Thursday, April 16, 2009

How did we live through it? Part 2

As I lay there, I became aware of my surroundings and heard a loud shrieking, noise above me. I stood up and looked down. My left leg had a 'chunk' missing about 3 inches below my knee. The missing part was about 3 inches high and wrapped around to my calf on both sides. It had chunks of dirt in it but no blood. Looked just like a piece of meat when you cut into it.  

There was a lot of blood coming from 10-12 shallow cuts from hip to knee, on the upper thigh of the same leg. I didn't feel all that bad though. (I was already in shock). I looked up to the road, to find out what the shrieking sound was. It was Vera. She was hysterical! I started to climb the hill to try to calm Vera. I was a bit surprised to find the left leg wasn't working all that well. I climbed, dragging the left leg behind me. I got to the top and stood up. The sight of me upset her more and started my friend Karen screaming too!!  

(note: At this point, a woman came out of the house across the street. She looked over, pulled her mail out of the mailbox, perused the envelopes, looked back over at me and walked back in her house!!! Dad had a 'nice talk' with her a few days later....)  

As I was trying, unsuccessfully, to convince Karen and Vera that I was fine, a shiny, black '50' or '51' Chevy sedan pulled up and stopped. The driver got out, ran around the car and knelt down in front of me. He looked at my leg, stood up and took off his belt to wrap it around my upper leg. I remember standing there wondering what all the fuss was about. The man was a State Patrol officer on a drive with his Mother. His name was J.J. Harvey.  

He told Vera and Karen to go home and asked me who my doctor was. He got me in his car between him and his Mother and sped off. I was already a car freak at 10. I loved the speed. I was enjoying the fast ride when I felt a 'twinge' in my stomach. I reached down and lifted the little skirt on my suit to discover my abdominal tissue and maybe, part of my intestine, was spilling out onto my lap...... Harvey's Mother took one look, muttered faintly, "Oh...Jay..." and fainted! J.J. looked over at my lap and said 'That-four-letter-word'. (First time I ever heard it). Then he punched the gas and we screamed, honking the horn, the next 8 or 10 blocks to Dr. Barnes' office. More speed! Even more fun!!  

Dr. Barnes called an ambulance and my Mom and started to patch me up for transport. He must have given me a sedative shot because I don't remember anything until I woke up in the ambulance. The siren was screaming. There were two men up front. The driver and passenger. My Mom was on a little bench in back, near my head. She looked terrified!  

I looked out the window and saw a sign for one of the funeral homes on Lombard. I muttered to Mom, " I dead....??" She looked down and said I wasn't and we were on the way to Providence hospital. I had an uncomfortable feeling in the front of my bathing suit and reached in the top to remove the cherries. They were all mashed up and juicy. I pulled out a big handful and held them out to Mom. She took one look and pitched forward in a dead faint! The passenger saw it too. He swore and jumped to the rear to grab Mom and my hand. He was white as a sheet! Then, he took a closer looked and said, "Pits....There's pits...!" He pushed Mom's head up and started gently slapping her face, saying, "Pits....It's pits! Look!" as we drove up to the hospital.  

They must have sedated me more in the Emergency room. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from 6 or 7 hours of surgery. I was in the Pediatric Ward and a nun was standing over me. She got Mom and Dad. They were fussing over me when I noticed dad had a band-aid on his earlobe. Apparently, when he arrived at the hospital someone thought he was there to give blood. He thought I needed blood and went along with the nurse. She pricked his ear to type the blood as he asked how I was. The mistake was discovered. They put a bandage on his ear and sent him to the waiting room.


Civilla said...

Oh, man, that is AWFUL!!!!! And the cherries just made everything more confusing for everybody!!

Once, my son fell off his bike and was bleeding, and three cars in our little town of 250 passed him by, the drivers gawking, but not stopping to help. I was furious! Good for your dad for having a little talk with that neighbor who didn't even stop to look at you!!!

You're lucky you're alive!

P-Dot said...

You ought to see her scars even tho they are 55+ years old.
I love this part of the story as her Mother is very reserved and doesn't act excited often. Can't you just imagine what she thought when she saw what Attebetty pulled out of the front of the bathing suit!!!!

Attebetty said...

The older I get; the more I see how serious it was. I was 10 and everything was an experience. I only remember the 'fun' part. I asked my Mom to tell me her version yesterday on a drive to Cananda. She said it was terrifying when the State Patrol Officer came to the door and told her. I always thought the Dr. called her. And she said Dad blamed her for quite a long time. He kept asking her why she 'let' me go up there. It was 1953!! Kids were off by themselves all the time. We went out in the morning and never saw our parents again until sundown. I was only about 8 blocks from the trailer park anyway. Marysville was more like a small village back then.

P-Dot said...

Interesting how your Mom's reality was. Remember the conversations we have had about how kids remember things and how they really were?