Stories: Injuries

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  • Rob Stowell,

    NOT that I'm suggesting you'd ever do that... wouldn't want to add insult to injuries.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Might I utilise a highly inane and trite emoticon here? :)

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Maxine Campbell,

    Some impressive moments! I've always been a little ashamed of my tendency to laugh at other people's misfortune, but it seems I'm in good company. And my own misfortunes are not off limits, so join me on a brief bicycle ride through a bedroom window.

    I'm primary school age (9 or 10) and visiting a friend for the afternoon. She lives in a very steep cul-de-sac on Auckland's North Shore and decides we should have turns whizzing down the hill on her bike. She does the first run. Flawlessly. My turn to walk the bike to the top of the hill (far too steep to pedal up) and I assume the position. There's a very rapid increase in velocity and for a few exhilarating moments I feel as if I have wings. Time to begin decelerating, so I put reverse pressure on the pedals. Mary's bike has no pedal brakes, just a hand brake. The only other bike I have ever ridden is of the opposite configuration. By now I'm approaching the speed of light and no force on earth will convince me to loosen my grip on the handlebars to make a grab for the brake lever.

    "Never mind", I thought. "I'll just turn at the bottom" No, going too fast to turn, so I eye up the driveway at the base of the cul-de-sac. It's steeper than the road and veers off to the left, but straight ahead of me, it flattens out in front of a set of ranch sliders (closed). I choose the flat terrain. On hitting the driveway, I jump off the pedals, straddling the bike and attempting to run with it to act as a human brake (come on, I was only ten). I think I managed one stride before the laws of physics began to dawn on me and the limitations of the human form made themselves felt. The front wheel burst through the ranchslider amid flailing arms and legs, though remarkably, I came to rest upright and still astride the bike.

    I was in someone's master bedroom and that someone was the most startled-looking woman I have ever seen. We were both lost for words for a while. Mary had vanished. My only injury (a minor cut) was far too high on my thigh for me to be comfortable mentioning it to a stranger, but the - large - window did need repairing. No small issue when you are one of a family of ten children. Mary's mum took care of it. I told my mum some thirty years later.

    Hamilton • Since Dec 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Tina Marinkovich,

    I cracked my head open on the town hall ... I think I'm a bit late for this thread, but I didn't see any injuries like this. I'll just include it for prosterity.

    1975 and the Wombles have bought their live stage show to Whangarei, the Town Hall no less. After the show we streamed out of the Town Hall. I was singing, and if memory serves me correctly (it seldom does) dancing along to "Underground overground". Choosing to bend down to collect "litter" right on the corner of the building. My head connects with the wall, and I pull back to rub it. It takes a moment for the screaming to begin. Not me, the rest of the preschool crowd, all hyped up on the Wombles but suddenly confronted by the sight of blood, and plenty of it, streaming out of my head and down my face. Cue pandemonium, I am plucked from the crowd, and thanks to the quick thinking actions of a passer by, who happened to have a roll of toilet paper in her basket, the bleeding is stopped. The family GP worked in the building next door, so I was marched up the street, and received 5 stitches. At school I was known briefly as the "girl with the head filled with toilet paper". It effectively cured me for life of dancing in public, although I still love the wombles ...

    Philippines • Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    What I always found fascinating about injuries was the way the brain seems to store all the minute detail right up to the actual moment of the accident, but seldom records the actual injury-causing moment.

    For example, when I was about 10 I was riding full-tilt down Kingsley St into the clean-fill tip that was to become Cox's Bay Park. We used to go down there quite often and ride our bikes over the mounds of clay making Motorbike noises (as you do). On this particular occasion I can remember zooming off the seal onto the gravel, maintaining my childishly naive high speed, when suddenly I saw a large lump of clay (~6" across) just in front of me. A twitch of the handlebars allowed the front wheel to narrowly avoid it, but no such luck for the back wheel. I next thing I know, I was lying on the ground about 4 feet to the left of my previous line of motion, watching my now riderless bike, continuing on bouncing down the gravel road until crashing into a pile of clay. My friends were amazed that I was unhurt. I never remembered any part of the time between hitting the lump and seeing my bike riding by itself.

    A year or two later, I was zooming down Fife St on my bike, and, like all other wannabe Motocross riders, we used to go from the road onto the footpath as close to the curbstone as possible so you could jump your bike off the slight bump there. On this particular occasion my foot came off the pedal as I was in the air, which meant - no brakes ! I skittered across the footpath and ended up careering alongside a concrete wall. The wheels of the bike were in the join of the wall to the footpath, the inside pedal was up, and the bike was leaning away from the wall, but rapidly straightened up. I can still clearly remember pulling my left hand from the handlebar just before it started scraping along the wall. There was a small lump in the wall - I was amazed when I checked it later and found it to be only 5mm or so - but it was enough. The handlebar hit it and turned sideways. The next thing I can remember is walking towards my poor bike, with its front wheel folded to a 90 degree angle. My friends were astounded. Apparently, I cartwheeled over the handlebars, doing a complete somersault landing on my lower back and just rolling up onto my feet. I then turned and walked back to my bike. Once again, I never remembered any of the flying through the air part. (Incidently, the tyre stayed up, and I walked the bike home and straightened the front wheel in our old vice - it always had a slight bump with each circuit of the wheel after that).

    However, when I was 15, coming home from school on my 10-speed, as fast as I could (as you do), I was coming out of Motat 2 onto the footpath of Meola Road. I was leaning right over and there was this small rock (about 2" round). Once again I avoided it with the front wheel, but connected with the back. The wheel went out from under me, and I saw my hands come out in front of me as I headed for the ground, but then thought "don't land on your hands - you'll break your wrists". I pulled in my hands as I landed (they escaped with slight grazing on their heels). Then I thought "Roll, don't slide", so I started to roll over instead of sliding along the pavement. But then I though "My calculator and glasses are in the front pocket of my backpack, and I'll squash them if I roll on top of them", so I didn't. I ended up with huge grazes on my knees, and grazes and bruising on my right thigh, hip and shoulder. But as I limped home with my bike, I was absolutely elated; I had managed to think all those things, and to act on them, even as I was flying through the air and sliding along the ground.

    Up until now I had assumed that it was because I had gotten used to it and my brain was now better able to cope. But now that I think about it, there are a couple of other possible explanations :
    1) I was older, and the brain had changed the way it worked;
    2) The nature of the accident was different in that I actually got hurt in the last one, so my brain stored more details of what occurred.

    Anyone else relate to this ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Re: the ukelele - I hadn't heard Mike Chunn (or anyone else) was advocating it, but I've been told by a couple of people the ukelele is in schools today what the recorder was in our day.

    I hated the recorder and refused to learn it. I was the only kid in my STd Four class who didn't learn it. I told the teacher I would write stories instead and he, amazingly, agreed.

    The recorder is an awful noise. It has only one thing going for it. The kids can't sing at the same time, and in many cases, this is a blessing.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    At our kid's primary school, they still have the Recorder - lord knows why, but they also have marimba - which is fantastic, because when played in a group by 7 year olds, it still sounds great.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Cowan,

    Hmmm, yes, hadn't considered the singing aspect.....

    Perhaps if one of those voice-tube thingies that Peter Frampton attached to his guitar was installed on the ukelele that could perhaps dampen the effect.

    Probably just make it worse though.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Pastetaster,

    Many moons ago I was painting a house for my student holiday job.

    I was painting under the eaves one day and I needed to get down from a ladder that was set up in the middle of a cluster of shrubs. Camaelias I think.

    For some reason I decided the best way down was to jump from the ladder over one of the shrubs in front. About 4-5 feet to the ground.

    However I didn't quite make it, and managed to crash through the side of the camaelia. Unfortunately, I didn't see that the camaelia in question was supported by a warratah stake (one of those large 3-sided steel stakes that are used for fencing).

    The bad news is that I landed squarely on top of the steel stake, impaling myself!

    The miracle is that I managed to land on it in that nether region inbetween my arse and my scrotum (not sure what that part is called, but for me it was a life-ring). An inch either side and I would have either been skewered up my bum or I would not be the father of my children.

    Fortunately I ended up with only 12 stitches and a war wound to be shared with an intimate few.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    oh my god - now, that is a remarkable story of survival, and I believe the area you refer to is the perinium (sp?)

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    that nether region inbetween my arse and my scrotum

    That would be what our American friends call the taint. 'taint one thing nor the other.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    When flies lay eggs in your head the maggots come out of a horrible pussy hole.



    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Lindsay Vette,

    I have a very long and varied catalogue of injuries, courtesy of hockey, basketball, motocross, skiing, cycling and just generally getting out and getting stuck into life.

    The best series of injuries I have had were three shoulder dislocations from a skiing crash, a fall in the bush and finally throwing a ball. The last dislocation the day before heading overseas for 3 months holiday in Europe. Taking my sling off to collect the rental car in London was interesting.

    However my best/worst ever injury (actually three in one), was a crash in a cycle race involving a concussion, a fractured scaphoid and a wrecked AC joint.

    I remember everything about the race except for the last 30 seconds of my participation. I have seen the crash described on the Internet as the worst crash they had ever seen so at least I know it was memorable. I was in a criterium race (google it for a description) and was three laps from the end of the race where everyone is starting to jockey for position and cornering gets more than a little crazy.

    Apparently a rider crashed in front of me and started sliding/bouncing diagonally across the corner. I attempted to first ride around them by hopping onto the footpath, then to jump them when they slid further into my path. I landed on the rider/bike and went over the bars at about 40kmh wearing lycra and a cycle helmet.

    The helmet saved my head but I was unconscious for some minutes and concussed for several hours. I wasn't aware of my surroundings till I was in hospital in a neck brace being x-rayed and cat-scanned. When the hospital finally decided I still had a brain and it wasn't scrambled they wanted to send me home.

    At that stage I was finding some other hurts and ended up with another round of x-rays and left some time later with a cast on my right wrist (scaphoid) and a sling on my left arm (AC joint.)

    My lovely wife has extracted a concession from me that that was my last criterium race.

    Oh yeah, and helmets work. I have replaced three in the last five years after crashes where my head hit the ground or other objects.

    Tauranga • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,


    Just in case there is any misunderstanding I offer this definition of the adjective in question:

    "full of or resembling pus"

    (and add my heartfelt thanks to Websters)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Too many of my own head injuries too remember.
    But my good mate in the Terries many years ago was spraying scrub for some criminally negligent farmer and got poisoned.
    Then off to the Terries for fun with firearms.
    The delayed reaction and his collapses into unconsciousness during our chicken diner meant his head just rocked forward stabbing himself in the eye with the bone.
    Oh how we laughed.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Lea Barker,

    Many moons ago, I was at the after-show party for an awards ceremony in Auckland, and was on my way up to the bar to get another round of drinks for our table. There in my path, lying flat on her face on the floor, remnants of champagne glass in hand was one of the award winners. "Silly bitch, can't hold her drink," I thought archly as I stepped over her without breaking my stride.

    By the time I got back to our table one of the people who'd been sitting there had left, and I learned that was because she was a nurse and had been summoned urgently to help the young woman on the floor, who was now on her way to hospital. The stem of the champagne glass had pierced her throat.

    Since the person in question is rather jolly famous now, with action figures and all, I'm thinking of hiring myself out to step over wannabe TV/movie/singing stars while incanting my magic spell: "Silly bitch, can't hold her drink!"

    Oakland, CA • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I've never had any major breaks or gashes, but my right thumb has suffered long and hard.

    At age 9 I jumped out of a friend's dad's car in a hurry and slammed the door closed with my left hand, just to make sure it shut properly. It did. Right in the middle of my right thumbnail, which had been resting inexplicably on the edge of the door cavity. The door was closed flush. Cue first astonishment and then the pain. Nail eventually turned black and fell off and I still have a 1mm-thick ridge running the length of the nail.

    Second incident was playing beginner-grade softball. A misnamed game if any, particularly when the ball streaks down into your glove and - instead of falling into your grip between glove and exposed right hand - it lands with full force upon your right thumb. Snap. I'm told I screamed some interesting things, but I didn't think I knew those words at 11.

    The second time I was a bit older and mucking around with a safety lighter, which turned out to be leaky. Probably the most painful experience of the lot, and the ugliest - got off fairly lightly with a balloon blister the size of an olive on my knuckle which took weeks to go away.

    Hopefully my thumb's absorbed enough punishment to keep the rest of me clear for a bit longer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

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