I said it as soon as we sat down. We were seated in the second row right behind the dugouts on the first base line. The protective netting was nowhere near us. We were close to the action, and we were exposed.
“Guys, I’m going to get hit.”
They shrugged it off a little and said I just have to pay attention and everything would be fine. So I did. I payed attention like I’ve never paid attention before. I didn’t even reflect upon how ridiculous it was that I was watching a minor league baseball game in Mississippi with a bunch of people I had met on the Internet. I was too nervous to think about how absurd our situation was. I watched every hit and flinched at every foul ball that came even remotely close to us. We saw a lady get bonked on the noggin by a pop fly, but she was fine. No big deal. I paid close attention.
So when a line drive travelling at approximately 100 mph came hurdling towards us, I saw it. It happened fast and no one had time to react. I remember every moment of that split second. And I remember searing pain, and then immediately saying, “SEE, I TOLD YOU!” I knew I would get hit. I just knew it. Initially I couldn’t tell what hurt more – my arm or my face. I grabbed my face right away and checked for loose teeth. All felt fine. What does blood taste like? Are my hands wet? Am I bleeding? No one was saying anything to me at first and I thought I was horribly disfigured and no one knew quite what to say to me. Somehow a crowd of people gathered almost immediately, so that I couldn’t see the field anymore. There was a lady in a pink shirt, a lady in a blue shirt, and a bunch of security guards and police.
“We need paramedics to Section 116 immediately.” Oh no. I’m really hurt. I must seriously be hurt. They asked me if my teeth were loose and I shook my head. One opened my mouth and gasped. “Your whole mouth is blue! Are you ok?”
“It’s cotton candy!” I said. They all laughed. Oh good. I can’t be horribly disfigured if I can still make people laugh. It mustn’t be that bad.
@mamabee77 The cool part: the medical peeps asked about her blue lips and she had to explain the cotton candy.
— Jamie Golden (@JamiesRabbits) July 28, 2013
“Honey, where did it hit you? Your face?” Yes. But no. Not my face. But yes. WAIT. My arm. My arm hurts a lot. Why can’t I move my arm oh no I hope it’s not broken I don’t want to go to the hospital because I don’t know how this out of country medical insurance works. Would I just hand them my CAA card? Is it broken? I squeezed the Pink Shirt Lady’s hand tightly. Nope. Not broken. I can still feel everything. Oh mercy, it hurts so bad. I just got hit by a ball. I seriously got hit by a ball and my family is going to laugh at me. MY ARM. I CAN’T MOVE.
“Can we look at her arm?”
“Well, they’ll have to cut her shirt off.”
NO THIS SHIRT IS NEW. IT WAS ON SALE. I HAVE SCARCELY WORN THIS SHIRT.
I look up to see eyes peeking over the dugout wall. It’s a player. I see him. Everyone is staring at me. So is this player. He slowly raises his arm and shows me a fist pump of solidarity. I start laughing. I think I’m crying too. What is this. I’m laughing. A fist pump. No one else saw the fist pump. I’m crying a little because no one else saw it. That’s the real tragedy here. Someone asks if I can walk. I stand up and start laughing and crying. Jamie makes a Canadian healthcare joke. People laugh. I’m crying and laughing as I walk up the stairs. Everyone’s looking. I get to the top and sit in a chair.
Jamie hands me a ball. “I went over to the little boy who took it and made him give it to me. You earned it.” She took a ball from a kid.
A man in a grey shirt walks over and hands me a new ball. “The batter sent this up for you.” I got two balls! I think to myself. I’m giggling now because of the ball thing. Joseph looks really worried. Jamie is taking a picture of me and a paramedic with a bad moustache. He jumps out of the picture and Jamie makes him get back in. She insists we document the whole experience.
“Honey, how old are you?”
Do I say 25 or 26? I’m a month away from 26. I’ll say 25.
“Have you ever had a concussion before?”
Concussion? My head doesn’t hurt. It’s my lip. My huge giant lip. No I’ve never had a concussion. The ball bounced off my arm. OH YEAH MY ARM IS STILL INTENSELY SORE. MY ARM MY ARM MY ARM NOT MY HEAD.
“Can you move your arm around?”
Yes, see? OW NO I CAN’T.
“Do you want us to call you an ambulance?”
No? Why would I need an ambulance? I’m Canadian and I’m not at home and I’m no pansy.
“Promise me if you get dizzy or disoriented you’ll go get checked out.”
Well fine, but I don’t think the searing pain in my arm will make me dizzy. Ice. I want ice. ICE.
“She’s going to get some ice.”
People are walking by and asking if I’m hurt. Well yes. But I’m ok. Children look startled. A man called me darling. Everyone who walked by asked if I was ok. Ah, ice. Finally. Deep breaths and ice. It’s ok. A little girl in the bathroom asked Haley if she knew me and if I was ok. I’m basically famous. This was my 15 minutes of fame? Getting pegged by a foul ball? I feel a little ripped off. Joseph finds out who the batter is and tweets at him. I want to find him and swear at him purely because it would be funny. When something like this happens, you want to be surrounded by bloggers because the experience is just that much more memorable. My thoughts are darting all over the place and I’m shaking.
We slowly walk out to the car after the game ended (we won) and as I pass through the entrance gate, I remember that the ticket taker’s name was Bobby Pickles. Haha. Pickles. I don’t have a concussion because my short term memory is intact.
“That’s the girl who got hit!”
Worst 15 minutes of fame ever. We get to the Jeep and Joseph helps me hoist myself in. The car next to us is full of older folks with their windows down, asking if I was alright and if I got to keep the ball. Joseph explains that I got two balls, but neither was signed so we’re not forgiving Devin just yet. They laugh.
We decide to name my bruise Devin, after the player who hit me.
— Devin Lohman (@D_lohest) July 28, 2013
My ice pack isn’t cold anymore. Everything hurts. We drive to a place called the Library and we talk in funny voices and laugh a lot. I ice my arm with my glass. There is still lots of blue cotton candy left, and Jamie keeps saying that she has my balls in her purse.
— Amanda (@mandiemariebee) July 28, 2013
I find out later that the entire game paused on my behalf. The batter looked over guiltily. The players on the opposing team all popped up to peek over the dugout. People around us were watching. I was a showstopper. It appeared as though I got hit in the face and I could have been seriously injured. Not that this was a minor injury, but it could have been worse. It could have hit my face first, but instead it hit my bicep and ricocheted up to my lip.
The next day, my arm looks like this:
And a couple of days later I have a bruise-stache.
Big thanks to Joseph, Jamie, Molly and Haley for making me laugh in the middle of a situation that could have been a lot worse. Bigger thanks to Jesus for directing that ball into my bicep and then my face, instead of the other way around. I am thankful for my teeth today.
I told them. I knew I’d get hit. I did. I ended up with wicked bruises and an awesome story. You’re welcome, Internet.