Welcome to Blood Week. We put out the call last week for your tales of of blood, violence, gruesome injuries, near-death experiences, mayhem, and blood. Many of you came through with submissions, which we'll be posting throughout the week. If you have a story and/or photos to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with Blood Week in the subject line.
Brandon and his friends played street football. It ended badly:
The above image is an injury I sustained while playing some street football. I was 19 years old and living at school. We got snowed/iced in for three days which obviously meant three days of binge drinking Keystone Light, playing video games and doing other stupid shit. So, it's about 5 p.m. one evening and we decide it'd be a great idea to play some snow football in the street, why not? We're playing for about 30 minutes, putting our beers on top of cars in the six-inch snow to keep them extra chilly. I decided to "design" a play; really, I just had a teammate create a pick for the guy guarding me so I could go out for a bomb. The play works perfectly, my defender gets caught up on my teammate and I'm about 40 yards down the street wide open. My quarterback lead me a bit too far and without realizing it, I'm on the sidewalk. I make the catch and immediately smash into an apartment building putting my hand through a window. Luckily, I was so bundled up that no other extremities or face was injured but I had a blast explaining this to the landlord and to my parents when they got a bill from the hospital for a few thousand dollars (Actual photo of Brandon's hand is here).
Ryan M. had some experience with serious injuries when he was younger, starting with a moment on the ski slopes he can't even remember:
I was on a 7th grade ski trip and it was my 2nd time ever skiing. My ski "style" was just to go straight down hill without trying to turn at all and pray I didn't fall. I was starting to get the hang of it by the end of the night and decided to make one more run with a friend. The conditions were beginning to get real icy as the night went on and the last thing I remember was being at the top of the hill. I woke up in a stretcher on the back of a snowmobile that was heading for an ambulance. I had ran into a mesh fence and flopped over directly face first. I noticed that my ski pants were completely soaked with my own blood as it turned out one of my skis somehow went into the back of my leg during the collision. I remember another kid who was also injured in my ambulance who kept asking over and over again if he was going to have to get a shot when he got to the hospital. I'm not sure whose concussion was worse that night to this day. Twenty-six stitches later I finally looked in a mirror and saw that my entire face was cut up and every square inch of it was covered by a scab the next two weeks. My story was overshadowed that night by a bunch of kids who got caught drinking and two of the girls had to have their stomach's pumped. The following year almost to the date I accidentally elbowed a kid in the mouth coming down from a rebound during middle school basketball practice. Three days later I went to the hospital thinking I needed an x-ray. Instead, I was in the hospital for a week because of an infection from where he bit me and almost lost my arm. I haven't needed an ER trip in the 15 years since.
Eric has a pretty simply story of a pretty nasty cut to the chin:
Wish there was a better story to accompany the pic, but the fact is that chin + concrete = burst wound (new term picked up in ER). My fearless companions for the night thought that this wound would be easily repaired with a bandaid and a good night's sleep. However, upon waking at 5am, I found myself in a bloody mess of hotel room sheets. 7 stitches.
Aaron's got a story of trying to ride a bike in a big city when you don't have health insurance:
I lived on Baltimore Avenue in Philadelphia last year, which has bike lanes but is in very poor repair, and worse, has trolleys running up and down it, and requisite tracks for them to roll on. I was going out one afternoon for some reason, so I hopped on my bike and took off at a high rate of speed, which was my habit at the time. Just a few blocks from my apartment, I swerved over the tracks to avoid a pothole, then swerved back to return to the bike lane. Bad idea.
I remember very vividly how fast my bike slipped out from under me and my face slammed down into the street. I had the awareness to see a piece of my tooth shoot across the pavement while my shoulder, arm and knee all made contact at about the same time.
Wow. Well, I wasn't dead. I was just able to drag my bike out of the road and sit down and the curb. Luckily, my helmet had absorbed some of the blow to my head, but I was still pretty stunned, wondering if my arm was broken, how bad the ER bill was going to be for my non-health-insuranced ass, and my, that was a lot of blood dripping down from my chin onto the street.
It took a good ten minute sit to get myself together. I found the piece of tooth, which on further reflection was probably a filling since it came off a molar. Slowly, I regained motion in my arm and realized I might make it through this without visiting the hospital. Some passersby stopped to ask if I was okay, and I lied and said yes, contrary to all appearances and common sense.
So, I managed to stand up, and limped back home pushing my mangled bike, much to the shock of my neighbors. I was bleeding from my temple, arm, shoulder and leg but the real problem was my chin, which was hanging open with a huge glop of blood and flesh dangling off. There was no way a bandaid was going to fix that thing, so I held it shut with a napkin and walked a couple blocks to a pharmacy to buy superglue, came back, washed it all out and glued myself back together.
Success. An accident that could have easily cost me thousands of dollars or killed me had only ended up setting me back about three dollars and a few weeks of limping/ scabs. Although I never did get the filling fixed so I might be looking at a nasty dentist bill at some point down the road.