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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I am injury prone. In fact I just suffered from an injury the other day and it was not easy to diagnose the problem. I was playing basketball the other night when suddenly a sharp pain took control of my back and chest causing me to collapse in the middle of the court. It felt like someone had shoved a sword into my back and out the front of my ribs. At first I thought I was having a heart attack or my back was suddenly broken, but eventually I came to the conclusion that I had probably just minorly strained my back or injured some ribs. The peculiar thing about my injury was that I don’t ever recall falling while on the court. I hadn’t done anything that would have potentially injured a rib or my back. After a trip to the doctor’s office and several x-rays later it was determined that I had spontaneous pneomothorax. In other words one of my lungs had spontaneously collapsed. It was only minor so the lung has healed on its own, and I am already feeling a lot better.

The first serious injury I can remember receiving was a concussion when I was around ten years old. I was skiing at June Mountain, which is only a short drive north of Mammoth. It was an extremely windy afternoon and my friends and I had been hitting jumps all day. My confidence was up after catching some nice air, and I decided I should hit one of the biggest tabletops on the mountain. The jump was close to fifty feet long and ten feet high. I pointed my skiis straight toward the massive jump and bombed my way down the mountain. Right before the kicker I realized that I was going way to fast and a strong gust from behind me seemed to increase my velocity. Before I knew what was happening I had shot off the jump full speed and flew high into the air. I went higher and higher and higher and the ground got lower and lower and lower. Then before long the ground rushed at me like a wave onto a beach. I was headed down, down, down. Faster then I had shot into the air I crashed into the ground. My feet and skiis hit first and my head hit next. I was lucky to be wearing a helmet and it’s possible that I could have died had I not been. My helmet cracked straight down the middle into two symmetrical parts. Thank God that wasn’t my skull. I stood up dizzily only to quickly have my feet fall out from under me. Again I tried to stand, and all I could think about was vomiting. I was confused and tried to recall what happened. Every time I tried to stand I would immediately fall to the ground. With the help of my two friends shoulders I was able to ski down the mountain. I fell in and out of consciousness as they carried me down. It took close to 30 minutes to reach the bottom, and I was incredibly relieved to get off the slopes. My first concussion was not a pleasurable experience and it is the first of many serious injuries that I have had over my long athletic career.

Here is a list of the many injuries I have incurred over the year and I have likely left some out that I can’t even recall. I have broken my wrist, several fingers, a knuckle, my cheekbone, my C7 vertebrae in my neck, and my ankle. I have had three concussions, dislocated my kneecap, sprained my ankle, and had an emergency appendectomy surgery. I have a lacrosse game tomorrow so if I’m lucky I won’t have to add to this list, but who knows. My body pays a price for how hard I play, but no matter how much pain I endure, nothing seems to slow me down. It’s only pain after all.

-Hayden Fulstone


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