Friday, February 5, 2010

the story of my most serious injury

The Story of My Most Serious Injury

Almost exactly a year ago I posted a list I'd taken from my mom's blog (which is sad and very lacking in content...she needs to update!) with blog topics, thinking I'd revisit it a lot and write about it when I don't have other things to write about. Let the laughter start now - I always have something, so I haven't spent much time with the list. I saw it today, though, and liked it.

So here is the story of my most serious injury

When I was about 13 years old I was in a homeschooling group called Rainbow Kids. We would meet every Thursday at various parks around Orange County. This particular Thursday was a beautiful day in April, and we went to a park in San Dimas to celebrate Earth Day. The plan was to go around picking up trash, and then do some earthy activities. I remember crawling through bushes so thick I scratched up my arms to get to some broken glass.

Later I took this glass and sat around a table with friends - Tristan Olk was there, but he's the only person I remember sitting at that table. Maybe Sean Teagarden, but I could be making that up. We were making sculptures out of found stuff (trash) and I had decided to make a stained-glass-esque candleholder out of a jar and the broken pieces of glass I'd picked up earlier.

A particularly pretty amber color caught my eye, but it was a whole jar and needed to be broken into pieces. I think it was Tristan who had the hammer, so he broke it for me. I got up from where I was sitting at the picnic table to walk around to get the pieces when I tripped.

I put my hands out in front of myself to catch myself as I fell, felt a sharp stab, and looked down at my wrist. You know that scene in Star Wars where Han cuts open that big smelly animal to shove Luke inside to get him warm? That is what flashed through my head right there - it was like the animal insides coming out of my wrist. Only much more blood.

I remember grabbing my arm, and saying "someone get a grown-up" and that's the last thing I remember before coming to with my nose about 2 inches from the ground. I remember oak leaves, and someone on either side of me. Then I remember waking up in the front seat of my mom's car. Jocelyn Vilter was holding my wrist up in the air from where she sat in the backseat, my friend Lindsey Muscato was there too. My mom, it seemed, was driving over every railroad track possible. I remember the bumps.

Then I remember the novacain shots. All 11 of them. Inside the gash on my wrist. I remember the doctor telling me that it was a very bad cut, even though the glass I fell on was blunt - it didn't slice so much as stamp my wrist. I remember hearing something about not having the same use of my hand/fingers as I had before. I remember holding Lindsey's hand so hard that she got hurt. I remember the awful color of the goop they spread all over it later. I remember the orange wristband. I remember going home and falling asleep immediately. I remember the color of the pink pen I wrote with in my journal when I got home, and the letter I wrote to my friend's Ginny and Roz who were on vacation.

About a week and a half later, the skin around my bandages started getting itchy and irritated, and even began bubbling up. We thought I was allergic to the adhesive, but even when I switched out tapes and bandages, it remained. We were at Souplantation with Rainbow Kids when Tizza looked at it and said "poison oak!" Remember those bushes I'd crawled through to get the glass that ended up cutting me? Poison Oak. Talk about adding insult to injury.

It didn't take that long to heal. While the rest of my swim team was in the pool, I used the YMCA's gym, which overlooked it, so I didn't feel that left out. I had 8 stitches on the outside and 5 on the inside. It looked like an ugly caterpillar on my wrist. I had a few cuts on my other hand too. Whenever I got cold, the scar would turn red.

I have full and fantastic use of my hand, and a scar that I can still make "dance" if I wiggle my thumb just right.


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