Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Truth is stranger than fiction - the shot in the head episode

In my Liebster Award post the other day I mentioned in passing that I'd been shot in the head.

Illuminating as this may be to those of you who despair of my various quirky personality traits (thanks for putting up with me), I realized that this casual admission may have you scratching your own heads in curiosity!

In the interests of saving you sleepless nights worrying about my post-traumatic stress disorder and how so much can now be explained, I figured I would fill in the blanks:)

Backtrack to the summer of 1982 (my memory is a bit dim but I think it was the Christmas break between Year Seven and Year Eight) and I was hanging out at my best friends house which happened to be across the road from a big sporting reserve.

Down Under was a big hit for Men at Work but I have no recollection of listening to it at my friends house...in fact I seem to remember listening to Cheap Wine getting a lot of time on the turntable!  As I said, time has dimmed the specifics:)

We'd been left alone in her house, her mum from memory had gone to work.  My strong memory is that we needed some milk (for what I don't recall) and so we trundled out of her house and walked along her street (that would be the street facing the reserve) and returned about 10 minutes later with the milk and probably some sort of lollies (my memory of being partial to some form of sweet from the milk bar is still VERY strong!!!!)

She was walking on the side closest to the houses, I was on the outer side of the footpath.

Cue something whizzing past my head followed by something else hitting the side of my head really hard.  Felt like a rock and bloody hurt!

I seem to recall my first thought being that I'd been hit by a rock from a slingshot.  In those days, slingshots weren't uncommon and my own father had one that he used to scare of stray cats, dogs and probably children!

Somehow we got back to my friends house (seem to recall some scrambling a la commandos) and went inside.  Looking in the mirror I could see a bloodless disc on my left temple surrounded by a small amount of blood.  Yes folks it wasn't like the movies...no profusion of blood to speak of, just a little bit that was easily sorted out by a piece of paper towel.

By this stage my sensible friend was on the phone to 000 trying to impress upon the dubious call taker that we were indeed in a crisis and in need of an ambulance.  Times have hopefully changed because in this instance the call taker thought we were playing a joke (it was school holidays) and refused to believe we needed an ambulance.....

My head was kind of thumping by this stage and my friend decided that we needed to do a commando run down the street to a neighbor who she thought would be home.  Imagine his surprise when we showed up on his doorstep claiming we'd been attacked!!  He could see we needed help though so kindly agreed to take us to the hospital.

The triage nurse must consider this one of her strangest encounters - two 11/12 year olds with no clear understanding of what had happened and one of them with a hole in her head!!!  An x-ray established that I did indeed have a bullet lodged in my forehead, an inch from my temple and a couple of centimetres from my eye.

Funnily enough, when my friend called my house (from a pay phone of course) my brother laughed when he took the message and was still laughing when he passed it onto my mother (who was also out somewhere and got the message when she came home...no helicopter parenting going on in our neck of the woods!!!!)  As my mother departed for the hospital she apparently told him he would be in danger of losing his life if he was having her on:)

Some time later in the care of the lovely nurses and doctor at the RCH I had an air rifle slug removed from my forehead under local anaesthetic.  It felt like someone rustling around in my head for a missing key...painless but pressure.

The bullet was put in a urine sample jar and it was subsequently taken by the police as evidence.

In a follow up post I'll recount the bizarre interview we had with the police and how the culprit was nabbed!

If you look closely I do have a scar from this nefarious incident.  It's faint but it's there.  I didn't suffer any ill effects and look back with only vague humorous recollections....thankfully!!

So there you have it, truth is indeed stranger than fiction...and in this case a lot less bloody!!


  1. I was hoping you would explain this! I was expecting it to involve paint balls or lasers or something like that, not an actual real bullet.

    Thanks so much for tagging me in the Liebster Award by the way, such an awesome surprise when I was reading your blog.

  2. this was such a fascinating story- a great one to start reading your blog with! Can't wait to read the rest...did you get to keep the bullet though? :)sarah

  3. Great story. I must admit I thought it was going to be a spud gun or something. My sister's father-in-law managed to shoot himself in the head. He set up a piece of MDF board at the bottom of the garden and shot an air-pistol at it. The bullet bounced straight back and hit him in the forehead!

    Can't wait to hear the next installment.

  4. You really were shot in the head! That's just so remarkable! I am already looking forward to part two!! x

  5. Amazing story! Looking forward to part II.

  6. This is such an extraordinary story, Lib. Now onto the conclusion! J x

  7. What a story - you had me in stitches describing the incident!! x


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