Friday, May 24, 2013

Between a Rock and a Tender Place

Kelsey's Israel Blundering Confessional: Part 4

Confession: I have an insanely sensitive right "ulnar nerve".


It's the nerve that lends to the term "funny bone".  The one that, when hit just right, gives that fuzzy, tingly feeling all over your arm that is anything BUT funny.

However, when that nerve is sensitive, it means hitting it just the wrong way causes a pain slicing up your arm so intense you want it to fall off.  It's like a hot blade sawing through your ring finger and middle finger, trailing all the way down to the elbow.
My left side is normal - fuzzy, uncomfortable, but manageable. My right side...

The Gates of Hell
 On the second half of our trip, we went to a place which made me laugh due to its name.
The Temple of the Holy Goats.
Seriously. We went there.

This was also the place where it was believed the Gates of Hell were kept - here, hell/hades/whatever you called it lurked. If you were quiet, you could hear goats bleating.

Just kidding. You couldn't. That would have been really disturbing.

Near here is also a place called Abraham's Arch. This is relevant (and awesome) because Abraham actually came by this This man from history who is way back in BC walked through this place. There are still things from the people old, yet preserved as best they can.

From my point of view, we walked on from the arch and I lost myself in my own thoughts. That is, until a searing, white hot pain shot up my arm...
Back story time! 

Now, because this was Abraham's Arch and there were several things about this place enriched in history...
Abraham's Arch - thousands of years old
The jokes were bound to begin.

"Look! It's Abraham's dirt! He touched this dirt."
"Hey, Abraham's he walked through this exact water."
And my personal favorite.

"This is Abraham's rock. He touched this rock, you guys," Owen said to a group around him. I was ahead of him, and being who he is, Owen thought it would be funny to throw 'Abraham's rock' at my backpack.
Being the musician (not athletic) he is...he missed.  The rock sailed by and I continued on, oblivious.  Not one to give up, Owen plucked another rock from the dirt and gently lobbed it through the air at me...

And dropped me to my knees.

He didn't hit my backpack.
He hit my ultra sensitive Ulnar Nerve.

On my end, after minding my own business, I was suddenly on my knees, eyes watering, feeling like my arm was being cut in half by a knife.
Probably what I looked like when
I spun around after being hit...
Super cute, right?
But I know I must have looked like a professional soccer player. A small rock barely plunks against my tender elbow...I whirl around, 180 degrees, grabbing my arm in shock and pain only to see Owen's face light up in amused concern. The group behind him cock their heads and raise their eyebrows as I drop to my knees and let out a pitiful whine.  The chorus of "Oh my gosh, Kelsey!" begins and I berate my stupid nerve.
If I thought Owen apologized one million times in the line through Denver security (Two Trips and a Loss), it was nothing to how bad he felt at this moment.

While Owen felt awful...I was mortified. Of course the one stupid place in which the lightest touch can cause discomfort is THE landing place for the stupid rock thrown by the usually gentle pianist. 

My world went a bit black around the edges, my arm throbbed, and Owen chuckled guiltily while repeatedly apologizing.  If mine was the trip of blundering embarrassments, his was the trip of apologetic shenanigans. 

An hour passed before I could use my arm again - it's that stupid. I tried to play it down "Oh. I'm fine. No big deal. Why am I holding my arm awkwardly at my side? For fun of course! It's really comfortable..."

Shoot me now.

What's your Achilles' Heel? Do you have a trick knee, a bad hip, or maybe ankles that click? Can someone undo your world with a little flick of your ear? Let's commiserate together, I bet you won't look as foolish as I did :)

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Anonymous said...

Oh!Kelsey, I feel your pain. *cringe*
I don't really have an Achilles heel, but I do have a sensitive ear for certain sounds. They make my front teeth hurt, seriously! Rubbing feet against the carpet, fingernails on a chalk board, a high pitched nasally voice, or anything off key sends my hand to my teeth. I guess that would be my Kryptonite, certain sounds. :)


Bailey Karfelt said...

"ultra sensitive Ulnar Nerve" - that seriously made me laugh so hard. I am such a klutz I can perfectly imagine being taken out by the slightest thing in the wrong spot!

I have multiple Achilles heels...probably the most obvious is my aversion to eyeballs. I can't wear contacts, I can barely work up the nerve to touch my eye and there is absolutely no way anyone will ever be touching mine. I can definitely NOT watch you touch your eye or put in contacts; I start gagging if you even talk about your eye, and if I see someone cry, I start crying, too. Instantly. Doesn't matter if it was actually eye drops making your eyes water, I will tear up and cry- I'm tearing up just writing this and thinking about watering eyes. It's a curse. I don't even have to feel sympathy, I just cry, too. Ugh.

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

Nope! I am the TERMINATOR. (Say it in Arnold's voice please.)

Actually I have chronic vertigo of unknown origin. This means that for no apparent reason my entire world will start spinning. If it kicks in when I'm sleeping, it wakes me up. Certain things seem to trigger it, miss a meal, long car trips, but it is pretty much random. Meaning I just never know when I'm going to drop from the real world into what I affectionately call "The Fun House".

So if you see me fall off an elevator during dismount, close my eyes and race away from a display of Christmas lights, or slide alongside the wall while walking down a hallway, pretend like you didn't even notice.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You ever heard of the Tickle Monster? That mean mama-jama that likes to lurk around children and romantically inclined adolescents? He is a cruel demon. One crick of a finger and I run away screaming. It's not out of fear, but out of the incontrollable and intensely violent reaction that befalls me. I have bloodied noses, punched groins, and once chipped a tooth. All involuntary assaults that leave me feeling awful afterward. I'm not violent by nature, but when people say, "Oh you can't be that bad." They learn pretty fast that yes, I can. So, be thee warned: Go ahead come at me bro, but you're leaving with a black eye.

-Andrea Asay

Anonymous said...


I am invincible! :) I don't have an achilles heel that I know of unless (like LaDonna) you consider sensitive ears an achilles heel. I never liked loud sounds (especially loud people) makes me cringe. Maybe that's why I'm one of the few writers I know who like to write in solitude (no Tv or radio in the background) Sometimes the look of dry cracked soil makes me want to itch but I think this happens to a lot of people. :)

-Isabel B.

Anonymous said...

usually ok, but lately, my ankles, knees are cracking when I walk down the stairs....hard to sneak up on the little peeps that way...sigh...

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

LaDonna and Isabel - you lucky ladies!
Bailey, I wear contacts. Look out! But I cry when other people cry. Don't know if it's sympathy, empathy, or just my visceral reaction...

Stephanie, all I can do is picture you sliding against the wall...

Andrea, I will remember this and never tickle you.

Anon, my ankles crack too!

Call Me Heretic said...

My left ankle. In high school I sprained it very thoroughly on a missions trip. I have a sneaking suspicion something tore and never quite healed. It's been known to twist while walking across perfectly flat ground. It's rather painful after walking on it for any more than a few blocks - I wear an ankle brace.
Also, my right wrist. Between writing and secretarial work it's trying for a case of carpal tunnel, but I think it's improving(in the - things get worse before getting better sense). I wear a brace for that, too.
Maybe you should wear an elbow pad or something. At least when traveling with musicians. :P

Katie Cross said...

"This is Abraham's rock. He touched this rock, you guys." - This line KILLED me. I'm still giggling. Ha ha! I could just see it. I don't know Owen, but I could still see it!

As a RN, I'd say you definitely have a freak arm. Just kidding. Too bad about that bad luck huh? But you were at the temple of the GOATS! How epic? Your life is complete. Done. Bucket list is kicked over. Nothing will top that place, baby.

Rob Holliday said...

I wonder if a strike to the ulnar nerve is a distant cousin of the 5-finger death punch... Anyway, that's not important now.

Vulnerabilities? Well, I'm a guy, soooo there's the obvious. You know, Kryptonite and such.

BUT, from a more unusual standpoint, I have a spot between my spine and right shoulder blade that will drop me like a rock if I tweak it. What can tweak it? Oh, pretty much anything. Getting in the car? Yep. Getting a Fig Newton from the pantry? Yep. Rubbing the sleep from my eye? Yep. All of those have triggered it. It's a bit odd.

Lacey Key said...

the best story and plus the pictures love