No, really, I fell out of a tree…

When I turned 17, one of my best friends, Lisa, had recently moved away, but she came to visit for my birthday. My birthday was on a Saturday that year, and her dad brought her over Friday night and she was spending the whole weekend at my house. We had the best time, looking at our yearbooks, making chocolate frosting in the kitchen at 2 am, and going to the park. On Saturday, my birthday, we went to the park, and then decided to go for a walk in the wooded area behind my neighborhood.
We called it “the bumpity road” when I was growing up. It was acres and acres of undeveloped private property, that the owners allowed people from the neighborhood to go on to hike or walk their dogs and stuff. A couple of kids even built treehouses there. As long as we didn’t trash the place, the owners didn’t really care. There were lots of trees, but not many of them were easily climbed- either they were tall eucalyptus trees with no footholds, or they were scrubby pine trees that were too densely branched. Lisa and I were fond of this one particular stand of eucalyptus trees. It was hard to get up the trunk and into the first yoke of the tree, but once you were there you could climb really high.
For some reason, my mom came with us on our walk, and much as we tried to convince her to climb the tree with us, she wouldn’t. Instead she decided to stay on the ground and take pictures. Lisa gave me a boost into the tree and then I reached down to pull her up, they way we always did. But that morning I did something wrong and instead of pulling Lisa up into the tree, I fell down out of the tree. Amazingly, though I fell pretty much headfirst, I landed more sideways, coming down really hard on my hip. (And incidentally, right on a fallen branch, which left a lovely bruise.) I was a little dazed and had had the wind knocked out of me, but got up quickly and went to climb back into the tree- I was pretty rough and tumble, and still more than a bit of a tomboy. That was about when my mom noticed the blood. I had managed to not get any scrapes in the fall, nothing hurt except my bruised ip, but when I looked down, my left wrist was bleeding profusely. My mom, being a mom, had a pocket full of kleenex, which I used to wipe the blood away, revealing a deep looking cut. We headed back to my house to clean it, and I finally had to wrap the sleeve of my sweatshirt (my euro-disney sweatshirt!) around my wrist because it was still bleeding a lot.
When we got back to my house, my dad took one look at it and said it needed stitches, and we actually went to the emergency hospital in town rather than driving 30 minutes to the normal emergency room (I got banged up a lot, I lived in the emergency room for a few years). There, the triage nurse took a look at me, now with one of my dads bandanas wrapped around my arm, and wrote “suicide attempt” on my form, and rushed me into a cubicle in the back and gave me some clean gauze to hold against the cut. The doctor came pretty quickly, though the bleeding had slowed way down by that point, and asked me what had happened while he was looking at the cut. I said I fell out of a tree, and he looked at me very skeptically. He said that whatever I told him would be confidential, and asked if I was sure I had not intentionally hurt myself. I said, no, I fell out of a tree. I could tell he still did not believe me. Then he really started looking at it, and flushing it with saline to make sure the wound was clean before he stiched it up. And wouldn’t you know it, little bits of bark came washing out.
It was really starting to hurt at that point, and I got all stitched up (4 stitches) and was about to be sent on my way, with a thick gauze bandage taped over the stitches, when a psychologist showed up to talk to me, because the triage nurse had called her saying there was a teenager who had attempted suicide in the ER. I had to explain, yet again, that I had fallen out of a tree, not cut myself on purpose, and again was not believed, at which point the doctor indicated the basin with the dirt and bark in it. Sheesh. You’d think if my parents were bringing me in for an attempted suicide, both myself and they would be far less calm than we were. I had to face similar inquiries and being doubted when I returned to school on Monday.

4 thoughts on “No, really, I fell out of a tree…

  1. kat

    The accidentally-sliced wrist really doesn’t go over well, does it? I did that too once – I put my right hand right through one of the (ancient and brittle) glass panes on our back door.

  2. Caryn

    hehehe. That’s kinda funny. Why didn’t your mom say anything? Since she saw the whole thing… or did they not believe her, either?

  3. Almost Lucid (Brad)

    Wow, crazy story. Funny that it took some bark to prove you weren’t lying.
    I had a similar story where I was chasing a bunny around my backyard when animal control was called. They saw I had a scratch on my foot and asked me if the bunny had bit me. Bit me? No, I scratched it on a protruding root. I had to show them the root and everything, which was rediculous because have you ever heard of a bunny attacking a human? And he was the animal control expert? Wow.

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