Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holy Crip, It's A Crapple!

I've been laid up at home for the past two days because on Tuesday morning (it's Thursday today), I hurt myself at camp.

Karate class had just started and we were doing warm up kicks. A side kick is something I've done a million times. I even did a flying side kick on Friday to break a board with no trouble at all (I even flew over two counselors when I did it too). But something happened when I did it on Tuesday and I landed on the top of my foot instead of the bottom like I was suppose to. My foot rolled and I managed to catch myself before I had fallen completely on it but the damage had been done.

After a few minutes of sitting out, I went to the nurse to get some ice, wrote the incident in her book and headed back to class. I kept assisting with class, coaching some lower belts from my spot on the floor. While my two students were getting water, I checked on my foot, a lump had started to form. Great. This meant that there was no way I was finishing this day of camp and possibly a trip to the ER. The instructor came over to see how I was doing and, when he saw my foot, went to the office to let them know what had happened and to find some counselors to cover me and take care of my group since I would be leaving camp early. He came back with an admin and another counselor. The admin told me that I could go home (and I told her it wasn't quite that easy because I drive a stick shift and it was my left foot that was growing a second ankle) and I gave the other counselor an extra roster and schedule. It was around 11 o'clock when I finally hobbled my way over to the office to wait for my mom to come and pick me up.

During the long wait for my mom (we live 30 miles from camp, it takes 40 minutes with good traffic to get to the campus), I was having a good ol' time hanging out in the office. I love all of the admins (who are technically all of our bosses), they're nice, friendly, and funny, qualities I'm not used to having in a higher-up, lol. There were only three admins that day, they were short staffed, so specialists (the people who run the different activities) would come up and help out whenever there was a free period for them. People are constantly dropping kids off late or picking them up early for things like doctor's appointments, swim practices, and things of that nature, and they need help finding their child or the child needs help finding his or her group. That's what the specialists were hanging out in the office for, that and it's air conditioned. Any time someone came into the office that I knew, they would look at me funny and ask what I was doing there. The observant ones who saw that I had my foot elevated on a chair asked what happened to me. Either way, rather than giving them an explanation, I would happily if they wanted to see!

Most people said "no" but would take a few steps towards me to look anyway, especially since I didn't wait for their answer and lifted the ice away to reveal what the admins dubbed as my "second ankle." One guy was actually honest when I asked him if he wanted to see; "Yeah, I kinda do" he said and moved over to look. I kept the admins laughing at how I was showing my injury to everybody and I probably surprised them by how much I was talking and laughing about it.

My mom finally arrived and I limped down to the car and we headed home. The swelling had stopped increasing, but the lump on my foot was the size of a golf ball, maybe bigger, so we opted for the emergency room to get x-rays and make sure nothing was broken. We were in and out in about two hours, which is pretty good for the ER, especially ours. I called Dan while we were on our way over, since he works there I was hoping to get the process sped up, but they weren't all that busy so we really didn't need the hook up. While I was waiting in the hallway (to be seen, to go to x-ray, to get checked out, etc., there's a lot more waiting than actual treatment...), I was chatting it up with Dan and other people who were waiting for their kids or other patients. If it wasn't for the wheelchair I was sitting in, people probably wouldn't have known that I was there to be seen!

The x-ray didn't show any broken bones, thank goodness, but the doctor said that I had a contusion which is a really, really bad bruise (how he put it). I got my foot wrapped up, was given a big ugly shoe and a set of crutches, was told to keep my foot elevated and iced as much as possible for the first several days, and that I couldn't go back to work until Monday. Oh darn, I had a doctors orders to stay at home and not work. I left the fact that we have a pool in the backyard out when I called work back to let them know that I wouldn't be in until Monday, they might think it's a little too convenient... ;)

I was told that my foot would feel a lot worse before it got better, especially the day after, but it didn't. It only hurt when I moved it a certain way, or poked it. Both of which I could easily avoid doing, so I was pretty much happy as a claim to stay a home and prop my feet up by the pool with my mom and sister ready and willing to grab me anything I wanted. One of my friends, when I told her about my injury, seemed to be more upset about it than I was. When I explained that it was a week off of work spent by the pool, she calmed down a bit. I also had friends come over and visit me and take me out for dinner so I could get out of the house! I think I went to the mall almost every single day that I was off of work after I hurt my foot (I think I only didn't go once). The first time was the day I hurt my foot because my sister wanted to drive (just got her learner's and I am 21, a legal adult with a driver's license) and I wanted to get some new DVDs since I was going to be at home for a while.

When I iced my foot down, I had a most *wonderful* little thing called "The Ice Man". Dan got it after his knee surgery and let me use it for my foot (since he hasn't had a need for it for a while). It's a cooler with a hose attached, basically, it runs nice, cold, ice water through the hose up to a pad that you wrap around whatever's sore. The water circulates so it takes a long time for the ice to melt and the water to warm up. There's even a temperature gauge where you can adjust somewhat how cold the water gets. It became my new best friend for the few days I was on my bed most of the time, that and my computer.

The bump went away overnight, but the rest of my foot swelled up like a balloon and turned purple. Thus the bruise part of the contusion I guess. It was pretty cool and I took the pictures that I posted above :)

Monday, July 9, 2007

"Bell" Hornets

A female European hornet
Officially known as European Giant Hornets. Not to be confused with actual hornets, these "giants" are actually related to wasps and not hornets. They make their homes in hollow trees, wood posts, and the like. Several of the websites I have looked at have described this insect as normally docile and more passive than aggressive, unless they're defending their nest. Females can measure up to 35mm long and have a tendency to sound like helicopters when they are in flight.

Why an entry on the European Giant Hornet? One of my kids was stung by one during a free period. We usually spend our free periods on the playground where the kids can play several games of chicken and get some energy out. The playground is made out of wood, and it's hollow, which makes it the perfect place for nests.

I hadn't seen any hornets flying around before, but from what I've read, it seems as though they get more active as summer progresses, which explains it. I spoke with one of the camp admins at the end of the day about spray ing the playground so no one else would get stung. She said that they had spoken to maintenance about it but for some reason they hadn't gotten around to yet. I'm hoping the news that a kid got stung will get maintenance moving.

I felt so bad for the kid that got stung, he ran to the nurse's office and I had to run just to keep up with him. The nurse put some green stuff on the sting (the stinger had fallen out, probably on the run over, or he hadn't let the hornet stay on him long enough) that was suppose to help, put a band-aid on, and gave him a ziplock bag full of ice. It took a little while for him to stop crying, so one or two of the other kids, myself, and my other counselor, started telling bee sting stories, stories about getting stitches, and soon he was chiming in with more stories of his own. My other counselor even said that he can now have the award for most band-aids in our group and he liked that very much. He must have told that to his parents because the next day, he (the camper, not the counselor) told me that his mom got the award for most band-aids when she was in camp too. He's a tough little guy and got to pick what color popsicle he got later because he was so good about being stung.

For more information about the European Giant Hornet, visit these websites: