Monday, March 30, 2009

Pain and Deadly Weapons

Sorry, folks, but the interview is going to be postponed for a few days. Time differences (and busy lives) have made it difficult to schedule.

Hurting Yourself

Yep, hurting yourself. When you wear a prosthesis (an artificial body part), it happens. The worst one ever for me happened when I was 5 years old.

I'd asked my teacher repeatedly to let me go to the bathroom. She finally said yes, and I ran out of the room and down the hallway. I was running fast enough that I didn't see the sign:

Put running and wet, slippery tiles together, and you almost always get disaster. Add in a metal hook, and a trip to the ER is inevitable.

I slipped, skidding face first down the hall. Like most people, when I fall, I put my hands (or hand and hook as the case is for me) out to catch myself. Didn't work so well :)

Instead my face landed on the end of my hook with enough force to push it all the way into my jaw bone. No matter how hard I pulled, I couldn't get it out.

I sat there screaming (which is hard to do with a prosthesis stuck in your jaw!), hoping someone would come help me. It felt like hours before one of the teachers showed up. She tried pulling the hook out too, but it was seriously lodged into the bone.

A call to my mom and a fun ride in an ambulance, then I was sitting in the ER. The doctor was great! He thought the whole thing hysterical, the first time he'd ever seen something like that. He had me laughing despite how much it hurt.

It took a lot of novacaine and a lot more pain before my hook was extracted, but he got it out. Then 11 stitches to close it up.

I still have that scar on my chin reminding me to never run on wet floors.

Hurting Others

When a prosthesis becomes so much a part of you that you really think of it as your missing body part, you can do a ton of damage without even realizing it.

Like in second grade. I was standing on a stepstool at the blackboard doing some math problems. And when I work on something like that, I get totally engrossed. The world around me just fades into nothing.

So when my friend Joey called my named, I jumped and spun around on the stool.

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I spin around really fast, my arms swing out to the sides and spin with me. Really bad thing to happen.

Joey was standing right behind me, so when my prosthesis arm spun out and around, it clocked him right on the side of the head. Knocking him unconscious.

I was horrified! Here was my best friend, out cold on the floor because of me. Another ambulance arriving at school.

He woke up just as the ambulance got there (thank God!), but it taught me well. Very well. That is the very reason why I stopped wearing my prosthesis the day I found out I was pregnant.

Useful Tool Or Deadly Weapon?

I played soccer in high school (though not very well at all), and we were at Ethel Walker school for a game in my junior year. I was running behind and changed as quickly as I could into my uniform.

As I ran out to take my place on the field, the ref blew his whistle. We all stopped and stared at him. He wasn't supposed to do that until the game actually started.

The coaches and the ref huddled together for a few moments. The ref gestured wildly just like you see on tv sometimes.

I stood there bored and snickering at the sight of the weird ref doing whatever. Then my coach called me over.

"You have to leave the field," the ref told me.


I guess it showed on my face because he continued, "You can not play soccer while carrying a deadly weapon."

Double huh?

He pointed to my prosthesis which I had forgotten to take off. Mortification doesn't even begin to describe it.

I quickly took it off (takes talent to do that without removing your shirt :)) and threw it at his feet, then stomped back to my position. Never again did I forget to take it off before a game.


  1. Interesting stories, Sarah! Wow, if you wear your prosthesis, you don't even need to think about a concealed handgun, huh? LOL. I am so glad you can laugh about stuff like this. And yes, I understand about forgetting things that are just a part of you. It's kind of like being short. That's something I forget about all the time until some idiot says something about what the top of my head looks like. :)

  2. (Posted for a friend)

    Double ouch! From the anonymous friend who's having the interview, I can tell you that wheelchairs, either manual or electric can also be dangerous. The amount of times I suggested at school that I could accidentally run over someone's foot if they didn't like me amused my friends. For the record, I never did this. Plus, foot plates at the back of the ankles = very painful. Yes I've experienced it from passenger and victim view.

    Also been tipped out of my chair a few times too. It was funny at the time Especially the latest event at work when I nearly ended up in a bush! Great team building moment.

  3. Litgirl - Yes, very ouch :)

    Glam - Remind me to tell you about the time I had a hand attachment for my prosthesis and got strip searched by airport security because they wouldn't believe me :)

    Anonymous - I can see that with wheelchairs. How do you get tipped out of your wheelchair? Unless it's on purpose?

  4. Those are pretty neat stories. Well, I'm sure it wasn't *neat* at the time, but they're interesting. Maybe I just use the wrong adjectives.

    and ouch...I smashed my face into the pavement once, I can't imagine having a hook lodged in my jaw!

  5. I nominated you for an award -- :)

  6. It's easy to get tipped out - pavements aren't as flat as they look!

  7. You're right. Ran a little test drive :)