The Tennessee Saga Continues….SHE IS DYING!
Yes. That is what I thought. The world is upside down. I lay there on the counter listening to my mother bark orders to the landlady because her nurse training kicked in. The landladys’ name is Mercedes. Upon realizing that she was talking like that to the woman who could certainly kick us out of this place, I thought about the HUGE Mercedes emblem she had hanging on her living room wall. It was given to her by some man who owned a Mercedes dealership. Go figure. (Ah, but even at a young age, I digressed. Nice. I am bleeding out of my head, face, skull, SOMETHING! Get with the program!) I hear my mother ask for a needle and thread. (WHAT? I am not a cross stitch!) She then ripped out a piece of first aid tape and just looked at me and said;
“It’s too bad, I can’t do this!”
She grabbed my by my shoulders and yanked me up and placed me, unsteadily, on my feet then ushered me out the apartment to the car. “MOM! Can’t do what? Where are we going? What is going on?” Her reply? “Here.” She slapped the now RED, white and blue towel on my head. “Keep this here and be still.” Then she ran back into the house to call my sister who rushed over and rode with us to the hospital. I remember one of them driving but cannot recall who. They were arguing about the route to the hospital and I remember going over a bridge and hearing that it was the best way because traffic was backed up elsewhere. From the time I was yanked off the kitchen counter until I ended up being on the ER table, I only remember bits and pieces. Sorry its so fragmented but it is human nature and some things become faded when you are in a crisis.
Upon arriving at the hospital, there were people EVERYWHERE! People who had their elbows wrapped up, others with head injuries, mothers with sick children, the random old guy. There was a little bit of everything in the ER that day. I don’t know how much time passed from when we left our apartment until my mother finished filling out the registration but she began to pace. (My mother’s name is Pat.) A pacing Pat is not a good thing and something was going to happen if her pacing speeds up. I watched. I waited. It was only a matter of time. Then it happened.
That 5’4″ woman put her left hand on her hip and pointed her right index finger straight into the air. Here it comes…
Just a little caveat here. Some hindsight nonsense. This all happened on a Saturday afternoon. Pat was a SERIOUS bingo player. Bingo starts at 6 on Saturdays and we have to be there when the doors open to play pull tabs and get our favorite seats. mmmmkay?
“OH MY GAWD! WILL SOMEONE PULEEASE HELP MY DAUGHTER! WE HAVE BEEN HERE OVER THIRTY MINUTES AND SHE IS BLEEEEDING TO DEATH!” she screams as she runs from one hospital employee to another. This ranting goes on for about three or four minutes. My sister wants to climb under her seat. From my vantage point, all I see is a sit com happening in the color red. The blood had soaked the towel and it was running down my forehead into my eyes. Eventually, some doctor man appears out of seemingly nowhere and grabs my mother by the shoulders. “Maam! Maam! Maam. We have a room for her and we are going to get her taken care of. Just please calm down, you are scaring the other patients.” As if turning off a light switch, she relaxed her arms and simply pointed at me. Behind the doctor was a nurse with a wheelchair and they helped me into it and whisked me a way to labor and delivery.
Wait. What? I am not having a baby? Simultaneous to my brain processing where we were going, my mother said just that. I was then whisked on to a table that looked like a torture device. (Yes, nine years old is far from any knowledge of OB/GYN doctors or what they do.) The same doctor wheeled in a table with various shiny things on it and he pulled up a wheely chair to the top of the torture table and BEGAN TO PULL MY HAIR OUT BY THE ROOTS! Ok, maybe he numbed it up a little with something but dammit, that HURT!
YANK! “Can you feel that?” YEASSSS!!!
“OK” YANK! “Can you feel that?” OW! I SAID YEA!
“OK” YANK! “Can you feel that?” HELLOOOOO!!!!!!
Then I started to feel like I was going to pass out. “Nonononononononononono! Don’t do that little lady, you MUST stay awake for me? Talk to me! Tell me about your favorite thing in school! You cannot go to sleep! We have to stitch up your skull then your skin and I need you to stay awake while I do that. Can you be a trooper and do that for me?” Mr. Doctor man said. “Yea” my voice said, quietly, from a million miles away.
I did as he asked. They stitched my skull. 4 to be exact. Self dissolving. Same for my “skin.” With my mother calm, and myself all stitched up, I was allowed to sit up for the first time in a while. MAN was I dizzy. But I survived. Sadly, I was unable to participate in gymnastics for a few weeks. That waned my interest slightly.
I survived but I must say it left an impression. I learned a hard lesson. I even see a child STANDING UP on a bed and I flip out. That is ONE lesson my kids will not learn. Pretty sad if you think about it. Not everyone gets to have their skull stitched up in the labor and delivery room at nine years old.
Reminds me of something else….NEVER run on painted pavement.
Ah, but I digress.
What do YOU think?