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  • Writer's pictureSensei Jay

What A Day

May 2, 2020

I am sure everyone has had one of those days. I am going to share mine. It is not the most flattering story, but I am telling it anyway. BTW, I was going to send out a “state of the dojo” email tonight to update everyone on what is going on and some ideas for the future, but that will have to wait. This is better.

The story starts two days ago. I was eating pistachios and bit into something hard. I thought it was a shell but no, it was part of one of my molars. I have a tooth that my dentist had said would need a crown one day. I guess today was the day. It did not hurt but I realized I needed to see a dentist. I mean chewing on your own teeth is not recommended.

The next morning, I called the dentist my neighbors in Maine recommended but they, like most dentists right now due to Covid, are closed except for emergencies. I left a message and the dentist called me back to set up an appointment for what is now today – Friday afternoon. I was not in any pain, so it was not an emergency. I can spend two days chewing on one side.

Friday (today), we got the rain that you guys in NJ had Thursday. It was torrential and very foggy. I had on red sweatshirt and baseball cap to try to stay dry. In order to comply with Corona-virus distancing, I was instructed to sit in my car until they summoned me. I saw the doctor wave from the door and ran from my car across the street, under the outside stairs to the entrance with my head down trying not to get soaked. A few steps before the entrance, I was thrown backwards onto my rear end. Dazed, I got up, holding the sudden pain in my head and ran through the front door. It seems the AC compressor was mounted to the wall under the stairs. My eyes missed it; my head found it.

Taking off my hat, I checked my head to see if it was still there and guess what, I found a lot of blood – head wounds do that. I remembered Chen Man-Ching’s (Think O’Sensei of Tai Chi Chuan) advice. He said never wear a hat with a brim; it blocks your view. It is funny what flashes through your mind when bleeding with a concussion. The dentist rushed me into the chair and remarked that this must be a horrible day for me. Thinking of the wonderful morning Rachel and I had blanking out the presence of blood (remember concussion), I said “it was not all terrible”. Watching the blooding pooling on my forehead, knowing I had a cracked tooth, she wanted to know what a typical bad day was for me. She asked if anything else was hurt, I answered – only my pride. I did not want to point out that my butt was soaked through (Did I mention the impact landed me on my @ss?).

They took an X-ray of my tooth (why do you use ‘an’ for X-ray? ‘X’ is not a vowel! I am listening to spell check) and told me the tooth was dead and needed to come out. She could not do it yet as there was new Covid safety protocol, and she was waiting for the new equipment. The only good news was the local hospital was just across the street. She gave me a prescription for antibiotics for the tooth and told me I was all good because my sweatshirt was red so no one would see the blood stains and sent me across the street. She advised me to avoid air conditioners.

I popped into Waldo County General’s ER. It has been totally renovated since the last time I was there in 2017. That was when I, along with seven other bleeding guys, watched the Patriots beat Miami on New Year’s Day, sharing a bottle of bourbon in the ER waiting room. But that is another story.

They took me right away. The Physician Assistant checked me out and told me I was OK; she did not see any brains. I told her my wife tells me that all the time. She asked me if I had any unusual pains. I asked, “Besides my lacerated head and my pride?” She commented that she was going to enjoy this visit. Three staples later, I was told not to shower for three days and not to wear a hat for a week (Did she study Tai Chi also? She knows about the brim!) and to come back if I had any pus coming out of my head. I told her I was taking antibiotics prescribed by the dentist for a tooth issue so no worries about pus. The PA also commented on how this was a terrible day for me. This time I kept quiet.

I got into the car to go home and called Rachel to tell her of my excitement. She said I should come home and make dinner (fried haddock and string beans with Parmesan) for us, it would make me feel better, but I think it was the glass of bourbon that was the elixir. The haddock was good too.

The worst part of this whole thing? I bit my tongue when I crashed into the AC unit. My head feels fine, my tongue is driving me nuts.

To summarize the other state of the dojo email, the dojo will be fine. I will send that out in a day or two. My neighbor in Maine called to check up on me. He said he did not understand. I spend my days with chain saws and 100’ trees crashing down, and I end up in the ER from visiting the dentist. And then he wanted to make sure I was still making dinner the next night when they are joining us. I spend the afternoon with blood pouring from my head and all anyone wants to know is if I am still going to cook. Like I said, everyone has one of those days. -Sensei Jay

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