A brush with death – and my desire to take someone with me

WARNING: Although the pics in this post really aren’t all that graphic, they might offend you if you’re a bit of a wuss.

How did I almost kill myself braaing and why am I so angry?

Technically it wasn’t the braai’s fault… the fault should rest squarely on the shoulders of the shooters that were flowing (even though I still maintain ‘I wasn’t all that drunk‘ when the incident occured). And who do I wish to send to hell? Well, that would be the staff at St. Vincent’s hospital in Warmbaths.

But let me take a step or two back here first:
It was a mate’s 30th birthday and we decided to make a weekend of it. Another mate owns a small farm near Warmbaths, and so we decided to have it there. The plan was to watch the Bulls thump the Sharks in the currie-cup semis, have a braai, party the night away and wake up the next morning (with maybe a mild hangover) and then head on home. That was the plan.

It started going pear-shaped shortly after 14h30, and by the end of the game the Sharks were through to the finals and the Bulls weren’t. If you know a Bulls supporter, you’ll know that we don’t enjoy losing (we just aren’t that accustomed to it :-)). Anyway, we still had a braai and some partying with which to console ourselves. We tended the fires and the beers kept flowing and sometime during the course of the evening the potjies were done and those that hadn’t forgotten they needed solids along with the liquids were treated to some chow. The fact that the 1 pot seemed to consist entirely out of potatoes didn’t seem to bug too many people.

Then at about the 01h00 in the morning things went pear-shaped. A photographer friend had the idea that some of us should get onto a couch and she’ll take an action shot as we jumped off. It sounded like a great idea. But, as I was about to get onto the couch, I either tripped, was pushed or the couch moved on its own. Either way, I ended over the top of the couch and falling through a window on the other side.

The useless staff at St. Vincent’s

Brush with Death

Murder on the dance floor

At first I was convinced that the damage wasn’t too bad, I just needed to rinse off and we could carry on. Fortunately the girls at the party had a bit more sense than that and decided I needed to get to the emergency room (even if it was just for them to put on a band-aid). Now we were about a 1/2hr oustide of Warmbaths and nobody had an idea were he hospital was, but 3 or 4 stops for directions we finally made it to St. Vincent’s where the miserable head-nurse clearly hated her life and her job and was doing her best to chase us away. To cut a long, boring story short: The nurse finally called the doctor on duty and he did his best Dr. Frankenstein impression on me and sent me on my merry way without a prescription for any painkillers.

Getting fixed up properly

Brush With Death - Arm Cut

I need some stitches

The next day, things didn’t quite feel 100%, so I popped in to PTA East hospital and a buddy there said he thought we should take another look. To cut another long story short: When they opened me up again I had 1 less tendon where there should be one and had nicked off some nerves to boot. But the doctors here cared enough and they managed to fix me up properly. So thanks to the fantastic doctors and staff at PTA East!

The good news is that I only had to spend the 1 night in hospital (and therefore didn’t have to miss any braai days and my quest still continues uninterrupted). I also spent 6 weeks learning to braai with my left hand and my wife got to clean the grill for me every day for all that time my arm was strapped up. The bad news is that because of the awesome job done the second time round, the scarring is going to be minimal – I’ve heard that chicks dig scars :-).

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