Hello McStory fans. Welcome to a Thanksgiving weekend edition of the McShea stories. This story takes us back to the mid 80’s and a very young Mike McShea…. Let’s jump in the time machine and see where it takes us. (queue Dr Who music)
We find ourselves around Fountain Square in Indianapolis. I was approximately 11yrs old and with my friend X who was a bit older at 14yrs old. We had been running around all day with the neighbor kids, playing “army” pretending to shoot each other and all the other fun games that fill the day of kids before the internet and online gaming had stolen the interest of children. Living in the city, I had unfortunately had my bicycle stolen a week or so earlier so I was riding on the back of my friends bike that was easily 15 years old itself. It had the long “banana” seat that easily held two, along with the “gorilla” handles that kept the pilots arms out and up in a wide distance from the center of the bike. Heading back to my friends grandparents house for water, my buddy took a short cut through what was then a Chiropractors yard. Now, I couldn’t see very well from my vantage on the back of the bike so I don’t know if the “short cut” seemed like the best idea but, I do know that as we tried to fly through between the old rust fence and the large bush, we bounced off the bush which ricocheted us towards the fence. It was at that point the front wheel of the bicycle jerked into the fence and we collapsed into a heap next to the bicycle.
“Wow”, I thought to myself. That sure hurt and was continuing to hurt as my leg was pinned under the bicycle in a very awkward position. “Get off my leg” I remember yelling to my friend. Quickly we disengaged my leg from the bicycle and that’s when I heard my buddy say “Oh shit, my arm”.
Now, before I go on, I want to point out how well I handled the next 7min. I stayed completely calm, assessed the situation, and took command by getting the appropriate people to take care of the situation. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit there. I’ll let you be the judge but, here are the moments I recall following my buddy alerting me to his arm “situation”.
Looking down at my friends arm, I saw an 8 inch tear in his upper arm that opened up his skin in a near surgical fashion, the bicep had mostly been missed but, the flesh had been carved away, all the way to the bone, showing what was (in all recollection) a very ivory white bone. This is when my ability at 11 to handle stressful situations kicked in. I took one long look at his arm and screamed “OHHHHH MY GOOOOOOOD, your going to die!” I thought this would help keep everyone calm as we decided what to do next. Looking at the fence that had caused the wreck I saw a piece of my friends arm still hanging on the top of the fence. At this point, Exclaiming that my friend was going to die, didn’t seem like it had properly calmed the situation down so, to make sure my friend was not going to go into shock, I decided to completely lose my shit and run in a direct path towards oncoming traffic while screaming “My friends been hurt, he’s going to bleed to death”. Strangely, and probably due to shock, my friend was actually calm and yelled for me to come back, which seemed to calm me for a moment as I came rushing back out of traffic. Now, having heard the commotion going on outside his office, the chiropractor had come out and had already begun actually assessing my friends wound and yelling for his receptionist to call for an ambulance. It was at this point, my friend looked at me and asked if I would ride his bike to his grandparents to let his parents know that he was going in an ambulance to the hospital for stitches. I agreed and then, as I was still in shock, took off on foot, in a dead sprint for his grandparents house. Running up right as his parents had arrived with groceries, I decided it was best to tell them in a calm voice that everything was ok but, their son was probably going to need some stitches as he had hurt himself on his bicycle. I translated this by screaming “Your son was in an accident over by the chiropractors office and an ambulance was on it’s way to take him to the hospital.” Assuming the message had met them in a calming and non alarming voice and tone, I ran all the way back to my parents house where I calmly relayed the story to my parents by running into the house and bursting into tears as I told them about the bicycle accident.
So like I said, I handled it very maturely.
Moral of this story….. I don’t handle gore very well and if there was any question, I knew after that day, being a surgeon was not in my future.