June 24th…“AS A CHILD, DID YOU EVER HAVE TO BE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL? WHY?”
Gravity has never been a very good friend of mine. From the time I was allowed to wobble from my mother’s protective hovering, I’ve been “attacking the floor” ever since. Seems that in Heaven’s holding area before birth, I must’ve contracted a pixie disease called, “Clumsyitis Maximus”!!!! That malady even extended to my mouth, in that I was always tripping over my own tongue with dyslexic words or just plain having the same mouth size as shoe size. I often have been guilty of the proverbial clumsy condition of “sticking my foot in my mouth”.
You’ve heard the expression of, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”, ya? When I finally survived life to the era of my Third Grade level in school, I really pulled a woozy doozy of a doofus dive that almost killed me……..cause when I fell, I fell HARD!!!!
When the majority of us farm boys came to school each day, we were wearing high-topped leather, heavy-duty work boots. They were good for either kickin’ a cow, or in our case, good for kickin’ a ball on the playground at recess. Those clodhopper work boots came in handy, cause instead of the All-American pastime of Baseball, we farm kids loved to play a parallel version called KICKball. It was played identically as baseball, but we’d just use a rubber ball instead.
Usually, we’d play our Kickball games outdoors, but, during the winter months, we’d also play it in our school gymnasium as a planned curriculum of our Phy.Ed. (Physical Education) class. Only difference was that those farm boots had to come off and we’d wear some designated gym shoes to protect the lovely wooden gym floors. Part of that gymnasium facility also included our elevated school stage for putting on plays and other public events. Under that elevated stage were low profile storage compartments for racks of folding chairs. On that fateful day, our teacher had placed the 3rd Base marker right next to one of those chair storage compartment doors. Kickball, that day, was a rousing game of fun for all and it was my turn to be up at Home Plate and be a farmer so’s I could “plow” into that ball. The “Pitcher” rolled the rubber ball my direction and that gym shoe of mine gave that ball a colossal clobbering KICK! If that ball could talk, it likely yelled OUCH as it went sailing away to the far end of the gym “outfield”. On that thrilling cue, this lightweight little Norski body flew past 1st Base with no problem and I “clipped” 2nd Base with an increasing blur of my feet “engines”.
What happened next, though, seemed to happen in slow motion. Somehow, on the way to 3rd Base, the blur of my feet got in the way of each other and I ended up tripping over my own feet. With my equilibrium totally askew now, my whole body went into this wobbledeebobbledee conundrum of movement that sent me rocketing in a uncontrollable collision course with that chair storage door at 3rd Base just under our school’s stage. KAHHBAAAMM!!! was the sound that was made as the top of my head connected with that chair storage door at my top velocity speed. I blacked out for a second or two as my whole body was stunned by the tremendous impacting shock of that chair cart storage door slamming shut. Needless to say, I dropped right there at a dead stop (and for a second, I thought I was REALLY dead)!!!
The teacher in charge ran over to scoop me up off of the floor and ushered me over to the bleacher seating to let me rest and recover. The game went on and as our class period came to its close, I was already beginning to lose my eyesight due to the blurred vision and a major headache setting in that was beginning to pound in my little nine year old cranium. Upon witnessing my physical deterioration….our classroom teacher spoke with the school Principal, Mrs. King, out of concern for me. Mrs. King, in turn, called my parents to drive in from our farm and transport me as soon as possible to immediate medical attention. By the time Dad and Mom arrived at the school, I was so “blind” that I couldn’t walk on my own. To the rescue came our very kind Music Teacher, Mr. Arden Torbert. That kind-hearted man assisted my mother, Clarice, in getting me down the stairway from the second story of the school and safely out to our family car. At this point of the injury, I was becoming a bit comatose and unresponsive to my folks as I sat next to my mother with my head against her shoulder.
Fading in and out of consciousness, I didn’t recall much of anything as we arrived at the hospital in Wells, Minnesota. But there is one incident that happened at the hospital that day that I vividly recall.
To rule out a fractured skull, I was laid on a gurney (flat, rolling table) and taken to the X-ray Department. The x-ray technicians and the attending nurse had me lay on the table on my stomach with head turned away from the nurse who was caring for me. She was standing close to the x-ray table on my left. Another x-ray was needed, so the nurse asked me to roll over and turn my face towards her this time. As I did, I made with a projectile vomit that sprayed the whole front of her nice white nurse’s uniform. Even in my sick condition, I was mortified that my incapacitated body had done such a nasty, messy deed to this poor woman of the medical profession. I can still see her using her two hands to pull her puke-saturated uniform away from her slimy torso. Immediately, I asked for her forgiveness and said, “Ohhhh, I’m so sorry!!!” Her grace, in that moment of horridness, was exemplary!!! I’d even wager that that dear woman was likely a Christian for how she responded to me, saying, “Ohhh wellll, it’s part of the job!!”
To this day, over 50 years later, I never even knew her name. And, in my sickly blurred vision, I never even saw her face. Yet, I pray that our good Lord gave her extra jewels in her crown when she got to Heaven because of the godly kindness she had shown to me that day!!! A true angel of mercy, she was.
For the next three days, I was under constant surveillance in my hospital bed. Nurses woke me up every half hour, or so, to make sure I didn’t slip into a coma and possible death. One day, as I was feeling a little bit better, I realized my parents were in the hospital room with me and were talking to my doctor. The three of them thought I was asleep, but I actually was half awake and listening to their conversation. The doctor told them, “If Elliott ever suffers this kind of injury to his head again, one of two things will happen. Number one, it may kill him instantly, or, number two, he may end up a “vegetable” for the rest of his life”!!! Even though I have incurred other head injuries throughout my days, I remain so grateful to our Lord Jesus that He has allowed a long life for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son. ><> 😉