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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mountain Hole

So... I re-injured my knee two weeks ago as we left the restaurant where the Fortune Cookie Fiasco occurred (oh, and where Wanda lives). The Tongginator simply can't walk without wiggling and, amidst a Frogger game parking lot, I keep a hand on her at all times.

Unfortunately, wiggling and a weak knee do not a pleasant story make.

I thought about writing a lengthy whine about how my knee swelled up and continued to ache for more than a week. Because I really want to whine. Just to get it out of my system, you understand.

Only that would be really boring.

And not productive.

So instead I've decided to completely humiliate myself by telling y'all how - about ten years ago - I injured my knee in the first place.

Because humiliating oneself is always productive.

It all began on a mountain in Tennessee. At the time I worked as a youth director for a church. During the dog days of August, twenty teenagers from our youth group and three adults crammed into two fifteen-passenger vans with gobs of luggage, traveling over 600 miles to spend a week running a day camp for four- to ten-year-olds.

All because we love Jesus.

Oh, and because we love to torture ourselves.

I felt very fortunate because we actually slept on beds during this missions trip, as opposed to sleeping on slimy gym floors or - even more hideous self-sacrificing - on the cold, hard ground.

Actually, they weren't really beds. More like torture devices raised wooden slabs. I, however, brought my twin air mattress to place on top of said wooden slab. (I'm a city gal, y'all, in case you have yet to pick up on that.) I also brought a hat on the trip. You know, to hide my hair. And I brought lots of lotion, deodorant and Chapstick. I didn't expect to look pretty, but I sure as certain wanted to feel clean.

Kind of difficult in 100 degree heat with no air conditioning, but I digress...

Only one major problem existed.

The mosquito-infested bathrooms were located about thirty yards from the female dormitory. Now, I'm pretty okay with walking through the creepy freaky dark night. There's really only one issue: Graceful, I ain't.

Can you see where this story is headed?

One night, sometime around four in the morning, I woke up having to pee use the facilities. I waited for quite awhile, hoping the urge would disappear. But, alas, no, twas not to be. So I slipped on my shoes and glasses, grabbed my flashlight and headed for the mosquito breeding ground facilities.

And then I fell.

In a hole.

A somewhat largish hole.

Out of which I could not manage to climb.

Mostly because my knee really hurt.

So I sat there. And sat there. And sat there.

Sometime a little before six A.M., I heard someone walking past, heading towards the bathroom. She didn't see me, so I had to say it. Actually, I had to yell it. I am hanging my head in shame even as I type this.

"Help, I've fallen and I can't get out!"

Or something along those lines.

Thankfully, the person walking past was my friend and fellow chaperone Red. Oh, I felt so relieved. Red knew me, as opposed to the eighty other people at camp who met me for the first time three days prior. Red and I attended high school together, albeit a few years apart. She actually sang at my wedding, y'all. You know what this means? This means no one else would learn of my humiliation.

Only Red couldn't get me out.

Probably because she was laughing too hard.

It took four additional people to pull me out. In reality, one person probably could have managed the job (the hole actually wasn't that big), but everyone seemed to want to help laugh at me.

They stopped laughing when they saw my knee.

Because it looked like a watermelon, y'all. Okay, more like an apple, but it hurt enough that it SHOULD have looked like a watermelon. And it required minor surgery tweezer picking because of all of the gravel embedded in my skin.

The camp doc proclaimed it "injured" and suggested we drive over three hours to the nearest ER for some x-rays. Whatever. I wasn't leaving my teens. I spent the rest of the week using youth-sized crutches because we couldn't find adult-sized ones. And I became known around camp as The Lady Who Fell In The Hole.

Oh, joy.

And now, whenever wiggling occurs, I tend to re-injure the knee.

Because I "whatever-ed" the camp doc.

And because I am graceful like that.

Are you glad you know all of this now?

No? Oh, well... it was still better than whining.

8 comments:

discombobulated said...

That's horrible. I wonder if you tore a ligament. You are lucky you didn't break your ankle. Now I know why you are reluctant to stay outdoors or go White Water Rafting with your friends this summer. Mosquitoes are nasty.

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh, Miss Tonggu! It's an awful story...but I can tell you take it with a HUGE dose of humor...making it...well...hilarious! You're such a great story teller. I swear, there are times when a LEASH is really all that's appropriate for toddlers in parking lots! We actually bought one for BBJ, but it goes around her wrist and it's stretchy...then there was this unfortunate incident in the airport where she walked too far and REBOUNDED back to my side. I was laughing so hard I cried, but the grannies walking past all gave me disapproving grunts. Imagine that!

prechrswife said...

I'm sorry to hear about the knee. I have a bad knee from junior high track and high school basketball, but your story is much more entertaining. That said, I hobbled for the rest of the 2 weeks in China after the Great Wall because my bad knee decided that climbing something that steep was REALLY not a good idea...

Briana's Mom said...

I know it isn't really funny, but they way you tell it makes it hilarious!

Cheri H said...

You always bring a smile to my face with the way you write! I'm sorry that your knee acts up from time to time. Oh and I know the pain of a knee acting up on the Great Wall! Not fun!

Janet said...

That's hilarious. I mean...tragic. And sad. Both sad and tragic. And funny. ;-)

Mrs. Darling said...

Oh you poor lady. Sorry I laughed. I do hope your knee starts feeling better!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Oh, you are a brave woman to share your story!! Just kidding. Hope you are feeling better soon!