I love roundabouts. Sometimes too much. When I was nine, my mom took to me to the local park, with my little brother in tow. She wanted to introduce him to the swings, so she let me do what I want until he tired of swinging around. I went to the roundabout, spun a couple times, and then moved on to the slide. This slide was huge; not gargantuan, but the biggest I'd ever seen. And it was metal, which meant that in the mid-afternoon of that day, it was hot and not pleasant to touch.
Sliding down from such a height so quickly was a thrill. I found a special exhilaration in being up so high, and feeling the wind in my face as the world zoomed by. I had to go again, and again. The final time, however, I accidentally slid to the one side and slammed into the barrier of the slide. My arm hanging over it, and without the power to stop my momentum, I slid down with the agony of hot metal burning my armpit, which bore my body's weight as I lay on my side.
When I finally hit the ground, I leapt off and tried to somehow contain the pain. I looked at my mom, playing with my joyous brother, and decided that I couldn't tell her what happened. She was having fun, as was he, I couldn't ruin their day. She'd be so angry with me if I ran over there wailing like a baby and forced them to go home. So, I went back to the roundabout.
The roundabout was fun... so fun, in fact, that it had allowed me to forget about the pain under my arm. I went round and round and round. I tried to go faster and faster and faster. I'm not sure how long I was there, but it felt like a long time, even back then. I kept thinking to myself how lucky I was because I never had the opportunity to be on a roundabout this long without getting yanked get off by a babysitter wanting to go home. Nevertheless, I was determined to make the most of it, I would go round and round and round until my mom called me.
My plan fell short, though. Eventually, I began to feel woozy and disoriented. Roundabouts of course have the habit of making you dizzy, but this was something else. The world was spinning - but in a bad way.
I got off and drifted to my mom and brother. I sat there in silence as she played with him, still in a daze. Perhaps my mother noticed that something was wrong, or not, but she she soon suggested that we go home. I obliged.
As we took the short walk home, the pain in my armpit began to increase. I couldn't stand it, but I still didn't want to tell her that I done goofed.
My will finally collapsed when she started unlocking the front door. I hunched down on the floor and grabbed my armpit. I couldn't move another inch. She opened the door, saw me visibly in pain, asked what was wrong, and I simply told her my armpit hurt.
What I remember next is riding in the car to the hospital that night, and watching a catheter push into the back of my right hand.