Friday, March 5, 2010

"Unfortunate Circus Flip Incident": A Smackie Onassis Origin Story

So, sometimes people ask me how I fractured my sternum. What I have been saying is 'Well, I can't be bothered explaining it, but I tell the whole story on my blog!' which is both a subtle attempt at getting people to read my blog and also to get out of having to tell people how stupid I am. But I have since realised that I never properly explained what happened.

You will see the title up there and the words 'Unfortunate Circus Flip Incident'. That is what I have starting calling it. The accident itself had nothing to do with the circus, but I find if I preface my explanation with these words people are more likely to go 'Ha, that's kinda funny' than the alternative, which is 'Wow, that girl is really stupid'.

Basically, I thought I could get away with doing a backflip in my friend's backyard. Not that smart. Landed on my neck, had to be taken to the emergency room. I actually used the words 'Circus Flip Incident' when I was talking to the triage nurse and, bless her soul, she wrote that on my chart.

The result was that every single doctor and nurse who was on that day (and this was on a public holiday just after Christmas so that was quite a lot) came into my room with my chart in their hand and asked the following questions:

Doc: So... are you in the circus?
Me: Uh... no...
Doc: Were you drunk?
Me: (sigh) No, I am just that stupid.

There was this awkward fun-for-all-involved time when they got the x-rays back and thought that I might have broken my spine. I had actually been released from the ER at this point, so they called me up very quickly and asked me to come back. Meattrain was kind enough to drive me back there and even waited around for three hours, which I was totally touched by. So, they put me on a bed and shoved me into a CT scanner. At this point I was petrified for the possibility of having a broken spine, and yet I couldn't hold back a smile when my first thought was that the CT scan TOTALLY looked like a Stargate. It really did and that cheered me up no end.

What cheered me up the most though was finding out my spine was NOT actually broken and it was just a sternum fracture, with soft tissue damage to my back and neck. Hoorah!

I did lose my job over it, though. I can understand it, they are a small business and there is not much call for a casual staff member who is not really that mobile. It does still make me kind of angry though, due to the fact that I have no savings because of them* and as a result I am pretty spectacularly poor right now.

It isn't all bad though. It's probably only because of the injury that I got back into writing, or at least had the time to do so much of it. And I'd much rather claim the dole and take the time to recover than push myself too hard working for a bunch of total bastards.

The injury does get to me sometimes. I am healing well, but I am sick of being injured. I would like to be 100% better right now please now. There are also times when we will be making pancakes and someone will say to me "Flip! Sarah! Flip!" and I will have a Vietnam style flashback and wake up to find myself huddled in a corner, rocking back and forth while muttering the words 'sensible fun only' under my breath over and over**.

-Smackie Onassis

*When they first hired me, they continued to tell me that shifts would start "after the weekend". Because I thought I was getting right into regular employment, I didn't claim centrelink. Unfortunately, they pulled this line on me for a full two months before I got a single shift. As a result, I have no savings as I was forced to spend all my money on rent and bills.

**This is an exaggeration.

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