Friday, March 10, 2006

Chlorine Elbow

Today, I hit my funny bone and it reminded me of the first time I hit my funny bone- which I was unaware of for some time.

I was five years old or so and my brother and I were playing catch with this beach ball by a pool. We were at the house of some of my parents friends and the guy told us that he had just put a huge dose of chlorine in the pool and not to play in the pool or touch the water. Beach ball catch was the perfect diversion. Except that beach balls are light and are easily carried away by a light breeze and are ever so gently dropped into the pool. I was freaked out, to say the least. But, my brother was older than I (still is, in fact) and you can't show fear in front of an older brother unless he, too, is afraid. And he wasn't. So, I ran to get the ball. Reached for it with little hands and pulled it near, dripping with chlorine induced water. When I ran back to my brother and threw the ball, I tripped and hit my elbow-my funny bone-and the sensation that happened afterwards freaked me the hell out!

I had never felt anything like it. It felt like my forearm was humming, but with needles? I know that doesn't make sense and it didn't at that time either. The only way I could explain it was that I had contracted chlorine poisoning. I can't tell you how many nights I laid awake and wondered if I was going to lose the use of my arm. Every time I bumped my elbow, the chlorine somehow got back into my system and hummed needles. I can't even remember when I realized chlorine poisoning wasn't real. I had heard people talk about hitting their funny bones and had even seen it happen a few times, people grabbing their elbows and squeaming-sort of like one of my chlorine poisoning episodes. And yet, I never made the connection-never thought they had chlorine poisoning or that I had hit my funny bone.


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