Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The reason why I am no good in an emergency.

The summer I was 9, my older sister babysat two sisters, Ashley and Danielle. Ashley was my age, so we got along like the proverbial peas & carrots. Dani was a few years younger, so she always wanted to play with us. Most of the time, this was fine. Being the youngest of 4, I was used to being left out, and could appreciate a little bit of Dani's desire to be included.

That was a fun summer. We spent most of the summer riding our bikes and hitting tennis balls into our patio wall (these activites were not performed simultaneously, in case you were wondering). I had a fancy-schmancy new purple bike with streamers and a banana seat. I loved riding it. I loved the days when Ashley would bring her banana-seat bike over and we would ride up and down the street.

Until one fateful day.

Ashley and I had just closed the front door to leave on our bikes. As the door shut, I heard Dani's angry yell at not being included. This was one day that my friend and I wanted to be clear of the 7 year old, so we didn't intend to wait. I did, however, look back to see Dani pulling our heavy front door closed behind her with her hand on the inside of the door. Time slowed down as I watched her start to jump up and down, clasping her hand, bright drips of blood spurting onto the concrete porch. She was screaming and blood was pouring and my mom and sister were running to her, pulling her into the living room. I looked at Ashley, and knew we weren't going on our bikes that day.

In an effort to avoid the girl bleeding profusely in my living room, I went through the garage to enter the house. As I opened the door, I saw the swarm of people around Dani had moved into the kitchen, thus blocking my path. I attempted to go around them to get to my room (or somewhere, I'm not sure where I really wanted to go), but I saw all the blood and my stomach turned. I had to get out of the kitchen, and down the hall, but not that way. So I walked back out of the house, through the garage and back onto the porch to get into the house through the door that had caused all the trouble. It was locked. I was panicked and sick and wanted more than anything to get away from all the blood and gore.

Now, I didn't know it, but Dani had cut the tip of her finger off in our door. That tiny bit of flesh had fallen onto the porch. As I tried to get in the door, I inadvertantly STEPPED ON the finger fragment. All of a sudden, I felt a strange squishy thing on the bottom of my foot. I turned my foot over to inspect it. I saw what looked like a peanut, so I prompty wiped my foot off in the grass.

Moments or minutes later, everyone was running around asking if anyone had seen the finger. I guess they figured if they could find it, maybe it could be reattached once they reached the doctor. I guiltily realized that what I had percieved as a peanut had been Dani's missing digit. I confessed, and although we set to searching the grass, it proved finger-less.

Because of my mistake, Dani had to get a skin graft from her bum to replace the tip of her finger. And everyone knew that I couldn't distinguish a body part from a peanut.

I haven't improved much in 24 years. I still get queasy at the site of blood. I tend to panic when my kids get hurt, especially when they hit their face or mouth. I simply can't look until I know that they aren't spouting blood or horribly disfigured, so I make Shane or someone else look whenever I can. I'll hold them, rock them, comfort them, but I have to physically force myself to look at the damage.

I know it's wimpy of me. But I'm just no good to anyone in an emergency.

I'm pretty sure that I've gotten better at identifying peanuts, though.


Britt said...

Oh my gosh! I don't know if I should laugh, scream, or cry. I'm terrified of emergencies, escpecially large-scale disasters. I'll remember to pay very close attention, though, so I don't overlook a missing finger tip.

Amy Sorensen said...

As I'm reading this, the blood doctor (or whoever he is) is running the machine that is cleaning the blood Kendell lost during his surgery (which has been collecting in a big plastic collection thingamajig which looks suspiciously like a 64-oz refillable soda mug, and has me thinking about how vampires can drink all that blood at once). Part of it is draining into a blood bag so it can be put back into his body. The rest of it---the dirty part---is going into a collection bag. And now there's just this yellowish smeary stuff left in the 7-11 mug which the blood doctor just told me is his coagulated fat.


Anyway, I just thought it was ironic that I was reading this post during that bloody experience! I have to say: I remember Dani. But I have no memory whatsoever of Ashley. There was a sister there? Hunh.

And this still makes me giggle as much as it did when it happened.

So now the blood doctor is wondering why I am laughing.


Ginger said...

Holy cow! That is sick!! Easton got his finger chopped off to where it was just hanging by a little string and I couldn't look at it even though I have never experienced anything remotely close to what you did. My husband wants to know if she was mad. ;)

Isabel said...

This was mentioned in Amy's SDBBE book and you said you blogged about it..so I HAD to come and read it.