Once upon a time I was a law school survival case and I thought I would live in CA forever. However, I accepted a job as a law clerk for the Montana Supreme Court and found myself driving all of my belongings to Big Sky Country late in the Sumer of 2003.
At first, I found myself reveling in how much free time I had now that I did not have to study from dawn to dusk and I filled that time after work with my nose in a book while sitting outside in the last days of summer. Eventually though I met Kris and Stephanie. We then began hanging out with a guy name Dennis who had three hand guns and he started teaching us how to use them. Having grown up spending summers on the ranches where my dad worked, I was not ignorant when it came to guns, especially rifles, but I will admit that I initially had a fear of hand guns.
That brings us to our gun safety course at Travis Creek Shooting School in the Summer of 2004 .
Picture two blondes, one brunette, two tall and one short – with guns.
Fast forward through several clases where we learned to first shoot with a .22; take a gun apart, and cleant it.
That would bring us to an incident involving old ammunititon (bullets), a metal flag spinning target thing and my proximity to it.
To be clear on this, this story in no way is an indication of my ability to shoot straight. I am actually a pretty good shot. Which, unfortunately lead to me clutching my left thigh one afternoon with a thin trickle of blood running down my leg. Here is what happened: I aimed, fired, bullet hit metal target, it spun and sent a small piece of the bullet (shrapnel we will call it) back towards me, which then embedded itself in my leg.
After the initial shock wore off, we all determined it was not too bad so I put a band-aid on it and we rocked on. Yeah, I’m tough like that. Our instructor did have us relocate inside though where were given a smaller gun and shot at a paper target instead of a metal one.
After class was over I did decided to make a stop at ER . . .
. . . where this was revealed – see it there in the right, lower corner of the x-ray.
That then resulted in this.
The Dr. told me that he could go on a “fishing expedition” in my leg to retrieve said piece of shrapnel and he might or might not retrieve it and that yes, it would hurt. Since he did not seem overly confident in his abilities . . .
. . . to retrieve this piece of metal form beneath my flesh, I elected to leave it ensconsed in my person.
FYI, surgical glue stings. It stings really bad!
So, there it remained for several years. I ignored it. Occasionally sharing my harrowing tale of bullet survival with people: “You lived in Montana, what did you do there?” “Oh, I got shot in the leg.” It made for good conversation.
Last year though it began to move around and come towards the surface. If I leaned against the kitchen cabinets and into the knob on the cabinet doors it would bring tears to my eyes. If my twenty pound brute of a Miniature Schnauzer, while sitting in my lap, would place his paw just so, OUCH!!!! It was time to have this thing removed, fear of a fishing expedition aside.
So, I mustered up the courage and sought out a Dr. here in Charleston. After an initial consultation, I arrived on a Friday afternoon somewhat nervous about my decision to have it removed. I was numbed, cut and divested of this troublesome foreign object in less than ten minutes though. I never made a face similar to the one above. I was even allowed to keep the shrapnel and you can see it for yourself in the picture below. The pencil is there to give you an idea idea of the size of the piece of metal.
And now you know about just one of my many pre-Southern adventures.
*Many thanks to Kris who went with me to the ER that day back in 2004 and photographically documented the experience without which this story would not be as entertaining.