Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Bungee Cord Incident...Part 1

(Even though this happened 11 years ago, I do remember many of the details quite vividly. Trauma like I experienced will do that to you.  Some of the quotes may not be remembered word-for-word, but it's darn close, I promise.)

Some people are afraid of spiders, some are afraid of clowns.

Me? I have a fear of bungee cords. (and spiders and clowns too) 
Here's why...

September 3rd, 2001 was like any other Labor Day. My husband and I were enjoying some time in Northern Wisconsin, relaxing as much as we could before our wedding, which would be upon us in 19 days.

We had just taken a leisurely trip in the Bayliner (boat) on the beautiful waters of Green Bay and decided to pack up and head home to do some more wedding prep.

I, being the ever awesome fiancé and helper, was doing my duty in helping strap down the cover of the boat. No, we didn’t have those fancy strap things or expensive ways to go about this.  We used bungee cords.  The bungee was attached to the boat cover on one end and the boat trailer on the other.

Something kind of like this…
I was at the back of the boat bungee’ing the last of the cords to the trailer—on my knees in the dirt, pulling that cord as tight as I could get it when I lost my grip.


The bungee cord snapped back at my face and the hook on the end hit my front bottom tooth dead on.

A little shaken at first, I had no idea what happened...until I pushed my tongue against my lower teeth and realized there was a gap.  My tooth was gone.

I screamed like I’ve never screamed before.

Jesse (the then fiancé) ran to my aid but for many moments we both had no idea what to do.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t in any pain, which I thought was odd…until I later realized that with the tooth came the root as well.

“Find the tooth!!” I screamed as blood was dripping out of my mouth.

As I was searching the dirt/gravel area around me, I only had one thought:  I’m getting married in 2 weeks.  I can’t get married without a tooth!  I’ll look like a hillbilly!  FIND THE TOOTH!!!

So I cried.  And continued to search for the tooth through my tears.

Amazingly enough, I found it.  Even though the bungee snapped back with such force, the tooth didn’t projectile as far as I thought it would.  Nor, did it break.  The tooth was in perfect form.

“Get me a glass of milk! Quick!” I yelled to Jesse.  He looked at me, puzzled. “Just do it!” I yelled back at him. (man, I was demanding back then, huh??)

A few seconds later he came back with a small glass jar, half-filled with milk. I threw the tooth in the jar and closed it up.

For whatever reason, my mind had decided to retain this little piece of knowledge that if you put a tooth in milk, the tooth won’t discolor. Don’t ask me where I learned that or why I thought it would be a good idea to hang on to that little nugget of knowledge. I had no idea if the tooth was even remotely salvageable at that point, but to me, it was worth a shot.

And then I remembered something…

It was Labor Day.
I was 2 hours from home.
I'm sitting here with a bandana on my head and a missing tooth.
What am I supposed to do?? 

I panicked and did what any 22 year old woman would do. I called my mommy.  She, bless her heart, called my dentist.  At home.  On a holiday.

Dr. K was home and completely willing to go to his office and meet us there.

With a glass jar half filled with milk and my front tooth, we jumped in the car and started the 2 hour drive to the dentist's office...

...to be continued...


  1. That's awful! Clearly it worked out as you have a full set of teeth now thankfully!

    Is Dr. K Jim Kuhlow? If so, they've been our family friends for 30 years (although not our dentist!).

    1. It was Dr. Kastendike in Sheb. Falls.

      It did work out...kind of...LOL More to the story in a bit!

  2. I cringed when that thing snapped. :-(

  3. Oh my. That's quite a story! And holy ouch! I can't believe something like that wouldn't hurt. Can't wait to read the rest. And examine the tooth area in SIXTEEN days!

  4. Awesome. Horrible, but awesome story. Someday, maybe I'll share the story of Dave and my first date. It involves me being put under general anesthesia for surgery.

  5. I can barely type as I sit here holding my mouth while reading. Ouch!