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The boom and shaking wasn't an earthquakePosted Friday, March 14, 2008, at 10:07 AM
There was a boom, some shaking, and a big bang.
No, there wasn't an earthquake in Linton the other afternoon.
It was bone-dry where I was attempting to walk near the horseshoe pits at Humphrey's Park -- in an effort to venture clear of the muddy grass area not far from the swings.
The sun was shining brightly in the blue sky. It was the first decent day of weather in Greene County in weeks and I wanted to enjoy it.
I had visited the park in Linton on Tuesday afternoon in pursuit of that picture-perfect early spring photo for the newspaper.
I knew I had found it when I spied three-year-old Eithan Myers and his dad, Jean Myers, of Linton, on the swings. I snapped about 25 frames of what I knew was going to a good feature photo of the little guy swinging and his dad pushing him.
I thanked them for letting me take their photo and walked calmly to my car -- parked on the westside of the park.
About halfway there, trouble unfolded.
I fell not so gracefully to the ground.
Like a load of bricks being thrown from the top of a building, I went down in a cloud of dust.
By first thought was, I sure hope no one saw me.
Apparently, I tripped on some concrete around one of the one of the horseshoe pits. Or, maybe I am just clumsy like a slow-maturing adolescent.
Nonetheless, I soon knew I was going down and it wasn't going to be a pretty sight.
In a gut reaction, I held tight to my camera in my left hand and stuck out my right hand to brace or cushion my fall.
I learned real quickly that a 'not so tiny' 54-year-old guy like me doesn't need to topple to the ground in any manner.
And, I sure didn't need to try and brace all of my diet failing weight on the part of my body that struck the ground first.
The 'pinkie finger' on my right smashed to the ground with an audible crunching sound that reverberated through my body.
The fall wasn't so bad, but the landing was teeth-rattling and bone-jarring.
As I looked down at my aching finger, I saw blood, lots of blood -- which was an immediate sign that this was not going to be a real good day after all.
I was amazed that I could move.
I got up on my knees and took a second look at my poor little finger that from my first observation was either broken or severely deformed.
It was still bleeding.
The impact from the fall had produced a three or four inch long laceration. I could see something white colored protruding from the cut. I thought it was a bone, but it turned out to be a tendon.
Seeing that, I scraped myself up off the ground, and as quickly as I could hobbled to my car.
It was obvious I was going to need some medical attention. This 'boo-boo' wasn't going to go way by simply putting a Band-Aid on it.
For anyone who may have been on State Road 54 between the park and the hospital about 3:15 p.m. that day, I am sorry if you thought a crazed man was trying to run you off the road. But I was on a fast-paced mission to get to the hospital and I didn't let red traffic signal lights at two of the next three intersections slow me down.
I ran the lights and somehow arrived at the ER with no additional injuries to anybody else or myself.
I got excellent and prompt care from a host nurses and a very patient doctor once I got inside the hospital.
After about two hours of examination and two rounds of X-rays it was determined that miraculously I had no broken bones-- just a very nasty dislocation at the base of pinkie finger and a laceration that required five stitches to close.
The doctor quickly pulled the finger back in place after a couple of shots to numb me up.
Just before he yanked on my finger, I had a vision of an old western movie where the fallen cowboy is given a belt to bite down on after he took a big slug of whiskey just before the doctor removed a bullet from his leg.
But I wasn't offered a drop of cheap whiskey to curb the pain.
The good news as I know now is there is no damage to the ligaments or the nerves.
I am relieved to be pieced back together and even happier to learn there will be no long-term damage.
I can still type.
I have to wear a metal splint on my finger for a couple of weeks and it will be eight days before my stitches can be removed.
But I survived the embarrassing ordeal with the loss of a few tears and with a little less pride.
The day was very humbling for a guy like me who realizes his old, aging body is not what it used to be.
But I am thankful that the damage done wasn't worse and apparently I had a couple of strong-backed angels looking over me that day.
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