People Share The Worst Injuries They’ve Sustained While Doing The Most Simple And Mundane Tasks
When it comes to injuries, athletes take the brunt of them. For every home run and every touchdown, there are plenty of risks to their physical well-being, and part of their jobs is expecting that injuries could occur. For the rest of us, we try to actively steer clear of things that easily cause injury. Yet, there is always still a bizarre chance that we can break a finger from typing on a keyboard or sprain our backs from yawning after a good night’s sleep. Athlete or not, no one is really safe from pain.
These people tell tales of the times when being careful wasn’t quite good enough. No matter how cautious they were, they still managed to get themselves into horrendous situations while doing the simplest of tasks. After you’re done reading this, you’ll likely be more aware of your surroundings while you’re walking down the street or eating dinner.
#1 Harry Potter And The Sneeze Of Pain
Let me preface by saying that I am already disabled with a bad back, but I am not wheelchair-bound. A little over a decade ago, I was cooking something. I leaned over, careful as always, to look at what I was cooking and just at that moment, I sneezed. I hurt my back so bad I had to lay in bed for over three months. I needed help to stand, sit, and even roll over in bed. I couldn’t get up from the toilet. I spent so much time in bed that I read the entire seven-book Harry Potter series on the tiny screen of my Palm Treo 650 phone.
#2 Stretch It Out
I got out of bed and went to my computer. After about an hour, I started to feel a little groggy, so I decided to do a quick stretch. I brought my left arm up and started reaching up as far as I could when there was a very sudden and sharp pain in my left shoulder blade and the bottom middle of my chest. I figured I just pulled a muscle, but after about 15 minutes with an ice-pack, I ended up going to the local walk-in clinic to see if they could diagnose the issue.
The doctor decided to run an EKG test, but nothing. At some point, he asked to see my fingers. Turned out, they were starting to turn purple. He then told me that I definitely needed to go to the ER, preferably by ambulance. The paramedics arrive, loaded me up and drove me to the nearest hospital. After several tests and scans, another doctor came over and told us that I’m suffering from spontaneous pneumothorax.
The best they could guess on how this happened was that, while I was stretching, some abnormal growth on my lung, called a “bleb” had ruptured, leaving a hole in the lung. I ended up spending about two weeks in the hospital because the air pocket was showing no signs of dissipating, even with me connected to a vacuum. It’s been almost five years since then, and I’ve still got the scar from where the vacuum tube had to go into my chest cavity.
#3 Year Of The Knife
I was at work and was instructed to sweep up the patio. We got a brand new push broom, so I had to cut the handle from the broom head which was attached with zip ties. I’ve cut God knows how many zip ties in my life and never once hurt myself. Well, these particular zip ties proved to be a bit too thick for a pair of scissors, so I had to resort to my pocket knife.
I found myself in a particularly awkward position—with the knife pointed straight at my leg—and I decided that pulling the blade through the plastic with sheer brute force was the best plan. As soon as it was all underway and the blade started digging in, I simultaneously thought to myself, “I’m gonna stab myself in the leg,” and, “It’s never happened before I’m just worrying too much.”
I didn’t quite get through that last thought without stabbing myself in the leg. That was about five years ago and I still have a purple dent as a reminder. I didn’t need stitches though. (Well, I never went to the hospital to find out.)
#4 Pen But No Paper
When I study, I use a bed table placed on the floor and I sit on a beanbag. I tend to have a habit of subconsciously leaving pens on the beanbag when I take a break. This one time, I stood up and sat back down without looking. I didn’t know that there was a pen there, so when I sat down, it poked me really hard on my left butt cheek. I screamed and jumped back up as a reflex. It left a small hole on my butt cheek. Needless to say, before I sit down, I check for pens now.
#5 Feel The Rhythm
I have carpeted stairs that are pretty slick. One morning, I was walking downstairs in clean socks when I slipped and slid all the way down the stairs on my back before slamming into the wall at the bottom. It gave me whiplash and threw out my lower back for at least a week. This kept happening to me until I wised up and started wearing slippers with rubber soles.
By then, I had gotten pretty good at just riding out the “fall” with my arms at my sides like a bobsledder and stopping myself from hitting the wall at the bottom by using my feet. My family started calling me “Cool Runnings” and teased that I could win a gold medal if “stair sledding” were ever to become an Olympic sport. It’s funny now, but it hurt like heck back then.
#6 A Real Christmas Story
When I was four, I was decorating for Christmas with my mom when I found a box of really beautiful old glass baubles. One of them had a piece of blue tack stuck to it, so I tried to remove it. Somehow, I ended up smashing the bauble and a thin glass shard sliced my thumb really deeply. It must have hit a vein because there was red everywhere. I ended up having to go to the hospital to get multiple stitches.
#7 Both Shoulders Next Time
I was waiting for my mom to give me and my sister a lift to school. I was in secondary school and I had a ridiculously heavy bag with all my books in it. Being a “cool kid” (hint, I was not) I always wore my ton-weighted bag on one shoulder, rather than spread the weight evenly over the two straps.
My lower back was sore and my little sister was making me laugh, causing my back to hurt even more. She had me in hysterics whilst simultaneously sending agonizing lightning bolts down my lower spine. At some point, something just popped and I crumbled to the floor. I ended up herniating my L4 and L5 discs. I could not get back up. Laughing caused slipped discs in my lower back.
#8 Hunger Taking Over
I spent the night at my best friend’s grandma’s house. We decided to stay there because it was quiet, and she never said anything about us staying up all night playing games. She also happened to cook my friend a special breakfast that none of the other grandkids got. It was scrambled eggs, fried taters, chopped ham, and cheddar cheese all mixed up. Pretty simple and delicious.
Well, we had just woken up to play Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and we hadn’t left the room but we were starving. His grandma brought us these huge plates of his special breakfast we happily accepted. I already eat fast so I didn’t even know how much trouble I was in, and I must have chosen to ignore her saying, “Be careful, it’s hot,” before she walked out.
I grabbed a big spoonful and the second it hit my tongue I had to spit it back out. I felt something pop in my left jaw and felt a stabbing pain radiate through my jaw. I couldn’t close my mouth or enjoy the special breakfast. I couldn’t close my mouth completely for a few weeks, and it took me a while to feel comfortable chewing on that side of my mouth.
#9 Who’s A Good Boy?
I bent over to pet my dog and it sent the left side of my neck into such severe muscle spasms. I was stuck in a chair for two days in severe pain as the spasms were happening over and over. Finally, I got to a doctor and ended up in a neck brace. I was also prescribed painkillers and muscle relaxers for a few days. That was about two years ago and my neck still isn’t right on the left side.
#10 Nothing To See, People
I was jumping over a puddle. It didn’t cross my mind that the ground was wet and my landing foot ended up sliding causing me to do the splits. My left foot caught the curb and bent my leg really awkwardly. Both of my hips separated (luckily they went right back in place) and I also had a grade-two MCL sprain in my left knee. It’s was a semi-large puddle to my defense and no one saw it happen.
#11 A Soundtrack For Chaos
I taught driver’s education during my summer breaks from teaching physical education at a school. I returned back to school in September. After school one day, I went shopping. I was loading groceries in the back seat when suddenly my car door hit me, sending me about 12 feet away from my car into the side of a moving car in the next lane over.
I found out later that it was one of my graduated driver’s education students of that summer who was showing off in his new Mustang in the parking lot. He had lost control and slammed into my car head-on! Had I not been listening to music with my earbuds in, I may have been able to hear the Mustang coming. I only suffered one broken arm, a level-two concussion, and some abrasions.
That’s just the beginning! The kid’s insurance company would not pay for the damage caused by my body hitting the moving car. My car was totaled anyway, so why the run-around with the other car? The kid’s father owned the insurance agency that he was insured with. They claimed that I could have heard the Mustang prior to impact had I had not had my earbuds in.
My insurance company came through for me anyway and paid my bills. The kid’s insurance company, oh the other hand, refused to settle out of court, so a couple of years later, I had my day in court. Pictures say a thousand words and can also earn you many of thousands of dollars more. The pictures sent to me by witnesses and friends at the scene proved very helpful in my case.
#12 A Bathroom Nightmare
I got up in the middle of the night to the washroom. I sat on the toilet and took care of business, but then I tried to stand up. The toilet in our downstairs bathroom is right next to the shower, which has those sliding doors attached to the tub. For whatever reason, when I got up and turned to flush, I didn’t stand all the way and ran face-first into the corner of the shower door handle. I bled like a stuck pig and had a fantastic scar right in the middle of my forehead for a while, which I can finally cover up with enough concealer.
#13 Seven Years Of Bad Luck
When I was about 14 or 15, I severed my Achilles tendon 90%, give or take. At least this is what I remember being told by the doctors. Now you may be wondering: What was the mundane task that would’ve caused such a terrible injury? I was cleaning my bedroom as it was your typical, messy fourteen-year-old girl’s bedroom.
I had a full-length body mirror hung up on the back of my bedroom door. For whatever reason, I wanted to take the mirror off and set it down beside my door. What happens next is more or less a blur. I remember the moments immediately before and after, but the gap in between has some blanks, such as how the mirror broke.
So as it happens; I took the mirror off of the back of the door and leaned it up against the wall. I shut the door and the suctioning of the door closing caused the mirror to fall over. Either the mirror was broken before or this event broke it—I’m not sure. What I am sure of is the mirror breaking into two main pieces: One large top piece and one equally large bottom section. The top piece stayed stuck to the board with the bottom piece falling off and landing up against the back of my right ankle.
#14 Certainly Wasn’t The Point
I was carrying a potted plant from point A to point B in my yard. I tripped and landed on a cement sidewalk. The bottom corner of the ceramic pot landed on my right thumb. My hand hurt. When I looked at my thumb, I thought the thumb had been cut off. Naw, only crushed, with little crumbs and bits of bone falling out. Five pins and two surgeries later, it has some feeling, looks terrible, and will never bend again. People in the emergency room gave me no respect until they saw the X-ray.
#15 Sit Yourself Down
I got a hip injury from sitting down. I’ve been having difficulty walking and sitting for the past month. I’m still trying to work out just what exactly was the cause, but it occurred as a popping sensation deep in my hip joint, followed by a surge of hotness and pain—only occurring (so far) when the hip is rotated to take a seated position. It continues to occur, but I’ve found moving much slower helps. Maybe this is what it means to “throw out” my hip, but… I have no accompanying back pain, no known hip problems before, and I’m merely sitting, so I’m kind of perplexed.
#16 Easily Printing Doctor’s Notes
I was loading paper into a 60″ Designjet. I rotated my wrist just a teeny bit too far and it felt like I pulled a muscle. Two days later, it still hurt. I went to the workplace doctor and they put me in a brace for a week. When I got it checked again, they told me to come back in two weeks. This went on for three MONTHS. I finally demanded to go to a real doctor. They diagnosed it as a TFCC tear, and by then it was so damaged that I had to have surgery. They put two pins in it and my arm was put in a cast up to the armpit, elbow bent, with my palm facing me. I was out of work for 10 weeks. Still hurts when it rains.
#17 Letting Down Pele
I broke my pinky playing soccer in the backyard with my dad. I was playing “goalie” in front of the fence and he curved the ball around the tree. I put my hands up to block the shot and my pinky kind of hurt after that. My dad—being a dad—told me to put my finger in a cup of ice. The next morning when my mom came to pick my sister and me up from his house, my finger was deep blue and purple… Needless to say, my mother was not happy.
I’m right-handed and this was my right pinky. I was in third grade and we were learning cursive. I had to write with my pinky stuck straight out and to this day my cursive looks like a third grader’s.
#18 Nearly Saw More Stars
Little me, around eight-years-old, spent a few hours gazing through a telescope into the moon, the stars, and the sky. It was awesome. When I was done, I hugged my telescope, with the optical tube down and eyepiece up. I was very short—very, very short. Almost telescope-sized back then.
So, of course, I tripped. By reflex, I looked down, while at the same time, the big end of the telescope hit the ground, and my mouth caught the eyepiece, almost. Right between the upper lip and the nose, it went almost all the way in. In two spots, it went all the way through my face and hit my front teeth. Lucky me, it didn’t crack a tooth. Thanks for the ER trip, Mr. Telescope. Who knew stargazing was such a dangerous activity?
#19 Wrong Thing To Throw
I bowled in college. One day, I ended up showing up to practice late because I slept through my alarm when I took a nap… so I started rushing to get to practice. At this point, I’m like 30-45 minutes late and finally get to the bowling alley and in my infinite wisdom, I decide I’m just going to start throwing shots without easing into it because I’ve already missed enough practice. It wasn’t a day full of good decisions, as you can tell. Two shots in, I proceeded to throw out my hip and was limping around for over a week.
#20 Break It Up
I broke my foot stepping off a curb. There was a minor pothole (and I mean very small dip) that I didn’t notice and my foot rolled sideways as I put all my weight on it. I heard the pop but it didn’t hurt too bad at first, so I went about my day. When I got home, I couldn’t get my shoe off without unlacing it fully due to swelling. I went to the doctor’s the next day and—yup—I broke my foot by stepping off a curb.
#21 Potato, Potahto
I was cutting potatoes. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t cut completely through this specific potato… Turned out, my finger was in the way. It wasn’t a bad injury—it didn’t hurt at all, I didn’t need stitches, and it was actually pretty funny… but there was a ton of blood, and all the other students were freaking out.
#22 Future Tony Hawk?
I used to skateboard about 25-30 kilometers a day when I lived in Amsterdam. I never had any injuries or accidents. It’s as easy and automatic as riding a bike. When I went out to skate for two minutes in the UK, I fell and broke my collar bone right away. I blame it all on having to ride on the other side of the road and bad luck…
#23 Thumbs Up, Soldier
Breaking a stick for firewood. It was about the thickness of a nickel. I was breaking it how I always break sticks that size, with my thumbs out and pushing through the middle. Super simple and effective. Well, apparently, my thumb had popped out when I started this process and I hadn’t noticed. I continued through the stick-breaking process until I felt my thumb go the wrong way. I dropped the stick and realized what just happened. This was at summer camp so I had a brace that kept my thumb in the “thumbs up” position all summer. It’s like that in all photos, so much so that it became natural for me to pose “thumbs up” in photos.
#24 Nail On The Head
I had just pulled a pizza out of the oven and was about to devour it, as you do. When I opened my fridge to get a drink, the bottom of the door caught my big toenail and separated it from the skin all the way to the base. The nail ended up falling off and it took a full year to grow back.
#25 Let Me Serve You
In sophomore year of high school, I was in a “lifetime fitness” class where we played various sports for a few weeks at a time. We were playing badminton one week, and the courts were all next to each other. As I was picking up the birdie from the ground in my game, I stood back up and saw a birdie that a guy was inadvertently serving from the court next to mine come flying at me.
Next thing I knew, I woke up with everyone around me and my eye swollen shut with blood coming down my face. The birdie and its hard rubber ball hit me square in my right eye and I was diagnosed with a micro-hyphema (bleeding in the eye). I had to sit upright in bed and take about 20 eye drops a day for a week straight as well as get tested for glaucoma for three years afterward. Great luck.
#26 Bleed It Out
Praying at church. They had pads for us to kneel down on in the pews for prayer. I missed the pad and fell forward, smashing my face into the pew in front of me… I got a bloody nose instantly and it started gushing. It wasn’t broken, but I got up to run to the bathroom, and my foot snagged the pad at the end. I put my hands down to catch my fall and sprained my wrist in the aisle, nose still bleeding all over the floor. I’m an atheist now.
#27 Quit Monkeying Around!
I thought I’d give my friends a good laugh while we were riding down an escalator. I jumped up on the rails and did an amazing monkey drop in. The best one ever. My pay-off was laughter… and ripping all the muscles and tendons down the length of my back. I guess I relaxed just a little too much. I still suffer through reminders of this event nearly 20 years later. If I just roll in bed wrong, move wrong in the shower, sneeze, etc., it takes two to four weeks for the pain to go away each time (depending on what set of muscles were pulled). It sucks.
#28 Mean-Eyed Cat
I dislocated my shoulder while playing with the cat. He’s rather aggressive and quick to attack. He was outside and didn’t like the way I looked at him. He jolted towards the window and punched it. As a reflex, I jolted backward, and in doing so, I dislocated my right shoulder somehow. I’ve dislocated my right shoulder four additional times since then.
#29 The Quicker Picker Upper
I tripped over paper towels once. I just bought a pack and was bringing in all the groceries. I set the pack on the counter briefly to make room elsewhere to put the paper towels away. Unknown to me, one of the rolls fell out and landed on the floor. White paper towels on a white floor. I came back to retrieve them and, not seeing the stray roll that fell out, I tripped and flew across the kitchen. I wasn’t too badly injured, but at least I can now tell everyone I tripped over paper towels.
#30 Getting Mowed Down
I tried to start a lawnmower with a bent driveshaft or something. I don’t even know how it happened, but the edge of the handle, upon release, would WHIP in a very unpredictable way. It smacked into the first joint on the back of my thumb and cut it up. It was a mangle injury and it’s been two years. I still have a pretty big scar. I also used to work landscaping so it’s not even like I can’t start a lawnmower. This one was just cursed.
#31 Looking Out For Grandma
I snapped my right radius, just below the wrist, in half. It was in the backyard of my grandma’s house while we were having a family BBQ. I went deep to catch a football and jumped for it. On the way down, it looked like I was going to land in the new bush my grandma had just bragged about planting. So, I twisted to avoid it, landing on my wrist.
I had to have my bone reset in the ER and wait a week on pain meds for the swelling to go down so I could have surgery. A plate, a pin for a tendon, and multiple screws were installed. A few months of physical therapy later, it’s mostly back. I had to be left-handed for almost half a year.
#32 Let It Slide
I got pushed down the slide by a bunch of boys during recess in second grade. I landed on my ankle awkwardly and started crying. The teacher on duty came over and told me to walk it off. By the time second recess started, my ankle was the size of a grapefruit. One trip to urgent care later, turns out I had severely sprained my ankle, almost to the point of a fracture. I was in a cast for a month. I still hate that teacher that told me to walk it off.
#33 Bringing Home The Bacon
I enjoy having breakfast in bed. I like waking up to the smell of bacon. Since I don’t have a butler, I have to do it myself. So, most nights before I go to bed, I will lay six strips of bacon out on my George Foreman Grill. Then I go to sleep. When I wake up, I plug in the grill and go back to sleep again. Then, I wake up to the smell of crackling bacon. It is delicious, it’s good for me. It’s the perfect way to start the day. I got up, I stepped onto the grill and it clamped down on my foot… that’s it. I don’t see what’s so hard to believe about that.
#34 A Harsh Swerve
I was leisurely longboarding down a popular trail here in Chicago. I swerved out of the way for a lady and her dog. My wheels brushed against a cobblestone part of the path, and I fell—a pretty standard longboard experience… except that the way my right leg took the fall forced my femur out the back of my butt. It ripped most of the cartilage off the top of my femur.
I fractured my pelvis in five places. I was in the hospital for two weeks. I had to have Reconstructive surgery, with three months of crutches and staying completely off the leg. Almost five months out from the injury, I’m currently bankrupt just trying to get back into the swing of things. Maybe not that mundane of a task, but considering I’ve been riding a skateboard for almost 18 years and have actively conquered hills of death and destruction, blasting down mountainous terrain at 30+ miles per hour. I did not think a nice easy ride would go so bad.
#35 Drop And Give Me 20!
I was at the gym, doing burpees. I went down for a pushup but my ring finger on my right hand somehow got caught. I heard a pop, felt the pain, but was convinced I just jammed it. Turns out, I shattered my metacarpal. A $20K surgery later and my hand is still funky. I can’t open those damn pickle jars.
#36 Wrong Kind Of Knife Game
I was eating a burger at a pub where they gave me a fork and steak knife. The knife fell off the table and into my lap whilst I was eating said burger. My legs automatically closed quickly. Unfortunately, one leg pushed the end of the knife into my other leg and I ended up stabbing myself as the knife went about five centimeters into my thigh. I went to the hospital to get stitches.
#37 Stretch Out Your Hand
I was stretching on a chair while playing video games and felt a huge pop in the chest with persistent pain afterward. I got some “spontaneous” pneumothorax—basically, my left lung burst a little and let the air out into my chest. I opted for the removal of the tip of the lung, as it would likely cause problems again, and had to have a cannula and vacuum connected to my chest for a few days.
#38 Blame The Air
I sprained my wrist while opening a jar of coconut oil. It took me close to two months to fully recover without pain, but, in all honesty, it was more embarrassing having to explain to people at my martial arts gym that I can handle sparring, and jiu-jitsu, but not cooking without injury. Maybe I should stick to cereal.
#39 Going Old School
I was talking on a corded phone and got hit by lightning. It hit a pole in the neighborhood and I was the ground. It threw me across the room and I was in pain. I ended up in the ER because apparently, your heart stops after getting hit. It blew a hole in my eardrum and I lost my memory. I had to go to therapy for several months. To this day I can’t do numbers and remember names. I don’t remember yesterday and have my girlfriend do a lot of the memory-type chores for me.
#40 No Need To Wine
I picked up a wine glass from the dishwasher and grabbed it by the round part (which apparently is a big no-no). The glass shattered in my hand and I thought to myself, “Boy, that was surprising. I’ll wipe out the glass and sweep the floor.” I then noticed one of the shards was buried so deep into my palm that the entire face of my palm was sliced open.
I later found out it cut all the way through to the bone. My mother is a physical therapist who specializes in hands and palms. She told me if the glass had been one centimeter left or right, and my hand would’ve been paralyzed for life. Luckily, I ended up with nothing but a swollen hand that was unusable for a month and a big scar.
#41 Curtains For You
I was changing a curtain rod. It was very high, so I stood on my mostly-broken-rolling-reclining computer chair, while my husband yelled at me from the other room to not do it. I arrogantly replied, “I got this, I don’t need no help from no man, I’m a strong independent woman!” I got it set up, jumped from the computer chair, and executed a bow, totally unscathed, and yelled out, “Ha!”
I then proceeded to trip over nothing, get my foot stuck under the wheels of my computer chair, smack my face into my desk and crush my ribs into the control knob on my computer. My injuries were as follows: three broken toes, swollen tongue, chipped tooth, rug burns everywhere, bruised face, bruised ribs, and very bruised pride.
#42 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
I broke my ankle taking the recycling out to the curb. As all my recycling goes into a large plastic recycling box with handles, I can’t see the pavement in front of me while carrying it. I missed my footing slightly, then my ankle turned and I went down on top of it. It ended up getting broken in three places, and it’s still painful four months later.
#43 Dude, Where’s My Car… Keys?
I’m really good at putting my car keys in whatever side pocket has my arms full. Last week at the grocery store, I reached my left hand across to retrieve them from my right pocket and let me tell you, that was a mistake. I felt that familiar “tinge” alongside warmth in the back and knew I was in for a week of ouchies.
#44 Busy Brushing That Stain
I was brushing my teeth one night and I was on a new active streak. I was pacing back and forth in my place as I scrubbed away at my chompers. I decided to drop, while the toothbrush was still in my mouth, as I was in the hallway, to knock some push-ups. As I lowered myself, I felt a sharp pain, as if a knife was puncturing my throat. Nope. It was my toothbrush lodged in the back of my oropharynx. Three hours and an entire roll later, it stopped. It hurt to eat for a month.
#45 Not Playing With A Full Neck
I had run my hair through hot water in the shower so I could comb it before work. Easy task, right? Well, I angled my neck down while I went to dry it with a towel, and as I moved my neck down I felt a single pop. My neck and upper back toward the base of my cervical spine locked and hurt like crazy. I couldn’t move my neck. Driving to work was painful because I couldn’t look out the side windows without rotating my entire torso. After it didn’t go away for two days, I went to the doctor. Turns out, I got a muscle spasm in my neck while attempting to dry it. I don’t know how I did it, and the doctor didn’t know how I did it, we just kind of laughed how I hurt myself drying my hair.