I am not someone who gets normal injuries. I have never broken a leg by skiing or broken an arm from falling out of a tree. My injuries fall into the category of *freak accidents* that border on unbelievable.
Yesterday I was frantically trying to get ready in the morning so we could go skiing when I cut my forehead on my hairdryer. For those of you who use hairdryers you are scratching your head (pun intended) wondering how that is possible. Let me just say that it is so complex I would have to draw you a diagram, or stage a reenactment. For those of you who have had cuts on their forehead you know how this can be a big problem. Even the smallest scratch needs medical attention to get it to stop bleeding. And if you are someone like me who uses their face to make a multitude of subtle expressions to convey to my children and husband my wide range of feelings then that skin is in constant use. Luckily *this time* around I knew exactly what to do and was able to patch myself up by first stopping the blood flow with some styptic, then closing the wound with a few steri-strips. We were in the van and on the way to the slopes in no time.
This wasn't the first face wound I have attended to. A few years ago my son took a golf iron to the face, courtesy of his sister (a so-called accident). It produced a gash above the eyebrow that I thought for sure would involve a trip to the emergency room to stitch. I was all prepared to dig out my *ER Frequent Customer Card* (two more trips and we get a free latte and a roll of gauze). But then I realized that it wasn't too bad and I was able to close it up expertly enough (with steri-strips, of course) that when my neighbor, who is a volunteer EMT came over to check it out he commented that it looked like a professional job.
A few years ago I was on my way to the running shoe store with my son in tow. He was sixteen months old and strapped into his car seat, happy to be going on such an important outing. I parked the van and since it was July I opened his sliding door to let some air while I gathered all the necessary supplies to journey into the store. My purse was on the front passenger's seat and as I stood on the curb I opened the door and bent forward to retrieve it and hit myself in the forehead with the edge of the van door.
Ouch! I said loudly, feeling a sting of pain and embarrassment because this was downtown Clarendon and I looked like an uncoordinated idiot. As I was straightening up a couple was coming out of the running store and yelled across the street to ask if I was okay and whether I needed help. I was about to answer my typical reply of no thanks, which applies to pretty much every situation including if I had broken my leg or was being attacked by terrorists because I am loathe to ask for help. But at that moment I rubbed the tender spot and when I saw my hand it was covered in blood. Simultaneously it dawned on me that the liquid running into my eyes was not sweat from the hot July midday sun, but more blood.
But I am stubborn, and will only ask for assistance under the most dire of circumstances. In this case I was the Black Knight of Monty Python's Holy Grail. It was nothing but a little flesh wound. I would get my shoes and be on my way to the pool. But then I looked in my review mirror. I was covered in blood. And to add to my blood soaked macabre appearance my wound was actually spurting blood, like in a bad B horror movie. In a small voice I replied to the couple, um, yeah, I think I may need a bit of help here if you don't mind.
They came over to the van, saw me and gasped. Ma'am, I think you need to go the hospital. I am not sure which caught me more off guard, the need to go to the hospital or the ma'am. Both took me aback but I think I was more alarmed by the ma'am. I asked them if they wouldn't mind watching my son while I called my husband and figured out what to do. The little guy was still patiently sitting in his car seat playing with his feet, obliviously to the fact that his mommy looked like a scene from Carrie.
Once my husband was called and he was on his way I realized that the entire side of the van was splattered with blood. My immediate thought was that I would need to go the car wash later that day. My second thought was that I should get it cleaned up now because my husband would be arriving with my daughter and all that blood may freak her out. So I asked the kind couple who were watching my son if they could also help me clean up my blood soaked van. Apparently once I accept help initially the flood gates open and I have no qualms about asking for it for increasingly inappropriate tasks. Like crime scene clean-up. And yet, they agreed and got the clorox wipes out of the back (because this is a mini-van and I have everything in there) and we all started wiping. Except I had to also hold a bath towel to my head while I worked so I wouldn't spurt more blood onto the van, adding to the carnage.
My husband came and took me to the hospital where all I could do was wonder if there would still be time to go the pool later. After all, I had promised the kids and they would be upset. At the hospital the kids got candy from the vending machines while I was discreetly quizzed on how I got the cut, because surely the *hitting myself in the head with the van door* was a cover story for some sort of abuse. Really, no one is that clumsy. I got ten stitches and was sent on my way. Once it was stitched up it didn't look that bad so I thought it was subtle enough that I wouldn't have too much explaining to do. Except no one told me about the giant black eye I would get which would turn purple and then green. For weeks and weeks I had to retell the story about the van door. And yes, it often involved a diagram and a reenactment.