"Ah man, you fell off the step stool, I thought you fell off the ladder."
Unimpressed, J.T. folds his arms over his little chest and stares at me. "I heard you scream."
He's trying not to smile so I narrow my eyes.
He blows a raspberry. "Last time I fell off my bike, I did three complete back flips and two cart wheels."
"BMX." He throws his hands in the air and slants a look at Rob before turning his attention back to me. "You need to man up."
"Man up? I did not fall off the step stool, I slipped off the counter, flipped in the air and landed on the handle of the step stool. That's three feet high and I smacked my head on the towel rack." Dubious, he trots into my bathroom to check. "Okay fine," I yell, "thirty-two inches, that's the standard height of a counter." I think, but J.T. at eleven has strong opinions, which I try to thwart when possible.
"That's not very high." He says, returning to the living room and taking a seat on the couch. "I fell sixty-two feet out of my neighbors tree and I was fine."
"Does your mother know where you are?"
He gives me a look. "No really, the tree was sixty-five feet tall and I was at the top." I rub the goose egg on my nether region and roll my eyes. "Like I said," he smirks, "you need to man up."
"Uh huh." Annoyed and a little sore, I head back to the bathroom, climb onto the counter, and tackle the trim work around the mirror. Why waste a pan of fresh paint. Finished, I climb back down and rub my fanny. The goose egg has doubled in size. I pour a glass of wine, settle into the recliner with a large bag of frozen peas, and google bruises. I ignore the pain. Until it drives me to the floor. The bump is now the size of a softball but I'm sure it'll stop swelling soon.
"That's impressive," says the E.R. doc. I've seen a lot of compartmental contusions but never in that precise location." He takes out a pen. "Mind if I mark your skin?"
"Go right ahead." Now that someone else is worried, I feel better.
"The line of demarcation is quite something." He strokes his chin and leans against the counter. "Give me a moment, I want to consult with a specialist."
Great. Belly down on the exam table, I adjust the back side of my gown and prop my chin on my hands. Five minutes later the doc is back with a prescription for pain killers and instructions to see a specialist on monday if the swelling continues.
"I have a flight on Sunday."
He looks ready to argue so I say. "That won't hurt my feelings, I'm a flight attendant." He grins.
By Monday, the bruise has eclipsed the pen marks by five or six inches and spreads from my inner thigh, over my glutes, and out to my hip. The swelling has stopped but I can barely move, let alone sit down. I make the call.
"Where did you say the bruise was?"
I inhale. "On my Ass."
The receptionist laughs. "Okay then, I can squeeze you in at 11:30."
"Well," says the specialist, "you'll be out of work for three or four weeks and I suggest physical therapy."
"For my butt?" I'm flabbergasted. "I came in because I'm worried about flying and blood clots."
To his credit, he doesn't laugh. "You could fly, blood clots aren't the issue and I suspect, judging from the location, you shouldn't have too many issues, but you can't do your job. A little heat, a little massage and you'll heal quicker."
"Amazing." The P.T. doc rotates my leg, presses on tendons and shakes his head. "That's quite the contusion but your joints are fine."
Back home, I'm hobbling to the door when J.T. rides up on his bicycle. "So what did the Doc say?"
"He said I'll live."
"Going to work tomorrow?"
"Nope." I say, then realize my mistake as J.T. grins, slips past me into the house and grabs the remote. "Cool. Lets watch Spongebob."
Great, now I really have to man up.