OK, so this is the story that I am probably known best for. Every year, my school had Polar Plunge where people (who are probably certifiably crazy) jump into Duck Pond in February and donate money to the Special Olympics. Well, I didn’t participate my freshman year but sophomore year, I was healthy (as healthy as I could be, considering I get sick 1-2 times a month) and the weather was warm for Boone (56degrees - basically a heat wave). The other thing I should add is that I did this sober…knowing me, I knew that if I drank, something would happen. Thank goodness I didn’t find out the water temperate until after…it was 39degrees.
Well, we jumped in…and that’s the last thing I remember. Apparently, I started swallowed water…started drowning…and had to be pulled out and carried to the ambulance where I was hooked up to oxygen and told I had hypothermia. I also met an EMS named Betsy who tried unsuccessfully to take me to the hospital because I couldn’t stop shivering and shaking. I said no thanks, ambulance rides are pretty expensive, Judy (my mother) would flip out, and really, I was just cold. I told Judy about this after Betsy released me and she told me to stay in, stay warm, and go to bed. Well, because I am a genius and thought I had “warmed up,” Rebecca and I even ventured to Klondike (a fabulous double-wide-turned-bar) that night.
The next night, Chairmen of the Board was playing on campus and I had been looking forward to this for months. After a KD event, a few friends and I headed to Legends where we had to wait outside in about 30ish degree weather to get inside. I got really cold and almost started shaking again but we were let inside soon enough. We got inside and I warmed up but about 30 minutes later, I got really cold, started shaking again, and apparently collapsed (again). I was taken to the entrance of Legends while we (three friends and I) waited for the ambulance. Once again, I was hooked up to oxygen; this time to the oxygen mask which I was told made me look like I was in the movie Top Gun. Because I was unable to talk at this point, my friend Braddy informed the paramedic of my name and as she was writing my name down, she actually said “Oh, I had you yesterday!” …Low and behold, it was Betsy. Word spread that KO was in the ambulance for the second time in two days and soon enough, there was a party going on the Legends parking lot that included us singing Chairmen of the Board Songs and the boys trying to take Betsy and I to a real party; their rationalization was that I needed oxygen…and there was oxygen at the party so it was OK…Betsy didn’t agree.
After about 2 hours hanging out in the ambulance with our new BFF Betsy, I once again refused to go to the hospital. I was mainly upset because at that point the concert was over and I didn’t get to hear Carolina Girls. The next morning, Judy and my stepdad were planning to go to Blowing Rock for a concert and were going to stop in Boone to take me to breakfast. I called Judy when I woke up and informed her of my eventful night; she was not a happy camper and told me the next time I collapse and the ambulance is called, it’s probably a smart life choice to take Betsy’s advice and go to the hospital. They got up to Boone and we went to Mountain House for breakfast. When we had finished, Judy and I were waiting while Clint got the car and for the third time in three days I collapsed…this time the crowded lobby on Mountain House.
I was (finally) taken to the fabulous Watauga Medical Center where I was diagnosed with pneumonia, anemia, dehydration, two staph infections, a bacterial infection, and some micro-plasma-something-or-other. My ER doctor also told me that I probably should have had something to drink before I jumped in because it might have helped against the bacteria that was in the pond. I was sent home on bed rest for two weeks which was absolutely miserable because we don’t have cable and didn’t have our subscription to Netflix at the time. However, because I spent the majority of Saturday in the hospital (from about noon to 10pm), we wouldn’t be leaving until Sunday. I had the smart idea that if I was going to be restricted to the couch for two weeks, I could at least have one more night out in Boone. However, Judy had a word of prayer of my friends (and possibly paid them off) that I was to stay in my room until they came to get me the following morning. This was made easier because these friends brought over lots of movies and those sugar cookies from Harris Teeter that they knew I was obsessed with. This whole extravaganza was almost two years ago and is still something that I am known for today…I once met someone who actually said, “Oh, you were that girl that was pulled out of Polar Plunge!”
Yes, yes I was.