Self administered surgery

Last night I did a reading at the Millville Public Library in Millville, MA, a town adjacent to my hometown and one of two towns that sent students to my regional high school. My wife and daughter made the trip with me, and Clara behaved like a pro during my talk. While I read and spoke and answered questions, she played with toys and read books off to my left, so quiet that I forgot that she was there for a time.

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Several of my high school friends attended the event, people with whom I should really spend more time, and after the reading, we had a chance to chat about our school days together.

I’ll be sharing a few of their recollections in a series of posts over the coming week.

Amongst the conversation topics included one classmate’s recollection of the time I extracted a piece of windshield glass from my forehead in a peer education class, a feat I reproduced in geometry class and on a bus during a trip to a marching band competition. After high school, I also extracted glass from my forehead several times, including once on vacation in New Hampshire when one of my friends would not believe that there was glass in my forehead.

I tore into my forehead and pulled out a piece out of spite.

The glass was the result of a car accident that sent my head crashing into the windshield of my Datsun B-210. Amongst the many lasting effects of the accident was a forehead full of glass. All but one piece has since been removed.

If there is a doctor in the house, please tell me how the hell I was permitted to walk around for years after my accident with shards of glass in my forehead.

Is this normal?

Was the plan for these corn kernel-sized pieces of glass to eventually migrate to the surface of my skin and break through?

Did the doctors forget to inform me of the plan?

Did they think that restarting my heart and respiration and repairing my knees and mouth was enough work for one day?

What kind of medical care was available in 1988?

In fact, they also did a lousy job with one of my knees. Until I had a second surgery ten years after the accident to correct the problem, my right knee would occasionally bleed, leaking like a sieve for no explicable reason.

Seriously, what kind of medical care was being doled out at Milford Hospital in the winter of 1988?