Injuries Sustained In The Bahamas: A Personal And Public Record

So my pal Jim says I'm not allowed to post any more photos of me on vacation because there are too many photos of me on vacation already and this is possibly a little traumatic for people who are not on vacation, people who are, perhaps, stuck in a beige cubicle or inside the four walls of their living room, rather than on a white sand beach in the Bahamas, sipping rum punch and swimming with sharks. 

(It was a work trip! It wasn't a vacation! I now have to write about that rum punch and those sharks!)

Still, despite the absolutely fantastic time I had, I thought you would like to know that I returned from the Bahamas in significant pain. Not that you'd ever want me to experience pain, of course (would you? you sick bastards!), but only that it might even the score just a little, you know? Holly: spent five days lounging in the Abacos, but hurt herself in several ways. Rest of the world: did not spend five days lounging in the Abacos, but at least did not end up with multiple embarrassing injuries to both tend to and explain.

First of all, in case you are wondering, I sprained my foot. Is there ever a non-embarrassing way to sprain your foot? I have done extensive research on this and I think there is not. My foot spraining, of course, was no exception; perhaps the only redeeming aspect of it, in fact, is that I was entirely sober when it happened.

Which was a little something like this: after my travel buddy Kristin and I had been dropped off (by pink golf cart!) at one of the most glorious deserted beaches I've ever seen, I decided that this deserted beach was in fact so glorious that I needed to run on it. I did not just need to run on it, however; I needed to run and jump and leap and twirl and spin on it, all the way down to that gorgeous turquoise water.

Except I never made it to that gorgeous turquoise water, because I got waylaid by that very sharp-looking black rock just before it, and that very sharp-looking black rock turned out not only to be very sharp-looking but also very sharp-feeling, especially when I smashed into it at top speed and then toppled over on top of it.

Holy mother of baked potatoes, that hurt. I did my best not to cry and Kristin did her best not to laugh, and I later limped back to the hotel that afternoon where I spent a large part of the evening a) applying a metric ton of ice to my foot, b) wiggling my toes to convince anyone who asked that it wasn't broken, c) sitting helplessly with my right leg propped up on a few pillows, and d) gratefully accepting the extra-strength codeine pills offered by another person on the trip with the strict understanding that yes, these could make me feel like I was at a Grateful Dead show circa 1968 if I didn't take them as directed. (No such luck, I'm afraid.)

So I woke up on Saturday morning with a foot so swollen that I had to forgo my flipflops for the rest of the trip and a lavender-colored bruise roughly the size and shape of Iowa extending from my toe to my ankle. I spent the day hobbling on one foot like a professional pogo-er and self-medicating with footbaths of warm salt water, and when I say "footbaths," I really mean "the entire Atlantic ocean," because all I really did was sit with my right foot hanging off the edge of the dive boat, and this seemed to work wonders. (Well, sort of wonders: I'm still limping a few days later, but I really don't feel like handing over a $20 co-pay to find out if there's any lasting damage. Might crutches be in for Fall 2008, perhaps? Could I make a walking cast work?)

So that was my first injury. Kristin, meanwhile, was simultaneously suffering from some horrible stomach virus---hello, I'm Klutzy and this is my friend Pukey; thank you so much for inviting us to the Bahamas!---and so we made quite the attractive and interesting and scintillating pair.

And then it got even worse. On Sunday morning, I woke up and my bottom lip had taken over the world. For some reason, it had swollen so suddenly and violently that I resembled the love child of Mick Jagger and....well, Mick Jagger. Appalled, I googled "lip swollen why" and "lip swollen what to do" and found that I was either the victim of some sort of strange allergy or else (horrors!) an insect bite, and that basically, when it came down to it, I was sort of screwed.


Hmm, I'm not even sure if the picture does it justice. It was enormous, Internet. You could have taken it off my face and put in your car and used it as a spare tire. You could have tossed it on your bed as an extra pillow. You wouldn't have wanted to, of course, because it later became all cracked and gross and blistery (allergic reaction to lobster? too much sun?), but still, you could have if you wanted to. I looked like a cartoon. I looked like this!

Now that I'm back home---foot still swollen and bruised, lip still bloated and blistery---I am also covered in angry red mosquito bites, seem to have wrenched my neck while washing my hair in the shower, and am suffering a little jetlag, a little exhaustion, and a large hearty helping of Can't Be Bothered To Unpack And Do Laundry-itis (for which the only cure is running out of clean underwear.) On the other hand, of course, I am now a fully-certified SCUBA diver. So there's that.

(Photo taken by Kristin. When my bottom lip was still a normal size.)

(Last one, Jim, I promise. No more after this.)

Aug 19, 2008

That lip is impressive. Jessica Simpson has been trying to get one (or both!) of hers that size for the past few years now, perhaps you could share your secret with her. Seriously though, sorry to hear of the trip mishaps! One weekend I was taking the train into downtown Chicago from my suburban outing, a couple were coming down the stairs from the 2nd level of the train to get off at Union station when the man stumbled down the narrow, curved stairway and as I was walking past I heard the snap. He yelped and looked at his wife only to say, "I just broke my ankle!" They were clearly tourists, loaded up with maps and cameras and sunhats, and I wanted to cry for them, and you. Sadness! But, glad you came through it all okay and hope your ankle is back to 100% soon.
House of Jules

Aug 19, 2008

I just laughed right out loud. I am so sorry, hope you feel better soon!

Aug 19, 2008

The exact same lip thing happened to me at the beach once, I'm fairly certain it was the sun. Although, I've always wondered why just one lip? Do both lips not get the same sun exposure?

Anyway, I put some Blistex on it and it went down in a matter of hours. Thank god, as I was 14 at the time and how are you supposed to have a holiday romance when you look like a grouper?

Aug 19, 2008

Remember that shellfish allergy I mentioned? It does that to my lips PLUS to both of my eyes (with bonus lack of breathing) so I look like someone who has just had a whirlwind run at the plastic surgeon and hasn't healed yet. Pretty!

Aug 19, 2008

I think Katelin's right. Lips have less protection than the rest of the facial skin and can sustain bad sunburns. Tropical sun and glare off the water during fun watersports? Bad combo. Is there a lipslicks with SPF? THAT would be lovely.

And in regards to why the lower lip alone tries to attain a lovely "beestung" status? It's the angle. That's why noses get fried too.

But now you can scuba! Congratualtions! Where will your article appear?

Aug 19, 2008

Omigosh. YOUR LIP. Mine did that once when I was stung by a bee. I was four years old, and my dad made me lie down on the picnic table while he CAME AT ME WITH A KNIFE to remove the bee's stinger.

So, you know: at least you had a swollen lip without worrying about The Buck coming near your face.

Aug 19, 2008

Oooooh, you know what - the same thing happened to me snowboarding once - i put the swollen lip down to either the 7 hrs in the sun sans lipbalm, or too much tequila that evening. Either were a possibility.

After seeing this i might clear the tequila of the charge and blame the sun!

Glad your lip recovered though, hope the ankle follows suit!

Aug 19, 2008

Holy crap, I clicked that link and that woman's picture almost made me spit my waffle onto my monitor.

Aug 19, 2008

My bottom lip did the same thing in Mexico. Mine was because of the sun. I put Anglie Jolie to shame. I was extremely embarassed and refused to come out from under the sheets. It was also extremely painful. I'm sure I went to a tube of Carmex in only a few days.

Aug 19, 2008

Sorry, I meant through a tube of Carmex. I hope yours isn't too painful!

Aug 19, 2008

Oh my God, your lip and my mutant thumb could get together to be some kind of swollen superhero duo. I'm going to go with a sting of some kind, I'm SORRY. I know it's creepy. But wouldn't an allergic reaction affect BOTH lips? Or the whole mouth?

Aug 19, 2008

At least it was your entire bottom lip. I went through a rough patch during my second year of law school (apparently, I was really stressed out and kept breaking out in hives). I visited my best friend in Orlando during spring break and only the right half of my bottom lip swelled up. Well, the right half of my bottom lip and my eyes. I had not eaten any lobster or gotten stung by any bees or spent any time in the sun. My body just loves me. I called my sister, the nurse practitioner, and all she could say was, "STOP DRINKING!"

Aug 19, 2008

Ack! Your poor lip! That's happened to me before, although I can't seem to remember when or why...a bug bite? too much sun? something like that. I did, however, sprain my foot last week as well (although I have NO IDEA how), so we were hobbling around at the same time, although you were in a much more exotic location than I was. I think I would have minded hobbling a lot less on sand rather than concrete, although either would suck, I'm sure.
Welcome home!

Sensibly Sassy
Aug 19, 2008

The lip actually looks pretty darn hot! Slap some gloss on that sucker and call it a night!

Aug 19, 2008

i LOVE that you shared this picture with us.
when Gabe and i went to Barbados, the SAME thing happened to his EARS! he was all DUMBO'ed out for 3/4 of our vacation!

Aug 19, 2008

hey people pay good money to get their lips to look like that :) heh

Aug 19, 2008

This was absolutely hilarious, although I am very sorry you sustained injuries.

As for your foot, if it makes you feel better, I broke (that's right, broke) mine three weeks ago upon getting a phone call from my now boss, offering me a job. I was so excited from said job offer, that I did a happy dance in my front yard, and well, I landed wrong and yes, like I said, broke said foot.
So there you go, more evidence that there is no non-embarrassing way to injure one's foot.

At least you were on a beautiful beach, not just being a tool in your yard, like myself. ;)

Aug 19, 2008

As a fellow travel journalist, I can totally understand the woes that accompany traveling for work. In fact, I just got back from a trip myself. Was it fun? Yes. Were there perils? Definitely. Congrats on a safe return with almost all your parts in working order.

Anne & May
Aug 19, 2008

Um, I hadn't really prepared myself for that lip picture. Wow.

I think the New England Journal of Medicine will be contacting you shortly...

Nothing But Bonfires
Aug 19, 2008

I know. Sean keeps saying to me "uh, wow, I can't believe you posted that gross picture of yourself on the Internet. FOR EVERYONE TO SEE."

Let it never be said that I only post flattering pictures of myself! It's warts and all here, baby. Or shine and zits and swollen bottom lips and all, I guess.

Aug 19, 2008

At least you'll never be able to say you didn't have a youth full of glamorous yet madcap adventures. Oh, and you can cross "Get Mysterious Giant Lip" off your bucket list.

Aug 19, 2008

How do you manage to be so pretty with a lip the size of Texas? It's the Mystery of Holly Burns. (I first typed that "Bolly Hurns". Oh dear.)

Aug 19, 2008

The best part ain't the lip. It's the crooked glasses.

Camels & Chocolate
Aug 19, 2008

OK, I too am covered with the horrible bug bites (but still no swollen lip). What is WRONG with us? Maybe we make Cursed Travel Buddies =)

Aug 19, 2008

Hey, most people have to pay big plastic surgery bucks for an Angelina lip like that. (The upper lip costs extra.) And if you're going to sprain your foot, I can't think of a better place to do it.

If it's any consolation, when I was in the Caribbean I sustained severe sunburn to the entire back of my body (earned by snorkeling for an hour and a half above Ben's diving group) and freaking turistas, if you can believe it, because I was stupid enough to eat a bite of a mango on Bequia. (The guy also tried to sell me pot, and even I wasn't THAT stupid.)

Anne in SC
Aug 19, 2008

I'm so sorry about your foot and your lip. How awful. Once after diving in the Keys my hand became red and horribly swollen. Seems I let it touch the fire coral that was on mooring rope attached to the ship we were diving. Paradise suddenly tarnishes a bit when these things happen.

Look on the bright side - since you weren't on vacation, but were on a working trip, maybe you could get some workers' comp. And seriously - with a bruise so quickly you could have broken something. People have been known to walk around on swollen, broken feet before.

Oh, and my husband got stung by a stingray this year on our last day of vacation. He was just shuffling along in the surf. Be glad a shark didn't bite you since you guys were full on petting them. LOL

Aug 19, 2008

Sharks, shellfish, sharp rocks, swollen lips, stingrays, stomach viruses. Sheesh, I guess I should just be happy I'm stuck in Detroit. FOREVER.

Aug 20, 2008

Man-I broke a toe on Martha's Vineyard when I well, walked into a rock. (On the beach where they filmed part of Jaws.) Damn that hurt. And I was staying in a hostel using public transportation-so I did a lot of walking. My hole foot was black and blue.

Then I pulled the ultimate "trip"-Coming off the ferry in Woods Hole-a huge line a people waiting to get on watched me come down the steep ramp with my ginormous rolling suitcase behind me (big mistake!). As soon as we hit the steep part-my 500lb behemoth started rolling faster than I could walk with my wounded foot in platform flip-flops, knocked me down and me and the suitcase fell down the ramp and my purse spewed everything all over the place (including some "personal items"). I was completely mortified but tried to cover it by bowing when I got up. Oh well-at least the other people got some laughs at my expense.

Aug 20, 2008

Sorry about your injury, but like your friend said, at least you are on vacation.

Also, your lips are soooo Angelina Jolie. I am totally jealous.

Aug 20, 2008

OMG, that photo SO does it justice! It's huge! I can't believe you had so many injuries in the Bahamas!

I grew up in the Midwest, got mosquito bites all the time, and it was no big deal. But then I moved to San Francisco. When I moved back to Chicago, the mosquito bites turned into huge welts every time. So I feel your pain.

Nothing But Bonfires
Aug 20, 2008

I've now been back for three days and am still developing NEW mosquito bites. And there are no mosquitoes in San Francisco! What's going on? Did I bring them back with me in my suitcase? DID THEY LAY EGGS IN MY SKIN?

Anne in SC
Aug 20, 2008

Do you think your hotel room had bed bugs?
If you Google images you'll see what they look like (I Google everything). Or could be red bugs.

Aug 20, 2008

something i think you should see...

Aug 20, 2008

Oh my God! You poor thing! It would have been the trip from hell if not for the rummy drinks and the scuba diving and the white sand beaches...oh, and the self medicating.

Mmm....delicious rum. Must learn to scuba.

Saucepan Man
Aug 20, 2008

Sandflies, maybe? They start to itch after a few days. That lip looks familiar. Just what I get, if you remember?

Aug 21, 2008

I am just so happy that you aren't allergic to lobster. Because no one should have to go through life without the deliciousness that is steamed lobster with melted butter.

Maybe on your next trip to any sun-soaked location, you should don some protective zinc oxide on the lips and preventative wrap on your ankles and feet, a la Olympic gymnasts, in case of any spontaneous happy-dancing on the beach.

Wacky Mommy
Aug 23, 2008

Hmm. Have always wondered, "What if Holly was funny looking like the rest of us?" Heh heh heh.

Combo allergic reaction to codeine and shellfish? Who knows. My sis and her beau were on vacation once and his entire face and throat swelled up, way worse than that. Turned out he had developed a life-threatening allergic reaction to Tylenol, which he he had taken for a headache, I think? Then later, to reduce swelling. Poor guy. He was okay, but it was touch and go or awhile.

You're gorgeous, girl, even when you're goofy-looking.

Sep 05, 2008

Sorry I'm posting so late but I'm playing catch-up here; been busy and then there was a hurricane and all. So. Hahahahaahah! OMG that picture is hilarious! Not just because of the bottom lip but your expression! So funny. And, really, only someone as attractive as you are could get away with posting a picture like that because, while laugh-out-loud funny, it was not at all gross. I'm sorry to laugh at your misfortune, by the way, but I know you're just fine now, so it doesn't seem so heartless to laugh.