After a rather pleasant commute to SLC on the Frontrunner and TRAX, I hopped off the Blue Line (TRAX) and prepared my Razor scooter for my usual 1/2 mile long ride down 21st South.
The entire ride lasted approximately ten seconds. I picked up a slightly more-than-normal speed as I banked a hard right onto 21st. It was too much inertia to hold my intended line. The wheels immediately slid out from underneath me and I dropped much faster than I could imagine, to the ground.
Four point of contact between my body and the sidewalk immediately met: Both of my knees, my left shoulder and my chin. My chin bounced one time and that was the end of the accident.
I took stock: I hurt. My immediate priority was to get off of the ground before too many people noticed my embarrassing folly. As far as I could tell, only one person noticed. He was kind enough to take his headphone out of an ear and inquire as to my ok-ness. I reported (lying) that I was fine and tried to walk away, scooter in tow.
However it became hard to feign decent health, because blood was gushing out of my chin and on to the concrete below. As a Nelson, I have the presence of mind to do amazing things, when in this kind of situation. I took great care to keep my head over the ground and not my shirt, so that the blood would not stain my clothing. This is the kind of quality effort you can expect from a Nelson when he’s bleeding a gallon a minute.
Stopping, I tried to figure out what one does in this type of scenario. Do I walk (or scoot?) the rest of the way to work, bleeding as I go? No. I needed to stop the blood. So I walked over to a bus (which actually turned out to be the 21st south bus, which would take me within a block of my work) and inquired as to the availability of paper towels.
The bus driver admitted he had what I needed, but when I stepped on his bus, he immediately shooed me away and told me that he’d bring me the towels, outside of his (clean?) bus. I spent the next two minutes placing towel after towel on my face to control the flow, all the while trying to look ride-worthy. He finally let me on the bus, where I one-handedly started going through my wallet for my UTA pass (It’s important to note that my theory was right all along: Even if you are bleeding to death, you will need to show your UTA pass to get a ride to safely or shelter). Once I showed him the pass, he drove me along 21st, until he let me off at Main.
I spend a lot of time teaching my children that if they fall down, I expect them to get up and continue doing what they’re doing, unless they are physically unable. In my condition, I found it important to open up my Razor scooter again and scoot- left hand on the scooter handle and my right hand holding a multitude of bloody towels to my once-beautiful chin.
I made it in to my work and fumbled for my work badge. The security person guarding the south entrance noticed my condition and immediately set to helping me to get a temporary badge, so that I could go take care of myself in the bathroom. It should be noted at this point, that I have now had to procure two sets of ID to get medical help, regardless of the fact that I am a bloody mess. (It should also be noted that I sort of think this is funny and hold no resentment.)
I walked slowly up the stairs to my desk to see if I could find a friend to take me to a doctor. Amazingly, no one was at their desks. Not my IT coworkers, near where I work. Not my friends upstairs. So I stood helplessly, bleeding in the bathroom, obtaining more paper towels, which are immediately soaked in red, so that I can continue my journey and search for that special someone, who doesn’t mind driving me to get fixed up.
And then my friends appeared. All of them had been in meetings and all of them agreed. “Nathan, you need stitches.” Fine. So my good friend, Jason, was kind enough to drive me to Riverton, which is about 25 minutes away from where I work, so that I could get some proper help.
It has now been about 30 minutes since I split my chin in half and, by the way, sort of hurt my shoulder. Man, my shoulder was really starting to hurt! And my knees! Is there anything that doesn’t hurt, I wondered (Answer: Yes- my left ankle was feeling pretty strong.)
So off to Riverton IHC Instacare, where I filled out several sheets of information for the nice lady at the window, who was probably unaware that she was only the third person who stood as a sentinel between me and professional help. But no matter. I was finally admitted and made my way to the room where my blood pressure was taken, ears checked and finally my chin looked at.
When the doctor saw my chin, my friends’ diagnosis was validated and he immediately set about getting my prepped for stitches. First a shot for numbing, right into my chin. Then another. And another. Maybe 5-8 pokes total. Not too bad, but not my sensation of choice, either. At the same time a nurse gave me a tetanus shot into my left arm. The Works, I guess.
Soon after I was numb and Dr. Stitches started sewing me back together. It took about 15 minutes, but eventually eight stitches were performed and I was ready to roll. They didn’t have the typical blue stitches material (a new order had been placed, however), so I got the clear ones. Which means I don’t look nearly as bad-ace (if you will) as I should after having 8 stitches.
Once I was all put back together, my friend Jason and I started talking about lunch. He offered to take me home, but I knew that I needed to go back to work. After all- when Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks gets hit with a puck in his face, does he go home after a game? No. He’s stitched up, then sent back out on the ice. It’s a character thing.
So we rolled into work, where I showed my friends my new stitches, plus a sling the doctor had placed my arm in, to keep my shoulder still, because he’d noticed on X-Ray that I’d separated it (Did I not mention all of this, already?) Then, in a show of solidarity, Jason offered to buy me lunch. We went down to Curry in a Hurry, on State Street, then walked back to work.
At this point, I decided that I was really cut out for hockey. My other reliable and helpful friend, Jazmine, protested that I shouldn’t take TRAX to go home (maybe she felt I’d already sort of run out of luck with that line) and offered to drop me off at the Frontrunner station. Which was sort of too bad. It would have been the one time I actually LOOKED like I belonged on TRAX.
Once at Frontrunner, I finally relaxed and caught the southbound train for Lehi. Soon after I arrived, Wendy drove in and picked me up. She gave me a look of love and disgust (this is why I married her, folks) and I entertained my children with answers to question upon question as to how my face got this way.
It’s been a long day. I’m not sure how tomorrow’s run is going to go. I think I’m going to give it a shot, even if I need to run in a sling. I’ve done so well in my training and really can’t afford to fall off the program.
We’ll see how it goes…