Sport > Sunday Bloody Sunday

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Published: April 19, 2011

"How bad does it look? I asked the unsuspecting beachcomber.

"What? Oh wow, you need to go the ER!"

I was afraid of that. I'd been in 60 degree water for 40 minutes, so my face was pretty numb. But I knew I was hit hard. And oh yeah, the Sunday morning rain.

It was raining blood over my right eye. Pouring like I just lost a prizefight to one of the greats. When it fact it was only a 7 foot long surf board that hit me.

It hit about an inch away from my right eye. The fact that I still had the eye and could see the blood filled me with so much joy, at how lucky I had just been.

It was an odd fall. I normally exit the board from the rear. But as soon as I stood up I was pitched over the nose. I went in face first, rolled and came up facing the board. When I realized that, I closed my eyes as hard as could and Whap! There is was. The board had flipped over and drove a triangle of fiberglass into my skull.

I was in La Jolla, there was an event there, I think it was the finish line for the La Jolla Half Marathon. One of the volunteers had some gauze. Another one took me to a first aid building, but it wasn't open yet. Went back to the first volunteer and he found a couple butterfly bandages. I took them and the lady walked me back to the car.

"Know how to put on a butterfly?" I ask.

"Talk me through it!" she agreed. She got the two butterfly's over the 5 centimeter long gash in my forehead and stopped the rain. I thanked her profusely, stripped off my wetsuit, stowed my board in the trunk and headed off to the south. I wasn't sure what hospital I was going to, there were two options near my house. But while driving I pulled out my Iphone, snapped a picture of my nog and started emailing that to friends and family. I know, I know, this is why I have so few friends.

Who wants to open that email?

I was on the fence between driving to the Balboa Navy Hospital or the Scripps Hospital in Hillcrest. In the end, I flashed back to the shoulder surgery I had a few years ago. It was a Navy Surgeon who did the work. He was out of the Navy, but he rolled with a very complicated problem and put me back together. Plus it was Sunday morning and I thought maybe the Navy ER would be less busy.

I pulled into the ER parking lot and saw a lady near an SUV.

"Know where the ER is?" I ask.

"Oh! OH MY" She spots her husband "John, where is the ER?"

Her hubby points me and my leaking head to the ER. I find my way in and am in line behind a youth in a wheelchair who appears to have MS and is having some sort of an attack. I just have this leaky head thing. No problem waiting, figure a few stitches and I'm good.

In 20 minutes I'm inside and they pull the butterflys off. I'll here the next phrase a dozen times this day

"Wow! That's big!"

As a guy, I can assure you. That never gets old.

They said they would send me to fast track to get patched up. The nurse at fast track looked at me and said, after the big comment, "Hrmm, I think we should run you into for a CAT scan"

Not a good sign, but I'm used to overly precautious medical types. I'd never broken a bone in my life, been been x-rayed, MRI's and CAT scanned plenty before. No big thing.

They run me back to ER and the ER doc is backed up and says

"We may have a surgeon come down to sew you up, our hands are full here."

But before that happens the CAT scan results come back.

"You have a few broken bones. This is a doctor from Oro Maxillary Facial Surgery, OMFS. We are going to admit you. BTW that was a good catch in fast track, they did a great job, we could have just stitched over this."

And really they could have. I'd made the right call coming here.

More to come on this.

Any Comments?


» Watch for the Drive-bys

Triathlon's Silent Killer

Published: December 9, 2011

Triathletes are turning up dead in what appears to be a preventable situation.

El Ray0

Published: November 5, 2011

The blank from the Shape Shifter story is now sea worthy.