My mom used to sit me on the edge of the bathtub and begin to gather the supplies: Peroxide, gauze pads, band-aid, and (shudder) merthiolate.
Sometimes I lucked out and she brought out the mercurochrome instead of the merthiolate.
First came the peroxide. I was lulled into fascination as I watched the white bubbles work on the dirt. Then the dab with the gauze pad brought me back to the horrible reality of my wound. Ouch.
Then the merthiolate. Merthiolate was an evil and sadistic orange-red liquid with a little plastic wand for application. Mom used to dip that wand into the bottle and swipe it against the scrape, while I screamed, “BLOW ON IT.”
It was believed that if one blew on the scrape covered in merthiolate, it wouldn’t burn like battery acid on your skin. False. Then the band-aid was applied and off I went, forgetting all about my deadly injury.
The reason for this trip down memory lane is that on Jan. 1, I slipped and fell in my craft room. I remember that it was Jan. 1, because as I lay on the floor, I shouted, “Way to start the New Year!”
I landed on my left elbow. Scraped a two-inch long section of skin right off. I hit my hip too.
George came in (after I yelled for him) and found me lying on the floor with a pool of blood under my arm. (Note: I am on blood thinners, so any tiny little cut will bleed for so long and in such volume that the scene often resembles a Civil War battlefield.)
By the time we got me upright and into the bathroom, I had bled everywhere—on the floor, the sink, myself.
It was a horrifying scene. But anyway, between the two of us, we managed to get the blood flow stopped, the scrape cleaned up, and a large bandage on the wound. So my elbow was sore for a while but thankfully, scabs formed and things were improving.
Fast forward to last Monday night. George was in bed. I was on the couch watching TV and decided that it was my bedtime too.
I got up off the couch, tripped on a blanket, and guess what happened? Yep. Fell. Landed on my left elbow again and my knee. Missed our sofa table by inches.
Had I hit it, that table would have flown right through our big picture window. Imagine driving by and seeing that.
So there I was, once again lying on my left side, elbow on fire and gushing blood, and my knee also bleeding profusely.
This time, though, I BLED. I mean, there was spatter like at a crime scene. Unfortunately, our sofa table is white, so it had droplets of blood all over it, not to mention the hardwood floor, which had pools of blood on it. I‘m telling you; crime scene.
I yelled for George once again and he yelled back from the comfort of the bed, “What happened?”
I yelled back, “I fell.”
I couldn’t quite make out what he said in response, but I don’t think it was sympathetic or particularly concerned, since this falling seems to be becoming a regular habit.
He came in, saw me on the floor (again), saw the blood (again), and silently went and got wet paper towels. We went into the bathroom, cleaned my wounds, bandaged them and then cleaned up the blood that was all over the place in the living room.
George told me later that he had heard a loud noise and thought the living room blinds had fallen off the windows.
I responded, “Oh, that would have been awful. Much better that it was me falling and almost breaking my elbow and my knee and bleeding like a pig all over the place.”
I plan on trying to stay upright for the rest of the year, if for no other reason than to save money on gauze pads and Neosporin. That stuff adds up after a while.
Ilene Black has been a resident of Ewing for most of her life and lives across the street from her childhood home. She and her husband, George, have two sons, Georgie and Donnie.