I had finally done it! I, with Marco’s help, had finally coerced together a group of friends, planned times and cars and made it the two hours north to our cabin in Piazzatorre for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding in Italy!
We went to Foppolo, a location near-enough to the cabin with various slopes of all levels. Though it wasn’t the Dolomites or San Moritz or any of those other high altitude, highly ritzy ski resorts, we’d nonetheless be skiing in the Alps and I was more than content. It was a perfect place to start the season, but my weekend of snowboarding wasn’t going to go that easily.
We bought a day pass and spent the morning changing slopes to escape the fog that stubbornly stuck around. By lunchtime it was so thick that visibility was slim, and I finished the run nearly attached to my friend to not get lost. Hoping the fog would pass by the afternoon we decided to take a break for lunch.
I (reasonably) wanted long slices of cheese for my panino, not millions of short slices, so I held the cheese flat and cut across the top with Marco’s swiss army knife. One slice. “This is stupid.” Two sli – THUCK. The knife flew across the cheese, stopping itself with the fleshy pad of my thumb. My jaw dropped and I looked up with wide eyes at my friend who immediately started stuttering “No, no, it’s fine, it’s fine, don’t look at it, cover it with a tissue, it’s fine, stay calm,” as big drops of blood pooled and fell everywhere.
I was shocked, but tried to remain calm in front of everyone. When the first aid guy said I should head down the mountain to have the doctor check it out I asked him if I could eat lunch first. “No, cara,” he responded, “no darling.”
So that’s how I ended up not taking advantage of my day pass, not snowboarding the rest of the weekend and not eating my panino. It is, however, how I ended up in the San Giovanni hospital – “serving all the valley!”
Sitting in the puce green emergency room I was answering the nurses questions when a brusk woman arrived with her hand completely wrapped in bloody paper. She raised it and said, “I cut myself.” Feeling guilty I waited patiently, but the nurse firmly replied, “So did she,” indicating me, “so please have a seat.” Damn! I felt especially bad when I heard her and her friend talking to the other ER patrons, saying something about cutting wood and an ax …
Apparently I didn’t feel bad enough because when they called number 73 I jumped up immediately. Like hell was I going to offer her to go ahead of me. See, I have a complete and perhaps irrational fear of blood, cuts, really anything that breaks skin, whether it’s mine or other’s. So when the nurse blocked Marco at the door I turned into a blubbering American, telling them in a fake broken Italian that I needed Marco with me to translate because I don’t know the medical terms and blablabla.
I think the doctor knew I was lying, but saw how terrified I was and let him in. I’m a baby.
Four stitches and one tetanus shot later (called antitetanica in Italian, I learned) and we were on our way. Between that and getting the stitches out nine days later I’ve also learned that fainting when I donated blood in high school wasn’t a freak incident – apparently it’s what I do.
We didn’t get to go snowboarding the rest of the weekend and I wasn’t able to use my hand for a week or two, forcing my amazing, patient and completely-unable-to-wash-hair husband to take on extra work (dishes, hair…) but we still had a good mountain celebration that night (i.e. grill, wine, cake, wine) and a great Sunday tromping around our backyard.
I guess a little pain and greasy hair can be ignored for views like this!