Accidental Mermaid

Today in “Flippant answers I should stop giving”; When a small child at the pool asked why I could swim, but not walk, I responded with “I’m a mermaid”. This goes against my usual policy of “Adults get facetious answers, children get an age-appropriate version of the truth” but I was flopped on the poolside and waiting for my morphine to take effect, since I’d dislocated both hips when in the water. Her expression suggested that she completely believed me.

Actually, today’s swim was both good and a complete mess. Firstly, it was my fourth swim of the week, which is never a good sign or a good idea, and secondly I had mostly just gone so that I could get a wash in the showers afterwards, having spent the morning re-sealing the cladding on the bathroom walls and thus putting my own bath out of commission for 24 hours.

So I got to the pool, shoeless (It’s unbearably hot right now), carrying clean clothes and soap along with my fastskin, and went for a swim. The plan was to do three 100m IMs (100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m breastroke, 100m freestyle, repeat) with the first one acting as a warm-up and the last freestyle acting as a cooldown. As usual, I got my private lane (The lifeguard actually moving the other lane user out of it before I caught up with him, to spare his blushes) and the first IM went fine.

At the start of the second IM, someone else got in my lane. This was fine – She went at the same pace as I did, was obviously not here to faff around and take up space, but to train – but it meant that I had to either do racing turns, or take long breaks to let her overtake (Since we were going at the same overall speed, if either of us rested to empty goggles or use a water bottle at the lane end, we’d end up out of synch and start clashing – A massive problem since I average out as “quick”, but often end up stopping mid-lane to pop a limb back into place or doing half of a length incredibly slowly, etc). So suddenly I didn’t have time to rejig myself between 100m chunks.

Aha. We see the problem.

By the end of the second medley, a third person had joined the lane, who was slower than both of us (Genuinely belonged in a different lane) and did nothing to mitigate it. I’m not knocking him as a person, he’s really nice, he’s just not as fit as he thinks he is.

By halfway through the third medley, I was getting a bit sick of the chaos, and I had a mysterious and nagging pain in my right hip, along with two shoulders that wouldn’t stay reduced from their subluxes. So I got out of the pool. Or tried to.

What actually happened was that I got halfway up the steps, and fell back in. By the time I surfaced, the lifeguard was standing on the poolside next to me, offering morphine (which I took) and help (which I declined), claiming that I just had to sit down for a few minutes to get my bearings.

The lifeguard went back to his seat, and was replaced with another lifeguard. Minutes passed. Morphine took effect. I declared I was a mermaid. My lanemates worried about me. I decided it was time to try standing up – And stood up only to dislocate my hip and land back on my arse on the floor. Frantic waving at the lifeguard ensued, and I discovered that I could now only speak in one-word utterances like “pain” and “scared” and “fell”. I managed to communicate that I needed to be helped to my feet, then managed to get into the showers, strip, and clean without needing any further help.

By the time I was dresed again and on my way home the morphine had taken effect. Enough so that when I tripped in the stickyweed in the garden, ending up with contact dermatitis basically everywhere, I thought it was a great idea to remove it. The entire lawnful of it. With a mattock.

This took about an hour, and my hands are now predictably ruined, my back is now predictably ruined, my hips and shoulders are still ruined, and I’m going to spend the rest of the evening doing precisely nothing.


2 thoughts on “Accidental Mermaid

  1. I tolerate the stickyweeds, but am lazy about pulling the seeds off my gardening gloves, when I do clear the stuff out. They go into the washing machine and come out adhering randomly to the other garments. Which Mike puts on. And then complains about something odd digging into him. *Bad house-mother*

    I like the mermaid anecdote. Though of course it is bitter sweet humour.

    • I was always being described as a mermaid when i was little, and was eventually mistaken for a mermaid when saving a kid from drowning at the beach a few years ago (Got her to shore then vanished into the waves, since I didn’t want to be seen because I was skinny-dipping) so it’s kind of come full-circle.

      Heh, you’re just sharing the ecotherapy with everyone. Which is also the best excuse for dragging mud indoors off your boots, letting wasps in through the window and getting mysterious grass-stains on everything.

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