Monday, September 22, 2008

Tripped out

Growing up my Mom and Dad were friends with one couple, Rodger and Nancy Schmidt. Rodger and Nancy lived in town and we lived outside of town in the pink asbestos tile house on Route 1. The Schmidt's would come over and play cards, or Mom and Dad would go over there and just hang out, sometimes we would all go over as a family. Rodger was a Forestry agent and Nancy worked in the office of a paper company in town.

Nancy and Mom decided to join Weight Watchers and commit to go to the meetings each week to help each other out. My wife does Weight Watchers today and let me tell you it has come a LONG way from 1975. Mom had to weigh every single item she put in her mouth which mostly consisted of tuna fish. I don't think that Mom stayed in it for long.

On one of the night's that Mom and Nancy were at their meetings, Dad and Rodger were tasked with keeping my sister and I alive until they got home. There was a Monday night movie coming on and Sis and I were looking forward to watching it. Dad and Rodger were going to hang out in the kitchen and talk about whatever they talked about. Sis and I wanted to munch on some popcorn, so Dad decided to pop us some popcorn. We popped the corn on the stove until I was a teenager. We had a glass bowl that we used for our popcorn because it held a batch of corn perfectly.

Our house was set up like a shotgun house. When you came in the front door you were immediately in the living room, my sister's room was to the right of that. If you kept walking straight through the living room you were in what we used as a family room, and then just beyond that was the kitchen. Mom and Dad's room was off the family room and our only bathroom connected Sis's room and Mom and Dad's room. I had a teeny tiny room off my parent's room. Our TV was in the living room.

Our kitchen table was up against the wall, which meant we always had to move it out for us to eat dinner. It was right by the door that led to the family room. Rodger was sitting at the place where Dad always sat with his legs stretched out, arms folded. Rodger always kind of grossed me out because he produced an inordinate amount of spit and usually had this white spit string connected to his top and bottom lip. As he talked it would stretch out then go back down. Not fun to watch but unavoidable to stare at!
I had the bowl of popcorn and was walking into the living room all ready for the movie. As I was walking Rodger moved his foot and tripped me. I am not graceful and do not rally from those kinds of things with any type of agility which mean I fell face forward with the popcorn bowl in hand. The bowl broke and apparently I slit my left arm through a big piece of glass, cutting it.

My left pinkie had a gash from the first crease to about a 1/2 inch into my palm. My elbow was opened up like a smile, white bone sticking out and all, about 8 inches. "Oh my God, Son!" "Oh crap!"


"What happened...oh no, Mom's going to kill you."

"Get the damn towels now!!!"

"[Rodger] I'm so sorry are you ok?"

The heavy trail of blood from the kitchen into the family room was now pooling up and towel after towel was not stopping the bleeding. I think I was in shock because I don't remember ever crying one time. Maybe I should go with pure toughness and true grit? Who'd believe that, I was is shock."

"Lesa you stay here for your Mom. Rodger go start the car we have to go to the hospital. RODGER GO GET THE CAR!!"

"Right car, on my way."

"Daddy is he going to die? I'm scared Dad."
"Sis it's going to be OK, just wait here for Mom and tell her what happened. We'll be home as soon as we can."

We lived about 20-25 minutes outside of town and arrived in about 8 minutes. We lived in a small town and our hospital didn't really have an emergency room. Rodger pulled up to the South entrance. At this entrance of the hospital you had to climb two flights of stairs to get to the floor that led to the after hours care place. Dad made those 50 plus steps in about three bounds. He wasn't going to lose his only son, still bleeding like crazy.
Mom and Nancy showed up from their meeting and walked into the house to find my sister on the couch pale and a stream of blood that led from the front door to the kitchen with a large pool of blood in the family room. My Mom's first thought was that a robber had broken in and killed me and Dad while Rodger hid in the closet and sis hid under her bed. Mom's good at keeping a calm head and not jumping to conclusions like...say...murder--NOT.

"Oh my God...what happened here!"

" is hurt bad...he cut his arm and bled and bled."

"Where is he where's your Dad."

"At the hospital."

I was rushed into an exam room and the Doctor on call was called. It was Dr. Olive, the resident allergist. He was a full fledged Doctor, but didn't really work on anything other than allergies. As he walked in he saw me and said, "what happened here.?"

"He and cut his arm when the bowl broke he was carrying. Is he going to be ok?"

"Oh yes, we'll take care of him."
"It's going to be ok, bud. The doctor's going to fix you up."

I always and still do have complete and total lack of fear when I'm with my Dad. He takes every care and concern away and i just feel safe and invincible. Dad was stroking my hair back and holding my hand. I was on the crunchy paper of the exam table just bleeding.

The doctor came back in and put three shots directly into the open wound on my elbow and two shots in my pinkie. "Let's give this a minute to deaden then I'll come back to stitch you up." When he came back in he told Dad I should turn away and look at him until it was sowed up. The beauty part of this is that I watched the whole thing in the reflection of my Dad's glasses.
I wore a bandage for about two weeks or more, maybe more. Dr. Olive did a really bad job stitching up my pinkie and now I can't completely close my pinkie and you can see a fold at the bend of my pinkie right at the palm. There are times that my pinkie will tingle and feel like it's asleep. I don't want to get surgery done to fix it because I fear it might make it worse.

As a 5 year old who just went through this horrible thing, it made it all better when my Robba took me to McDonald's for a Big Mac and fries...royal treatment for a royally horrible experience.

The pictures are of my elbow scar and pinkie scar as of today. As you look at my hand that is as far as I can close my pinkie to my ring finger, you can also see the crease, I wasn't bending my finger in this shot.