Thursday, January 21, 2010

Flashback Friday ~ The 70's were a dangerous decade

My mother will tell you that I was doing somersaults off my brother's bunk bed but she's crazy. I remember every detail about the episode, right down to the strawberry-blonde bloodstained hair that I saw in the reflection of the car window as we were leaving the doctor's office. I even remember the color of the water as I sat in the tub the next morning as I leaned forward while my mother washed my hair. I remember thinking that it looked more brown than red.
I was only 10, and other than a major bike fall on gravel at age 6, I can't remember any other notable injuries during childhood. There was one occasion when Christopher Donato threw a boulder on my head at the bus stop, but I escaped brain damage so it was all good. I fell off my brother's bunk bed for one reason and one reason only. My parents had bought the bed from an ad in the paper. Who does that? I remember the deep brown color of the fake wood and most of all I remember the guard rail on the top bunk. It was pure decoration and I can tell you that it was an accident waiting to happen. The rail was held in place by these small metal clasps and could be easily removed. Why you would ever want to remove a GUARD rail is beyond me, but parnoid safety specialists that baby/child proof your house were not in existence in the 1970's. In fact, I dare say that, had I cracked my head open in the same manner today, we could have probably scored some major jack from a lawsuit.
My brother and I were using an Easter basket as a means of transportation for G.I. Joe when something went horribly wrong. As I swung the basket over the removable "saftey" rail, the rail failed to keep me from falling and tumbling to the ground. My mother's version of the story has been told so many times that I can almost hear her voice as I'm writing this. I really should have her record a video testimonial. She'll tell you that she was downstairs and heard a loud thud and then my brother screaming for her. As she came up the stairs she saw me lying on the nasty 70's mustard yellow carpet with blood streaming from my head. She thought I was dead from a head injury.
I (obviously) wasn't dead but I did black out. I know this because it was the most bizarre feeling to open my eyes to see my mother leaning over me with a look of horror on her face. It was like I had spliced a video and the part where my brother freaks out and gets help is missing. My mother was actually quite calm and had me LIE DOWN on my bed while she called the doctor.  {Hello!  Again, during the days before the pre-parenting installation of paranoia classes where they specifically teach you not to have a child with a head injury lie down and fall asleep.}
My mother drove me to the doctor right away.  An injury this serious needed to be taken care of right away!  It is amazing how clear a memory can be. I actually remember the volume of my objection to stitches.  I'd never had stitches and the thought of a needle in my head really scared me, but when the doctor  said, "I'm just going to shave a very small patch at the back of your head", I lost my mind. My mother tried to convince me it was no big deal but I have no idea what words she spoke because my blood curdling screams were rattling everything in the room, including the windows.  I stared at the long curved needle and this blue/black metal wire stuff and completely lost my mind.  I'm sure the entire building could hear my cries of terror as my mother held me down and let the doctor sew up my head wound.
I think one of the reasons I remember "the head wound day" so clearly is because, when I look back on that scene, I feel... embarrassed. I was so insanely scared of getting stitches that I pulled out all the stops with my tantrum of terror.  So, when my mother starts telling her version of the story where I'm doing somersaults off the top bunk, I get crazy frustrated.  This was my trauma and there is very little I don't remember.  I even remember the number of stitches I had to have in my head and the strangest sensation in my head when I had it removed.  Let me tell you, it was one impressive stitch.

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6 Responses to "Flashback Friday ~ The 70's were a dangerous decade"
  1. Melody said...
    January 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Wow Fiona! You're mom was brave, but so were you. You had the right to scream all you wanted.

  2. Anonymous said...
    January 21, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Oh my gosh! Talk about OUCH!

    Thanks so much for taking part, Fiona! Love you!

  3. Unknown said...
    January 22, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    Holy moly Fiona!!! I've had some pretty scary moments with my boys but yowza!! I've never had a head trauma where there was unconsciousness!!! Poor mama and YOU! My moms the same swears her version is right. Pft.

  4. hicksgirl93 said...
    January 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Yeah, that was pretty traumatic. Can't forget that childhood memory! And even if you wanted to, your mother would remind you, lol! great story.

  5. Jennifer said...
    January 22, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    OMgosh you are such a great storyteller...oh btw owwww!

  6. Krystal Grant said...
    January 24, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    You have one great memory!I bet your brother feels really guilty.


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