You know that saying fall down seven times, get up eight? Well that's my life in a nutshell. Although I think it took me closer to 20 or 30 falls before I figured it out.
This fall though, well....it takes the cake.
Nine years ago in early April I hit the town with some friends in my mustard colored high heels. As we stumbled from bar to bar I'm sure my stride walking in those dang things gained speed and confidence. The reality though, was that nobody should wear spiked heels on a night that involves that much walking...drunk or sober. And one thing you DEFINITELY don't do in mustard colored high heels? Climb things. You just don't leave the ground.
But, as previously noted, I was three sheets to the wind and feeling invincible.
My best friend and I decided it was the perfect opportunity for a photo op. On a rock pillar surrounding a parking lot in downtown Spokane. That rock pillar was pretty tall. Almost as tall as me in those high heels.
So we climbed. We smiled. We posed. We posted up like flamingos on one foot.
And we fell.
My friend was tiny. With gymnast skills. She tucked and rolled and landed gracefully on the cement below. I, however, decided to test my grace and while trying to save her, went swan diving over the top of her...plummeting to the hard ground below.
If you look closely in the photos you can see what I missed - a rebar fence meant to keep people from climbing this monstrosity of a rock wall. Had I fallen a few degrees farther to the right I would have skewered myself. That's one way to learn right?
What I did land on was a car's front fender. Which saved my life. Had it not been parked there I would have likely hit the asphalt with full force, shattering my skull. But instead, my face hit the car's license plate. Which, with one clean, precise swoop, pulled the skin from my skull.
Yes, just like you see in the old western movies...I was scalped. I sat up laughing. But nobody else thought the situation was all that funny.
I was spurting blood. Everywhere. Alcohol-infused, thinner-than-water blood.
My friends wrapped my head in paper towels from the bar across the street and covered that with a (Burberry) scarf (oops). And we were on our way to the ER.
I had no idea how serious the situation was. I'd cut my eyebrow open before and knew how much a drunken head wound could bleed. Zero concern on my end.
Once we got to the hospital they basically put me in timeout. I was too drunk for them to do anything that night. Until the alcohol was out of my system I was just going to have to wait it out.
And sleep it off...
It took three days for them to finally find a doctor willing to work on me. The whole time I was still clueless as to the severity of the head wound. But I was starting to worry. In the middle of the night nurses would come in and ask if they could see, lifting my bandages to show others in the midst of their night checks. Their faces are what caused me the most concern. Too excited. Too many "WOW" reactions.
Finally they found an apprentice. He was an ear, nose and throat doctor with aspirations of plastic surgery. I was his first. And he was excited to fix me.
So they knocked me out and stitched me up.
I was a lucky girl. No cracks. No concussion. They folded my skin back over my porceline skull and sewed me up good as new. Anchor stitches in the muscle and surface stitches to hold me back together. And a somewhat shaved head.
As I was leaving the hospital my surgeon stopped me.
"I know you still have no idea the extent of your injury," he said. "I have to tell you something. You were my first surgery of this kind and I took pictures while you were under. Once you leave the hospital I'll send them to you with your permission."
What you see next is a photo of me pre-surgery. Eyes taped shut and under anesthesia. My skull hanging out for the world to see. The impact point of the license plate visible directly above the bridge of my nose in my widow's peak.
What you see next is a girl who escaped something that could have been a lot worse. A girl that SHOULD have learned a lesson, but waited almost a decade to see what her life-choices were doing to her.
I'm here for a reason. A purpose. The universe had bigger plans for me. And this is a reminder as to why those plans no longer involve alcohol.
Scroll down if you dare.....