The only bone I’ve ever broken was my nose. It was my senior year of high school, two days before senior prom. My dress was going to be yellow, I was going to style my hair to the side and take pictures at Bobby’s house with all my besties before loading onto our party bus to the Banquet Hall.
But I was on the Softball team and we had practice every day after school. On this particular day, I was catching our starting pitcher in the outfield as she was warming up. I wasn’t wearing a mask for 3 reasons: I never did, I know how to catch a damn ball, and I’m not a wimp! So naturally, the universe decided to teach me a lesson.
Our starting pitcher, Melissa, decided not to tell me that one of her first warm up pitches was going to be a killer rise ball, so instead of following the basic rules of catching a ball, I was unprepared for the fast moving softball to break upward, and it hit me right smack in the shnoz.
I often think that if the ball had hit an inch left or right, it would’ve hit me in my eyeball and who knows what would’ve been the result. If it was a couple inches lower, it would’ve surely knocked out my teeth. So I suppose getting me exactly on the bridge of my nose was a good thing, though that was not what was going through my mind once I heard that snap of bone break.
The impact didn’t hurt at first, but I immediately started gushing blood from both my nostrils as well as from the nice little slash I had where the ball hit my face. I covered my face as my coach and the team began to run over to me. Next thing I know, I’m sitting in the outfield grass, spitting blood out of my mouth because the taste made me shiver. It tasted like dirty pennies. I am shivering now at the thought of it.
I was particularly proud of myself at this moment because 1. I wasn’t crying and 2. I managed to make a joke about how I’ll need to get another prom dress to match the swelling and bruising. All my teammates laughed (I may have chuckled at my own humor as well). The universe was going to make me pay for that one later. I was shuffled into the school’s trainer’s office where all the football players dwelled and because of this, I felt SUPER cool. This feeling lasted roughly three minutes before my concussion came on full blast. Little did I know, this was the beginning of an entire evenings worth of excruciating pain. My head began to thump harder than I’ve ever experienced and I felt nauseous as hell. This is what I get for making the world’s wittiest joke in the midst of bloodshed. It felt like hours before my dad arrived to take me to the hospital.
Sparing some dirty details, I had four 1 inch needles put into my face to numb the pain (ouch), followed by a plastic surgeon snapping my nose back in place (super ouch). As soon as he said, “I’m going to have to snap your nose back in place,” I screamed like hell. As soon as I heard the snap, the screaming stopped because I could breathe again and it was glorious. This guy for sure hated me. I wonder if he ever got his hearing back.
That night, after a sweet call from my team hearing they won our game, I had to sleep sitting up to prevent choking if my nose were to start bleeding in my sleep. Basically, I’ve never been lovelier. I also had a small trail of stitches on my face for senior prom - forever to be logged in photos and joked about for years to come. I was at school the next day, where my friends may have placed bets on how bruised my face would be, but somehow I wasn’t bruised or swollen at all. I think some people were disappointed. The universe is one funny son of a bitch.
Here’s a charming photo that my dad snatched right before needles were stuck into my face.