Friday, January 27, 2006
The Great American Blue Moon Scar Story
So I was thinking the other day about an exercise a fellow student shared a couple semesters ago in a memorable class I had at the U. It struck me because I looked down today and realized I have this little scar across my left thumb, and I have no idea where the heck I got it. It must have been yesterday sometime, but anyone ever have that happen to them? Mysterioso smally scars that sneak on ya undetected? So anyway, the exercise was a simple tell a story about a scar you have. I really liked it because when I got to thinking about it, every lasting scar has a story behind it. And usually the big scars have a really interesting story. I’m big on stories, so I thought I’d share my own little scar story. As always, this is always open to participation. Share your own scar story if ya wanna be cool, and know that a scar can be lots of things, from emotional scars, to when you bumped your head when you were five. They can be serious, and they can be funny, but they always tell a story worth hearing. So, without any further blah blah, I present my own little scar story:
I was in fifth grade. And one week I got all sick to my stomach. I couldn’t hold anything down. I literally threw up like clockwork. Every half an hour was a trip to the toilet. I hate throwing up, I like to go on years without having to, and so this was just torture. So my mom thought it was the stomach flu. But she just wasn’t so sure. She decided to play the waiting game, and about a week goes by with the same symptoms. I was getting pretty worn out. And then one night, I woke up in sheer pain.
I could barely move, my stomach was in terrible pain. I remember just laying there and crying for my mom, but I was in the basement, and no matter how hard I tried to yell, she never came. Ya see, I was a big boy then, and we finished the basement and I got the basement bedroom because I was the oldest. Yay! But I realized that being “big” had some drawbacks, I was gonna have to make it up to my parent’s bedroom on my own. I knew it was serious, it wasn’t just some pansy stomach ache, this was gripping pain. I remember it still today as one of the worst pains I’ve ever been through.
So just turning on my side was excruciating. I stopped crying, and forced myself to roll out of the bed and plop on the floor. That killed. Then I tried to stand, and it got worst. I went down on the floor again, and waited for a while, and then I got back up and slowly left my room. I swear, I walked like egor, all hunched over, coupled with a limp. I passed into the family room, which was this long rectangular room, the entertainment center on one side, the couch and chairs on the other, and I was supposed to walk to length of it to reach the stairs. As I was lurching along, it was too much and I looked at the nearest chair and hobbled over and sat on it. I remember this chair distinctively. It was this golden hued 70’s chair that swiveled and rocked, and was all cushiony. I sat there for a long time. I have this really really vivid memory of the clock on the VCR flashing 12:00. I sat and stared at that flashing light in this sort of trance. Yet, in the darkness, the room bursting with a dim green light every few moments, I recall I understood that I needed to get up. There was like this urgent something pulling me to act. Yet in my 5th grade mind, I thought I just wanted to sit there and try to wait the pain out. My little life flashed before my eyes, literally (flashing 12), in hindsight. It turned out to be a life or death situation, and getting up those stairs was a really really urgent thing.
I don’t know what made me get up, or why I got up, I think I just knew that if I made up to my parents, they could stop the pain, or do something to stop it. It was simplistic, but it got me to try. So I slowly moved forward from off the golden chair and quickly sat back in pain. Just across the room was the stairs, and looking at them in the flashing illuminated darkness, I thought to myself how impossible it seemed to get over there and climb them. The pain grew worst it seemed.
I don’t remember getting up and climbing those stairs, all I know is that I made it up them, through the kitchen upstairs and down the hall to my parent’s bedroom. I freaked them out something fierce. But they both got up and my dad quickly picked me up and put me on the couch down the hall to the living room. I remember them both standing there before me with this medical book or encyclopedia of symptoms, and frantically, (perhaps not, but *I* remember being frantic) trying to figure out what was wrong with me. They reached the decision to take me to the hospital. I was totally against it. I didn’t want to move an inch. But my dad picked me right up again and took me to the car. I think we had one of those Ford Aerostar vans then.
On the way there, I remember the moon. It was massive. My mom pointed it out to me to keep my attention up; she said has heard on the news that there was going to be “blue moon” that night. (Which, by the way a “blue” moon isn’t actually blue; it’s a full moon that occurs twice in a month, something that happens about every 2 and ½ years. The one above is just photographed with a blue lense for effect). To this day, the moon has always meant something special to me. A light in the darkness.
So we make it to the hospital, and the Doctors begin poking and prodding my stomach.
“Does this hurt?”
In another spot.
“Does this hurt?”
In another spot.
“Does this hurt?”
Finally they make me walk around all hunched over in pain, my hair sticking out in every direction in my PJs. And to top it off, they had me go pee in a cup. Ugh, I just wanted to explode. They left for a bit, and then came back and told my mom they thought it was an appendicitis and that they had better operate.
So off I went, it seemed like a blur now, and I was on the operating table, and they put me out with anesthesia. Turned out that during the operation my appendix burst, and it got messy. Every moment had counted. And if my appendix had burst before they got me cut open, I would have been poisoned from the inside. I would have been bad. After the operation I wasn’t out of the clear and I ended up getting infected and they had me in intensive care for a while. My Dad gave me a couple blessings, and my body came through and I returned home finally after a week or two at the hospital. The whole experience was quite the ordeal, much bigger than what getting an appendix out should be.
So I think back on this little 5th grade boy somehow making it up the stairs, wondering what it was inside me that got me out of that golden chair. Whatever it was, it’s why you’re reading this right now. You should be like putting your hand in a fist and saying “Yes!” while bringing it down.
And so I have a three inch scar on the lower right half of my abdomen and whenever I notice it, it makes me think about being grateful to be alive.
There’s me scar story! What’s yours?