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Trips to the Emergency Room Spur Written Accounts From Students



Grade 10, Woodstock
Monday, April 03, 2017

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages Vermont and New Hampshire students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences in newspapers, before live audiences and on websites, including youngwritersproject.org, vtdigger.org, vpr.net, medium.com and cowbird.com. Young Writers Project also publishes a digital magazine, The Voice. YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing.

This Week: ER, write about an experience in an emergency room.

July 5

When I open my eyes I'm moving.

I feel pain,

sharp in my arm,

dull in my ankle,

pulsating in my head.

I close my eyes

but she won't let me sleep.

The movement stops.

I wonder how long it's been.

It feels like forever and an instant

simultaneously.

Doors open

and light

and sound

and people

rush in.

Strong arms lift

me out.

Moving again

down the hallway.

It's white,

bright.

I watch myself

like a movie.

What happened to her? Where is she going?

They cut my clothes off.

Vomit,

dark, like chocolate.

Blood

somebody says.

I'm trapped,

strapped into a stiff collar.

Don't move,

she says.

Don't move

and don't sleep.

My eyelids droop.

And again

rolling down the white fluorescent hall,

everything blurs.

Elevator dings.

Eyes open.

Sharp,

antiseptic smell.

A hand strokes my head.

The world is fast

but my brain is slow.

Eyes close.

I'm awake.

I must have slept.

I can't see.

I can't open my eyes.

She touches my hand.

You're safe.

It feels like a lie.

Sticks and Eyes

“There’s a stick in my eye.”

“Well, how did a stick get in your eye?” my dad asks me.

“I don’t know, it just magically appeared there.”

For once, my father does not appreciate my sarcasm.

My brother, Dad, and I were camping in Custer State Park, South Dakota, far from home and very close to a lot of sticks. One special stick, really a twig, had the good fortune of finding its way into my eye while I was collecting wood for a fire. I struggled to blink, but when it hurt too much, I held my eye open, trying to get rid of the stick in my eye. I spent about half an hour trying to dislodge the twig from my eyeball to no avail.

Then my dad called his sister, a genius doctor who lived in Akron, Ohio. Aunt Mary told him that my eye would permanently contain a stick if I didn’t go to the ER to get it removed by a medical professional — fast. Of course she didn’t really say that, but I like to think it was a higher stakes situation than it actually was.

We raced to the nearest ER, which was in the town of Custer, South Dakota. My Dad slammed on the gas as soon as we reached the state highway. (Just kidding, I’m not even sure if the 1999 Toyota Camry we had been driving cross-country had a gas pedal.)

When we got to the Emergency Room in Custer I waited there for a while and then a doctor came to check out the stick in my eye. They put some magic liquid in it so that I wouldn’t feel the pain when they took out the stick. It wasn’t that hard to get out and in about half an hour after arriving I left the ER with one less stick in my eye than when I entered.

My one trip to the ER that I remember wasn’t all that exciting and it’s definitely not something I would brag to my friends about. But some good things did come out of that visit. First, the doctors got the stick out of my eye. And second, the US Women’s Soccer Team was playing in the World Cup Final that night and because we were already in town, we decided to watch the game.

Maybe if I placed more sticks in my eye, then my life would be more fantastic than it is, or I could lose an eye.

Read the complete story: https://youngwritersproject.org/node/14272.