Life · Stories

Those firemen though…

It’s been two full years since I totaled Sally-Civic (Phew! Statute of limitations is up!). Two full years since a very sweet lady pulled over on the side of 95 and helped me out of my car. Two full years since the nicest state trooper I’ve ever met sat me in his squad car and talked me down from passing out while we waited for the ambulance. Two full years since five firemen sweetly knelt down around me and bandaged up my (later stitched-up) knee while very likely (but surely accidentally) looking up my dress. Two full years since I limped around on a date with one of those firemen who seemed dreamy and charming. And a little less than two full years since I went on a second date with said-fireman and learned that he was (definitely) not (though, I guess he had already looked up my dress and I should have known better).

Sally

At the risk of being dramatic, I might should have died that day – at least gotten a lot more hurt. I wrecked during a rush hour on interstate 95 in the far left lane and somehow drifted, briefly unconscious and surrounded by airbags and that awful airbag-smoke-smell, across three lanes where my car stopped on it’s own 50 yards down the road on the far right shoulder.  How I wasn’t hit as my car made it’s way across those lanes and so far down the highway can really only be attributed to God looking out for me.

The stories that followed that accident are mostly funny – knowing those firemen really did probably see up my dress as a sat on the guardrail hyperventilating (I actually told them I was going to faint – as you know, I don’t do well with blood. They all jumped up and freaked out thinking I meant I had hit my head or something. I had to calm them down and say it was just the blood issue… and they laughed at me) and going on those two dates with the one (who I’ve bumped into around town a few times since – once sleepily, makeup-less, in my pajamas, with my hair on top of my head as I evacuated my apartment building for a fire alarm at 3 o’clock in the morning).

But really, it reminded me, and continues to remind me, of our power to encourage, comfort, support, and affect one another. In the days following that accident, I was overwhelmed by love; all of the strangers who had been so sweet to me, one of my best friends – Alex (previously mentioned) leaving work and getting stuck in the traffic that I had caused to pick me up because I desperately did not want to ride in the ambulance, and everyone who checked on me and sent their love. I still think about all of that kindness regularly.

I’m obsessed with the power we have to impact each other’s lives, and incredibly blessed and thankful that people repeatedly use that power to positively affect me.

That’s all. 🙂

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Stories

The morning after…

Yesterday I told you the story of my falling off a boat in front of a bunch of people this past fourth of July, which, re-reading now, wasn’t written very well (so sleepy). It really is a pretty funny story but maybe you also have to know my friends to see the light in it.

Perhaps the best part of the story is here however, in the aftermath. july 4

<– That’s aftermath.

What I didn’t mention yesterday was that after falling off the boat in front of 300+ people and having been wrapped up and sat down by two people I don’t doubt take care of me to the absolute best of their ability, I didn’t really do a one-check over to be sure I was still in one piece.

I didn’t stand up again until the boat had docked back at the house and it wasn’t until then that I felt a rip run across my the bottom of my knee and something cold run down the front of my leg.

Sidenote: I hate blood. Like, absolutely cannot handle it. I don’t even eat ketchup because it looks a little like blood to me – and it tastes gross – but anyways. I’ve passed out 3 different times in the last 15 years over this topic. Well 6 now but. Ugh. Blood. Even typing the word kind of gives me the shivers. (Baha, though, all of a sudden this flash back video just popped into my head.)

As I started to tilt my head down to look at the cause of the creepy feeling, Steven lifted my chin right back up, “Hey, so, it’s all good. Don’t look down though, cool? It’s fine. Come on.” and dragged me towards the bathroom inside. Within seconds, with Corbin dad-like standing in the doorway and Steven pushing my face away from the scene, I had been doused in hydrogen peroxide (which actually burned like the fiery pits of hell), bandaged, wrapped, and sent back outside to play.

And the night went on without a hitch.

I woke up early the next morning, determined to get back to Richmond in time to make it to church.

When I got back to my apartment, I decided I should probably check out what had been the cause of such sweet-friend-parenting the night prior and started unwinding the bandage that had been done over top of something I never even saw.

To my LITERAL horror, the gash in my leg was still open and still bleeding. Pretty profusely. And as I started thinking, “ohhhh shiiiii….”  everything around me faded to black.

I woke up on my kitchen floor, surely not too long after that but I never once looked at the clock so I’m not even sure of the timeline of these events, and started crying. Haha, fainting sucks but fainting home alone while almost all of your friends and family are still out of town and your leg is still bleeding, REALLY sucks. I managed to pull myself together and decide that a shower would be a good idea-it would clean my leg off and calm me down, and I was still, at this point, thinking I was going to make it to church.

As it turns out, the shower isn’t smart when you have an open wound and being in a “confined” space isn’t smart when you’re hyperventilating. I remember reaching for the soap trying to act all showery-normal, peptalking myself “everything’s fiiiine, it’s just a little cut, you’re fine, it’s fine, haha, only you, it’s okay self, it’s okay” before glancing down at my knee to check on my shower-will-make-it-better-theory… and the world faded to black again.

At this point, even in my delirium, I started to recognize that one day this was going to make for a great story, and I literally crawled out of my shower in a 50/50 – laugh/cry.

Because my shower idea had failed, I figured I had better get to a doctor to stop the bleeding and I started texting my always there, always supportive friend Lindsay for a lift (because you know, you shouldn’t drive when you’ve fainted twice in an hour and possibly smacked your head on both your kitchen and your shower floor). I’m sure my Lindsay got to me pretty quickly, but it could be that fainting again while I waited for her helped to pass the time.

If you live in Richmond and you ever need a Patient First, I recommend the one over there in Cary Town. They quickly took me (and Lindsay because I begged her to stay by my side. thanks Linds!) into the back and a large grumpy woman hooked me up for all my vitals (seen above). Grumpy nurse actually yelled at Lindsay as she took that photo, but how worth it was it?! Haha, I laugh out loud every time I look at it. Sidenote: I have no idea how my hair looked that normal after the morning I had had. It doesn’t even look that normal on most normal days!

When the doctor came in to my little room (I wasn’t laughing and swinging my legs this time because you know… fainting, head injuries, delirium, blood) he questioned my waiting to come in, telling me that I should have gotten stitches 8 hours prior. When I told him that I had been at the lake and blah-blah-blah-fell off a boat, he rolled his eyes and laughed – surely thinking I had been tanked (which, for the record, I was not.) He bandaged me up with those steri-strip thingys, left the room, and came back with both a tetanus shot and an antibiotic prescription because apparently lake water is yucky.

As soon as he threw back the curtain and we went to leave, I was “the girl who fell off the boat on the fourth of July” and no one believed that I could be so ridiculous as to do so sober.

But I was (for the most part). And I am. And I’m sure it won’t be the last time I fall off of something or get accused of doing something drunk that I actually did sober or have a doctor laugh at me…. because this is my life. And these are the things I constantly do.

My other scar (which happened since then and didn’t require a tetanus shot because I knew TO THE DAY when my last one was thanks to this series of events) healed up a lot better than this one has but I don’t mind so much because this one is a constant reminder of how amazing my friends are… how’s that for “the bright side”?