I suffer from a persistent—and, unfortunately, incurable—disease called AP.
More commonly known as Accident Prone.
We all know AP is often self-diagnosed by a lot of hypochondriacs out there, but the truth is: I’m not fucking lying.
In fact, I’ll throw on a white lab coat (clearly I won’t—they’re hardly slimming), call myself dr dee and announce with polite precision for you: My results show slight indications of RAP.
Sadly, not ‘RAP’ as in: high fly, speed talking, gangster battle beats; but R.A.P as in: Ridiculously Accident Prone.
I know. It’s become a non-verbal-highly-physical battle I have been fighting for years. So I’ve decided to speak to someone about it. And that special someone is you. You’re welcome.
My symptoms include:
- Knocking out teeth (more specifically: my front tooth) while ‘surfing’. (To clarify: I was holding a Malibu surfboard in white wash—there was no actual wave and, yes, I wasn’t actually surfing).
Signs: Leisurely activity—and hopes of channeling hot surfer chick—goes significantly wrong: 8ft of fiberglass slams—by a likelihood that makes no goddamn sense—into the face of Yours Truly. Blood evident on bikini. Blood even more evident on mouth. Explicitly: in mouth. Front tooth not felt. Where the fuck is my tooth? Said front tooth dangles by a mere ligament. As in: a mere ligament. Not a good sign. Oh, is that a 3cm slicing of flesh I can also feel below my lip? Of course it is. Not a good sign. Never a good sign.
Result: A relaxing vacay in Byron Bay spent none other than in a dentist surgery. My front–tooth future relying on a Croc-wearing, far-too-calm hippy. (He didn’t have dreadlock hair though—he had no hair at all).
Notes: The hippy turned out to be a bloody brilliant dentist. (He wasn’t a ‘ripper’ of a dentist—that was Dr James, the one who, a couple of months later ‘ripped her’ tooth out anyway). But, thankfully, the hippy dentist managed to ‘save’ my tooth—before nature took its I’ve-decided-to-take-it-anyway course—so for this I fucking adore the man. Even if he had terrible taste in—dare I say it again—Crocs footwear. Even if he was, in fact, wearing shorts while drilling into my gum. Even if he was slightly annoyed at the overwhelmed, “My life is over!” sobbing girl, who, despite her best efforts, wasn’t hiding her I’m-having-a-fucking-panic-attack-and-I-literally-want-to-die breakdown. The darling restored my materialistic having-a-front-tooth-is-pretty-important image—so for that, I am indebted to the not–quite conventional dentist until the end of forever!
Additional Notes: In case you were wondering, the 3cm bloody mess beneath my lip required stitches and ‘surgical glue’. This glue—for a reason, again, I can’t understand—was bright purple. Yep: bright purple. So not only did my little dentist visit end in an Angelina-Jolie-gone-wrong top lip, my little Emergency visit left me feeling as equally glamorous. It did fix the hole in my face; nevertheless, every time I look in the mirror I am reminded that a plastic surgeon probably would have been a better option than, ahh, purple paste. Seriously, le scar is more ‘derelict’ than ‘diva’. Sigh.
- Ending up in Emergency after successfully ‘glassing myself’.
As you may, or may not, know: I had a bit of an incident when clubbing, darls. Apparently higher-than-heaven heels, a bucket-load of booze and a desire to get-to-the-dance-floor-quickly-and-shimmy-like-Shakira are not an ideal combination when you suffer from AP. Especially when stairs and a newly-purchased glass of Vodka, water and fresh lime—please, I was on a diet—were also involved.
Signs: Bitch falls down stairs. Glass, belonging to the bitch, also falls. Gravity and AP, determine that the bitch falls on top of her own glass, which is now shattered on the stairs. AP requires that, not only must this atrocity occur; the bitch’s head must also be the specific body part to land on the shards of glass and Vodka-water. Let me say that again: my head landed on the glass.
Result: Blood everywhere. Namely: pouring down the bitch’s face. Possible head injury acquired. Ambulance called. Driven to Emergency ward.
Bitch in CAT scan.
Nurse: “Oh, you have metal in your head! Have you had brain surgery before?” Bitch: “Oh, honey, that must be my hairpiece!”
Bloodied hairpiece—attached to my blonde locks with, of course, metal clips—removed. Short hair on show. Bitch in CAT scan again. No head injury present. Next 8 hours spent in a neck brace. Repeat: 8 hours.
Monitoring of potential brain injury undetected by scan continues. Pestering of blowing into a hospital Breathalyzer continues. Booze level out of goddamn control. Nurses’ shock at this fact continues.
Tetanus needle now injected to prevent potential diseases from cross contamination of club floor, club glassware and the bitch’s blood. Pulse rate gizmo attached, without care—ie: with force— to bloodied, and only now known, sliced index finger. Ouch. Sympathy from the male nurse about how much that fucking hurt: zero. (Probably because I was drunk. Blind drunk.)
Barwon Health flannelette pajama bottoms prescribed: certain ‘sympathy’ now present. Please, I’m not that blind. But, yes I am, so I’ll take them, thanks.
Plus the bitch probably shouldn’t leave the hospital in her knickers or her once-cream-now-crimson lacey clubbing shorts. Oh, no: she departs in true style, wearing white hand-me-down patient pajamas, a stiff blood-soaked magenta silk shirt and black stilettos clenched between—unintentionally coordinating my outfit—blood stained fingers. She staggers over to the hospital taxi rank and enters the yellow haven with the same eagerness felt in the final stages of a standard night out: Please God. Just get me home.
- Having a fake eyelash wedged between the top corner of my eyeball and underneath the skin of my eyelid. (Yes, it was as unpleasant as it sounds.)
Signs: First day of university incomplete. (Obviously not before meeting ALL of my future teachers and fellow students looking like an unstable emotional wreck. Picture ACTUAL tears and a puffy, red eyeball not dissimilar from a junkie’s. Oh and listen: can you hear muffled-yet-still-quite audible groans coming from a certain girl with magenta-stained lips? Of course you can; my moans of despair were easily heard in the everyone-is-making-a-studious-first-impression-so-the-room-is-fuckoff-quiet lecture hall.)
Result: A mission to the doctor necessary. Highlight the word: mission. Public transport needed (girlfriend doesn’t drive—nor could she with an eyelid half closed #issue). Tram. Train. Bus. Bung eye. Solo, crying and now–completely blinded passenger travelling. Whimpers of “it’s all too much” heard, namely from the solo, crying and now–completely blinded passenger. Passenger/ junkie drag queen lookalike. Tissues. Stares. Smeared lipstick. Judging eyes. No hard feelings. I judge me too.
Next stop: doctor. Internal monologue: thank fuck. Doctor: oh, it looks to be a lash under the lid. Right under the lid. It is quite wedged up there. Quite a thick lash too. Internal monologue: I know, I can feel it dickhead. Doctor: we need to get that out. Exasperated internal monologue: really? I rather enjoy being in a world of immense pain and literally crying my eyeLASH out. Procedure: metal tweezers, open eyeball, lash ‘extraction’. Paraphrase: metal instrument in my wide-open eye. Please, go right ahead doll. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Notes: Beauty is pain, motherfuckers.
- Contracting a blood disease that, in Australia, is so rare no one knows what the ‘likelihood of developing it’ figure is. To give you an idea, doll: in the UK the number of confirmed cases each year is roughly 0.00006% i.e. 40 out of a population of 60 million. I know.
(I can’t be sure if this is a direct symptom of AP or if it is a ‘secondary sister’ to the primary symptom of being RIDICULOUSLY UNLUCKY.)
Signs: Dehydration. Dizziness. Diarrhea. Near death.
High fever. Low blood pressure. Spew in the shower.
Madness. Muscle aches. Mortality tested.
Everything tested and retested again.
We don’t know what’s wrong.
Repeat: we don’t know what’s wrong. Oh, and it looks like your kidneys and liver are shutting down too.
Intensive Care for the 20-year-old girl unexplainably and slowly dying.
Result: The signs are ‘no good’; ‘no good’ at all. In fact: they’re pretty fucking terrifying. But #YOLO right?
‘Polite’ (but hardly professional) Medical Jargon: Yes—this time by a reason that will never make sense to me— I developed Toxic Shock Syndrome. TSS as it’s more commonly known—or, as I like to call it, Tampon’s Shitty Sidekick. And no, TSS is not an abbreviation my creative genius-like mind made up. And yes, I’m not sure how to describe something so terrifying in short sentences and rapid girlfriend-is-killing-it! wit. But girlfriend nearly got killed by it. I know: Multiple LOLs.
So, ahh, let me explain: you know that neatly folded piece of paper in a baby blue Libra box? Libra darling. Not the star sign. The brand. The ‘little finger-shaped-bits-of-cotton’ brand. Tampons? Their box. Sometimes the box isn’t always blue; you’re right. But in that sometimes-not-blue box there is always a piece of paper. A teeny-weeny piece of paper in between those adorable sanitary soldiers. Cute. Open it. Now read it: you can potentially die from using a tampon.
That is Toxic Shock Syndrome.
And I got it.
Notes no one mentions (probably because no one knows):
Dirty. Dumbfounded. Doctor.
Ambulance. Emergency. Blood tests.
Severe. Scared. Catheter inserted.
Vital organs switching off.
‘Sunburnt rash’. Symptom or a tan? I don’t know where I am.
Needle in the neck. Tube inserted. Wrap it around her heart. Drip medicine in.
We still don’t know what we’re treating!
Pain. Exhaustion. Too many questions.
Can’t it wait? I’m so tired.
Treatment. Trial and error. Trauma.
Why? Why me? Why? The tampon hadn’t been in that long!
Check. She might be lying. She might be wrong.
She wasn’t wrong. But we checked anyway.
We don’t know what’s wrong.
Hospital stay. Stay away. Shame.
Hands and feet. Their skin peeling off. Her soul peeling away.
Why did it have to be this way?
She fought for a life she wasn’t sure she wanted.
Shh, don’t tell. It makes people uncomfortable.
Diagnosis: TSS: an accident my body created.
So there you have it—the symptoms I wish I was fucking lying about.
AP: my middle name, baby.
emma accident prone dee.
The creator of casualties and careless mistakes.
Whatever you do, doll, just don’t follow my lead. The path is a tad hazardous.