Just an ordinary October 1st...

Yesterday was like any other day in my sunny Florida home.
Wiping runny noses.

And it was like any other October 1st.
October Dress Project started.
Lakeland ODP friends did a photo shoot.
We were at Lake Mirror to take a few shots.

And then it happened.

We were finished the shoot with a final shot actually in the water of Lake Mirror and we were gingerly stepping out of the "cleanest lake in Lakeland." As I took the final step out, a sharp pain shot from the arch of my foot up and I realized I had done something. I calmly, without screaming, crying or whinning, stepped back and hobbled out of the water.

I said, "My foot is bleeding." 

But no one heard. I said it again, but all eleven of the women there were busy chatting and laughing, something I had just been doing previously. As I took my foot of out of the water, blood started pouring onto the pavement and I was leaving puddles.

I tried again, "I think I cut myself."

Slowly all of my fellow ODP partners started to notice something was wrong. Sitting on the ground, I looked at my foot and thought that the cut wasn't too bad. But then I opened it and someone said, "You are going to need stitches." My world stopped for a moment. This was an emergency and I needed someone to step in and help. Everything slowed and I sat there, stunned, applying pressure to my foot with a MacGyver bandage whipped up by my handy mom friends of a panty liner and a hairband. One of the girls decided they needed to carry me to a car.

As I was in a bucket hold between Stephanie and Kim, two small framed girls, I knew they couldn't carry me as far as we needed to go. I was using my upper body strength to hold myself up, but I could hear their breathing become more strained and their steps more arduous. These ladies are strong, but to carry a 140 pound girl for a quarter of a mile is no small task. I told them to put me down on the stairs because I could feel that I wasn't going to make it. Then Stephanie, a stranger until last night, sat behind me to support me.

I said, "My natural response to pain is to pass out. 
I am going to pass out." 

And that was what started to happen as I laid my head back on Stephanie's lap. As I was fading out of consciousness, I heard comments like, "Karissa, you look green." "She doesn't have any color in her face." "How do you text on your phone?" "Have you heard from your husband yet?" "Good think you have shorts on under your October Dress!" "What do you want us to do?" I was shocked they were asking me! How was I suppose to know what to do? My body was in shock, I was bleeding everywhere and I couldn't walk! Thankfully, my friend Cathy went around the lake to the fire department to get some help. After leaving my husband a half-conscious message, I finally knew what to do.

"Call 911," I sputtered as I felt myself drift away.

A granola bar and an apple juice were being offered and I took them as a way to try to revive my stunned body. The next part was a blur as I was fading in and out of coherence. People were asking me questions, Sabes was talking to the 911 operator, Kim was fanning me with a church bulletin, Rachel was wiping off my running mascara to make sure I looked good in the ER. Finally the fire department showed up with flashing lights,sirens and I was feeling better. It had probably been about 15-20 minutes since I had first cut my foot at this point. I had stopped the bleeding and was starting to feel like a person again. And that is when the jokes started to come. I am a diffuser and distractor. When a situation is tough, use a little humor and a distraction to make the circumstance into something different.

Something palatable.
Something better.
Something memorable.

Even though I was the crisis, I just fell into my normal role when I am in a group. The firemen asked me what I wanted to do, and I knew I couldn't walk. So after taking my vitals, re-bandaging my foot and getting all of my information, they were going to carry me up the stairs. As they picked me up, one of them commented with surprise that I had done that before.

I calmly said, "Yes, I have. I'm an actress."

Cathy took this pictures of the firemen carrying me up the first portion of stairs.

I'm not sure how that was suppose to explain why I knew how to be carried in a bucket hold, but I'll blame it on the trauma my body was going through. The jokes continued as the firemen had to put me down half the way up. These stairs are no joke and carrying me up them was a workout. I told them that this could be their workout for the day and one of them responded that they had already worked out, making this a little grueling. We all had a good laugh. One of the firemen even suggested that I request an ice cream after my stitches, as he believed that was normal protocol for kids in the ER. He then hinted that firemen were also rewarded with ice cream after heroic deeds.

"Am I suppose to get you an ice cream," I laughed?

He said it would be nice and proceeded to get me up in their arms again to take me to Sabes' car. Sabes was going to take me to the ER, forgoing the pricey ambulance trip that awaited and had pulled her van up behind the the fire truck. As the stairs narrowed and the firemen struggled to fit us all through, I made a snippy remark.

"I don't think  you should get an ice cream after this. 
How are you suppose to help someone else in need if you can't fit through here?"

The older firefighter ask what was I implying and we all laughed. It really was comical to try to fit three adults, two of them being very strong, muscular men through this small staircase. Once in the van, I signed papers for the firemen and we headed to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The eight-month pregnant Sabes got a wheelchair and wheeled me into the ER. All six of the women standing behind the desk doing nothing looked right past me as if I wasn't there for an emergency. Then finally one of them said, "Oh. Are you here to check in?"

I wanted to say, "Nope. I just thought it would be fun to come visit such 
a fine, efficient establishment on 7:30 in the evening. 
Do you offer complimentary mints?"

The bandage the firemen did. Here is my foot in Sabes' car in the ER valet service.

One thing I have learned about myself through this situation is that for someone who is in the theatre, I really am not dramatic at all when it comes to real life situations. No one would have known I was hurt at all by any of my reactions, besides the passing out. That being said, maybe I should be a little more theatrical the next time something of an emergency nature comes up. That might assist in a more speedy response of all involved. Cue the screaming...

So I was admitted, yada-yada, x-ray, yada-yada, signing paperwork, yada-yada, Sabes, Cathy and I were cracking jokes and taking pictures, yada-yada and then  my wonderful RN, Robert informed me that I would need one stitch.

"Well, that is anti-climactic, isn't it? 
Couldn't you just put an extra one or two in there for a better story?" I asked.

Cathy, me and Sabes in the ER

 Now it was time for the stitches. I have only had two sprains in my life and the only stitches I have ever received were from c-sections. This was a whole new experience for me and I was not looking forward to the huge shot they were going to give me to numb the area. Sabes asked me about "Little's" upcoming birthday and I, you guessed it, calmly answered her as the PA shoved the needle into my wound to numb the area. Sabes has marks on her hands from my squeezing, poor thing. Then the fascinating part. The PA irrigated my wound and all three of us watched in awe. I wish we had taken a picture of the car wash, space-age shield over a syringe filled with iodine and then saline solution that she used to wash out the wound. After it was thoroughly cleaned and dried, it was time for my one stitch. I didn't watch as she inserted the green thread, but could feel the tug of the tying, pain free of course.

"You are the best patient I have ever have. 
You didn't flinch, scream or even make a noise. 
Usually people scream because it is so painful," stated my very serious PA. 

They did such a good job, you can't tell where the cut is.

Score for me! I'm one hard-core mom! Robert came back in to tell me about post-op care, bandaging my wound and supplied me with a very fashionable, fair trade organically sources post-op bootie. Cathy, Sabes and I were laughing, giggling and enjoying this new fashion accessory I have for the October Dress Project. It was pretty funny. Unfortunately, we had neglected to bring my shoes (which are very cute nude wedges that I had taken off before we stepped into the cleanest lake in Lakeland) into the ER, so I ended walking barefoot on my left foot and my adorable post-op bootie on the right. My brother, Ben came to give me a ride home and I said goodnight and thank you to Sabes and Cathy for their support, company and companionship in the ER.

Cathy, Robert the RN and me having my foot bandaged again

In Cathy's words: "Robert explaining to K that there is just NO way to make the post-op shoe look cute.
As you can see, she is trying hard to understand."

The fun did not end there, as I had to move my car from it's downtown two hour parking spot to my church. Unbeknownst to me and not told to me by the Lakeland Regional Medical staff (I just love that hospital. Can you hear the sarcasm? If not, read my post about the last time I was at this hospital here), I should not have been operating my vehicle since they had put me on narcotics to numb the pain. After my car was safely in my church parking lot, I looked through my paperwork and read the words "No driving."

Ben said, "We made it safely, didn't we?"

Ben drove us through Gelati Joe's for a treat after the traumatic experience. My little brother dropped me home and Craig took over my care. I'm not suppose to walk on it for several days and then my one lonely stitch comes out in fourteen days. The high-fashion bootie is staying on my foot since my children now have a strange magnet pull to my hurt foot and have hit it several times this morning. Craig took off for the day, which has offered me the luxury to write this detailed blog post. It was such an interesting story, I just wanted to record it for me. Thanks for reading the saga of October 1st in the life of Karissa, The Acting Mom!

What a start to the October Dress Project this year! Thankfully my dress hid any blood that might have stained a different color dress. The firefighters remarked, after we told them why we were doing a photo shoot in the water, that at the ER they would give me a different type of dress to wear that I could use for next year's ODP. Thankfully, I get to choose my dress next year and I am pretty sure I will choose one that has a back to it.

P.S. Want to see the rest of the October Dress Project outfits?

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Love the recap! Ha!!!!