N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

Splintergate ’09 (part 1)

I don’t think I could make up the following story if I tried…seriously.

I was at dinner with some friends the night a record breaking snowstorm was supposed to hit. We had planned to head home an hour before it was supposed to hit. We thought, we’d have plenty of time and there would be no challenge to our getting snug in our little warm bungalow. That was BEFORE I stood up to go to the restroom.

It was at that time a 2 inch needle-like splinter from the table embedded itself into my thigh. After the trip to the bathroom to inspect the wound, I thought I might be able to get it free if I had tweezers. So I made my way home…no problem (‘cept for the panic). We get there, and I get in the bathroom with tweezers and realize, I can’t see it…I can’t feel it…and I have no business mucking around with it trying to get it out.

After some discussion, Day and I hop back in the car to head down to the ER. On our way down we end up on a road that is slick as snot. I run into the embankment on the side of the road (pretty hard) as my tail end swings out toward oncoming traffic. Thankfully I stopped before I hit anyone, and the car behind me got stopped. BUT the car coming up the other side of the road got stuck and began spinning its wheels and the idiot behind him came right up on his tailpipe…I was watching this in my mirrors getting more and more scared at the situation by the minute. I told Day to hang on, and I forced my little car up onto the dirt embankment and straightened myself out. From there I just bumped down the hill till I got to the bottom…but that was just the beginning of our trip. I got to watch a man bury the nose of his car in a fence, I got to spin my way up a hill, I got to watch as a man spun out, and generally I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest.

We finally got to the entrance of the hospital, and that’s when I realized the entrance to the ER was 3/4th of the way down a hill…and we had to turn right to get into the drive. I got almost to the entrance and slammed into the curb. I was able to straighten out again though…but there was no making that turn. I slid into the drive and into the far side of the entrance. I kept going though, I had an ambulance behind me and I was almost there. I got up the hill and slid into a space.

Then comes the ER. We get in, and they send me up to Express Care where the person on duty numbs me up and cuts me open but can’t find the splinter. ARGH! He pokes and prods for a while…he asks me if I can find it, and while I can FEEL it under my skin I can’t feel it sticking out. Ok, so he cleans it out, gives me a tetanus shot, 2 antibiotics (enough to see me through till morning), 3 prescriptions to fill (but nowhere to fill them at this time of night), and a referral to a plastic surgeon on Monday or Tuesday.

At 12:45 or 1am (not sure exactly when it was but it was before 2) Day and I walk out of the ER…now this whole time I’m worried about getting home, because of all the trouble we had getting TO the ER. We get in the parking lot and there is about an inch of fine powder on the ground. I tell Day that I think we can make it, so we get in the car.

I CREEP up to Georgia Ave and take it as far as I can, it’s not great…I can’t see the lanes anymore and I don’t want to drive too fast. I’ve got my flashers on and I’m keeping distance between me and the guy in front of me. That does not mean I’m not terrified…I AM. Still, we were able to get home safely and into the house. BUT I’ve still got this THING stuck in me.



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