On this call my sister pretty much just confirmed my ib profin and ice diagnosis but I wanted to make extra certain that my neck wasn’t broken. I mean I was a good 99.95% sure it wasn’t since I could move and everything, but better safe than sorry I think. I have to admit that she was pretty nice about receiving a call at 9PM in the middle of her shift from her idiot little sister who thought her neck was broken…I could barely hear her roll her eyes.

We were all pretty surprised when the next day not only was I mobile but I could even turn my head. Well I could turn it to the right but to look left I had to move my whole body. I was pleased since I had plans to participate in a scavenger hunt organized by my church’s youth group. I think the most uncomfortable I felt all day was when my priest asked how I hurt my neck…

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why Peter Washed Pilate's Hands

With the beginning of Lent and Catholic Coming Out Day (Ash Wednesday) having just occured, I have the perfect story to start of the Lenten season. When I was in junior high and high school my mom used to be one of the people in charge of Holy Week activities at my family's parish. One of things we did almost every year was organize a Passion Play on Good Friday.

This particular year I was supposed to play the random servant girl who shows up to do something whenever a main character isn't supposed to be doing said thing. So I went with the Sanhedrin guard to arrest Jesus (I think I held a torch), accuse Peter of being buddies with the Nazarene, was supposed to fetch the water and bowl so Pontius Pilate could wash his hands of Jesus etc...that didn't work out so well for me.

A little back ground...I get headaches. I've had chronic headaches for as long as I can remember. When I was younger they were mostly tension/cluster headaches. Bewteen high school and college I went to a headache clinic for a few months where they got rid of the tension headaches. So yay! But then I started getting migraines. Boo. I'd rather have back the tension headaches thank you very much. Over the counter pain killers never touched my headaches and to this day my standard ib profin dosage is 800mg two to four times a day. My doctor tried out a lot of different drugs to help me deal including, but not limited to: Imitrex, Tylenol 3, and Darvocet. There was also this little yellow pill that made me really loopy and the drugs my mom gave me like Fiorecet and Fiorenol (she likes to self diagnose and treat and that was extended to all of us). Imitrex and Tylonel did nothing for me but the Darvocet seemed to work.

Good Friday arrived and I had, you'll forgive me, a hell of a headache. I hadn't eaten a lot that day because it's a fast day and we were busy getting ready and between the headache and being hungry I was just not in the mood for a play. I got out my new darvocet perscription and noted that the dosage directions were one to two pills. I figured if two was good three must be better, right? And I really had to get rid of that headache. So I downed three of the giant, hot pink pills and went on with play prep.

The headache certainly wasn't a problem anymore.

I got through the Garden of Gethsemane then went to sit in one of the front pews with all the Apostles while Pilate, who was played by the father of this boy we all had a crush on, had his first nunber. Did I mention it was a musical Passion Play? I watched happily from the pew, humming every now and then and grinning big while Pilate dreamed about a man who would be his downfall. I was also getting some odd and concerned looks from the Apostles.

While the play went on I became increasingly euphoric and the people in the crowd cried out for Jesus's crucifixion I became absolutely positive that I could fly. It started tentatively, this idea, first when I noticed that my arms seemed to just float up into the air, only to be batted down by an annoyed Apostle.

Between my floating arms and growing feeling of weightlessness I knew all I had to do was let go and I would be able to fly like Peter Pan. So I did and it was marvellous.

Except all I was doing was standing up and swaying about and making Pilate and Jesus miss a beat in their serious conversation about truth and my mom off in the choir wing be torn between shame, horror, and an intense desire to kill me.

I couldn't have been standing for more than a couple seconds really before the Apostles on either side of me (one being said boy of the crush) grabbed my arms and pulled me back into the pew. They had to keep hold of me for the rest of the play. Needless to say I was in no shape to continue in my role of random, pops up as needed, servant girl which is why when Pilate turned to wash his hands of the sin of condemming Jesus it was Peter who held the ewer and bowl for him. Which I'm pretty sure is not how it happens in the Bible.

The rest of the play went off, as I was later told, beautifully and after we all went to a local restaurant for dinner. I ordered but was finally starting to come down and dizzy and nauseous. You can bet I endured a lot of teasing during dinner, especially from our priest who thought it was somewhat hilarious. When my family finally got home all I could was lay spread eagle in the living room and watch the room spin around my body around and around and around...

I don't take Darvocet anymore.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Star Search!!

Do you remember that show Star Search? Kids and adults who sang, modeled and told jokes? Dave Coulier was on it way back when, Aaliyah (RIP), Adam Sandler, Beyonce, Alanis Morissette, both Britney and Christina....etc etc. Well apparently, CBS is bringing it back!!! That's not what this is about though; it's just an amazing coinidence. In honor of Ed McMahon's birthday (March 6), I should like to recount how we used to re-enact Star Search as kids.

One of the things we did to entertain ourselves was to film everything. We made movies, reenacted TV shows, filmed my dad butchering's just what we did. Now most of these videos are trotted out to horrify and embarrass us. This one in particular. Given this penchant for filming everything and our love of Star Search you can bet that we filed ourselves pretending to be on Star Search. For my turn I was one of the models and did the strutting around in multiple outfits and posing in a bathing suit with a fan blowing on me thing.

It all sounds perfectly innocent and I'm pretty sure I did a bang up job imitating the women on Star Search...but it just didn't turn out very well. So not well that they'd have never put anything like it on network television. For starters, my bathing suit was a maillot-one of those suits with the built-in, stand on their own boobs. Why I had one of those at 12 I don't know because there was no way I could have filled it out at 12. Possibly not even at 31.

After the suit everything just want downhill and did it really quickly. The makeup and the fan and the posing and the flirting with the camera...sigh. It is probably the most hilarity inducing family video we have. Worse even than the ballet recital or the Kids Inc. reenactment. I'm fairly certain that had social services ever got wind of it I would have been taken out of an 'unhealthy' environment. Especially since we refer to it as my "soft kiddie porn" debut.

Yup. Yup, yup, yup, yup.