Stories: Injuries

  • Russell Brown,

    And now for something completely different. Most of us remember all too well a handful of physical traumas. They might have been painful but transient, or have had a lifelong impact. They might have been funny at the time, funny later, or just bloody serious. It's time to tell the story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18813 posts Report Reply

118 Responses

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  • Emma Hart,

    I think we should just dedicate this thread to David Haywood from the get-go, but I guess someone has to warm the crowd up.

    The funniest injury I ever witnessed was a good friend of mine dislocating his shoulder while dancing at a party. I laughed so hard I got to spend the rest of the evening in A&E with him.

    The funniest injury story in my family was my brother, cleaning out an old 40-gallon drum he'd found at the dump. It smelt a bit fumey, so he tossed a match in, and then leaned over the drum to see why nothing had happened. He lost a fair amount of skin off his face, and I hear it wasn't funny if you were there. But I wasn't.

    I once cut my daughter's finger half-off when she put her hand on the chopping board while I was cutting herbs.

    But I've spent the last six months on a diet of physio and anti-inflammatories after injuring a hip doing yoga. It aches in the cold which I think officially pushes me into the ranks of Old Bastard. Unlike any of my previous idiocy- or alcohol-related injuries, this substantially interferes with my... enjoyment of life.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4349 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Mine are probably best characterised as "How the?" injuries.
    First up, I've only ever had one broken bone, playing one of the most notorious sports for injury: four square. Technically, I think we were playing Eight Square, and the ball was a touch flat, so on a big reach, rather than me deflecting the ball, the ball deflected my little finger.
    I've also been amusing the School of Physiotherapy here lately with my thumbs. Typical thumb injuries involve them being yoinked backward as you fall (e.g., snowboarding). It's uncommon to injure them by pushing them too far in their preferred method of flexion. More uncommon yet, I managed to do both thumbs simultaneously and symmetrically. A chocolate fish to anyone who can work out how you can injure your thumbs, and only your thumbs, in this way, skydiving.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 683 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Emma Hart wrote:

    I think we should just dedicate this thread to David Haywood from the get-go...

    Badly done, Emma! My injuries -- and indeed the generally precarious state of my health -- are no laughing matter. I take such things very seriously indeed, and I don't take kindly to fun being poked at them.

    Although I do have a mildly amusing story about an acquaintance of mine who fell off his motorcycle...

    The day after the motorbike accident his neck's a bit stiff, and so he's really happy because he reckons he can get a day off work. But it turns out his employer makes him to go the doctor for a sick note.

    So anyway, he has to waste half his sick-day getting x-rays, but then he goes to this great party in Rolleston that night -- and he's pogo-ing round, and head-banging, and dancing the night away.

    Next morning he's having breakfast when the doctor phones him. And the doctor's like: "Dude, I've just looked at your x-ray, and you've broken your neck. Lie down on the floor very carefully, and I'm sending round an ambulance to take you to hospital."

    So he lies on the floor. Eventually the ambulance arrives, and they put him in a special stretcher and drive him to hospital at about 10 km/h, so that they don't accidentally paralyse him. And then they wire his head into this contraption for a couple of weeks.

    Heh heh...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Badly done, Emma! My injuries -- and indeed the generally precarious state of my health -- are no laughing matter. I take such things very seriously indeed, and I don't take kindly to fun being poked at them.

    What made you think I was laughing? You can't see me laughing from there, right? Those comments were intended as sincerely as anything I ever say.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4349 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    But I've spent the last six months on a diet of physio and anti-inflammatories after injuring a hip doing yoga. It aches in the cold which I think officially pushes me into the ranks of Old Bastard.

    I'm having a similar problem right now (though not quite as severe), except my rheumatics are due to ..err... fighting. Would've dealt better, but I wasn't expecting her to kick me quite so much.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    my rheumatics are due to ..err... fighting. Would've dealt better, but I wasn't expecting her to kick me quite so much.

    That sounds like one of those things I really want to hear more graphic detail about, right up until I actually hear it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4349 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    :) Not much to tell, actually, it's something I do for sport. Just I wasn't quite prepared for the onslaught to which I was subjected last weekend. Awesome bruises though.

    Oddly enough, I can walk fine now, but sitting down for long periods is hell.

    Personally, I'm curious to hear how you damage yourself doing yoga.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Most amusing for others was getting bitten by a Hamster (hairy, non-purple). Who knew that the little buggers can turn around inside their skin and bit one. Anyway I went to the local Doctors centre for a tetanus jab and of course had to tell the them how it happened. Smiles all round. And merry quips of "Vicious little brutes, aren't they". The Doctor was, of course, very empathic and wanted to know "How a cute and cuddly little thing etc.etc. I felt that I might be taken round to the old folks beds to cheer them up.
    Then as I was walking out, there was a Mexican wave of whispers behind me, of which I could hear "Hamster...bitten...he he he, Hamster...bitten...he he he, Hamster...bitten he he he".
    I guess I gave them something to talk about.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    But that's not as interesting as what's now, in my head, your jelly-wrestling story. Basically, you get yourself a killer type A personality, over-extend yourself stupidly, and wrench your iliofemoral ligament. Which makes any motion which rotates your hip outwards really painful.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4349 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    sorry to hear that Eusa, will have a word to the enforcers about some sort of restorative justice.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    When I was seven years old I went to stay with my Auckland cousins who had rented a house in Orewa for the Christmas holidays. It was sunny all day long, the sky was an unbroken blue and it stayed that way for about fifty weeks. I’m quite certain about this. One day my uncle declared that we could walk down to the dairy and buy ourselves a special treat. It was something I had not encountered before called 'Coca Cola'. My older cousins were excited, so I was too. My cousin bought the bottles and handed them out, and we set off home.

    Because I am un-co, it was probably always going to end in disaster. I stepped off the kerb, clutching my bottle of Coke, and tripped into the road. The bottle broke into a dozen sharp pieces and went through my arm just above the wrist. I wouldn’t have thought that my pasty freckled skin could be any more pale on the inside, but by God it was. And there was a lot of it to see. Whole inches of exposed white flesh, not unlike a pierced chicken breast, and talk about blood, Trev.

    As we were sitting in the surgery watching the 25 stitches go in, the Doctor told me I was a lucky little boy because it had just missed the tendon. I had not heard of a tendon before. My uncle cheerfully said “we’re having curry for dinner, do you like curry?’ I had not heard of curry before, and I was losing my appetite for novelty by then.

    The real miracle, though, is that I came off various motorbikes and never got more than a skinning. Kept leaving the sidestand down. That corner of Salamanca Road and Kelburn Parade is an especially humiliating one at which to can out.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i was teasing my much-beloved cat "romany" (may she rest in peace) a few years back. she responded, rightfully, by scratching my palm just at the base of the thumb (which i thought was called "the mount of venus". the NSFW picture on wikipedia has informed me that i'm wrong).

    the scratch went from below my thumb to about 10cm along my forearm. it was a beauty that i deserved. it got infected, and swole in to an angry, but shallow, cut that has turned in to a nice scar.

    so, at least one person saw the infected cut, took my hand very gently and said, "che... i just want you to know... i value you as a person and think you're a great friend. if you ever need to talk.."

    i didn't catch on till she gave me the number for suicide hotline.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    It's not my injury, that of a close friend, but of sufficient 'ouch' factor as to be worth recounting (and he doesn't mind the tale being retold).

    He's a keen surfer, so he and bunch of surfing buddies went for a surfing trip in Indonesia, off a remote island reef. While surfing, he was smashed against the reef by a large wave, and had his leg trapped while being tumble-dried.

    He emerged from the wave with one leg sticking out at right angles from his hip and, unseen by his friends, then had to swim a couple of hundred yards to the boat that had taken them out to the reef.

    Once aboard, they realised the severity of the injury, and shot back to the island, where they carried him - with his badly dislocated hip they were having to negotiate corners like they were moving a particularly oddly shaped piece of furniture - in an effort to find a local nurse or doctor.

    Upon finding someone medical, who only had panadol for painkillers, a helicopter was called from Denpasar.

    After getting to the hospital at Denpasar he was put under a general anaesthetic and attempts were made to relocate the errant hip. Some hours later, he woke up only to discover that, despite their best physical efforts, that pesky joint just wouldn't go back into place (but at least he had access to some blessed morphine).

    So a decision was made to fly him on an Australian Air Force plane to their military hospital in Darwin, where, some 64 hours after the original accident, some serious force under a general anaesthetic was used to rearrange his body into its usual shape.

    Postscript: Took a fair bit of physio, but he's made a relatively full recovery, and has been told he will likely need a hip replacement within a decade or two.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    As a kid I was often at the bottom of a speeding, road-scraping pile of wheels, planks & other kids. On one occasion at least, my face did the honours as an impromptu brake.

    But scrapes & cuts were the worst from such mishaps.

    Until one day, at the age of 11, biking down the (what now looks ridiculously gentle) slope of Whites Line East in the Hutt Valley, I was showing off with no hands, when I couldn't escape noticing the road was coming up to greet me at speed.

    I spent two weeks in Hutt hospital at the mercy of some kid in the other bed in the room who could actually move & who delighted in throwing things at me, having to eat through a straw, lucky that my teeth "took" after being plugged back into their sockets & recovering from major bruising and concussion. No broken bones...

    But the funniest injury to me wasn't serious fortunately, just bruises, scrapes & cuts, occured in Nairn Street near my flat at the time, after disembarking from the boot of an overly crowded car.

    It was very dark, I stepped out of someone else's way onto what I thought was new tarmac. Sadly it was a 6 foot deep hole in the road, with some pipes & plumbing exposed at the bottom. Possibly if I'd not have been so inebriated I might have seen the sign & the orange cones...

    Possibly if I'd not been so inebriated I might have really hurt myself.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Can also remeber a hot chestnut exploding in my dad's mouth (one that didn't pop in the fire), and the struggle all of us save him had to stop from laughing out loud. He was in too much pain.

    And a story of my mum, guillotining off the crowns of two fingers by mistake, being asked at A&E when was the last time she'd had a tetanus shot & not knowing, and being told when they checked with her doctor, that it was approximately a year before... on the last occasion she'd accidentally guillotined off the crowns of her fingers.

    (On the siubject Rich might recount the time he came home to find the house empty and unlocked with blood all over the kitchen, and a running lawn mower out in the middle of the garden - I think that might be the first time my mum chopped part of her fingers off.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "I spent two weeks in Hutt hospital at the mercy of some kid in the other bed in the room who could actually move & who delighted in throwing things at me, having to eat through a straw"

    Heh - I remember that.

    Reminds me of when I was a passenger in a - thankfully minor - carcrash (in the days when you only needed to be 15 to get your licence - and doesn't that seem strange now) and smacked my face on the dashboard and put all my teeth through my lips.

    For about 4 weeks I had the world's most enormous lips, and had a constant stream of 'friends' visiting just to check out my interesting new face and practice their John Hurt impressions "I am not an animal" .......

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "Rich might recount the time he came home to find the house empty and unlocked with blood all over the kitchen"

    God yeah, I don't know if I'll ever forget that - it was like stumbling onto the set of Bad Taste.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I recall having to babysit for Bill & Marj while they werer out at a beer fest with mum & dad.

    the next morning, driving me home, Bill was unusually reticent (which would be very reticent indeed), and as we cruised round the corner near our house, there was dad's car, looking like it had rolled (which it had), with the inside absolutely covered in blood.

    Inside the house were all the car's occupants (parents & guests), minor cuts & scrapes only, completely pissed.

    They'd been broadsided going through an intersection and the car rolled. Everyone was wearing seatbelts, the driver, mercifully, and for those days somewhat unbelievably, under the legal limit. They got home from A & E & got totally plastered.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I played hockey for a long time and sustained nothing major in the way of injuries until 4th form.

    Playing in the "halves" meant that I was the cannon-fodder in the defence of a penalty corner. I would sprint as fast as a could towards the guy who was going to hit the ball towards the goal with the intent of stopping the ball.

    So we're practicing before the game. The ball is passed out and I run hard at the striker with my stick on the ground. He swings and as his stick follows through it connects with mine, rises up and smashes into my left eyebrow.

    I go to ground, stunned. My Dad, the coach, tells me to "stop acting". Angry at the accusation I stand up to tell him that this "actually bloody hurts", which is when he sees the large amounts of blood spewing from my head. So he yells "get off the [astro]turf!" Bleeding on the turf carried a large fine in those days.

    The fella who hit me apologised a lot over the years and was actually good enough to play for the Black Sticks at the Commonwealth Games.

    I've still got the scar to show for it, but the worst part...on that shot the bastard actually scored a goal!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Picture my upstairs outside sundeck. It is 4 & a half metres up in the air. It has no railing - none needed, because the deck is 2 metres wide, and the stairway that leads to it is broad, and at a gentle slope.
    There's a tall yet sprawling peppermint gumtree growing between a house-wall and the gum tree.
    Now, picture me inside my house: it is 1992, late at night in late March, and I am totally miserable because one of my friends has recently died, I cant work properly, and life seems flat & hopeless.

    Hold on, is that a possum up in the gumtree?
    Grab the .22 air-pistol (which is v. effective up to about 5m), throw open the ranchsliders, race up the stairs, spot it, aim, and fire.
    And miss. Or rather, hit a small branch that is in the way.
    Bugger.
    The thing hisses and snarls at me.
    Right, that's your last snarl matey - stepping backwards for a better aim-
    the little snapping sounds are my pubic inferior & ischial rames breaking as I hit the ground on my hip.
    And that loud raucous chuckling? The possum in high old amusement, all the 20 minutes it took me to drag myself back inside.
    The outside stairs to my upstairs sundeck have had a railing for 15 years; my right hip and adjacent bones have had arthritis for the past 5 years, and the possum's greatgreat grandkids are still snorting & sniggering over the whole episode...the gumtree has no comment.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I once dropped a (smallish, thankfully) tree with a chainsaw, it somehow caught on another tree, twisted, and then fell perfectly onto me. Mrs Llew said I, my chainsaw, helmet & all safety gear just disappeared, flattened by a macracarpa.

    Luckily, I leapt up straight away, unharmed, allowing everyone watching to guffaw with relief.

    Which brings me to a mate & his brother in law, tending & thinning their block of pine trees near Blenheim. They'd parked the car at the bottom of the hill. Commenced thinning the trees, one of which fell cleanly, but bounced & rolled downhill & crushed their car.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Che, I feel your cat scratch pain. I have so many cuts on my arms from arm wrestling with Sebastian that I'm sure people must think I'm one of those new-fangled Emos when they meet me. I suppose the chipped black nail polish today doesn't help much with denying it...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I remember a school outing when a kid chopped off the end of his finger by sticking it in a machine at MOTAT.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'll chip in a few more, but my first injury of note was sustained by falling all of nine inches off a tractor-tyre sandpit in our backyard. I managed to sustain a broken arm and concussion.

    For some reason, I was not at all keen on the idea of going to hospital. And when we got there and my mum left me in the care of the doctors, I made a break for the carpark. They actually strapped me to a gurney after that ...

    It must have been serious, because they kept me in hospital for a week or something. I remember being bored and being constantly told off for slipping my arm out of the sling to I could play with some stuff and be less bored.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18813 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I remember being bored

    What are the chances you were that kid that used to throw things at me :)

    a kid chopped off the end of his finger by sticking it in a machine at MOTAT.

    and that reminds me of when I was a projectionist for the Wellington film society. When we used to use the old museum theatre for screenings, they had a nifty hand cranked setup for rewinding the films. It was geared & spun fearsomely fast.

    And I remember another film soc type coming in & watching transfixed as I rewound that night's film. And it was in slow motion that I saw him reach out & gently touch the whirling takeup reel. Although the blood that sprayed across the wall behind was not in slow motion.

    And he & I & another then spent the next 6 hours in A & E.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

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