I Gave Myself A Black Eye


I am not here to offer you advice. No, today I am here to tell you a story that you may or may not relate to, in some way or another. Today I am here to tell you how I have proved to myself, for sure, that I am still a clumsy child in a clumsy adult body. I always thought this was a possibility, but after our recent camping trip, now I know it’s a definite.

I have been camping at Gilson Pond Campground at the bottom of Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire for 10 years, minus one- I did not camp there the year I was pregnant with my son (2016). I hike the mountain at least once a trip, sometimes twice. Every year since I started this tradition, something crazy has always happened, and since I have been bringing my children, one of them has always somehow managed to injure themselves. It is never an injury that requires a hospital visit (though one year a friend managed to hook my thumb with a fishing hook and we went to the hospital to get it out, that was fun…), but it is usually bad enough that we get some weird looks from people when we get back home.

Well, this trip was my turn for the injury, and it was a doozy.

This year, we took two vehicles up – my gas hog truck stashed with all of our camping and hiking gear, and my boyfriend’s mother’s Sante Fe. I drove her car with the kids and he followed me in my truck.

It poured on and off during the drive up. My boyfriend joked that I shouldn’t need a map, I know my way to the campground and the surrounding area, and I pretended to be offended. We laughed each time we found a 90’s throwback song on the radio and suggested it to the other one, finding that we were both listening to that exact song. My son kept trying to look back and wave because “Look, Daddy is still behind us!”

It was a mostly uneventful drive up, and I was hopeful for an uneventful trip.

We got to the campground and I checked us in. They asked if we needed a map, and even though we don’t (we get the same site every year), I took one anyways. Now it’s pouring. Okay fine, not a big deal, since we usually get stuff out of the vehicle and head to town to get meats and whatever items we inevitably forget every damn time. So we head down to our campsite, and I pull to the side so he can back my truck in. We have decided that since it’s pouring, we will just drop the truck off and head right to the store before taking anything out – it is supposed to clear up.
(Side note: it cleared up long enough to get the tent up, and then poured buckets until about 4am- we had a small river running under our tent that night)

I should mention that I get overly excited every year because I find “mountain blueberries.” I stop mid-hike for them. I veer off the trail for them. I eat every single one I can find. This year would be no different.

image of Cyndi's eye just a few minutes after she gave herself a black eye
After the first few minutes

As my boyfriend is parking my truck, I get out of the car so I can move over to the passenger side. He says something about “this is some BS” that I make him drive, which I ignore, and then it happens. I notice blueberries right next to the car door, and as I open the door so I can get in, I lean down to look at the blueberries and shriek with excitement- and then I see a flash.

He said it sounded like the door hit a rock. He said he was going to tell me to watch the door on the rocks, and then he saw me keel over, my hand pressed against the side of my head. My glasses fell off my face, and somehow they were still in one piece. The pain I felt was excruciating. I thought for sure I would be bleeding, or that I had broken my eye socket – the door got me right at the side of my left eye.

Cyndi's eye a few hours after she gave herself a black eye
Black eye by bedtime

We found an ice pack (thankfully I pack for just about every scenario imaginable) and put it against my face. There was no blood, but there was a lump so big I didn’t think my glasses would fit back on my face. He asked if I was okay, and though I said yes, I was so angry I cried. We went to the grocery store first, and as I was walking around, I realized I was dizzy. I wondered if I had given myself a concussion, but by the time we left and went to Walmart, I was no longer dizzy, just in horrible pain.

6 images showing the progression of Cyndi's black eye over the course of 4 days, getting worse each day.
4 days of getting worse

By the time we went to bed, the black eye started. Over the next few days, it seemed to get worse by the hour. We still hiked and did everything that we usually do, but my boyfriend was concerned that people were going to think the worst of him: here I was, hiking with a black eye and carrying our daughter on my back in the hiking backpack, and he was only carrying water. People DID look at me and then at him with strange looks, but I didn’t care – as long as the pain was kept at bay with Ibuprofen, I was still having a good time.

the worst the black eye got before it started to look better.
The worst of it

The rest of the trip was uneventful, injury-wise. I guess I’d rather me than have the kids get hurt, but maybe if we could get a break from all injuries, that would be SUPER AWESOME.

And yes, I ate those damn blueberries.


  1. Hope your eye is doing better!! I did this but it was far less tough! I was wearing my baby in the grocery store and trying to get items under the cart and wasn’t paying attention to myself, and when I leaned up, I somehow shielded her head, but managed to knock myself by the eye with the conveyer belt. To this day, I have no idea how i did it, but managed to give myself a nice black eye on the conveyer belt! It hurt so bad i thought I was going to pass out right then and there!


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