When I joined Minnesota Farm Bureau a little over a year ago, I had no idea that attending Farm Bureau events would be so eventful.
Half-way home from my first Farm Bureau conference, the wheel fell off my car and I had to be towed the rest of the way. Our trip to the Minnesota Farm Bureau annual meeting last November was delayed several hours because Glen got the tractor stuck while square-baling meadow grass. Our trip home from the annual meeting was complicated by the first - and only - snowstorm of the season.
So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that our trip to the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Honolulu was complicated as well.
All but one piece of our luggage was loaded in the car. We were about three minutes from our 6:45 a.m. go-time. Then I remembered that I needed one more thing.
I ran back into the bathroom to grab my razor from the shower. I climbed up on the edge of the bathtub so I could reach the top shelf of our shower organizer. Then, somehow, I slipped and fell. Like most accidents, it happened so fast all I remember is hitting the floor.
When I fell, the side of my head hit the corner of the vanity counter top. My hind end hit the toilet and moved it over a couple of inches. And some part of me hit the wooden toilet paper roll holder that was mounted to the vanity and busted it off.
Glen heard me hit the floor and came to find out what happened. By the time he got there, I was standing over the sink holding my hair out of the way so that the blood gushing from my head wouldn't get all over my clothes and hair.
Glen grabbed a wash cloth to press against the wound, which was just above my temple. Then he assessed the damage.
"Um," he said, hesitating, "just keep pressure on it and it will be fine."
I couldn't see the injury myself and I knew that we really needed to depart, so I didn't question Glen's judgement. I grabbed another wash cloth and an ice pack, took three ibuprofen and went out to the car.
After giving a few last hugs, we were on our way - and only five minutes behind schedule.
In the car, Glen's first question was, "Are you excited?"
"No," I said. "I'm trying to fight back tears so that I don't end up with mascara all over my face."
We stopped to pick up another Stearns County Farm Bureau member who was riding with us to the airport. I checked my head and found that the bleeding had mostly stopped. The pain, however, had only intensified. I don't know how to describe how intense the pain was, but even worse, it now hurt to open my mouth.
The rest of the trip was pretty quiet.
We arrived at Glen's aunt and uncle's house. They were taking us from there to the airport. Glen's aunt had some spray-on skin glue, so we decided to give that a try in hopes of stopping the bleeding. Glen and his aunt cleaned as much of the blood out of my hair as they could, disinfected the wound (ouch!), dried my hair and the wound with a blow dryer (double ouch!) and then coated the two-inch gash with skin glue. Then it was off to the airport.
Just before we got to the airport, I combed clean hair over the bloody hair around the gash. It looked so good, nobody could tell. As we boarded the plane, it occurred to me that the situation could have been a lot worse. I could have bashed my forehead or knocked myself out - and then our trip really might not have happened.
The plane ride was interesting. All of the snacks I brought along for the trip required serious chewing, which was something that hurt worse than the pangs coming from my stomach. Every time the cabin pressure changed, the gash would ooze a little and require blotting. And every time I laughed at one of the jokes told by the couple sitting next to us, pain would jolt through my head like lightening.
But we made it to Hawaii.
Glen was able to find some liquid skin glue in one of the shops across the street from our hotel. We gave the wound a good coat of glue the next morning. The glue stopped the oozing, so, for the rest of the trip, I didn't have to deal with anything other than an occasional jolt of pain from laughing too hard.
We had a wonderful time in the Aloha State. Without a doubt, it was a trip I won't ever forget. Every time I comb my fingers through my hair, my new scar will remind me of our time in the sun and how we almost didn't make it.
Next up is the Minnesota Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference in Rochester. I hope that getting to and from this event will be a lot less eventful.