Editor's note: This is going to chronicle probably the goriest event that has ever happened to me. Get ready! A perfectly normal Wednesday was wrapping up. I had done some Zumba (poorly, I may add), cooked a chicken-based dinner (extremely typical), watched some television with the roommates, took a shower and lounged in my bed for a bit.
I was ready to go to bed at this point. It had been a long day and my hair had basically finished drying. So, like I do every night of my life, I went over to my closet door, pulled it open and reached up to hang up my towel. Then there was a bang, I look down.
The mirror from the front of the closet door is laying on the ground next to a bloody piece of meat. No wait -- that bloody piece of meat is my leg. I shit you not I saw bone. Huge drops of blood are hitting the floor every second. And huge drops are hitting the rug my mom explicitly told me not to ruin. I knew I had to move off of the rug, but my leg is limpy. I focus in. I absolutely need to go to the emergency room. My roommate next door is asleep already, so I'll crawl to the stairs and call for the one downstairs.
Nope, my leg won't make it. I yell downstairs, "I need to go to the emergency room." Both roommates materialize like they are wizards straight from Hogwarts. Everyone is calm, like we have a prepared emergency response plan. One roommate collects my and her belongings so that we can leave. The other wraps a towel around my leg and goes for gauze and pre-wrap. I sit applying pressure. Not crying. Just planning. I need shoes, id and my insurance card. And a bra. Can't leave the house without a bra.
She comes back with the supplies, and I squeeze the two halves of my leg together, while she applies gauze and then tightly wraps the pre-wrap around my wound. (The next day, I find out that she has experience splinting horse legs, so she was ready to put that skill to use). The other roommate comes back with our to-go supplies. We work out that one goes and one stays to clean the blood. What more can you ask for in a friend than someone who will mop up your pools of blood for you? #BloodSisters
I slide on my butt down the stairs, slip my boat shoes (they ended up being a casualty of the night. The entire left shoe is caked in blood beyond cleaning) on, and we are off. It was a quick drive (thank god) down just a few blocks to the ER. I get dropped off and hop on one leg inside. The greeting nurse takes down all sorts of information, as I internally contemplate whether I should call or text my parents. I decide text, because it's late, and they'll think I'm near death if I call now. Plus, what can they do when they're eight hours away, anyways right?
So then I'm led back to my bed. And then I sit alone, with just the sounds of the EMT's gossiping, the click of the heart rate monitor for the patient to my right and every now and then a squeak of a shoe. And I totally lose my shit. What if it actually broke my bone? Or ripped a muscle? Or it gets infected and they need to amputate? What if they just leave me sitting here to bleed out?
I sob. And sob a bit more. Nurses come and go, but I sit alone sobbing.
Eventually, one comes over and compliments the nice dressing on my wound (thanks, years of horse splinting). I still can't compose myself. They go to get my roommate. No one comes back.
I freak out a bit more. They just wheeled someone away for higher-grade attention.
Then, a lovely, nonchalant nurse comes over. She tells me I'm doing well, ask me how it happened. Then she asked me if I think I could have Ebola, if I was trying to hurt myself or if I was assaulted. All no.
She cracks a few jokes, and my tears subside. Shortly thereafter, I text my other friend and he comes running (more like brisk walking) from his house to the hospital. Once there, I feel much more calm. He's not nervous about all the blood. He handles it. He talks to me and takes my mind off of it.
"You really went big on this one," the nurse muses. "Go big or go home, right?" I quip back. When you're in pain, freaking out, there's nothing like a good wound joke to break the ice. We get some x-rays and praise hallelujah no broken bones, chard's of glass or ripped muscles. While getting hit by a falling mirror is a total unlucky fluke, at least hearing good news like that is calming.
So then begins the time to stitch. My friend snaps a picture (which I swear if he shows that to me before a years time, I will vomit. Not that I actually need the picture to remember how my leg looked. I'll probably carry that image with me to the grave. It looked straight out of a horror film.), and the doctor begins. Oh pain. So much of it.
But damn, do I have a good friend. He talks about nothing for the entire time. He explains his graduate school classes, which meant nothing to me. Except for the real fact that it meant everything to me. He had a midterm the next day, but he chose to help me out when I needed him most, and was able to talk to me enough to distract me from the mangled mess that was my leg.