March 02, 2006

Marching Band Injury Anthology: PART III

The third part of the injury anthology occured my freshman year of marching. It was the evening of the homecoming football game and we were having a rehearsal before the game. THis is Halloween so it is getting to be pretty cold. . . try A BAJILLION DEGREES BELOW ZERO! We were losing feeling in many of our limbs. Anyway, at 5 0'clock our director called us all to the podium. He orated "Great work you guys. I know it's cold, but you've done good. I have good news! (no, no geico joke here) Inside the band room is a bunch of really hot spaghetti, but. . . " Nope, no but, we weren't there long enough to hear it. Before the director knew what had happened we had all started sprinting for our gear and up the steps of the stadium. We were running, yelling, biting, screaming, shoving, rolling, and generally acting like a pack of wild animals toting trombones and clarinets. Finally we made it to the entrance/exit but alas, the protective fence that keeps intruders out had locked us in. We frantically ran back and forth along the fence trying to find a way out, not unlike a large group of hungry and cold hamsters. Finally, having given up the search for an unlocked exit, several of us began scaling the chain-linked fence to get out. I lept to the fence and began scaling it. At the top I was just about to get over when somebody else jumped onto the fence and shook it. I fell. Well, all of my but my right hand, it decided to vacation on the sharp spike at the top of the fence for a short while before joining me on the ground.

My brain thinks "Ouch, I just fell about 8 feet onto the ground. My hand hurts. . . wow! That's deep!" I looked at my hand and then up at the top of the fence. The glove that I HAD been wearing was now spiked securely to the top of the fence (that means the spike went through the glove while my hand was in it). My hand had a large hole in it, about an inch and a half long, and was bleeding quite a bit. I could see the muscle and fat inside of it, pretty graphic. I quickly clamped my other hand over it and left through the gate (which was now unlocked). People walking around me had seen me fall and were gathering around me on the way to the band room, asking if I was ok. I showed them my hand. They stopped asking.

In the band room I found my director and said "Mac, I don't think I'll be marching tonight." "Why?" "Well, look." I show him hand. He freaks. "WHAT DID YOU DO!?!?" "Well, it was an accident". After some back and forth conversation we decided that I probably would need medical attention because the current status of a paper towel/duct tape bandaid that we had devised wouldn't last forever. My dad is a fireman and was on duty so I gave him a call and he came on over in the fire truck. Meanwhile everybody seems to be fascinated with the hole in my hand and the fact that a fire truck was on its way.

The fire truck showed up and they checked out my hand and put some gauze and real medical stuff on it. They also gave me the delightful news that it would need stitches. Mmmm, goody. So I said goodbye, hopped into the fire truck, and off we went to stitch me up. We went to the urgent care building. Now, I'm not sure if you've ever been to the urgent care building, but the word "Urgent" is massively underplayed. You get there, needing urgent attention, and sit there for 4 hours until they can fix you. I have discovered a way around that inconvinience. All you have to do is show up in a firetruck, triple park in front of the building, partially blocking traffic, and walk into the building flanked by three firemen with their radios and badges on. Yep, no waiting there. I was into the stitches room in about 2 minutes. Keep in mind, this is halloween so
all the nurses were dressed as witches and stuff. That's not really an important part of the story, but it helps set the scene I guess.

So, the stitches room. The doctor took the gauze off of my hand and poked around a bit, deducing that I needed stitches. He had to numb the wound first, and that involved a WAY TOO SMALL drop of topical pain-killer and TEN pain-killing shots INTO the hand-hole. OMG, that hurt more than the actual injury (which didn't hurt at all because it was soooooo cold out). Ten shots later I was ready to just stand up and walk out, but no, now I needed the stitches. Luckily I didn't feel it because he had given me so many shots that my entire right arm was numb. He wrapped my hand in about a mile of gauze and topped it off with a spider man sticker. My hand looked like the tip of a giant q-tip. All stitched up and ready to go, we left the urgent care building and headed back to the football game. We got there just as the band was getting ready for half-time, so I figured "Hey! Why not be incredibly hard-core and march the show?" I wouldn't be able to play or wear the BLACK GLOVE on my right hand, but oh well! So, I marched the show with a giant right gauze hand only 3 hours after slicing my hand wide open, getting a ride from a fire truck, getting stitches, and coming back. Not bad! And, the marching show went really well, so all in all I'd say it was an exciting night. This is the worst of all three injuries sustained during marching band, and to make it even more horrific. . . I never got spaghetti.