The night I nearly died (but actually didn't)

Every time I get out in the sun for a short while, or even sometimes when I’m a little hot and bothered, the same question invariably gets asked of me:

“What did you do to your head?”

“Um, when I was 9, I fell head first through a glass door”

See, I have a huge scar and a lump on the upper left side of my forehead that seems to glow red whenever my face develops some colour.  It gives the appearance of a very fresh wound, despite the fact it is now almpst 24 years old.

So, despite the fact that I have already entered the biopic “Creation of the Mangina” regarding one of my other scars, in a further attempt to make my life sound drastically more interesting than it actually is, I am going to regale you with the tale of how I got this technicolour head wound.

So, way way back in 1989, on the May day bank holiday, my parents were upstairs doing some painting or, more likely, some wall papering of some description.  My brother and I were downstairs playing and for whatever reason, we were spinning around as fast as we could trying to make ourselves as dizzy as possible.


Why is not a question you ask of a 9 and a 7 year old; we have no motivation; we just DO.

So we were spinning frantically and I thought I needed to sit down, so I stumbled towards the couch.  The couch was at a right angle to the entrance to our lounge room, which was a double door sort of arrangement, with both doors containing two frosted glass panels.
I approached the couch, but my dizziness threw me off course and I careened head first into the bottom panel of the glass door. 

This is when time slowed down a bit, or at the very least got oddly specific.  I remember pulling my head back out of the door and seeing a very large pane of glass slide down in front of my face, guillotine style, and then standing up and screaming. 

I remember standing at the bottom of the stairs, still screaming and seeing my mum and dad bolting down the stairs as fast as they could.  The thought entered my head that I was going to be in BIG TROUBLE for smashing the door so I ran away from them screaming “call an ambulance!” in a bid to startle them enough that they would show sympathy rather than anger towards me. 

My brother clearly had the same thought in his head (does this reflect badly on our parents) as he was yelling “HE DID IT! HE BROKE THE DOOR NOT ME!”

Vile betrayer!

Anyway, I’m still running around with my dad chasing me and I become suddenly aware that my mum IS on the phone, calling an ambulance and I remember thinking to myself “Really?? I only have a tiny cut on my finger, it’s not that bad!” when out of nowhere a tea-towel flicks past my head and a hand comes reaching around the front of me, catching the towel and then pulling my head back.

As I crashed backwards into my dad, the tea-towel firmly squeezed around my head, a torrent of blood flooded past my eyes and that was the first moment I thought “oh wow, I might be in trouble here”

Mum told me years later that she had never seen my dad so terrified, sitting on the couch with me on the floor in front of him, pulling that tea towel tight around my head, shaking and white.

The neighbours came over to see what was going on and if they could help.  I have a feeling they might have taken my brother over to their place as I have no memory of him that night once he’d sold me out!

Then the ambulance came and I was excessively chatty, which for me is normal, but for others it is highly irritating.  The paramedic kept telling me to be quiet, to lie back, and to relax, to which I took mighty offence and made secret evil plots against him!

Once we got to the hospital they put me on a bed, but still out in the waiting room.  A lot of people were looking at me and making comments, but I didn’t really know what they were talking about.
My grandparents showed up and in true grandmother fashion, my nana said to my mum that she just knew something bad was going to happen with those glass doors and only days earlier she’d been thinking about it.  I really must ask her what she thinks next week’s lottery numbers will be!

I don’t think we had to wait all that long and once we were in a room, the nurse went to take the bandage off my head that the paramedics had put on.  I remember her very clearly saying “Let’s just have a look and see if the bleeding has stopped…….Woah! Oops, let’s just put that back on shall we?”

The doctor came a little while later to stitch me up, but whilst giving me the local anaesthetic for the wound, he miscalculated and stuck the needle in the top middle of my head, nowhere near where I was cut!  Astute readers will remember that approximately 15 years later, again when getting a local anaesthetic, that doctor snapped the needle off IN the wound. So I guess I’m cursed never to have anaesthetic go well!

Anyway, after all that only 6 stitches and off home we went.  My grandparents must have driven us because both mum and dad came in the ambulance.

And now back at home, I was sent up for a bath and for the first time saw my reflection.  Now I knew why my dad was shaking, why the paramedic wanted me to be quiet and lie down, why people were staring at me in the waiting room and why the nurse put that bandage back on so quickly…….My white blonde hair was now completely Russet brown and very crusty and my face was not really visible beneath the dried on blood.  It was so gross. 

The reason my scar glows red though still remains a mystery. However, at least now everyone can know how I got it and can rest assured I have not recently headbutted anyone or anything.

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