Location: Nevados de Chillan, Chile -Otto’s Chair
August 23, 2014
Skied over semi-exposed rock (aka shark fin).
Summersaulted into another rock splitting open my forehead to crown.
Sustained a cervical 1 fracture & concussion (cracked in 4 places)
Had it broke, it would have pierced the artery to my brain causing death
2 fellow skiers applied pressure using my hat and the elastic from a GoPro.
Anther skier went for help.
Stabilized my neck while waiting for the ski patrol.
Patrol took me down on a sled while stabilizing my neck at the same time.
Pandemonium at the patrol clinic as doctor had no clue what to do.
1 1/2 hr ambulance ride to Clinic de Chillan
Medic vomited over me in a clear plastic bag en route
No English & wouldn’t let friend/translator in back
Body & neck not stable during transit almost rupturing artery again.
20 stitches right away
24 hours strapped to a gurney on floor causing extreme bedsores and nobody spoke to me
Insurance kicked in and I was air-lifted by private plane to Santiago
I was dropped outside of the plane almost rupturing vertebrae again.
Examined by Dr right away and was given proper medicine to dull pain
Trouble breathing due to the gurney situation and meds
Next day did a full MRI and X-rays.
No operation needed thankfully!
Last 10 days physical therapy 3 Xs/dy, eating healthy, examined daily by Dr Otayza, monitored for vitals and breathing (meds and time on floor caused abnormal breathing) by nurses round the clock. More X-rays and removal of stitches.
Best hospital I’ve ever been to an I’m a regular everywhere
Diagnosis: Cervical 1 fracture, concussion and serious ass chap.
Breathing returned to normal, walking, cleared to fly 12 days later
$500 out of pocket
Lesson learned: Wear your helmet and purchase travelers insurance when abroad.
The shop was hot. A sweltering heat from the Grecian sun. A kind women stands at the door, barring the entrance.
I hide among the baubles. The tiny bottles and cheap trinkets. I keep my head turned from the street. The minutes pass by as my panic grows. A calm exterior forced through the haze.
You hear the stories.
Of girls picked up, glamoured by a sexy smile, a foreign tongue.
Statistics that pile until they become meaningless.
I refused to join their numbers.
A dark head, a deceitful smile, pass by under unknowing eyes.
I breath again. I thank her, and make my escape. Seeking my refuge in a foreign land.
But he finds me. Of course he finds me.
Take a picture, I want a picture. A forceful grip on my pale arm. Trying to pull me, forcefully behind its supposed kindness. To where no one would hear. Where no one would care. An abandoned building off the streets.
Where it is quiet. Where no one will see.
I yank my arm away as anger flashes over his face. He reaches further, unwilling to give up his prey.
"Jordan, oh thank god there you are."
Fury fills his face as he slinks into a crowd of animinity.
I turn and sink my relief into the shoulder of safety. Muttering promises to never wander again.
For Sale. Rent Cheap.
I was five years old, wearing a t-shirt that said "For Sale. Rent Cheap" (or something like that). I remember it as a well-worn yellow shirt with birds and a sign bearing those words on it. I think the shirt was "punny" in some way, but that didn't matter. What did, was that I wore it to our neighbors garage sale that day. All I remember is someone putting a price tag sticker on me (remember those "price guns" they used to have at the grocery store?), a man scooping me up, throwing me over his shoulder, and carrying me to his white (!) van. All the while I was kicking and screaming, terrified that I was being taken. Haha, the joke (?) was on me. At 40 years old, I'm writing about it, and I can still feel the fear from my five-year-old self.
I have painfully ticklish feet
once it's discovered people find it amusing
but it isn't
I have panic-attack inducingly ticklish feet
one, two, three boys
none mine, all their own, all thinking it's a joke
hold me down
"take off her shoe!"
"hold down her leg she's kicking me!"
I'm not laughing I'm screaming
they're big and strong and I can't move and I'm terrified
they tickle my feet and I can't breathe
I'm laughing and screaming and breath will not come back in
I don't know where the oxygen I have is coming from
I don't know why
these boys think that doing this is fun
I don't know if I should blame rape culture or high school or the misconception held by nearly everyone who does not know me that I am an impenetrable wall
no one has ever considered me human
I am a robot here to amuse them and do their homework and laugh it all off
I am laughing now but I just want them off
all women are playthings to boys like these
released and running
"we were trying to be funny!"
I make no sound.
I'm too busy breathing and trying to get my heart to stop pounding out of my chest
maybe it's my fault
maybe it wasn't that big a deal
but what if it wasn't
just ticking my feet
more than my breath
to these boys
I didn't but I could have and whose fault would it have been