Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Summer Vacation 5
Boy, 12, Rolls, Falls 600 Feet
What I did on my Summer Vacation
By David L. Green
I awoke to find myself in a very bright place. My head was very fuzzy but I realized that I felt comfortable and cool and everything was very bright.
Voices. I could hear the soft whispers of female voices. As I looked toward my feet to try and locate the source of the sound, I saw two figures at the foot of my bed. All dressed in white and very bright. Everything was very bright.
“Oh. Look. He’s waking up.”
A few giggles and they were gone. I thought they must be angels but my wife suggested they were probably nurses. Too bad, I rather liked the idea of angels.
Well, I had no idea where I was or why I was there but it was obvious to me that I didn’t belong there and I was probably going to be in trouble if my parents found out. So my only thought was - escape. I had to get to a place that I recognized some place that looked familiar. Someplace – anyplace but here. “I’ve gotta get outta here.”
The fog was clearing and I was beginning to see shapes and colors. I was in a bed in a big room – a room that was surrounded with widows. It was the room at end of the floor and the room, I later learned, was called the Sun Room. Yeah, well, that fit.
I had to get out of that bed and get out of there. So I tried to roll out of bed but, for some reason, my body would not roll. O.K., so I tried to sit up straight, but I could not.
“What is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?”
I smacked my chest with both hands but I did not feel my chest - what I felt was hard and hollow.
I grabbed the sheet and pulled it down over my chest to reveal a big, heavy white cast that seemed to cover most of my body.
As I inspected the cast, I found that it was all around my body and went from under my chin to just over my hips. I was stunned and convinced that this was some kind of sick joke. I believe that I started screaming - demanding to know where I was and what I was doing there and what is up with this cast?
When someone came into the room, I’m sure it must have been my parents, they finally explained what had happened and that it was some kind of miracle that I was alive at all.
The next week is a bit of a blur but I remember that shortly after I came to, the cast I was in was becoming very tight, very tight, so tight that I could only breathe in short, shallow breathes.
It seems from all the cuts and abrasions, my body was swelling and out-growing the cast. Their answer to the problem was to cut a hole in the cast about 4” by 6” just above my diaphragm.
The result of this plan was that I could look down and see 4” of cast then 1 ½” of my belly protruding above the new hole and then the rest of the cast. It was humorous. I would have laughed … if I could breathe.
Enter: the oxygen tent. Wonderful invention. Cool, cool air falling constantly over your head and chest. Wonderful.
Eventually the swelling went down and I could breathe normally and all I had to deal with was the pain. The pain. My whole body was in pain. My body was bandaged up from the gashes in my skull…and legs … and my hands were splinted and wrapped because they were so broken that I was told I would never play guitar again. And, of course, there were the two broken vertebra in my back. But, I was alive.