Saturday, September 5, 2015

Small Adventure 45


It's been rainy again this week. On Wednesday, I had to go into the school to teach one lesson at 7 PM. On my way back home after the lesson was done, there was a light drizzle. I had a cheap vinyl konbini umbrella, and a half-bottle of 1-cup shochu (a distilled alcohol kind of similar to whiskey or rum, but only 50 proof) out and in one hand or the other. I'd taken one sip of the shochu and put the cover back on as I was leaving the Tenmonkan area, which is roofed and protected from the rain. I'd gone another half-block, and was just getting to the Caparvo entertainment center (which has a few bars, live music spaces, a magic stage, and some clothing shops). One of the women I'd seen before coming out of Caparvo, dressed like a 40-year-old punk rocker with dyed blonde hair was approaching me on my left, as I was on the left side of the street. Parked along the side of the street was a taxi, with the driver and a friend sitting inside smoking cigarettes. (Note that I'd only had one sip of the shochu at this point, and was just holding the one-cup bottle.)

I reach a driveway from a parking lot building, and because the woman is to my left, I'm at the part to the right with the steepest incline leading to the street. I get right even with the taxi and as I'm taking the next step (I'm wearing New Balance running shoes), my left foot slips out from under me and I land hard on my left side, taking most of the impact on my butt and left forearm. I knew the sidewalk was slippery, and I was being careful, but that didn't help. I tried catching myself with the umbrella, but all that did was destroy the umbrella.

The little shochu bottle goes rolling off the sidewalk and stops next to the front tire of the taxi. The woman looks horrified and comes running up to see if I'm ok, while the guys in the taxi just look out and snicker a bit. I pick myself back up, and the woman rushes over to get the one-cup for me, before checking me over and then continuing on her way. The taxi driver is hoping I'll be his next fare, but I just wave him off and keep going. But now, both the punk rocker and the taxi driver think that I'm a clumsy drunk.

I'd gotten a snack at 7-11 right after leaving the school, and I'd folded up the plastic bag and snack packaging and put that in my back pocket. So that actually acted like a bit of cushioning when I landed on that side of my butt. So, I was lucky on that count. And, I'd come straight down on my forearm, meaning that the muscle hit the sidewalk, and I didn't break a bone or chip my elbow. Making me lucky on that count as well. Except...

About one or two minutes later my forearm started feeling strange, like part of the skin was being stretched. I look down, and there's this bump about 1 inch square sticking straight out from my arm about 1 inch, like someone had sewn a large marble under the skin. I'd never seen anything protrude like that before, and I began wondering if I'd popped a vein and if I needed to get to an emergency ward soon. I put the umbrella (which was broken, but still able to protect me from most of the drizzle) in my left hand and clamped my right around the bump to try to squeeze the swelling back down, or at least prevent it from getting any bigger. It took 5-10 minutes to get home, because now I'm REALLY careful about how I walk. I have a bunch of ice packs in the freezer, which I'd gotten to keep cheese cold from Kaldi, and a roll of gauze from when I'd had the broken foot. I ice the bump and wrap the gauze around it to keep the pack in place. I replace the ice pack whenever it reaches room temperature.

By the time I go to bed, the swelling is down, and I put on one last pack. I debated trying to take a photo of the bump when it was still fully extended, but I didn't want to risk things at the time. The next morning, I have a "normal" amount of swelling, and virtually no bruising. The bone near the bump is tender to the touch, but apparently not cracked, while the skin itself doesn't hurt at all, and was just barely scratched. I didn't sleep well, though, because I couldn't lay on my left side without my butt hurting. Additionally, the shock into my arm jammed up my left shoulder, and my shoulder is stiff, now, too.

Thursday, there was no rain, but I was very careful about where I stepped when I went outside for shopping. I still think there was something really weird about having a 1 inch tall bump sticking directly out of my arm, but I'm glad that it wasn't anything serious. I'm even happier that I'd fallen on my left side, and not my right, since my brand new pocket camera was in its pouch hanging from the belt loop on my right side.

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