If you've ever watched Monty Python then you know what a "Tis but a scratch!" moment is. These folks share the moments they tried to downplay a serious injury.
"In my early 20s, I woke up after a night out fully clothed and face down on my bed, which was unusual as I generally manage to get my clothes off. A few moments pass when I see large patches of blood on my bed and hands.. I look over my shoulder and I have what looks like a stab wound just around my kidney area.
After I sat up wondering what the heck had happened I saw I’d kicked over the drink next to my bed and last night's dinner plate was shattered into several large, SHARP pieces. I’d obviously been so wasted I slipped on the water, fell on the plate, and stabbed myself then just went to bed like nothing happened (typical Brit).
Long story short is I got horrendously sick with fever/ vomit/ infection over the next few days. The hole that was around 3cm wide and quite deep had completely filled up with pus and had formed creamy pus-like muffin top. I assumed the cut would just be healed up by itself but it didn’t. I ended up getting treated in hospital and there was still a bit of plate inside the wound.
Make sure you take your dirty dishes to the skint before going out."
"I got hit by a car my freshman year of high school. I went flying lost consciousness for a split second when I hit the ground (thank god for the helmet). When I came to people were all around me asking if I was ok, and what happened, etc. I was like 'Oh yeah, I’m good. I’m gonna just get back on my bike and go now.' But didn’t really move. Then people started asking me to call an ambulance and my mom etc. I was like 'Why? I’m good.' I even told my mom on the phone I was still gonna bike home. But as I was saying that, the people around me had started to move one of my legs and I watched as my foot proceeded to NOT move. I had broken both bones in my leg completely in half and part of my ankle.
Just pure adrenaline and shock. I also vividly remember thinking 'Huh this is what it feels like to get hit by a car.' Also, the leg wasn’t setting right (probably from movement) and the doctor decided to put me on laughing gas as he tried to crack my bones back into place. I was in a stupor laughing as I felt my bones grind."
"I am a bartender in a nightclub. One night while working I was pouring a drink while I reached back with my other hand to open a fridge, and that's when I heard a "pop" and got a huge pain in my back/shoulder area. the pain was pretty bad, but I was sure it was a pulled muscle, and there wouldn't be much point in seeing a doctor other than getting meds. So I waited. fought through the pain which was so bad at times it was making it hard to breath.
that was a Friday, I called off Saturday and had Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off before I went back to work Wednesday, once I biked into work. in all, I waited nine days total before finally deciding to go to the ER.
I had a collapsed lung, called a spontaneous pneumothorax. 20 min after getting to the ER I was put into emergency surgery. I was essentially breathing with only one lung. Any major impact to my chest would have collapsed the other and probably killed me."
I was four months pregnant at the time and living in army housing with my husband. We'd recently moved out of a cockroach and mold-infested home on the other side of the post (after MONTHS of begging, but that's another story...)
Anyway, I was hormonal and paranoid and had convinced myself there was mold in the vents of the new place. My husband was playing Xbox and I was in my own world, so I decided to check the AC vent above the kitchen sink. We didn't have a step ladder so I had to clamber onto the counter. We also didn't have any screwdrivers at the time due to a moving mishap. So I decided to very intelligently use a pair of pointed nail clippers to get the job done. I ALSO had socks on... I reached up and started unscrewing the vent when I had the thought 'What if I fell right now?' Which, looking back, I'm convinced I cursed myself into doing so. Because about .0002 seconds later my foot slipped and I went tumbling down and nailed my chin right on the edge of the counter before collapsing onto the floor.
At this point I was splayed in the kitchen, just moving my sore jaw around and feeling thankful I didn't bite my tongue off or break some teeth. My husband (who tends to react aggressively under scary circumstances) came over and started screaming wondering what happened and what I was thinking.
'I just smacked my chin,' I explained, 'I'm fine!'
To which he replied with an incredulous glare. He informed me I was bleeding and at that point, I figured I'd just split my chin when I hit the counter. He held my face and tilted it up and gasped before telling me I had a deep, bloody gash on the underside of my chin.
Then I looked down and realized the whole time I still had the nail clippers in my hand. Turns out, as I fell my idiot self self decided to clench as tightly to those stupid clippers as possible. I tried to catch myself as I went down which resulted in my clenched hand and chin hitting the counter at the same time, consequently impaling my face with the clippers. There was even a long scratch going all the way down the cabinets beneath the sink from where the clippers hit on my way down. I seriously did not. Let. Them. Go.
We had to go to the hospital and I got several stitches and lots of exams to make sure I didn't knock the bun in the oven loose. Overall it was pretty funny and I was laughing about it as I sat in the waiting room. Definitely told them I just tripped with the clippers in my hand though. Wasn't about to admit to my idiotic moment."
"My little sister fell down about 15 steps at our grandma's house when she was a toddler, she got up, giggled, and went to go eat some snacks. This other time (still a toddler) she was supposed to be napping, we were in the living room and heard a huge thud. We ran to the room thinking she'd fallen out of the bed. Nope, she somehow managed to pull the TV down (this was the early 2000s, TVs were heavy monsters) and it fell on top of her. She was laying there in a snow angel position and my mom freaked out. When we got the TV off her, she got up and asked for ice. Not to soothe the pain but to eat. My little sister was and still is a champ."
"A couple of weeks ago, I stepped on an anthill and got a bunch of ant bites on my ankles. 3-4 days later, the itching was unbearable. I wasn't sleeping, my legs were swollen, and no amount of Benadryl or antihistamine cream was helping the itching. I finally went to a clinic to get a shot or whatever, because I clearly having some sort of allergic reaction. It was a staph infection that had spread from my ankles up to my knees. I would have died if this 1920 instead of 2020. I was on antibiotics for 10 days, and now several weeks later, the dead skin from the infection is still flaking off."
"When I was 14, I was sitting outside my house at boarding school when three teenagers came by looking for a posh kid to beat up. I, being dumb, didn’t see them coming. I, being unathletic, decided that running would just get them excited, and decided to talk my way out of it.
It was going pretty well - they made threats and threw insults; I pretended not to understand; the fight they were hoping for was failing to start - until one of them got bored and said 'I’d hit you if you weren’t wearing glasses,' then yanked my glasses off, threw them aside, and punched me hard in the face.
It was a beautiful punch. I felt my upper left canine snap in half at the impact. No pain - that came later - just the instant realization that this was it, the violence had started, and they didn’t have any reason to stop.
So I reached into my mouth, pulled out my broken canine, held it up, and said cheerfully: 'Wow, I lost a tooth. I never lost a tooth... like that before.'
(The pause was as I realized that, obviously, I had lost my baby teeth; I was very conscientious about lying)
I couldn’t see the looks on their faces (no glasses), but the sounds that they made can only be described as disappointment and disgust. Then they turned and walked away. I found my glasses and then went to show everyone my tooth."
"I was mountain biking and fell off a cliff.
I fell down part of the mountain and into a road where I almost got hit by a car.
I got up quickly, thanked the driver for not killing me, and then got back on the bike - I knew the road would meet up with the trail I was on so I could meet up with my group who hasn't seen me fall.
When I got to them, one of them looked at me and was like... 'What happened?'
I got off the bike, walked over whilst we waited for the others to catch up, and just fell off.
He then looked down at me and was like 'What the heck happened?'
I'm like, 'It's nothing!' A few cuts and scratches on my hands and arms, my leg was bleeding from earlier and that was it. Then I looked down and realized I had scratched off half the skin on my leg from falling on the road. Basically a bad case of road burn.
From all the adrenaline I hadn't even felt it. They called someone to come and get me from the mountains (I wasn't allowed to continue) and one of the other riders saw my leg and decided they wanted to stop too.
I just went to a pharmacy, grabbed some wipes and bandages then we got a drink whilst we waited for everyone else to finish."
"About eight years ago I experienced the most painful injury of my life. I had an accident with hot oil and my left hand in which I basically fried about 90% of my hand and a bit of my wrist.
Needless to say, this is not my 'Tis but a scratch' moment. The moment actually happened during my recovery. About a month after getting switched to outpatient care I had stepped out to smoke a cig but was not made aware of the shattered glass all over the porch that my roommate's friends hadn’t cleaned up yet. I stepped outside barefoot, lit up, and just stood there smoking.
After a couple of minutes, I realized everyone was quietly staring at me and I asked: 'What’s up?' One of them pointed at my foot and said 'uhh you’re bleeding dude...' I looked down and didn’t really see anything so I lifted up on of my feet to find a shard of glass about the size of a spoon stuck in my foot. I just quietly pulled it out of my foot, tossed it in the trash can we used as an ashtray, and put my foot back down. Finished my cig and went back inside to clean up the wound. Never made a peep during the whole event and was later told I freaked out everyone that saw the whole thing because I never flinched or really seemed to acknowledge that it even happened.
Granted, my hand still hurt A LOT so most other pain just never really registered in my head anymore. I have closer to normal reactions now but it’s hard to react to pain the same after the whole deep-fried hand thing."
"I have a now little over a year old chocolate lab who loves water and swimming. Last April we were walking on a fairly popular biking/walking trail near the river. This trail has a bunch of offshoot trails that go off into the woods and we were meandering down one and could hear the river. So my dog runs off ahead of me and I hear this sploosh. The area was way overgrown and I couldn't see the river from the trail. So I hustle down to the water and it is ridiculously swift where she went in. And sure enough, she's already good 100 feet down the river with a panicked look trying to swim back toward me. I dump everything out of my pockets and jump into the river. Catch up to her about 150-200 feet from where I went in.
I grabbed her and went to toss her on the bank, slipped and went under. Regained my footing, tried again, and was successful. I then pull myself up out of the water. Mind you, this bank was an 8-foot tall blackberry hedge that I ended up having to crawl/slither through for a good 50 foot.
We finally clear the hedge and I make my way through the woods back to the trail and collect my belongings. I then have to walk about a mile back to my car. On my way, I kept getting really odd looks from joggers/bicyclists and I figured I just looked like some wet hobo.
Get back to my car, sit down, and see my face in the rearview mirror. Half my face is covered in blood, I then decide to inspect other parts of me and I have cut all over my arms/hands and am just coated with blood.
About halfway home the adrenaline wore off... then it started to hurt. Turns out I even sprained my thumb tossing the dog. Didn't know until the adrenaline was gone. Also, to this day I have no recollection of how cold the river was. And I know rivers in Oregon during April are far from warm."
"A few years ago, I was sick. Not fun, but I thought it was only a bug and that I'd be okay in a couple of days max. I started to get an unusual pain in my abdomen as the day wore on, but to me, it was just a side effect of all the throwing up I'd been doing.
I spent the night in the spare room for two reasons; one, because I was so freaking hot, and two, if I needed to get up I didn't want to disturb my partner who would be getting up early for work.
I managed to get an okay night of sleep after the vomiting stopped. But I still felt trash. When my partner came to see me before he went to work, he asked how I was. I still felt terrible, but it was a tummy bug, I wasn't going to be instantly better. But that sharp pain was still there.
On hearing that I still was in pain, he insisted on taking me to the hospital. I didn't think it was at all necessary, but I was too exhausted to argue.
When we got to the hospital, I made dang sure the person at the front desk knew I thought this was a waste of time.
After a lot of prodding and questions about if I was pregnant, it turned out it was my appendix in the process of rupturing."
"When I was 16 my friend (now my husband) and I decided to learn how to swing dance. His dad was a Bishop at the local church and had the keys, so we went to the church to use their recreational room to practice. We played swing music on the speakers, looked up YouTube videos of how to do the cool flips and tricks, and gave it a try. 10 minutes in we try this move where he throws me up over his head and I (am supposed to) land on my feet on the other side, but I freaked out and leaned forward, and fell hands first with my arms outstretched. I couldn’t actually move my arms, but it didn’t really hurt so I was like 'Eh, let’s try again tomorrow. We can go back to your house and watch a movie.' Which we did.
By that point, I guess the shock had worn off and I was in SO MUCH PAIN so we went home where my dad told me he didn’t want to take me to the emergency room since it was so expensive. So I sat alone on my couch the whole night, in too much pain to sleep, listening to the mice run around in the ceiling, until the morning when he took me to urgent care and we found out I broke both my elbows. My friend thought I was never going to talk to him again, but a week later we started dating, four months after that we got engaged, and we’ve now been married for almost six years."
"One of my students. I had impressed upon them that there would be no late work unless hooked up to tubes in the hospital. It was their research paper final, pre-digital submission days.
College freshmen had been given a ridiculously fast car by parents who’d also chosen a ridiculous acid green color. His car stood out. Another kid in class sees on his way to class said ridiculous car smashed and ambulance at the side of the road. He stops and approaches. The child owner of a ridiculous car is being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher and sees another student. Yells, my research paper! Front seat! Get it to her! He did so and submitted the blood smudged, bedraggled document.
The dude comes to pick it up a week and a half later. In a wheelchair, cuz he broke one leg, sprained the other ankle, and sprained a wrist. He has been for 20 years my gold standard."
"I was making a ninja mask. I had a piece of cloth and I was trying to cut the eyeholes out of it using a small steak knife. No, it wasn’t on my face, I wasn’t quite that stupid. But I was holding the cloth and cutting with the knife, the knife slipped and went straight into my pinky finger. I had to actually pull the knife out. It went right beside my joint and stabbed straight through the flesh on my pinky.
I pulled the knife out and blood was just pouring out of me, which was weird to me at the time. I didn’t realize a pinky would bleed that much. The worst part is, I was home alone. It didn’t really hurt that badly, strange as it may seem. It was honestly no worse than a regular cut, pain wise.
Anyway, the blood was coming out at a rate that I had never before seen. I went to the bathroom and wrapped like 7 band-aids around it and then took some masking tape and wrapped that around all the band-aids. I was like, surely that’ll stop the bleeding. I said forget the ninja mask and sat on my couch watching tv for a bit, then noticed the tape was starting to slide off. I’d bled through it and all the band-aids in maybe 5 minutes max. So I got some paper towels and decided to hold pressure on it but the cut wasn’t very symmetrical. I couldn’t figure out how to get the skin back together. I did the best I could and bled through a bunch of paper towels and finally was like, forget this I think I’m gonna have to call 911.
So I called 911. They came out and by the time they got there I was feeling rather weak. There was blood all over my sinks (bathroom and kitchen) and some on the floor. They transported me to the hospital and gave me stitches. Healed up good as new in a couple of weeks.
The doctor said I was lucky I didn’t sever any tendons. My mom came to the ER to take me home. It was kind of an awkward ride. She complained at me some for being to old to be doing this kind of nonsense.
The kicker is, I really was too old to be having accidents like that. You’re probably picturing a 10 or 11-year-old kid. Yeah, no. I was 19."
"When I was in elementary school we used to play this game at recess where we would try and see how many people we could fit in the tube slide without the person at the bottom falling out.
When it came to be my turn to be 'The person at the bottom' I thought I was being smart by bracing my hands against the wall of the slide. Next kid came sliding down and his foot hit the perfect spot on my hand and dislocated my thumb at the second joint.
Other kids laughing that I could only hold one kid in when I held my hand up and smiled and said "watch how fast I can make my thumb grow" and pulled it back into place with a loud pop. One of the kids freaked out and told me and I got sent home for the day but I felt like the coolest 4th grader there ever was for not freaking out when my bone wasn't where it should've been."
"When I was in 7th grade I slept over at a friend's place and early that morning we went to go run my paper route, with the plan that afterward we would get freshly baked donuts from the nearby grocery store and then go back and play Mario Kart all morning. On the way to the grocery store, I hit some black ice on my bike, locked up the brakes, and flipped over the handlebars when the tires hit dry cement again. I faceplanted into the street and had gravel in my gums and cut into my right palm. I brushed it off, we got donuts and played SNES, although I couldn't hold the controller with my right hand, so I kinda just twiddled my fingers over the buttons. Later we made chocolate chip waffles and went back to SNES. When my mom came to pick me up around noon my wrist was swollen to three times its normal size and I could barely move my hand. She took me to the ER where we discovered it was broken. I just dealt with it all morning because...Nintendo!"
"In third grade, we were outside playing cops and robbers during morning recess. One of the robbers caught me and tied my hands behind my back with a skipping rope, which I cooperated with. Then things went downhill, literally. She grabbed me by my shirt and started running down a rocky hill. I lost my footing and went flying face-first down the hill. With no hands to catch me, I landed face-first on a large rock. The playground went silent as everyone waited to see how bad it was. I was a socially awkward child and didn’t want it to be a big deal so I shrugged it off, trying to hide my tears and went back to class. Hours and hours later, my teacher finally noticed that I was very quiet and looking quite pale. She asked me what was wrong. When I looked up at her to answer she saw that my chin had been cut open all along my jawline, from one side to the other. The flap of skin under my chin, above my neck, was hanging down, exposing a bloody mess of raw flesh with gravel embedded in it. She promptly threw up in the waste bin. They called my mom, who took me to the hospital to get the gravel picked out and close the flap. I still have the scars under my chin, 30 years later."
"I have this scar on my finger shaped like a Nike swoosh because I was dumb/wasted and decided to punch a pint glass.
This was back when I was in college living at one of the dorms and it ended up slicing my finger really badly, I mean there was a flap of skin that came up. Went to the bathroom and ran it underwater, but it just kept bleeding. I didn't know what to do and was too inebriated to try to deal with it, so I just wrapped my hand in a towel and tried to go to sleep.
Woke up to knocking at my door and it ended up being security. He followed a trail of blood from the bathroom to my room and wanted to make sure I was alright. I told him I was fine and just had a cut, but he demanded to see it. After I showed him my finger he was like, 'Come on, you gotta go to the hospital.' The dude was a real bro and drove me there even though it was like 3 am. Saw a doctor and he had to give me a bunch of stitches. He said I was very lucky because if it was just a tiny bit deeper I would have probably had done permanent damage and lost mobility of the finger."
"The best I've got is when I was 6 or so my dog (it was not the dog's fault, I startled her in her sleep accidentally. She loved the heck outta me and would never do it on purpose). Didn't even phase me, and when I realized there was a giant hole in my face the first thing I thought of was 'Awesome!' I ran to the mirror and stuck my finger in the hole a few times.
Of course, my parents were freaking out and rushed me to the hospital. Only then did I start crying. Not because I was scared, but because I had a hole in my face and didn't wanna look stupid to the people in the cars passing by. I was afraid they'd make fun of me. As you can see, that was social anxiety in the making.
I begged my parents not to take me to the hospital saying that I was just fine. Ended up with six stitches and a scar that's still about an inch long today. Had the bite been a centimeter closer to my eye, I'd probably be blind in my right eye today."