I live on the Wet Side of the Mountains in Washington State and winters are wet. We are surrounded by mountains that offer up snow sports but us hugging the Sound, snow days are few (thank god, keep those kids in school!). When we get snow, whole cities close down, we can't cope.
Presidents Day Weekend 1990: Woohoo, it's a winter wonderland and we are ready! We load up our SnoTube (inflatable inner tube with handles for added safety?!?) and we head up to Lower Woodland Park in Seattle. Seattle is like Athens and is built on 7 hills, although somewhere down the line, they plowed down Denny Hill and that area is called by old timers (ah, me, native person) as Denny Regrade. But the problem with inner tubing down city streets is that there are cars and to hit a car would be bad. Example: Slide under front of Mercedes, slice off head, head becomes hood ornament.
So we head to a park. Tons of people are there already, sailing down the hill. They head down and the track that has been made veers off to the left and you gradually slow down. I'm with 1st husband and Brianne who was 8. Like all smart women, I made 1st go first and make sure it was safe. Then Brianne goes and she sails down and left like everyone. Now it's my turn and I start down the hill but I start to spin around. Now I am going backwards and gaining lots of speed. I turn left and I realize that left is now right and I'm heading into a stand of TREES! I turn my head just in time to see the tree that I hit. I don't know how fast I was going but I bounced about 6 feet from the tree and lay on the ground. (btw, the tree was about the size of Redwood and was not harmed by my attempted suicide) From upside down, I can see 1st and Brianne running down to see if I am a live. I had knocked the breath out of me and was gasping as I rolled over to see if I could stand up. I could stand but I was dizzy and my back and head hurt like hell. 1st says, we better go home. I said, we better get to a hospital.
Going to the hospital ER on a holiday weekend is great. Getting there was half the fun, as our hospital is on a hill and the streets are covered in snow. I hoped we all would need to be transported by ambulance after we crashed but we finally made it. There were about 20 people in the waiting room, all looking pretty bad themselves, because why else torture yourself with a 6 hour ordeal at the ER. I'm checking in and the 2 clerks ask me if I need a wheel chair. That's when I realize that there are no identical twins in front of me but that I'm seeing double. I get that wheel chair and I'm moved right past those poor waiting folks. I didn't think I looked that bad, except for the whiteness of my face and tree branches sticking out of my sweater and hair! And the fact I was bent at an angle, think Quasimodo.
By this time, I'm listing to port and can't seem to straighten my back. They send me to xray and the tech there is crabbing at me because I can't boost myself onto the table and she has to get a step stool. I didn't break any ribs or my back but I bruised the hell out of my kidney. Oh yeah, I cracked my skull, hence the double vision from the concussion. They eventually send me home with pain meds (yipee!) and muscle relaxers and instructions to see my regular doctor in a few days.
Now we hadn't been back in Seattle very long and I didn't have a regular doctor, so I called my HMO and they gave me one. About a week after the accident, I'm sitting on the exam table, the doc is done checking out my bruises and asks me if I could be pregnant. Why do you ask? I say. Because you look pregnant to me, says doc. I'm just fat, I say, and I have an IUD. Doc says, I'm taking some blood for a test. Waste of time and lab work, I'm thinking.
2 days later, the doc's office calls and tells me the good news. It's positive! I'm thinking, OMG, this baby is going to be deformed. I've been on pain meds, muscle relaxers and had xrays of my body! And don't forget that IUD. My kid is going to be born looking like a teletubby with this plastic thing embedded in it's skull!
Doc says to stop taking drugs and come on back for an IUD removal. So as I'm in stirrups and they've pulled the useless device, doc says, oh yeah, this might cause you to spontaneously abort the fetus and if it does, can you save what you expel and come right to the office or ER. So for 5 days, I lay in bed hoping not to miscarry. All is well? Nope, now they are concerned that it's ectopic and so now they want to ultrasound to see where it is. Turns out the egg planted itself above the IUD and was nicely settled it.
My little mishap is now 18 years old. I blame everything that he does that annoys me on his father and the fact that I took drugs.
Oh yeah, my whole point to this story is that the Girl Scouts in my town are planning to have an event at one of the passes this winter and everyone will go inner tubing. This is something that my troop will want to do and I'm having anxiety attacks thinking about it. I can't watch the winter Olympics much less people I know sliding down a hill. I'm dizzy just thinking about it.