Never let a man you barely know follow your ambulance to the emergency room because you just might end up married to him.
I never imagined that because of a ski trip over Christmas break with the middle school teachers – I would wind up hitched. Or on crutches for that matter. But that’s exactly what happened in 1987.
It was the Friday night of Christmas break as the middle school teachers sat around the table at Bernie’s drinking fishbowls of beer. “Sun or snow?” was put up for the collective vote on what to do over the break, since most of us were single. Snow won, so two days after Christmas we headed north to Snowshoe, West Virginia.
Thirty seconds after hitting the slopes, a snowboarder buzzed me and I fell. Not a spectacular, Wide World of Sports Olympic wipeout losing gear along the way. Just a graceful little crumple into a heap. Should have been nothing but dust the snow off and ski on.
But it didn’t quite happen that way.
I realized as I was falling, I had sound effects accompanying my collapse. A loud pop sounded as I hit the ground, boot still attached firmly to ski binding. As I tried to stand up, I realized something was very wrong. The Future Husband saw me fall and waited for me. “Are you okay?” he hollered up. “I’m fine,” I yelled.
I was NOT fine.
In my attempt to ski down to him, I knew that sound was something bad. Really bad. By the time we reached the lift, I was in tears. Future Husband alerted the lift operator that I was hurt. When we reached the top, the ski patrol met me with the snowmobile. FH followed me.
As the ski patrol loaded me in the ambulance for the 45 minute ride to the hospital in Elkins, FH said, “I’ll come with you to the hospital but I don’t have a car.” I threw him my keys.
When a man comes into the emergency room with you, the folks manning the desk assume that he actually knows you. So as they peppered him with questions, I’m sure they were a little shocked at his cluelessness. “What’s her social security number? Middle name? Zip code? Insurance company?” I’m sure he just stood there shrugging his shoulders saying “I just drove her car here,” while they were thinking What an Idiot.
While they assumed he was a complete moron, they still operated under the notion that we were together. So of course, they brought him back into the room where I was lying on the table still decked out in my ski gear waiting for the doctor. FH and I exchanged nervous small talk.
The doctor came in and said the ski pants had to come off. “I’ll cut them off,” he announced. Having purchased them just for this trip (going WAY over my budget because they made me look 10 pounds thinner) I asked if there was another alternative. “You can grab the sides of the table, scream, and we’ll pull them off,” he said.
I screamed, they pulled. Crisis averted. Or so I thought.
Lying on my back now in my black tights, I never, ever imagined the next words out of the doctor’s mouth would be, “Ever had a fantasy about cutting black tights off a woman?” as he handed scissors to FH.
Floor open up and swallow me now.
He cuts the tights off of me. I request the crash cart because I’m about to go Code Blue.
A series of xrays revealed the problem – a torn Achilles tendon. “Lucky it didn’t snap,” the doctor announced, “or we’d be wheeling you in for surgery. The way things were going, he probably would have let FH scrub up to assist.
After slapping on a cast up to my knee, the doctor said to FH before heading out the door, “Here, hold this till it dries.” The doctor was referring to my new cast which had to be held knee bent at a 45 degree angle, foot toward the ceiling while I am lying on my stomach in my underwear.
“Thanks,” I mumbled trying desperately to look anywhere but at FH. “No problem,” he said sheepishly trying not to look at my underwear.
Thirty minutes later the cast dried. We bonded. The rest, as they say, is history.
Why let crutches ruin a good Christmas break? If you can’t ski, hop on over to Washington, D.C.