two dumb things done

I’m sure there are more others could kindly point out, but two stand out from recent history.

The first came after gladly consuming leftovers from a Mexican restaurant Dy added to my lunch, including part of a roasted jalapeño I sliced barehanded. A little later, while consulting with a teammate, I noticed a speck of matter in my left eye’s tear duct and lightly disposed of it.

“Hello!” said my left eye, reacting to the jalapeño residue on my finger. After a trip to the bathroom, much water and soap, and tears through tight squints, both eyes recovered nicely and I returned to my work area to explain my sudden dash down the hall.

If the stinging heat is caused by oxalic acid, it’s also used as a wood bleach, marble polish and rust stain remover – came up in my recent search for deck stain solutions. It reportedly forms needle-like crystals in water, so some sort of cream or doughy bread might have brought faster relief before making matters worse. A few years ago, Dy suffered for hours after cutting up a jalapeño; now she holds any such pepper with her hand inside a baggie.

The second? As A.J. and I scouted the berry patches at Elver Park yesterday morning, my left foot found a rut in a gravel section of trail I wasn’t watching. I collapsed on a twisted ankle, giving A.J. a bit of a scare, but he calmly helped me back up and down the trail to the van. (Good thing we’d driven over with cans to get mulch from the other end of the parking lot, but even if we’d biked it wouldn’t have been too difficult to find someone with a phone.) Skipping the mulch to make the short drive home, I was glad it wasn’t my right ankle, which I injured similarly late in high school.

Tee and Dy joined us for the trip to prompt care, where the care really was prompt. We had our books along in case it wasn’t; Tee read us most of “Cow Dung Custard” from Unreal!, and Dy read their lunch book, The Wednesday Wars. The RN, x-ray technician and doctor were efficient and engaging. A.J. got to “help” wrap the temporary splint, motivated by a “10% discount.” (Arey was painting faces with friends across town.)

Turns out the three outer ankle ligaments were kind enough not to tear in the twist, but they did break a bit of the small bone to which they attach on the lower end. If I take proper care of it and healing is granted, this misstep shouldn’t threaten our planned travels later in the summer. In the meantime, it’s quite the nuisance and frequent pain. Determined not to complain – j

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