As I write this, #StoryBehindMyScar is a tending topic on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/search/?q=%23StoryBehindMyScar&src=tren). I have a few scars and was struggling on deciding which scar-story to share. A few of my scars are just dumb-luck (or dumb-bad-luck if you will) while others are just dumb young Andreas. I finally decided to share the story of my first scars, the “pin-holes” on my left shin:
When I was 13, I was hit by a car. Before then, I had been relatively unscathed and unscared. But this changed everything. I woke up in ICU with two broken legs. The fracture in my left femur had dislocated so they had to put that leg in traction. In case you don’t know, this involved drilling a bar through my left tibia (aka shin-bone.) The scars from this should be pretty minor and one is, but one is not. This is where the story comes in.
I was in traction for a week as they tried to relocate my femur and get it to set (ultimately it did not so I had surgery to screw my femur together.) A few days into that week was “student nurse day” at the hospital. About a dozen nursing students and one teacher spent the day on my floor getting some practical experience. When they got to me during their first round the teacher said “Oh goodie! Traction. You haven’t seen this before. Let me show you how to clean it.”
The teacher proceeded to get out a small wooden splint and some alcohol. Now, like the students, I was unfamiliar with how to clean traction because no one had done so before this. And that became obvious to the teacher as well – and this pissed her off. “I can’t believe these girls. I thought them better than this. I can’t believe they haven’t been cleaning this,” she grunted as she forcefully stabbed the splint between the metal bar and my skin and violently ripped the two apart. Despite being on some serious pain killers, I felt every move.
“Now it’s your turn. You do the other side,” the teacher instructed one of her other students.
“Oh no!” I thought. “If the TEACHER was that bad, what will the student be like?”
And this is why the scars are mismatched. The student was fantastic. She was soft and gentle. She slowly slid the splint between the bar and my flesh with what felt like genuine concern for me. She ever-so-carefully moved the splint away from the bar. So this is why the scars are mismatched. The scar on the student-done-side of my leg is so small, I can’t find it without first finding the teacher-done-side as a landmark.
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