Blunt Trauma

The sickening blow came suddenly, without warning, just the way that accidental injuries always happen.

One second, parts are intact, working normally, and we take them for granted. The next, we wonder what we could have done to have avoided the pain, the dysfunction, the inconvenience we know will follow. And there’s not a thing we can do to put the genie back in the bottle; we just live with the consequences of the fickle finger of fate and hope for the best.

No, I’m fine. It’s my camera–specifically, the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens–that is on its way to the Nikon Hospital in NY. At work on Friday, the camera fell from about a foot while I was using it to photograph a patient’s exercises for her.

The lens filter is bent, and it just might be that, in addition to other internal damage, they won’t be able to get the damaged filter off because of the bent threads. It might be it can’t be fixed. A new replacement lens (oh how that would hurt my Goose Creek account!) might be hard to find; they’re on backorder most places.

I love that lens. (The camera, thankfully, is okay, and I’m back to the 18-80mm plus the luggable 80-200, for how long, I don’t know.)

I literally got sick at my stomach when it happened and for much of the day on Friday. But then I put my little crisis in perspective compared to the events of the noon news, or to recent events so close to home. All things considered, it’s only a scratch.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I’ve dropped my D200 a couple of times but so far no breakie breakie. I’m sorry to hear about your busted lens! I bought one year’s worth of damage replacement insurance so I expect to drive over my D200 with a tractor when the camera turns, oh, about 370 days old.

  2. Ugh. I dropped my boss’s laptop and cracked the screen. Makes you just want to barf! I really identify with that second paragraph!