Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fell off a Tractor in Tennessee, part V

Riding to the hospital, I occupied myself with trying to avoid spilling too much blood in the truck. I wasn't feeling dizzy, but I was starting to notice a sense of dehydration. We had to ride for ten minutes or so, which became 15 from an inability to find the hospital. My driver had to stop at a jail to ask a sherriffs officer how to get there.

Arriving at a hospital, you might wonder how long it will take to get help. I did. But being soaked in blood which is gushing from your forehead is a great way to get noticed. They took me into a room, started asking the standard questions, and began to try cleaning up the blood. By now, my shirt and jeans were covered, both arms covered, and my hair was starting to sit straight up from all the blood coagulating in it.

One of the guys who was helping us, suggested waiting on reporting the accident. The regulations regarding those reports can be confusing at first glance. If the accident had involved serious injuries or "substantial damage" to the plane, then imediate notification was required. Injuries were minor, and the plane had appeared generally intact, so we didn't worry about it for the moment. We had more pressing issues anyway. As I sat, getting cleaned up, DC and our driver sat in the waiting room, and fielded questions concerning the cause of the accident. They were concerned that the FAA would get called too quickly- and possibly unnecessarily- so when asked the cause, they said I fell off a tractor.

Meanwhile, I was thinking that while a needless call to the FAA might be a pain, the doctors ought to know the deal, in order to properly look for other injuries I might not have recognized immediately. So I told them the truth. Well, I was prevaricating a bit, perhaps. I said I put my face through a window. They asked how. I said it was an airplane window. Again, they wanted more detail. You just can't please some people. I finally told them, that kind of thing can happen sometimes, when you crash an airplane. That seemed to be enough information for them at the moment.

The doctor came in after a few minutes, and we talked while the nurse was preparing all the fun stuff. (Hypodermic needles and stitches, and various implements of the trade) . Turned out, he was also a pilot. We discussed aviation for a few minutes, and before long, they were ready to sew me up. I took ten stitches in the forehead. Other than that, everything was really minor. Plenty of other small cuts all over my scalp, a gash on the bridge of my nose, a small chunk of flesh missing from below my left knee where a decent bruise was forming, a sore right ankle, and a nice welt and some cuts on my left arm.

From the nature of the cause of my injuries, they decided it would be best to do a CT scan on my head and x-ray my knee. Nothing turned up though. I figured as much, but you have to check.


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