On Saturday I took my trusty lawnmower out to cut the grass of my investment property and as I was finishing the job, it stubbornly refused to move forward. While I struggled to move the mower, my foot somehow slipped underneath it, which caused the mower blade and my right foot to engage in a painful, unpleasant rendezvous.
This would be a good time to say that this story is not for the faint of heart. If you get queasy at the thought of injuries, it would be best to leave this entry and read one of my other posts, like the 2012 in review post. For everyone else, we will now proceed to the rest of the story…
The lawnmower shredded the tip of my sneaker and everything inside of it—namely, my toes (link to disgusting photo of sneaker) and I was horrified at the result of the interaction. I quickly dragged the lawnmower inside and called my mom’s cell phone as I ran/limped to my car. My conversation with my mom was simple and straight to the point: “Hey ma, the lawnmower just cut off my toes and I’m going straight to the hospital. You can meet me there.” My mom, who was presumably quite scared at the information that I just shared, gave the phone to my dad. After I repeated the same phrase, he said, “we’ll be there soon, but you shouldn’t drive…call an ambulance!” I quickly estimated that an ambulance would take about 10 minutes to get to me and the hospital was about 10 minutes away, so I responded “my car is faster than the ambulance… I’m going to drive.”
Now, I’m pretty sure that Tesla didn’t intend for their voice control system to be used in such dire situations, but it was quite helpful when I said, “navigate to the nearest hospital” and directions immediately popped up on the screen. Twelve minutes later, I arrived at the hospital, ran through the emergency entrance (with extreme pain shooting down my foot), and approached the receptionist’s desk. I pointed to my badly frayed sneaker and exposed bones and said “I got into a really bad accident with a lawnmower and need medical attention as soon as possible, please.”
The lady behind the desk slowly said “ohhhkaaayyyyy, whaaaaat’sssss yoooourrrrr naaaaameeeeee?” I responded, “first name is Geremy… G as in green – E – R as in red – E – M as in Mary – Y.” She said “Ok, that’s J-H-R-A-L-I… last name?” I said “sorry, no, it’s Geremy with a G…G-E-R-E-M-Y.” She said “Ok, G-E-R-A-R-D… last name?” Usually, I wouldn’t mind this playful banter back and forth, but in this particular moment, I had a foot that I needed to save. My conversation with the secretary would’ve taken much longer if a nurse didn’t pass by the desk and say, “OH MY GOODNESSS, WE NEED TO FAST TRACK HIM NOW!!”
In the next 30 seconds, the nurse put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the emergency room with the speed of an F16 fighter jet. While we speedily traveled to through the ER, I explained the situation to her— “I was mowing my lawn and the lawnmower decided that it wanted to mow my foot instead.” She said, “please never mow your lawn again… I’ll pay for a landscaper for you!” Then she put me on a hospital bed, hooked me up to an IV and assembled the best medical crew that I’ve ever encountered in order to conduct the “SAVE GEREMY’S FOOT” mission.
They contacted a podiatrist to come to the hospital while they simultaneously prepared the operating room, assembled a few nurses, and took X-rays of my feet. At the same time, my parents arrived at the hospital and saw my weird foot situation. I knew that it was really bad when my mom couldn’t stop staring at it and my dad couldn’t stare at it at all. While the staff made preparations to operate, I used the opportunity to shoot a barrage of questions at the doctor. My questions included, but were not limited to:
- I’ve got a trip planned to California this week, can I still travel? (No)
- Can you upgrade all of my toes to titanium toes? (No)
- Is this the worst case that you’ve seen today? (Yes)
- Are you upset that I’m bleeding all over your bed right now? (No)
- Am I supposed to be screaming and crying right now? (Probably)
- I’ve got to play the drums tomorrow.. do you think that you can patch me up in time to play it? (Are you serious?) Very serious. (No)
After the doctor answered about 50 of my rapid-fire questions, they wheeled me into the operating room and wrote “YES” on my foot to make sure that they operated on the right one. I mentioned, “I should probably use the bathroom before you start… I don’t want to urinate all over your table while I’m passed out.” They responded, “we’ll give you a bottle to use,” but before I could say “I’m not going to urinate in a bottle in front of 10 people,” I woke up in the recovery room and it was all done.
The next morning, the doctor said that although the injury was bad, I would’ve lost half of my foot if the blade impacted my foot 1 inch closer to the heel. In the end, they were able to save 4 of my toes and they had to severely shorten and modify one toe in order to avoid losing it altogether. With such a serious injury, I am quite thankful to God that I will still be able to walk after a few weeks of recovery and all I lost was my vacation, parts of my toes, and some blood.
Regardless of the condition of my toes, I will not let it ruin my stride. It’ll take more than two major foot injuries to slow down my progress. I’m motivated and I’m going places…even with my partially amputated toe! Through it all, I can sum up my experience with one word: Grateful. Grateful to be alive, grateful that it wasn’t much worse, and grateful that I’ve got a wonderful support system (including my brother, who texts me every few minutes to see what I need).