And Then Sometimes You Embarrass Yourself Horribly

During the past fifteen months of traveling around the world, we have been on over thirty airplanes. We have had flights delayed (almost always American Airlines),  flights cancelled (always American Airlines), and almost missed our flights. Most often the almost missed flights have been due to traffic on the way to the airport, or looking at the departure times incorrectly, but last week when we were leaving for London, something completely different happened. Something that is hard to even write about, but I feel like it must be told… I write an honest travel blog here, and in order to be completely honest, I must also now tell you about the MOST EMBARRASSING THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME.   For some of you, this may be a little too much information, but I am going to try to tell this with as much candor, but also delicacy as possible… so bear with me and try to see the humor in it… Believe me, if I was able to see the funny side of it, you should be able to as well…

We arrived at San Francisco Airport and checked in for the first leg of our flight on our way to London, England.  It was a smooth process, with plenty of time to spare. We walked through the airport, grabbed a hot caffeinated beverage and headed for our gate to wait. On the way we happened upon an area called the “Kid Spot” in terminal 2, though all it consisted of was some benches, a spinning thing, some large metal hoops planted in the ground, and a little alcove in the wall that Zoë called her castle. All of the “play equipment” was metal and seemed to not really be so much for kids, but some sort of modern art piece.  It was strange, but we played around on everything and enjoyed ourselves.

Zoë on the "Spinning Thing".
Zoë on the “Spinning Thing”.

Then it happened…

I took a turn sitting on the spinning thing. Z wanted to spin me around, and I was more than happy to oblige her. I was trying to get her off it for a bit as she kept hitting her head on the poorly designed pole.  I sat on the metal disk, I put my legs out in front of me, I looked back to talk to Chad as I was positioning myself to get ready to spin….


I yelped out loud as I realized that the pain was caused by crashing into the metal pole… with my nether regions. I never knew such pain could come from that part of my body, and that is saying something considering that I had a baby three years ago completely naturally. I took a couple of deep breaths, explained to Chad why I had shrieked and thanked my lucky stars that I was not a male. I actually think I told Chad that I could understand what it felt like to get socked in the testicles.  How embarrassing right?!

Oh, but wait, it didn’t end there!  

(This may not be suitable for children or the workplace)

I played for a bit longer with Zoë, but the throbbing pain just wouldn’t go away… I sat for a bit and then decided that I should go check it out. I went into one of the bathroom stalls and was greeted with gushing blood. No, I hadn’t started my period, I had hit myself so hard with that darn metal pole that it literally split my skin open. I had a gash about an inch long running along my inner labia… just what I needed… another hole down there. I somehow calmly cleaned myself the best I could, packed it with toilet paper, and walked out of the bathroom to get Chad.  (I am really trying to say all this without grossing too many people out… this will be the last time I describe the wound, so please read on!)

I had Chad come into the family bathroom with me (Z was there as well, no way I was leaving her out in the airport alone). I felt like I calmly told him what had happened and asked him to look and confirm that what I saw was real (who knows how calm I really sounded). As he looked, the color ran from his face and he started telling me that we would have to cancel our flight, it was BAD. We were both being very mature and quiet though, as we didn’t want to freak Zoë out. I told Chad that we should just see if there was a first aid area and if not, I would just pack it with toilet tissue to keep it from bleeding and hope for the best.

As we left the bathroom, I went to sit while Z played with the torture “play” equipment and Chad went to the gate counter to ask if there was a first aid area. When he returned, he told me that the lady had called the paramedics to come check me out…

So, I sat for about 5 minutes and then a couple of paramedics strolled up. I was so thankful that one of them was a woman. I am sure I was bright red as I tried to explain what happened in the middle of the airport to the man in the quietest voice I could. As I was telling him what happened, more emergency responders starting showing up, a bicycle cop, another paramedic… all of them getting the story from the previous person that had been told. All of them looking at the stupid metal pole and then looking at me. I wanted to curl up and disappear, but instead I laughed it off, making jokes about being the strangest call they had ever gotten and such.

I followed the original two paramedics into the family restroom to show them my injury. I quickly showed them and they were both professional (although the lady did look like she felt for me, or maybe was horrified), but the guy told me that all I could do was put antibiotic ointment on it and pack it with gauze. Lucky for me, since it was that area of my body he felt that stitches probably wouldn’t work and I could go on our flight. He warned that if it continued to bleed or seemed to get infected that I should go to the doctor immediately at my destination. I said thank you, treated my wound and walked out of the bathroom…  To a whole mass of people ready to take me to the hospital, complete with rolling bed. RIGHT OUTSIDE THE BATHROOM DOOR!!!  I laughed and told them all thank you and that I would not need to be taken to the hospital. I quickly signed some forms and tried my best to look and act normally.

Oh my goodness, I was sooooo humiliated. But I was also finding the whole situation humorous … painful and scary, but also funny. Seriously, how does something happen like that?!  Even now it makes me chuckle.

As we boarded the plane on our way to our layover in Chicago, I was walking with a bit of a limp, but was extremely thankful to be out of there and away from all the people that I thought were still staring at me (I think that was probably just a little paranoia).

I am all healed now without any complications. Thank God for a wonderfully made body that can heal not only physically, but emotionally as well, when something like that happens.

And why am I sharing this with you all out there? Something that is so embarrassing?  Because I want to show you that traveling  isn’t always pretty, it’s never really easy, and it can sometimes leave you emotionally drained.  But travel makes you appreciate life,  your health, and the humor in everything like nothing else. So no matter what happens when you are getting set to leave, get on those planes and see the world. You will be glad you did.

P.S. And if you are in SFO stay very far away from the hazardous Kid Spot in Terminal 2 Boarding Area D, near Gates 54A and 58B!!!


  35 comments for “And Then Sometimes You Embarrass Yourself Horribly

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