July 6, 2008 - I'm at camp, and I take a walk down to the program center with my dad so I can use his computer.
Once inside the door, I turn right.
I'm not looking at the ground, so I don't see the giant sheets of industrial-sized cardboard stacked up (planned for human tetris.)
I stumble, then slip, then cannot regain my footing.
My arms are full, and there is nothing to grasp.
On the way down, I feel my face hit the corner of the wooden cart that holds hymnals.
Next thing I know, I am on the floor and all I can taste is blood.
My dad comes running, takes one look at me and I can see in his eyes, it's bad.
My friend James runs to get paper towels, then off to fetch the golf cart.
I hold the towels against my cheek, and within seconds, they are soaked.
We gather my mom, who gathers our close friend Shirl (an RN), and we head off to the hospital with our friend Philip tagging along as well.
I check myself out in the mirror and discover that I have two large gashes.
One on my cheek, another along my chin/neck.
The bottom one is bad. Deep. Wide.
I glance down at the front of my shirt, and it is soaked with my blood.
My dear friend Shirl, who is amazing in any crisis, holds her hand against my face all the way to the hospital (and for several hours after we arrive), placing pressure on the wounds to control bleeding.
Mom drives 90 mph.
We are met by paramedics at the ER, who wheel me in.
We are there for almost 4 hours.
I receive 38 stitches altogether.
The bottom gash has an arterial bleed that requires 4 inside stitches.
What a way to start a week.
The campers had not even arrived yet.
Just a few hours after stitches
Three days later...bruising in full effect
Five days later, after cheek stitches were removed
Nasty? Yeah. I know.
Last Saturday, the stitches in the bottom cut were removed, and it's looking good and healing nicely. My gracious friend Heather, a doctor who was arriving at camp to direct the next week's program, kindly agreed to remove the pesky stitches. A crowd gathered to witness the spectacle.
The bruising has cleared substantially, and I'm slathering on Vitamin E for scar prevention.
My mom says I'm "looking more like myself."
Thankfully I am feeling much more like myself as well.
I still have prescription Motrin for pain, and antibiotics to prevent infection.
Here is a current shot, taken just today:
Even though I had a miserable experience in many ways, being injured which caused pain and sadness and frustration and sleeplessness and all kinds of negativity, I still had a phenomenal week.
The kindness, love, support and compassion that were shown to me...WOW.
All of my fellow counselors were amazing.
Even the girls in Robin's and my cabin were incredibly sensitive; always quiet when I was resting, always asking how I was feeling, often inspecting my face for progress and changes in the bruises and stitches.
I am currently experiencing a lot of self-consciousness and insecurity about my very obvious wounds, but I'm trying to hang on and stay positive. I'm trying to be patient and let them heal.
I'm trying to believe that if this had to happen, it's good that it didn't affect my eyes or nose, or any vital organs.
Even though I still sometimes feel as though I've been run over by a truck, I know it's not the Apocalypse.
I still have truckloads for which to be grateful.