I’ve got 99 problems and a stitch ain’t one
I’m a complete an utter douche. Sure, I’m using the word ‘douche’ because its my word of the month, but after what I did to myself last Saturday night I’ll be a douche for life. A douche with a mother of a scar permanently etched into my left leg.
That Saturday was an epic day, to say the least. After my daily run with my gorgeous dog Bella (may those runs r.i.p) I got an impromptu message from my long lost and very loved friend Rhys who was planning to have lunch/dinner/both while he was up for the weekend staying with Tom. Half an hour later (each minute dedicated to mega cleaning) they were at my door. We were going to Luna Park. Why not? We got a sick crew together (Tom, Rhys, Chris, Bec, Jordan and myself) and we dominated every ride, slide and carnie snack the Sydney attraction threw at us. Ferris Wheels, Coney Island and that psychotic mouse trap roller coaster which actually takes a photo of you mid-ride. The second time we braved it, the challenge was to take the best pic. Bec won, she got her girls out. Pity they deleted the pic straight away and couldn’t purchase it for reminiscing purposes!
To wind down from such a day, Tom decided to throw a last minute get-together at his place, with other fellow ‘MMAS’ contestants, Brooke and Hannah (who brought fiancé James). Mixed Vodka drinks were flowing during the incredibly entertaining game of ‘Smart Ass’ (which Bec dominated in!) and Twister (r.i.p those days also). James jumped on the piano to swoon us all with his melodic voice and perfected playing. Fast-forward a few hours and a few more laughs to the majority of us being in the lounge, where right in the centre of the room stood a glass table. I never really took a lot of notice of this table. It was just a piece of furniture. So of course, when walking past finding my foot caught on the leg of it, would I ever have thought it could have scarred both my leg and life in such a way.
I went down, and went down hard. The table collapsed with a deafening crash underneath me. Instead of the glass pebbling into tiny harmless pieces (which is what the glass table was supposed to do) it shattered in large shards. Realising the table had broken, I was horrifically embarrassed. Everyone saw me go down. Everyone knew I’d broken a piece of furniture. I had no idea how much the table cost, but couldn’t believe I had been the one to destroy it with my clumsiness. I tried to roll myself over, and apologised profusely to anyone who would listen.
‘I am so so sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll get a new table, I’ll replace it’. When I opened my eyes I saw every face looking at me, not a word being spoken. It felt like minutes had gone by but it would have only been a fracture of a second. Tom, in another room, came running in to see what had been broken. But when he saw me there on the ground, WHAT had been broken didn’t matter any more. Just the WHO.
‘DDDAAAADDD!’ He called after his face turned the same colour of everyone else’s in the room – white.
Bugga, I thought, it must have been a good table. Antique even. More apologies escaping my mouth. Then an onslaught of noise.
‘Are you ok?’
‘Quick get her up’
‘Call an ambulance’
‘We need bandages’
Hands were on me pulling me up. Everyone’s face was filled with trepidation. That was when it came down on me hard just how severe things were. I was hurt, and badly. Tom’s Dad ran into the room shouting orders. I apologised to him still, which he dismissed immediately. He organised a car to take and a towel to be laid down to stop blood going all over it. Chris came at me holding bandages . Rhys told me to look at him, not down. Under no circumstances was I to look down.
My throat tightened. My chest weighed 100kgs. My breath shortened. I was getting picked up and taken towards the car. Things were happening so fast at this stage, that I didn’t know what to do or say, or where to look. I saw streaks of blood drying on my legs in front of me, but Chris’ bloodied hands wrapped in bandages on my lower leg kept me from seeing the worst of it. But the sight of blood was all I needed to send me into shock.
I’ve never been in shock before. It’s not fun, or nice. It’s a feeling of absolute helplessness. I couldn’t breathe, as much as I tried. I could hear myself hyperventilating. My teeth were chattering so fast and loud that I thought my jaw was going to break. I could feel the stream of tears running down my face. Everything around me was a blur. Or maybe that’s because Toms Dad was driving so fast. Chris sat next to me still compressing the gash, with my blood covering his hands so badly it made him look like a serial killer, yet still wearing a smile that said ‘You might be ok?’ I owe him so much, thanks to his reflex paramedic knowledge and quick action. Not to mention iron guts. He saw the wound at its worst. Rhys sat in the front holding my hand, telling me to look at him and to squeeze his hand. The teacher in him definitely took over that night, which I am forever grateful. Sure, I was still embarrassed that these gorgeous boys had to see me in such a pathetic state, but I would not have chosen any one else to be there with me. But as much good as Rhys was doing, it didn’t stop me from passing out.
We pulled up to the hospital in record time and were met by ambulance officers. They wrapped up the wound quickly and placed me in a ward. Lying there, still in shock, I somehow managed to grow impatient and infuriated. My language became incredibly colourful and any poor bugger trying to go about their business in the drone-like hospital copped it from me. As soon as I saw someone, the insults came instantaneously. I let loose. I don’t know if people usually do this when they’re in shock but I did. I would formally like to apologise to anyone who worked in the hospital that night who was at the receiving end of my brutal verbal attack, including the male nurse with the dyed white hair who fleetingly walked past the room (‘white head! David Bowie wannabe!’) to the nice but stern nurse Bernie who told me to shut it when I asked what the *%$! was going on. I guess it didn’t help that I had to wait hours until a) I knew how bad the damage was and b) got it all fixed up so I could get the hell out of there.
It was funny to watch the nurse’s reaction to find out the answer for a). They were completely non-perplexed. They’d seen worse. Well that was a relief! Another relief was the two local anesthetics injected into either side of the wound to stop the sickly throbbing. My hands flew up over my face to cover anything my eyes dared tempted to see, and stayed there for the remainder of the saline solution rinse, the poking, the prodding, and then the operation where – yes – I felt the stitches going in. I felt every tug the needle and thread made. It was funny to realise just what I did and said to distract myself. Not only were my arms flung tightly over my eyes, but I spoke about the most random things. Firstly, I rambled amidst blubbering sobs about the best banana smoothies in Bondi, why they were so good and where one could purchase them. Then I moved on to the best restaurants to eat at (again in Bondi), and the ideal meals to order. I was stuck on the fact that the 4 cheese lasagna from North Bondi Italian was the best bloody lasagna out there – strewth. Every now and then a cry of pain screaming ‘I CAN FEEL THAT! I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO FEEL THAT BUT I CAAANNN!’ escaped my lips.
All the while, my eyes were tightly shut. No peeking.
Except once. I peeked. Dumb move, Maude. But I had to. Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat in this circumstance, it ran over it repeatedly with a 4WD. I needed to know the extent of the damage that one mere table could do. To not try and be overly graphic, I’ll just say that it looked like leg decided to throw up my calf muscle. I screamed and swore. I could not believe the sight that penetrated my eyes. I was a second from being restrained by the hospital staff.
That bad, then.
I had 2 x-rays, one to check that there was no glass residue, and the other to see if there was a fracture in my right foot. It was weird, the entire time that everything was crashing around me and getting rushed into a car and bandaged up, all I could focus on was the pain in my right foot. Not the left leg that was flapping open inches deep, but my normal looking, barely bruised right foot. It wasn’t even broken! The worst of it was slight swelling and minimal bruising. My body has, in my eyes, officially lost it. My pain threshold has done a complete 180. A huge gash in my leg was a piece of cake, but a bump on my right foot sent me into a frenzy of pain. Go figure.
I was released from the hospital at 8am – 5 hours after getting there. I was wrapped in 2 white hospital blankets (you’re never seeing those again I’m afraid) and was in a wheelchair getting pushed around by the ever present Chris, who not only stayed the entire operation listening to my dramatic nonsense, but watched the hideous surgery too. On ya mate, I’m incredibly grateful. By this stage I was dazed and beyond exhausted. I dreaded having to tell my parents what had happened. I dreaded facing anyone actually. What a scene I’d caused. ‘Only Maude’, they’d say. Ugh. Not looking forward to it. A well placed call to my dearest friend Tully who is traveling the other side of the world went down like a hot cup of tea. Just what I needed. Through chattering teeth I relayed the story, and received the appropriate oohs, ahhs and ughs. The next part is a blur. I remember going back to Toms – the scene of the incident. I slept. I apologised more times than I can remember. I managed to eat. I didn’t stop shaking. I made the dire phone call to my parents (Mum, I’m ok, BUT…), who took it reasonably well. I was driven home, and looked after for a week straight.
During this time, I frequented the doctors who slapped a whole bunch of butterfly clips over my wound declaring all the while that if I managed to take a pic of the gash, I’d have won the $50 that Tracks Magazine rewards for the most gory pic. It was that bad. Thanks Doc. He also told me that the best plastic surgeon would not be able to make this scar disappear, and it would have the potential to intimidate Bikies. Ripper Doc, seriously, tell me more.
2 weeks later I got the stitches out. The wound healed nicely except a small area that had pretty much gotten infected. Again, thanks Doc. The best part is, the scar is in the shape of a perfect 7. Or L, depending on the angle you’re looking at it.
‘Hey kids, today’s leg is brought to you by the letter L, and the number 7.
My new favourite number. Not a lucky number – oh no. But favourite, none the less.
Now I just need to work on my newly acquired fear of glass tables. What’s the scientific name for that – glassophobia?