At about 8:30pm on Tuesday 3/8/2022, I was viciously attacked by this coat hanger. I don’t care if this coat hanger has an alibi or tries to shift the blame elsewhere, I will always know that this little fucker did it maliciously and with forethought. This coat hanger should be in prison.
Thinking back, I should have known something was wrong. When I first opened the door to the hotel room, I heard that sound that you hear in those Friday the 13th movies when Jason is in cold, slow pursuit and could pounce at any moment. Sort of a tch, tch, tch, ack, ack, ack sound, but very quiet and with a lot of reverb. Yeah, I should have known shit was going to get real.
But, I slept one night in the room before going to a store to work with one of my employees a bit and all went well. I guess that must be why I allowed myself to let my guard down. I’ll sure remember in the future to be vigilant. I would have been then if only I had known what was to come…
What you see in the photo above is a pretty standard wooden coat hanger that you see in lots of hotels. Usually these are connected to the rod by tiny little heads that go inside the bar and can be removed by sliding them to a certain spot with a larger opening. That was not the case at this hotel. Those wooden hangers had a large, circular head that went all around the pole used to suspend the hanger, AND -and hugely important to the narrative- they did not have the ability to swivel from side to side. Add to that a wall that is only about 2 inches behind the hanger and it is a recipe for disaster. In the image above, the hanger on the left is pushed as far back as it possibly can be without hitting a wall. The total travel of the hanger was perhaps two inches. That’s not a lot of give. After that, it turns into a fixed block of wood sticking out of a wall.
After staying in the room for more than 24 hours, at about 8:30pm on Tuesday, the hanger attacked! I was near Brigham City, UT and it was very cold outside. I’d been wearing my work clothes along with a jacket so I could slip outside to smoke from time to time, but decided around 8:30pm that I’d made my last smoke run and was ready to get into my chilling out clothes while winding down to go to sleep. I reached down to grab my laundry bag, which was in my suitcase below this vicious predator, when the hanger suddenly went on the attack. It hit me right in my left eyebrow (or at least that’s the only place I felt it hit) and it felt like things feel when they hit you pretty hard but then stop. You know, it was like a sharp smack with a sharp pain and then it was pretty much over. It looked just about like this in the mirror twenty minutes later: just a smallish cut with a little clot of blood forming in the eyebrow. I didn’t tend to it because I was about to go to sleep. I shut down my computer and called it a night.
I awoke only when my alarm went off at 4:30am on Wednesday 3/9. It was the strangest thing that I awoke just seconds before my alarm went off, but because my nose (specifically my left nostril) was bleeding -which is unusual. I’m trying to keep from posting too much of my mug here, so you’ll have to imagine that. I think you can still see a bit of dried blood just below the nostril here, but either way it doesn’t really matter. The eye had definitely changed in the hours I had spent sleeping. There is a red spot above the eyebrow and near the hairline which I had not seen the night before, there is some pretty clear swelling both above and below the eye, my nose also has some swelling on the side, and you can clearly see some bruising starting to form on the bottom of the eye. Add to that that my eye wouldn’t open any further than you can see here and you can probably see why I was concerned.
I texted my boss and told him that I probably wouldn’t be going to work that day because I needed to figure out what the holy hell had happened to my eye. I decided to get back into bed and watch some TV, since I figured the urgent care places wouldn’t open until 8 or 9. But I got back up at about 7am and my eye looked like this at that point. Swelling about the same, but more bruising coming in on the top and the bottom. While you can’t really tell from the picture, the soft tissue above the eyebrow is swollen pretty significantly as well. I still can’t open the eye beyond what you can see here and I have pretty limited vision. The limited vision being near vision. The eye not affected by this is the one I had Lasik surgery on and it now has exceptional distance vision, but it’s blurry as hell right in front of me. I can see a little bit out of the injured eye (though it doesn’t look like it) but it’s no clearer than the Lasiked eye.
It was about 9am before I found a place that could see me right away about the eye problem. It was an emergency room. Evidently there isn’t an urgent care anywhere in Brigham City, UT that can take walk-ins. I could have gotten an appointment for 3rd of April, but this felt a bit more pressing than that.
It was snowing this morning and the windshield of my rental car was all iced up. I started the car and left it to thaw the windshield while I packed the bags in my room and checked out. The windshield still had some ice on it as I started driving, but since I couldn’t see anything closer than about 5 feet of me anyway, it didn’t seem like much of an issue. Hell, I couldn’t read the speedometer or even see the map I had brought up on google to guide me to the hospital. I had to rely solely on the voice prompts to get me from the hotel to the hospital. They checked me in, got me to the back in about 5 minutes, and my eye looked about like this at just about 9am on Wednesday 3/9.
I was viewed by several specialists at the hospital. The first person I saw (aside from the triage nurse) was a woman who immediately identified that I’d most likely fractured an orbital bone. She further identified that I had sustained subconjunctival hemorrhages (that will be apparent in later photos). She ordered a CT scan as well as an ophthalmologist’s examination of the eye.
After some time, the CT scan confirmed that I had fractured my left medial orbit. The ophthalmologist obviously confirmed the subconjunctival hemorrhage, but could not tell whether any of the abrasions on the lens of my eye (yup, did that, too) had actually completely penetrated the surface. The small fracture had ruptured a blood vessel (which is why it swelled so badly) and it was very close to my sinuses -which was why my nose bled.
We can break that all down to what the ophthalmologist said to get to why it sucked so bad. What he said, in layman’s terms, is that I, in a hospital 13 hours from home, had just learned that I could not be guaranteed that I could safely fly back home. If the lens of the eye was completely penetrated, it would have been bad. So I had ahead of me a 13 hour drive home (in non-snowy conditions and for a person with 100% vision).
What I’m skimming over here is that no one at the hospital believed that this coat hanger attacked me. The woman who coordinated this whole thing said that the type of trauma I experienced was usually only seen where auto airbags are deployed or when being hit by a projectile in a contact sport (think hockey pucks and line-drive baseballs). She just didn’t believe that this coat hanger was able to wait in ambush and hit me with that kind of force. I fear for her children while in hotel rooms…
She also sent my prescription for antibiotics (to avoid infections in case the sinuses broke through to the eye) to the Walmart in Maricopa, AZ instead of the one right across the street. So it took me a good half an hour after getting there to fill the prescription.
I ultimately did get on the road to home. Due to snow and limited vision, I only made it about a third of the way through the journey before stopping at a hotel. The eye looked pretty bad still, and I held my eyes wide open in surprise to be able to show as much of the reddening of the sclera as possible.
This is what the eye looked like when I rolled out at 6am the next morning to make it home. Yeah, it wasn’t great. I was actually starting to get a bit of the vision back in it and the drive Thursday wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been so painfully long. I left the hotel at 6am and didn’t arrive home until 3pm. So 9 hours, but an hour or more of that was because I had to return the rental car in phoenix, take the shuttle the airport, then take the tram from the airport to the parking lot to retrieve my actual car. This was really one of the longer days of my life. I never got tired during the process though, owing mostly to the fact that it hurt so fucking bad that I wasn’t able to think about anything except the pain. I did take some ibuprofen once when I got home, but I was hoping that would help with the swelling more than for concern of pain.
This is what the eye looked like at its absolute worst. This was on Friday morning as I was beginning my day with conference calls to my team and my boss. You can see the bruise so clearly following the eye socket that it’s almost mesmerizing. You can also see that nearly the entire sclera of the eye is firmly colored red. It also looks like the eye is closer to green than brown. The swelling is pretty goddam intense, and in this closer view, you can even see the bruising and swelling near the nose that I had mentioned earlier without being able to substantiate. If I haven’t yet mentioned it, this hurt like hell.
As it turns out, that first Friday 3/9 was the worst that it got. By Saturday it started to hurt less, but it still looked like this, so I wore my sunglasses inside whenever we went somewhere.
By happenstance, the wife had arranged for us to go to the Renaissance festival that Sunday with some of her friends. I didn’t take any pictures of the eyes that day, but it had started to reduce pretty dramatically. I still wore sunglasses though.
Monday 3/14 was the next day I took a picture and I took this one only because 1) the bruising seems to have spread to the other eye -you can see it on the corner near the nose as well as below the eye, and 2) I was getting pretty concerned that while the dark purple below the eye was dissipating pretty well, the purple between my eyebrow and eyelid seemed to be neatly painted with a plum marker just that morning. It seemed like that portion of it wasn’t getting much better.
The pain and swelling subsided greatly as the week went on and by Friday it didn’t look or feel nearly as bad.
This is what it looked like on Friday 3/18 and was the last picture I took. The bruising above the eye has finally started to dissipate and the bruising below the eye is almost gone. The other eye still has traces of the bruise, but they can hardly be seen without looking for them. The one thing you can’t really see is that the eyeball itself is still pretty red on the outside of the face (if I looked toward my nose you would see it) but when compared to a couple of weeks ago, it’s nothing.
Let my trauma be a cautionary tale to you: Watch out for wooden coat hangers. They’re wily bastards hell-bent on destroying the human race… One eye at a time…