childhood memories · injury · memories · pain · Physical health · Physical injury

Peculiar Injuries

Luckily, I have never suffered major injuries, like a broken bone or a fracture in my skull. I can’t imagine what the recovery period for those kinds of injuries is like, but for those who lived through it, it is amazing how people’s bodies can bounce back from such things.

I would say what I put my body through were not that uncommon. I have maybe two incidents where what happened was a bit unusual.

A typical one I think most people have experienced is the customary knee or elbow scrap in their childhoods. In my case, I scrapped both of my knees. I’ve always felt the way it happened was ridiculous. I wasn’t even doing anything that warranted it, like bicycling too fast or falling from a scooter after taking a wrong turn. No, instead I went out to the backyard as I habitually did often as a kid and somehow tripped and fell onto the concrete floor. The pain was instant. Tears blurred my vision right away even though I didn’t have time to process the fact I really did just fall down moments earlier. The sob that should have come out was stuck in my throat. My brother and his friend who I had a crush on (lol, completely irrelevant to the story but it’s a detail I still remember) were nearby and saw the tumble I took. They asked if I was okay. I said yes. I don’t know if I lied because I didn’t want to cry in front of them or because I was desperate to truly be okay. Anyway, I got up and planted myself on one of the backyard swings. Whether I disassociated myself from my emotions or not, I remember it didn’t occur to me to check my knees. They were throbbing by then but I just focused on acting normal. Still, I felt out of it enough to go back into the house and went upstairs. I don’t recall at what point during this that I realized the skin on both of my kneecaps were bruised and had bright red blood oozing out from the torn skin. My next memory is of sitting on my parents’ bed crying my eyes out because the sight of my own blood terrified me. My mom patched me up but for days afterward as the slow healing process began, the bandages were changed frequently.

Going up or down any set of stairs was pain-inducing. I felt a sharp stinging sensation every time my knees bent to move my legs up or down a step or two. As a result, sometimes the strain of switching legs per step became too painful so I would use the same leg to move up or down two steps at a time. My teacher noticed my peculiar way of walking and once made a show of copying me. I have no idea if she was mocking me or what.

I scrapped one of my knees again in middle school after some kid during lunch recess ran into me and knocked me to the ground. I can never remember anymore which knee it was. My time spent getting bandaged at the nurse’s office led me to be late for my next class. The journey up the stairs was an arduous one. It had been years since my backyard fall and the pain from it had faded into the recesses of my mind as nothing more than a long past memory. But then I got to relive the shooting pain again. At least it was only one battered knee instead of both like last time. I made it about two or three steps up the stairs when someone from the nurse’s office called out to me. I had forgotten to take my looseleaf binder. Each step down was horrific. I’m only glad that after this, I never got another bruise on either knee.

Keeping in line with the topic of physical pain, the second worst pain I have ever experienced after the knee injuries were the times I fell on my back. During summers in my girlhood, I was sometimes present to watch my dad release water from the backyard swimming pool and fill it up again with clean water from the hose. One of these times, I slipped and crashed onto my back. The feeling was hard to describe. I registered that I was suddenly down and my clothes were half-soaked from the position I was in. But my voice disappeared. This was the closest I will ever know what it felt like to actually physically lose my ability to speak because of some bodily malfunction. This is not to be confused with losing the ability to speak because of psychological reasons, which is not what happened here. I do not know much about neurological things in the body, but it seemed in this case, falling on my back temporarily caused a paralysis of my vocal capacities. I wasn’t choosing to not speak. In fact, when my dad pulled me up and asked if I was all right, I tried to answer him. I found my tongue worked fine and I could formulate in my mind that I wanted to say yes, but for whatever reason, the ability to enunciate the word would not come out. For several beats all I managed to get out was grunts and groans; both because I was struggling to talk and because each time I tried to force out a word, all I got was the pain in my back as if my speaking function was disabled. When I could finally choke out a phrase, it came out in a very labored way as if I was relearning to use my vocal cords to make the sounds of the words again for the first time. My dad carried me into the house and up to my room where he helped me change out of my wet clothes. He asked me which shirt I wanted and while I can’t recall my exact words, I said something along the lines of, “I…want…that…one.” Eventually the pain stopped and I regained normal speaking capabilities.

You would think I learned from such an experience but at another time, I wasn’t careful and slipped on my back in the swimming pool. Again. And just like the first time, I temporarily lost my ability to speak and recovered it a short time later. In the years afterward, I’ve wondered how a doctor might have explained this phenomenon to me.

The next is not a real injury I had but more like my parents thought I did. I have several birthmarks on my body, including one teeny dot on my left hand’s middle finger. It looks as if someone took an inked paintbrush with a very thin tip and dipped it to create a little circle on my skin. I always knew it was a birthmark but never felt the need to talk about it. For what was probably the first time, my dad was alarmed to see the mark on my finger. He actually pinched hard on that part of my skin. It hurt so badly I hissed. He pinched again and started murmuring about it being an abnormal growth of some sort. I insisted it wasn’t but he got my mom to use a hot needle to poke around under my skin to see if anything was stuck inside. There was nothing there. I have no memory of what the needle felt like or if I felt anything at all.

Twice, I had situations where weird stuff happened to my ear. My mom let me wear this clip-on earring when I was perhaps 7 or 8 years old. However, my earlobe became red from the repeated pressure of the earring on my skin. The worst part is I realized something was wrong early on after having the earring on for a few hours but I felt scared to bring it up to my mom. I thought she would be mad at me. When she finally noticed, she took it off right away.

The second earring incident dealt with earrings that had a front piece and back piece. They were the kind where the front piece goes through the pierced ear hole and the back piece is used to secure it in place. Well, at the age I was, my mom still helped me put on earrings since I didn’t know how to do it on my own. I was pretty self-conscious about the back pieces of the earrings falling off somehow. As a result, I spent the whole day touching the back pieces every now and then by pushing them inward. Who knew that this would cause the back pieces to actually become lodged inside my ear holes! It was shocking that a seemingly impossible thing happened but the back pieces were so tiny and all the fiddling I did with them only made things worse. Once again, my mom came to my rescue. I was sweating profusely out of fear while she attempted to figure out a way to loosen the back pieces enough to get them out without hurting me. She smeared some type of ointment on my ears and after some tugging, the pieces popped out. Thank goodness. Nowadays when I try on earrings, I can’t help but think about the mishaps I had with them. This makes me more cautious and I always check that the back pieces are not super small so there is no chance of the past situation repeating itself.

During my teen years, I had braces. I didn’t mind the pain of my teeth being forced to align into straightness, but I hated the wiring that went around all of the individual braces. My orthodontist told me not to brush my teeth back and forth as I would usually do if I didn’t have braces, and also advised me not to eat apples by biting into them whole. Doing either would potentially mess up the wiring of my braces. I made this mistake twice and each time, the wiring got loose from its designated alignment and ended up pushing into the very back fleshy wall of the inside of my mouth. This was both uncomfortable and painful and not fun to take my walk of shame to the orthodontist again and again to get it fixed.

The last “weird” injury was quite a random one. I honestly still have no idea how or why this occurred. I woke up one day to see my upper eyelids got strangely swollen to the point that the creases I had in my epicanthic folds were gone. It gave me the appearance of having no epicanthic folds at all. The affected skin had a slight reddish tinge and was kinda itchy. I suspected an allergic reaction, but it also didn’t make sense as the most I used on my skin was a facial cleanser wash and lotion which never gave me a bad reaction before. Odd and odder! To my relief, the swollenness cleared up by itself in a couple hours and my eyelids looked normal again.

I hope this wasn’t too boring of a read about my experiences. Did you ever have an injury that might be considered peculiar?

18 thoughts on “Peculiar Injuries

  1. Not boring at all! It was actually kind of like… I was sickly fascinated with all the details you had to give us xD
    I feel ya on the bloody knee thing! I think every kid goes through that at some point. I never broke or sprained anything badly, but I did have bloody knees. I was playing basketball with classmates in elementary school and a boy ran into me and we both fell. He was in agony over his ripped pants (I guess he was going to get in trouble by his mom) but my knee was a bloody pulp so I was glaring at him. I had a really big best friend back then and she carried me up the stairs to the nurse’s office xD aw I miss her… she was the best…
    I also get the weird temporary paralysis thing! I hate somersaults… I had to do them in gym class and once, I guess I landed on my neck a bit weirdly because I couldn’t move for a couple of seconds. It was really strange and a bit freaky. I don’t think I ever did a somersault since. My body’s too awkward for that!
    I had to pierce my ears three times xDD I only have one hole for each lobe it’s just that I never wear glasses so they kept healing!! My piercings heal all the time!!! They close up if I don’t wear earrings for too long. Ugh. I should probably wear them again soon…

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  2. I was a clumsy child and scraped my knees and shins numerous times to the point where my legs are pretty scarred. My sister’s teeth are also engraved in my thigh (she was quite an impulsive child :D). As an adult, I still regularly fall off my bike or trip and fall to the ground. Last year I biked in the rain and couldn’t see very well since it was dark and I wear glasses, and I hit the side view mirror of a car and broke my hand (and the mirror, oops!). It hurt but not excruciatingly so and I only realised it was broken when I noticed the bump on the bone wouldn’t go away. It healed fine by itself though, so I guess some broken bones are really not that bad.

    I also fell off my bike while biking on a slippery bridge in winter. I fell on my shoulder and couldn’t lift my arm for a week or so, but no permanent damage again. I also misplaced my foot on a two-step stairs once and sprained my ankle, which was very painful for a few weeks (more so than my broken hand). And lastly, I fell down the stairs at home because I was wearing socks and slipped. It was very painful and I had a giant purple bruise on my back but no other injuries. I sat still at the bottom of the stairs until the pain had passed and couldn’t utter a sound although I wanted to scream in pain. So maybe the same thing happened to you when you were little? Maybe it’s a bodily reaction to conserve energy and invest it into pain management?

    I’m not scared of blood or falling as it’s a regular occurence, but I don’t think I could handle anything major like breaking a leg or ribs or even a minor surgery (my sister had her tonsils removed as an adult and she said it was very painful).

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    1. Woah, your sister’s teeth marks are on your thigh. 😮 She must have made quite the physical impact in her day lol. Do other people notice the marks and ask you where it came from? I have never seen healed bite marks on someone before so if I saw it, I would probably wrongly assume it was a birthmark. Yikes at the broken hand! That’s amazing to know the bone healed all right on its own. I’m glad the arm injury only did temporary damage too. You survived!

      I am not sure if I dealt with an injury in early childhood where my default bodily reaction went from crying right away to being totally silent even though I was in pain. Your theory is possible since I don’t remember such an injury but it could have still happened though I have no memory of it. The last time after the first kneescrapping incident I recall having a very volatile reaction to my own pain was that time I accidentally slammed my pinkie finger on a closed door. The pain was instant and my scream came out as a strangled sob. I wanted to scream but the injury happened while my cousins were outside playing in the pool and my mom was watching tv in the house. I think I cared more about the noise I would make rather than my own pain. It was an odd rationalization on my part. I even recall fighting back tears as I went upstairs to find a bandage and my mom looked at me questioningly but for some reason once again I was intent on not making a fuss or even notifying her what happened. Only after I attempted to put the bandage on, I shrieked loudly in pain upon realizing the pinkie still hurt and I couldn’t bend it. I thought I had broken a bone but I didn’t.

      I would not like minor surgery either. I had to get two teeth pulled out before I got braces. It was my first time experiencing something like that while being awake. The dentist used this huge needle to anaesthesize my gums in the areas where the teeth would be pulled out. Everything was smooth sailing after that but the pain was intense once the numbing wore off. It also took almost a whole day for my missing teeth regions to stop bleeding. I often tasted my own blood while eating. Yuck. I dread the day when I may need my wisdom teeth pulled out too…

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      1. UGHHH wisdom teeth surgery is the worst!!! I remember my mouth was numb (my lips felt funny so I kept touching them haha) so I didn’t realize I was dripping blood on the pharmacy counter while getting my medicine xDDD
        Recovering from surgery, even wisdom teeth, is rough for me. Whew…

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      2. The blood dripping sounds unintentionally funny but also poor you for having to go through that. Was it part of the process that your lips had to be numbed for the surgery or was that a side effect? Also, were you completely numb during the procedure and how was the level of pain afterwards?

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      3. The blood dripping is funny haha the lady at the counter was chill and nice about it, thankfully. I felt so bad. They numbed my mouth so I wouldn’t feel the drilling. I could feel them drilling into my mouth but it didn’t hurt. I think it did hurt a lot, but luckily I had medicine for the pain. The process of recovery overall was a pain!!

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      4. Having teeth removed sounds horrible! Luckily I haven’t had to have my wisdom teeth removed yet either.

        The bitemarks don’t look like a zombie bite or anything, lol, just a circular scar, so people haven’t asked me about it. My scars from having the chicken pocks as a child are way more noticeable still so I mainly get people asking about that.

        I can relate to not wanting to make a fuss as a child! I was exactly the same. Whenever I would scrape my knees in school I would never tell the teacher because I was embarrassed and didn’t want the attention. I think if I ever needed an ambulance I’d be more worried about the embarrassment of causing a scene than about my own health.

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      5. Haha me and my imagination. I really was thinking it looked like a zombie bite mark. 😂 I have never had chicken pox as a kid. I was like the only kid in my class during grammar school who never did and I felt left out lol. Kind of like getting the pox was the unofficial childhood ritual I never could relate to experiencing.

        Me too with the ambulance scenario. Once I got knocked over on the playground at school and got a slight scrape on my cheek. I didn’t want to go to the nurse’s office and just wished to return to class like nothing happened. I hated everyone looking at me and noticing I got hurt. In the end another student took me to the nurse.

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  3. This was such a fun read about your injuries and a lot of my injuries are similar to yours. I’ve never broken a bone or even twisted an ankle or a joint. But as a kid, I feel down on the concrete at school numerous times and my knees would be bright red! When I feel down on the concrete my knees felt hot skinning the concrete…that wasn’t too painful but about a minute later my knees felt like they were on fire. When they healed, dark brown scabs would form over the wound and I would be so tempted to scratch them off because they were so itchy.

    That sounded scary, not being able to talk after falling on your back. Sounded like a shock to the system, shock to the physical body, nerves perhaps which would have shocked the brain and the rest of you momentarily. Were you a bit breathless?

    I also had braces. The first day I got them was the worst. Came home with the wires in my mouth, bit into my dinner and one of the square braces fell off. My mum had to bring me back to the dentist right away. So embarrassing D:

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    1. Omg, yes, the scabs on the kneecaps were sooo itchy. I hated it. I also remember that mildly putrid smell of the wound (while the skin hadn’t formed any scabs to seal up the injury) for days afterward every time I changed bandages. I believe it smelled because the wound was wet, though with the bandages on I usually couldn’t smell a thing probably because it wasn’t exposed to the open air.

      The fall was definitely scary for me. I was somewhat breathless from the fall. I remember the pain and it was hard to breathe normally.

      Oh dear, the first day of braces and one of them fell off. I have a similar humiliating story where I just got the braces tightened but returned to the office like 10 minutes later because my wiring somehow got loose. I don’t recall if it was something I ate or what but the fact I had to go back after I was done for the day was cringeworthy.

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      1. Yes, the wounds would be wet because those scrapes on concrete could be so deep. My mum actually never encouraged me to bandage the wounds because according to her, bandaging the wound retains moisture and by letting the wounds go bare and air, they dry. My wounds usually dried the next day without covering up but at times they might weep a bit when I bent the skin (e.g skinned knees, bent knees). Thinking back I’d rather get them bandaged because exposed wounds means exposing them to bacteria as well :/

        That is humiliating, the braces wire got loose after ten minutes. Did you ever get headaches on the day the braces were tightened? I did and it was sooo annoying.

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      2. The weeping of the wounds would’ve been hard for me to look at if I had them uncovered until they dried out. I wouldn’t be comfortable sleeping with my blankets pulled over me knowing the wounds might graze the fabric. It’s good you never got an infection from not bandaging them though.

        I have never gotten headaches before during brace tightenings. I don’t like the vibrating sensation of the drill type tools that dentists use during teeth cleanings. The sensation makes my head feel dizzy and my stomach churns. 😞

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      3. I actually like the polish tool at the dentist. Somehow I get a kick out of it knowing that it is not sharp lol, and knowing it will leave my teeth smooth.

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  4. I remember falling and landing on the bottom of my spine when I slipped at the edge of the pool. If someone spoken to me at that point, I doubt from the pain that I would be able to speak either.

    As for your experience of the back of the earing going inside your lobe and it having to be squeezed back out, I remember this happening once to a friend.

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    1. The hard concrete connecting with your lower back sounds awful! Hearing your story gives me the idea that I could have possibly done temporary damage to parts of my spine too from my own fall. The pain was quite significant to the middle of my back for both times when I fell. I have no idea if the spine is connected in some way to a person’s ability to speak or if I was just unable to speak because of shock from the pain. The only thing I can think of is that the spinal cord is connected to the brain. Who knows.

      Sorry to hear your friend had the earring lobe experience too. Was he/she okay after it? Until I went through that, I never thought something so tiny could get stuck in my lobe…

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      1. Yes, this friend was ok. It was years ago when we were both young. It happened to her when it was in the early stages of having her ears pierced. I never thought this could happen too, to I witnessed it.

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  5. Interesting that you couldn’t speak both times. I wonder if it was due to shock?

    I always injure myself in dumb ways. I typically hit my head a lot which is worrying. If it’s hard and made out of metal, my head will find a way to connect with it. Oh and my head loves trees as well. I walk into the same branch every day. Sigh.

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    1. I do think it was due to the physical shock my backside got from hitting the ground with nothing to cushion it from the impact of the blow. I never did any amateur sleuthing on the internet about this kind of injury but always wondered if there was a word for it.

      Ouch at the head injuries! I once had a basketball hit me on the head. That’s the closest I have gotten to something hard making contact with me in that manner. Have your head injuries ever gotten serious or are you usually fine after it? Perhaps the tree branch is giving you good luck every time it touches your head. Lol I’m joking but you never know. 😉

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