Yes, on my face.
Couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Or so I thought. Right there on a break from my class, Dan was helping me to pivot in the Anspach Hall bathroom and SMACK!
Profanity! Profanity! Profanity! And Tears … tears … tears.
And that wasn’t just me. I heard profanity and tears coming from Dan too.
It was frightening, fast and so sudden. I couldn’t even lift my head off the tile. I didn’t want to even move and I was face down on a public bathroom floor. That’s how bad it hurt.
This was supposed to be a standard trip to the bathroom. Same as we had done for each Tuesday evening over the past nine weeks of the semester. I have a regularly scheduled break during my Anthropology 590 graduate class, “Gender, Culture & Society.” During this time Dan comes to the CMU campus building to help me go to the bathroom.
And it normally runs like clockwork. We get a break. We go to the bathroom. I ask if any of the women there minds if my husband comes in to help me – which they never do because women rule! –and he helps me with pivoting and transferring on and off the toilet and back into my chair.
But this night, the night before our largest speaking presentation ever, a rare miscommunication in the transfer back into my chair had me simultaneously thinking, “Timber!” and “This is going to hurt,” as I fell shoulder first into the bathroom stall and then flat on my face. Thus the imprint. For real. You can see the tile lines on my cheek!
I’m lucky that there was no blood, I didn’t break any teeth, and we were able to get help (thanks, Sarah, Dr. Brown and Josh!).
I was fine once I calmed down. Dan was too. I think I took a couple ibuprofen and sat on the couch after my professor let me go home from class early (Thanks again, Dr. Brown!).
And I geared up for the next day’s presentations with the Women’s Initiative at noon in Mt. Pleasant and the Shiawasee County MS Self-help Group later that evening in Owosso.
Marked with the sign of the bathroom tile floor, Dan and I delivered two of our best speaking engagements the next day. We were fortunate enough to share our story and increase MS awareness, all while I was rockin’ my first-ever black eye : -)
And to be frankly honest, I sported that black eye with pride because it symbolized both the reality of my Multiple Sclerosis and my determination to not let this disease hold me down.