The day after I’d gotten tangled up with Gechitzik (our new beagle shepherd) and fell on my tailbone, Maya arranged for me to see her doctor. The doctor made room for me on his lunch hour, and I ended up not having to wait at all to be seen.
Maya’s doctor turned out to be an Armenian dude a little older than her. He seemed nice, and I was glad he was a he since I obviously was gonna have to drop my pants for him to examine the injured area.
“Hmmmm,” he said, like doctors always do.
“What is it?”
“I can’t be entirely sure that it’s broken, but it probably is. You must have taken quite a fall.”
“I think I just landed hard on my butt,” I said.
“Maya wants it xrayed, although, honestly, it doesn’t make much of a difference, since there’s nothing you can do about a broken coccyx bone except let it heal. Still…” So he told me how to get to the radiology place on the first floor. I thanked him and headed down…only to find that I was definitely going to have to wait until I could get my ass xrayed. The place was super crowded.
“Just take a seat,” the nurse said after she’d checked me in, “and they’ll call you when they’re ready.”
The nurse looked up at me expectantly.
“I can’t sit. I’m here to have my coccyx bone xrayed. I think it’s broken.”
“Oh,” said the nurse. “Can you stand?”
“Not for long periods, no,” I said.
It was my turn to look down at her expectantly.
“I’ll see what I can do,” she said, getting up and vanishing into the back. Y’all know me and I’m usually a pretty patient person, but I was already hurting and, seriously, was I the first person they ever had with a busted tailbone? You’d think they would be able to make arrangements for people who can’t sit. This nurse didn’t exactly make me feel like she was doing me a favor, but she wasn’t being super gracious about it, either.
Finally she came back with a dude in scrubs.
“Here,” he said, “we’ve got a nice gurney for you to lie on while you’re waiting.”
“Thanks,” I said, following him.
I didn’t have too far to go. The gurney was parked in the middle of a busy hallway, so I was gonna have to lay there and look like a museum exhibit, but at least I could lay on my side. It hurt like hell when I sat on the gurney to get into position, and the dude in scrubs showed a lot more concern for my tailbone than the woman out front had.
So there I was, laying on my side on the gurney in the hallway, feeling kinda sorry for myself, as I reckon anyone would. I dug my phone out from my pocket and called Keaton to help kill time, I told him where I was and how I got there.
“It’s because they don’t want you suing them.”
“Suing who?,” I asked.
“Your bosses. You do realize you had a slip-and-fall accident on the job, right?”
“What do you mean? I tripped over Gechitzik.”
“Bubba…you’re a workman’s comp case. No wonder they’re dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts. You really could sue them.”
“Why would I do that?”
“I’m not saying you should. But you should be thankful that you’re gonna get paid even if you can’t work…and I don’t see you making a whole lot of Hshred videos with a busted coccyx.”
“Would you stop it with the Hshred, man?”
I guess I need to explain that there’s this company that advertises heavily on YouTube called Vshred, and they’ve got this really good-looking dude who makes workout videos and tries to sell you all their shit. I think the dude used to be a model…but, anyway, Keaton keeps telling me I’m making my own version of those videos and that I’m a blue-eyed version of the Vshred dude. Ok…I’m not, mostly because I’m not selling any powders, potions or supplements. I’m just demonstrating some really simple workout techniques and teaching the viewers how to play baseball. The #baseballboy workout is nothing like Vshred and their gayass spokesmodel.
I was gonna write about that later, but that’s the basic outline of Keaton’s giving me shit over my ‘Hshred’ videos.
And honestly I didn’t realize that I’d fallen down on the job or anything like that.
“So it’s like I need to talk to a lawyer?,” I asked.
“Naah…they’ll probably take good care of you. They have thus far,” Keaton said. “The only thing is that there might be some bullshit from the insurance company. That’s probably why Maya sent you to be xrayed. I’m sure she knows you’re the last person to milk an injury. Not anybody who works as hard as you do, between the boys and those Hshred videos.”
I really wanted to say ‘fuck you, man’, but there was an endless stream of people walking back and forth in the hallway, so I just thought it lol. Me and Keaton have enough telepathy going for him to know exactly what I was thinking.
“I just don’t know what you’re gonna do while you’re laid up,” Keaton said. “You’re so fuckin active all the time.”
I hadn’t thought of that, either. But then the doctor also hadn’t told me how long I could expect to be laid up. I figured that would come after he’d seen the xrays.
Anyway, it took so long for them to get to me for my xray that I had to call Sandy to ask Robert if he could go pick up the boys since I was tied up. He’s usually able to pick up the slack if, let’s say, I’m stuck filming something. Otherwise, I reckoned, someone else could go get Jacob and Matteo. It’s not at all far to their school, and the boys can fit in the back of anyone’s car.
Then finally they were able to get me into the xray room. That involved lying on a table on my stomach…with my pants down. (That seemed weird…I mean, if the xray can travel through skin, it should be able to travel through a pair of jeans, no?) Not exactly comfortable, and actually dang painful when I first sat on the hard table.
The xray tech asked me a bunch of questions about what kind of pain I was in, and then asked if I could still control my bowels and bladder. I can, and I got kinda scared thinking that you can lose control of those things if you break your tailbone. I asked if there was danger of that happening if it wasn’t already happening, but the tech said I was “probably ok.”
Of course taking the xray took a couple minutes after I’d been lying on that lameass gurney for a couple hours. The tech said the doctor would call me with the results and I got sent home to lay on my side some more.
The doctor called me that evening with two pieces of advice. He told me I should do this thing where I alternated Advil and Arthritis Strength Tylenol every four hours and that that should do a good job of controlling the pain. (He said he wouldn’t prescribe anything “stronger” but that was ok with me…I don’t like how those painkillers make me feel anyway.) He also said I should get myself a “donut” – meaning a cushion with a cut-out where the tailbone goes. He said I’d be able to find one on Amazon…and he wasn’t kidding. There must have been at least a couple dozen to choose from, and, well, what the fuck do I know about picking out donut cushions?
“Donut?,” Keaton asked when I called him that night. “Those are what they give people for hemorrhoids.”
“Yes, bubba, I know. Nobody’s gonna go around saying that the Hshred guy has hemorrhoids.” It was bad enough when the tech asked me if I could control my bowels. “I think they probably make different kinds of donuts for what you got. Let’s see…”
So me and Keaton shopped for the donut while I had the computer on my bed and I was able to lay on my side. It wasn’t a comfortable position, but I didn’t have much of a choice if I was gonna get this donut thing the doctor said would help.
“Don’t forget to send Sandy the bill,” Keaton reminded me.
I didn’t feel like I had to – the donut thing was only like 30 bucks – but Keaton kept telling me that I was an on-the-job injury and that certain things come with that…things that weren’t gonna cost Maya a penny anyway, since it would be covered by her worker’s comp insurance.
“Bubba, people fake slip and falls at work so they can collect on their employers’ workman’s comp. I know for a fact I worked as a PI for a while and most of my job was spying on people who said they’d been injured on the job to see if they were moving pianos or shit like that. One supposedly injured jerkoff I caught on video really was helping move a piano. You’re legitimately injured and you won’t even let your bosses take care of you.”
“Ok, I’ll email Sandy about the donut. Ow.”
“I haven’t figured out how to get up without sitting up first, and sitting up hurts like fuck.”
“You got Prime so you can get the donut ASAP, right?”
“Yeah,” I said.
I took my Arthritis Strength Tylenol (Mrs. Bedrossian had some and gave me a few until I could buy my own) and went to bed. I was planning to get up and take the boys to school. At least I could still do that part of my job.
Maybe I’m imagining it, but I think Getchitzik knew that he was somehow involved in what was wrong with me. He seemed very careful around me and like he was sorry. I kept telling him it could have happened to anybody, but he was still sticking close to me.
“Smart dog,” Belen said. “You can tell he’s sorry.”
He probably forgot all about the accident on the stairs two days before, even if german shepherds are supposed to be smart. On the other hand, he could see that I was getting around with difficulty, and maybe that’s why he was being kinda protective of me.
It wasn’t until after lunch (which I ate lying on the couch in the pool house…and, yeah, I was already feeling impatient about being laid up) that the doctor called, and, sure enough, I had a busted coccyx bone. It was actually broken in two places. (Doctor: “You did a number on yourself.”) Prognosis: it was going to take “close to month” before I’d be able to do much in the way of physical activity, and, even then, I would have to continue being careful. “You be the judge, Mr. Block,” the doctor continued after I asked about swimming, “if it hurts, don’t do it. But be prepared for being mostly off your feet for a while.”
“But…,” I objected, “I work on a reality show…I have an exercise and sports segment that I tape…”
“You’re going to have to give that a rest,” the doctor said. “I can tell you’re used to being active. It’s people like you who have the hardest time with injuries like yours. Some people are glad for the excuse not to go to work. Did you get a donut?”
“Waiting on it to come from Amazon,” I said.
“That’ll make sitting a lot less painful, although, at first, you’re not going to be able to sit for long periods of time, even on the donut.” Great, I thought. Then he told me to call him if I needed anything, and that was that.
So that’s how I got the busted tailbone. And the doctor wasn’t kidding when he said it would take a month. I had the donut, yeah, but, even with that, I couldn’t sit long enough to write a blog post until recently…which is why I’ve been out of touch for so long. I hope y’all didn’t miss me too much lol.