Somebody call 911!

This week, Mama Kat asked this question:

1.) Did you create a list of 22 things you’ve done in your life last week? This week, choose one item from your list and elaborate! We want the story.

Most of the things on my list, I've already blogged about, because I'm a bit of a blabbermouth I guess. But I don't think I've told this story:

17. I have traveled to the hospital via ambulance after a serious injury.

(I just love that graphic.)

Anyway. Picture it: Florida, 1980-something. Actually I guess it was 1984, because I was 11. No, don't do the math.

An older couple lived next door to my family, and they had a granddaughter who was about my age. She visited often and we were very good friends. Any time Michelle was visiting, we were together.

So on this hot summer day, we'd been together all day long, running back and forth between the houses. Michelle's grandparents had left their glass slider door open all day to let the breeze in, and we'd ran in and out of it dozens of times. That afternoon, we decided we wanted to spend the night together, and we had to ask my parents if it was okay. We got up and ran out the back slider door. Only this time, it was closed. And I smashed right into it. Through it may be a better term, actually. I smashed it open with my right leg. I didn't feel any pain (we later learned that was because I sliced a nerve). I remember first lifting up both of my arms and seeing nothing, not even a scratch. Then I lifted my right leg and saw a huge open gash. And I screamed. One of those horrific, blood-curdling screams.

My parents heard me, and came running over. Michelle was helping me to the couch in her grandparents' living room, and her Grandma was running to get towels. There was blood everywhere. It was like CSI Gainesville, Florida.
My dad grabbed the phone to call 911, but first he dialed 411. I calmly corrected him.
Then he gave them the wrong address. I calmly corrected him.

I didn't technically go into shock, but I was bizarrely calm. They wrapped my legs in the towels and I told my parents that I was sorry, since they had told me a million times not to run in the house. I also apologized to the neighbors for getting blood all over their couch and carpet. Hey, I'm a Southern Lady; I am polite in all circumstances. (bahaha, I couldn't even type that with a straight face!)

So, the ambulance came and whisked me to the hospital. I only vaguely remember the actual ride; there's not much to see when you're strapped to a stretcher. The lacerations (there were several more than the one I initially saw) were so serious that I needed surgery. They said I was very lucky, the cuts were extremely close to major arteries. The damage could have been much worse, and I could have bled to death. (I'd be happy to go into more detail here, but I'm sure some of you aren't interested in exactly what I saw when I first lifted my leg....heh heh.)

I was in the hospital for about a week. I had to do Physical Therapy and the whole 9 yards. I was on crutches for weeks. It happened during the summer, so I didn't get out of school, or PE, or anything. What a rip-off!

When I got home, Michelle was glued to my side at all times. I think she almost felt guilty that it happened, that she didn't protect me or something. I think she was pretty traumatized. Besides my Mom, she was my primary caretaker. She got me anything I needed, helped me to the bathroom, and made sure I did my exercises. She was only about 10 years old!

And I healed, and life went on. When I first went back to school, I was very self-conscious of the scars, and wouldn't wear shorts for a long time. But I got tired of being hot, it is Florida after all, and I got over my insecurity. I figured if they didn't like it, they didn't have to look at it.

The scars have faded but are still very visible, and I rarely think about them. But I DO yell at my kids when they run in the house, and then force them to sit and listen as I retell this story.


CJ said...

Wow! That was a pretty scary story. I'm glad you recovered to tell about it. I can't tell you how many times I've injured myself when in a hurry and not paying attention ---and luckily only ended up in the hospital once for a few stitches.

Stop by to read my entry to Mama Kat's writing workshop:

Amy said...

Wow! So glad it wasn't even worse!

Good scare story for the kids :)

Alison said...

Wow, that sounds horrible. Thank goodness you ended up being okay! I know one of my cousins ran his face through a glass door as a kid and he still has the scars on his cheeks.

Mae said...

Oh my gosh!!! I always see people run through doors like that on American's Funniest Videos (yes, still one of my faves) and I never really thought about how lucky they were to not be hurt... Wow... Can't imagine!!! To see your leg like that and be so calm? You're one brave chick!!

Great Post!

...sarah. said...

"But I DO yell at my kids when they run in the house, and then force them to sit and listen as I retell this story." ...I would, too! My kid ran into his great-grandpa's truck this weekend and got a nosebleed, but nothing quite this serious. Note to self: tempered glass. Eeek.

Coffee Lovin' Mom said...

WOW - you know when it doesn't look at all normal, worth the screaming. These kind of stories scare me because I haven't broken any bones or had a gashing wound to keep me in a hospital for a week so I know I don't want to be there the day my kids have an accident like this - it's bound to happen..

Anonymous said...

Eeep! How scary! I knew a kid who did the same thing. And also, a kid who almost swallowed an entire toothbrush by running with it in his mouth. Tell your kids that one, too.

I love lots of glass windows/doors in a house but stories like this scare the bejeezus out of me.

Of course, my mother recently walked into a mesh screen - that was just hilarious!

Cam said...

wow! so glad it wasn't worse. i knew it was going to get bad when you mentioned a glass door.

Rachael said...

Normally I think people walking into doors is pretty funny, but it makes it a lot less funny when it breaks and tries to kill you!

Anastasia said...

My dad did that when he was a kid too. He says my Aunt was chasing him with a knife, but my Aunt firmly denies that.