Scarred For Life

December 9, 2009
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The last thing an eight year old kid would ever expect is for his best friend to cause him great harm. I believed this theory, until my friend Jimmy, quite by accident, did something to me that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Jimmy is my friend and neighbor. After Jimmy caused me such great harm, who would have thought I would still play hockey with him today.
It was a bitter, cold day in January of 2003. Jimmy and I were playing street hockey in front of my house. I was on my roller blades and Jimmy was playing in sneakers. I was winning four to zero and had total control. We were playing the game to five. Jimmy had the ball and I poke-checked the ball away from him. The ball went up Jimmy’s driveway. I skated up the driveway to get the ball, but the ball rolled down the driveway too fast, in the direction of Jimmy. I skated down the driveway towards him. He wound up for the slap shot. As he did this, I was thinking about ways to get around him to get the rebound off the curb or to block the shot. My heart was racing. Before this occurred, the unthinkable happened.
He lost the ball for a second. I swerved in the opposite direction to avoid hitting Jimmy. He moved to the left where I was skating to. As Jimmy wound up for the slap shot, I attempted to veer the other way, but then … thump! I hit the ground like a ton of bricks. Jimmy’s stick had hit me above the right eye during his back swing. I felt dazed as I put my hand up to my eye to see if I was bleeding. I heard the veins in my head … lub dub, lub dub. Blood was rushing to my head. I moved my hand away from my eye. I had a puddle of blood in my hand.
“Billy, I am so sorry!” Jimmy said. “Are you alright?”
“Oh, no, I’m bleeding.”
“Oh my god, I’ll get your mom.”
I paused for a moment but could hardly reply, “Let me see if I could get up.” I stood up and felt confused. I didn’t know where I was. Then I stumbled, luckily Jimmy was there to help me back up. Jimmy helped me to the door. I knocked with my left hand since my right hand was covering my eye. I showed my mom the cut. She replied in a startling but caring way, “I have to call, Rob.”
Rob is my next door neighbor who is EMT. Since my Dad was not home, my Mom asked Rob to check to see if I needed stitches. He came over to the front porch where I was sitting and asked, “Where’s the cut?” I replied quickly, “Above my right eye.” He examined it and my mother came outside after she called my father.
“I think he needs to go to the hospital,” suggested Rob.
“Let me go inside and call, Ray, back,” my mother replied. Ray is my father. My mother came back outside a couple of minutes later.
“Hey, Rob,” my mother said, “Do you think you and, Colleen, could watch, Valerie?” Valerie is my younger sister and Colleen is Rob’s wife.
“Sure,” replied Rob and went to his house to get Colleen. “Hey, Jimmy,” I said, “Could you clean up my hockey equipment?” Jimmy replied, “Sure.” Jimmy cleaned up the hockey equipment and went home.
When Rob and Colleen got back to our house, my mother gave him the emergency contact number. Then, my mom and I were off to St. Catherine’s Emergency Room.
When we arrived at the Emergency Room, it was completely empty. It seemed like a deserted mine town. We were the only ones there. My mother checked me in and I got my blood pressure, heart rate, and a small examination done by the nurse. After this was complete, my dad arrived ten to fifteen minutes later. Then we were called up to be examined by the doctor.
“So, what happened?” asked the doctor.
“I was playing hockey in the street and the blade of my friend’s stick caught me above the right eye."
The doctor examined it for ten to fifteen minutes. Then he said, “You have two options. He could get plastic surgery or stitches.” He let my parents talk for a little while. Then my dad asked, “Do you do plastic surgery here?”
“No,” replied the doctor, “he would have to be transferred to North Shore Hospital. The stitches could be done here.”
As my parents discussed it a couple of minutes longer, I prayed to stay here and just get the stitches. I was in enough pain already. Then my mother said, “We will have the stitches done here.” I was so relieved to hear that. Next, the doctor gave me the Novocain shot to numb the area. It felt like a rattle snake bit me with one of his fangs. He proceeded to give me seven stitches above the right eye. The doctor said, “No gym for five days while the stitches are out.” He gave my mom the doctor’s note.
That day I learned, to think before you act. I should play roller hockey with a helmet and face shield on it. I have the scar to prove it. To this day, I still play hockey with Jimmy. Sometimes you have to learn a lesson the hard way in order to correct it.

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