Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Knowing Fear.

To keep up with the theme of fear I've been talking about lately, I subconsciously decided to conduct a field experiment this weekend.

I went surfing.

And now here I sit with six internal and seventeen external stitches in the middle of my thigh that will leave a nasty, frowning scar on my leg. Bummer scenario, kind of a funny story.

Against my non spontaneous husband's judgement, we decided late Friday night to get up early with some friends to go to the beach. With some surfboards. Matt and I have been surfing twice before. We probably couldn't claim expert level quite yet. Our surfer friends hit the water before we could even get our suntan lotion on, but one came back to shore fairly quickly and let me grab his board. It was all downhill from there. I should have used my brain and waited for someone who knew what they were doing to come out with me. Instead I threw on a wetsuit top and went for it. I (kind of) caught a wave immediately but almost lost my bathing suit bottom in the process so went back for some shorts. Best decision of the day. Five minutes later, I found myself thrashing underwater, thinking I was going to drown. I got up, grabbing at my leg that felt like it had just been filleted. But thank the Lord I still had my shorts on.

Turns out there was some serious foreshadowing happening on the beach while I was in the water. Two surfer girls walked by Matt and our friend Jess, saying something to them along the lines of, "She's never going to make it past that break point." Really wish they would have communicated that to me. Another friend was telling her surfer husband how badly it looked like I was getting thrashed. Given another couple minutes, I'm pretty sure he would have helped me. Sadly, all of this foreshadowing happened simultaneously with my leg bursting open like a juicy hotdog (doctor's words, not mine). While I was flipping around under the water, the board fin was slicing through my leg.

I started motioning for help, though no one really seemed to think I needed it. Nate grabbed the surfboard while Jess undid the leash and joked to Matt that he should scoop me up, which he did all Baywatch style. He carried me to the lifeguard station, and I took my hand off my leg revealing the gaping hole. I couldn't look at it, but l did see yellow fat oozing between my fingers. Never a good sign. It was poor lifeguard boy's first day, and he had no idea what to do. His initial gasp was a bit difficult for me to hear, but I think we did a pretty good job talking him through it from there. HA! I told him that he'd be able to use this as an example of what not to do in the future. Big surprise, I say a lot of really stupid things when I'm in shock. Poor Matt curled into the fetal position for a time to keep from passing out while my friend Brooklyn held my foot like a champ until the EMTs arrived. There was just a lot of great teamwork.

Matt and I spent the next five hours on a day-date in the hospital while the friends took care of the kids for the rest of the day. We had various hospital staff visiting us all day long to see my wound while we waited for the doctor. It was just as a hospital by the beach should be. Laid back with surfer dude nurses telling us about their own injuries. They pumped me with a nice IV drip of antibiotics and painkillers that made for a most pleasant experience. Seriously, I think Matt and I made a lifelong friend in our nurse, Dan, who said he enjoyed taking care of people that make positive contributions to society. Thanks, dude! And, we shared many laughs with my doctor as he irrigated and stitched up my leg.

Yes, this sucks, but I can't help but be very, very thankful that it wasn't worse. I could have sliced my head open. Or broken my neck. I was such an idiot for attempting to go out there on my own. Lesson learned. We're not meant to conquer life on our own. We need to depend on others. So here I sit on my couch unable to move for the next several days but accepting the help offered. One of my best friends from Syracuse was in town with her family, and literally spent the weekend taking care of me and hanging out on the couch. Libby and Brian, you guys are great. Thank you to all of you that have cooked for us, cleaned for us, watched our kids, and just have been willing to step in to help. You're very much appreciated. Love you!


Anna said...

oh my goodness! hope your recovery goes ok!

Stephanie Farrell said...

Amazing. You're much braver than I would have been. So glad to hear you're okay. Libby wrote great things about you and I'm excited to read about your trip!