Letter #330: Stitches, Scars, Stories

Dear fear,

Yesterday, you were conquered. Conquered might be an overstatement, but for the first time in more than a year I rode the Teryx. You see, the last time we met was the day after camp a year ago. A few of my friends from the Kanakuk Institute and I stayed the night at a family’s house we had gotten to know during our time in Branson. To this day, they are two of my favorite people and are unbelievably gracious to me.

After a good night’s sleep, we decided to get a morning of four-wheeling in before we all made our drives home. Off we went. Two girls on two four-wheelers; Jack in the Teryx. What a day?! Perfect ending to a great year at the Institute and a great summer at camp.

This pretty well sums up the morning!

About two hours into the adventure I decided Jack needed some company, so I hopped in the Teryx with him. Not two minutes into my Teryx ride, a fluke of a deal happened. Jack was taking a turn, the wheel got stuck in a hole and the next three seconds of my life seemed like an eternity.

Two minutes before it all went down...

The Teryx quickly went from four wheels to two, and we were tipping. I felt as if I could have yelled, “Jack, we’re tipping. Shift your weight!!!” Our fate had already been sealed. We were flipping.

As the Teryx landed, my right side served as the door because Teryx’s are doorless. We skidded on gravel for a bit and finally came to a stop. This entire process lasted maybe seven seconds. Praise the Lord I had my seatbelt on for it could have been much worse. Jack was suspended above me in the driver’s seat, got himself out and proceeded to help me.

Look closely in the left corner...see the bloody hole in my arm?!

I was completely overwhelmed, adrenaline racing and simply processing what had happened. Jack’s trying to get me out, but I’m clenched to what I like to call the, “Oh crap bar’…you know the handle that’s above your head in a car! I finally release, crawl over the Teryx and start to walk off the wreck. At this point my friends are on the scene with the regular four-wheelers. One’s laughing and taking pictures, one’s in overzealous go mode and the other is medically knowledgable and making sense to me in the situation.

I decide I’m completely fine and just need to shower to clean out my leg. It just looked like I slid into home times 50. It wasn’t that seriuos. Probably the adrenaline talking, but Laine quickly informed me I needed to sit down…I had a hole in my arm. Hmmm…It started to hit me that this was maybe a bit more serious than I anticipated. If you remember, I was holding the “oh crap bar,’ so when the Teryx landed my elbow nailed the gravel. Bone was visible.

A man heard the crash about half a mile away, came to check on us and finally convinced me to let him take me back to Jack’s house. Brooke rode with me, we threw all my camp laundry out of my car to make room and she quickly drove me to the ER. I still wasn’t convinced this was necessary…my arm was swollen, unbendable and I couldn’t see the damage.

Post cleaning...I would be smiling in the midst of this!

The second I walked in Skaggs, a sweet Puerto Rican nurse rushed me to the back and started gently scrubbing all the rocks out of my leg. She didn’t even make me fill out paperwork until after this!!! If I remember right, her name was even Angel! At this point the adrenaline was wearing off and the stings were more evident. After getting cleaned up, I filled out paperwork and waited to get stitches.

The hole after cleaning, pre stitching...

Thankfully stitches and road rash were all the ramifications. In my opinion the “oh crap bar’ saved me from a broken arm. A couple hours and 12 stitches (3 in my leg, 9 in my arm) later I was put back together.

Doc said he'd never seen an elbow so mauled...a hunk of skin was gone, so he had to get creative!

To this day, this was still one of my favorite days of life. So I have a few scars; it could’ve been SO much worse. Not to mention, what is life without a few bumps in the road in order to gain great stories to share?! This is a story my friends and I will never forget!

So yesterday, a yearish later, I stood before the Teryx again prepared to conquer you in any way necessary. I’ve been kidsitting this week. He’s 12, and I thought four-wheeling would be something a 12 year old boy would like. So we went. You were conquered…I even let him, a 12 year old, drive! No accidents occurred. Fun was had.

This was our view yesterday!!!

As we were driving to Jack’s to begin our adventure, Josh, the 12 year old, says this: “Didn’t a K-West girl flip a four-wheeler with Jack last summer?!” I simply raised my arm, revealed the scar on my elbow and said, “Yup, that was me!”

Grabbin’ you and life by the horns,

Knock me down, but you can’t count me out

{Special thanks and props to Brooke for taking all the pics even when she probably wanted to puke!}