Today I shaved my legs for the first time in three weeks.
This shaving sojourn was not caused by my usual laziness or even my hippy tendencies, no it was instead caused by an intense fear of bending over in the shower, a fear that developed two weeks ago.
In a failed attempt to save time, D.E. and I jumped in the shower together on Wednesday morning, eager to get out and enjoy the rare Shanghai sunshine. Reaching down to lather my legs, my forehead came in full, direct and forceful contact with the large, round, metal shower doorknob.
As the thud of impact echoed throughout the bathroom, my head began intensely throbbing and didn’t stop for two whole weeks.
Any old klutz can hit her head while trying to shave in the shower, but it takes a truly talented klutz to hit the same spot again while getting a consoling hug, which is exactly what I did four days later.
As the left side of my face went numb, I began to worry about my mental function, both literally and figuratively.
While I senselessly pinched my face, D.E. rushed online (well, as rushed as the slow internet in China will let you) and looked up the symptoms of a stroke, fearful I had a brain bleed.
Because everyone should know this information, here’s what to do if you suspect someone has had a stroke or has a brain bleed (via Stroke.org):
- Face: Ask the person to smile and check if both sides of the lips lift evenly
- Arms: Ask the person to lift their arms and check if both sides lift evenly
- Speech: Ask the person to speak a simple phrase and answer simple questions to see if their speech is slowed or slurred
- Time: Immediately get the person to the hospital if any of the above is not normal
Since I didn’t show any signs of impaired motor function, D.E. and I decided I was fine, but when I woke up the next morning with a severe headache and still numb in my face, we knew it was time to listen to both of our mothers and get my “blankety-blank butt” to a hospital.
Luckily, D.E.’s parents knew of United Family Healthcare, a hospital that not only spoke English but was friendly, effective and shockingly fast. So fast, in fact, that the only thing that held me up was my own inability to read and fill out my papers.
Even though I had full motor function, Dr. Leon Li was concerned with my persisting headaches and numb face and ordered an MRI.
When I was about 11, I fell off my bike and had to get an MRI, however I was unconscious at the time and all I really remember was being tied down and drugged so I’d stop complaining and trying to leave. What I don’t remember is the intense noise and awkward vibrations, like a shopping mall massage chairhad sex with a nail gun.
The results came back showing that I had a brain and it was not bleeding, two pieces of great news. Dr. Li suggested I rest for a few days and try not to physically or mentally exert myself for a week or two. Being the obstinate person I am, I planned to ignore him and go out that day, but D.E. and zir mom were total jerks and made me obey the doctors orders.
“This is possibly my last week ever in Shanghai, China!” I protested dramatically as D.E. took and hid all of my guide books, “I have so much still to see!”
I almost cried when I realized ze had secretly hidden my computer AND my iPhone. I was stuck inside and I couldn’t even blog or tweet about it.
I was so pissy I almost broke up with D.E. but each time I started crying and going through tech withdrawals, ze would put on another an episode of Merlin and hand me a pint of ice cream and I’d calm down.
Somewhere during all of this, D.E. jumped onto zir parents’ couch in excitement over an episode of Merlin and *crack* the bottom gave out. This prompted D.E.’s parents to (jokingly?) scold us about the now obvious dangers of having wild sex in their flat.
If only that was the case, but no, we’re just that klutzy.
Two and a half weeks later, I still have to wear my glasses more often than I used to and get headaches if I read too long, but at least I can blog and tweet again.
I have missed you all so.