People enjoy describing their various injuries to me in graphic detail.
I don't know why this is.
But I do know that it causes some sort of impossible panic for me.
Part of this might be the disturbing visuals that my brain projects while I listen to a story.
If you say cupcake, I see a cupcake.
If you say, broken bone protruding through skin.
I see a broken bone. Protruding through skin.
This is not a pleasant visual.
It will bring on waves of nausea for me. I will feel like I'm going to faint and I do not know why.
I assume it's a panic attack.
There's no fast beating heart to cue me in though.
Just nausea, dizziness, and the feeling that the world may end.
But often I can't tell someone to stop telling the story.
I'm frozen in horror.
She felt that part of my training involved telling me why she would be out.
You see, she broke her toe.
But she didn't know it was broken. She had recently taken up jogging and thought she might have strained the muscle.
She thought she should continue jogging. But stretch the toe out before and after. With her hands.
That made it hurt much worse. So she went to the doctor. He explained that forcing the broken bone to stretch had caused the bone to splinter and go everywhere.
She was now in danger of a blood clot being created. From all the bone splinter stretching.
She had to be on bed rest for a month to minimize the risk.
During this entire story, I prayed I would not faint, even though the blackness was starting to come in at the corners of my eyes.
Somehow I made it through. I didn't even throw up.
I earned that temp gig.
But the cost is remembering that story in detail, all the time.
Note: If we're friends, please do not take this as an invitation to tell me your horrible injury stories. I really don't handle it well. This was not a dramatization.