Injuries can happen at any point in time. Whether it be someone else's doing or the fault of the injured person, there's just no way to get around them. One thing for sure is with any injury, there's bound to be an interesting story behind it. Even if the story itself doesn't bode too well for the wounded person.
People on Reddit and Quora share the dumbest way they've been injured. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I was 14 and camping one fine weekend in April in a state forest in Connecticut. My friend Marty had brought a hatchet, which had just been honed to razor-sharpness. It was in the morning and we were getting a fire going to cook breakfast. We each took turns with the hatchet to chop up some firewood.
I took a green tree limb and propped it up so that it was suspended on top of two other branches on the ground. This put the green limb about 6 or 12 inches off the ground. I took the hatchet over my head and swung down to chop the green limb.
But here’s the thing: a green piece of wood is very springy. So when the axe hit the limb, instead of severing the piece in two, it just bent the limb, which then sprung back up. And as the blade came back up, it twisted from pointing down to pointing to sideways — towards me.
Remember Newton’s law of physics that says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? So the blade come up with as much force as I had applied on the way down and hit me in the knee cap, creating a wound that was 3-inch wide (about 7.5 centimeters) across.
And it was deep. Blood began flowing. Marty, ever the boy scout, grabbed a shirt or something to create a tourniquet. But this was not of much use.
Now, my buddies and I were about a mile in the woods, off a very rutted dirt road. One of them had to take his bike and ride down to get my Dad.
Dad was, not surprisingly, just a tad angry when he picked me up and put me in the car.
He took me to the hospital ER center and they placed me on an operating table.
As they prepped me for a little emergency surgery, I could hear the nurses and other staff saying, 'Do you smell woodsmoke?'
I still had on my camping clothes.
Well, I was lucky. I had narrowly missed hitting the tendon, according to the ER doc. About 20 stitches later, and I was good to go.
That was 50 years ago. I still have the scar."
"Got a brand-new chef knife as a gift for completing a cooking course at a local soup kitchen. First time I used it, I was dicing up some potatoes for dinner and wasn't paying attention. This resulted in my hand slipping and driving the knife through three fingers on my non-dominant hand.
The last thing I wanted to do was go to the hospital, and since I'm first aid certified, I just dealt with the wound myself. That being said, the cuts were quite deep and really should have been stitched up. So I ended up losing a bit of blood while waiting for it to clot, and ended up passing out and smacking my head on the kitchen floor quite hard.
My wife (who had no idea this had occurred as she was sleeping) woke up just a few seconds before I passed out. As soon as she saw my bloody, fat carcass hit the floor, freaked out, ran to help me, tripped over her own feet and broke 3 toes."
"When I was a young kid, I had this pair of hand-me-down sweatpants that were way too big for me. I could pull them up over my shoulders, and I just looked like a pair of legs with a head on top. My family thought it was too funny so I would put them on to get a laugh.
Anyway, one night this babysitter I had a crush on came over. I got in my little boy head that if I did my sweatpants schtick I could impress her. No surprise, she found it hilarious so I started to run around my house to try to make her laugh more.
Well, I went around corner in the hallway and slipped and fell over. Thing is, I didn't have any way of catching myself since my arms were stuck inside my sweatpants. I fell hard against the molding and broke my cheek. My sitter was horrified as my cheek swelled up to the size of a baseball.
This was before cellphones and she couldn't get a hold of my parents at the restaurant. So we had to drive to there and interrupt my parents' date night because of this incident. It was the last time she babysat for us, and the last time I put on those sweatpants."
"It was winter time, and I was visiting my parents and brothers. I'd just come inside and started to pull off my boots when my mom and I heard this tearing and clunking sound come from my foot. My mom freaked and asked what I'd done, but I didn't yet know anything was wrong and it was barely sore. I went to put my weight on it and just dropped. So I started to get up again while saying I must've sprained it again and I just couldn't put my full weight on it.
After a few hours, my foot swelling so bad there was zero chance I could physically put my boot back on. So, my parents convinced me to go to the hospital. Like an idiot, I said I didn't want to ruin our day so I'd go later. Since it was my right foot, I obviously couldn't drive so my dad took me.
At the hospital none of the nurses, doctors or x-ray technicians could believe my story of what happened. Both my dad and I had to explain it repeatedly. When the x-rays came back, it turns out it wasn't sprained. I had a bone beneath my ankle just completely destabilize, slip out of its normal spot, and tear muscles. I only became concerned once several nurses and doctors not assigned to me came it to look at it because it was so unusual, and they heard about 'that girl with the freaky bones.'"
"I was very sporty when I was young, played rugby from the age of six until 16/17 or so. I was also very quick, not country level sprinter but borough/school level kind of speed. I loved most sports and had a good arm for throwing sports, overall sporty kid. Well once school sports day, I got accidentally put into the senior high jump competition when I should have been in the one below (Middle). A challenge is a challenge though.
The very first jump, I was up and the landing mat was literally about five centimeters below the bar. It was easy marks, so even the non sports types would have a score of sorts. I ran up and casually cleared it by a good bit but it was my first time trying the Frosby Flop... Not expecting the mat to be so high, my shoulder kinda caught on it and my knees came flying into my face. My right knee hit me square on the nose, breaking it head on impact. I sat at the side of the mat, not wanting anyone to see my embarrassing mistake but there was no hiding it; my white sports shoes were already splattered with blood. It was a like a tap. I'd say the stream was between 5 and 10 centimeters from my nose before it actually broke off into drips it was bleeding so much.
I did all the usual things, couldn't do the sprint which was up next, annoying as I'd won it the year before and purposely asked if I could go against the schools older lads. I managed to stop the bleeding after about 30 minutes. I'd put my name down for just about everything that day and had refused any medical attention thus far. Just taking the advice on what to do to stop the bleeding. As it had stopped, I actually thought I'd compete in the discus as originally planned. I've done discus before and knew I'd have a good chance, as I'd already broken the school record for the javelin in my previous school and won inter schools competitions in it. I give it a really fierce go and that final push of exertion, this massive bouncy some snot but mostly clot came shooting out of my nose. As I was bending forward pretty much went all the way to the ground, the bleeding started again.
That's when I agreed to go to the hospital to get it sorted out."
"I was seven and stupid. My dad and brother were playing badminton, and I was angry I wasn't allowed to play with them. In hindsight, it was probably because I never played by the rules and loved to smack my brother with my racquet. But this time, I really wanted to play and neither my brother nor my dad were giving me the time of day. So I decided to be the badminton net.
I ran between them and tried to grab the shuttlecocks as they flew from one side to another.
Eventually my brother decided to smash, and the shuttlecock rammed straight to my mouth and knocked two of my bottom teeth off.
The sheer force of the shuttlecock colliding with my face sent my bottom gum pressing against my teeth, which fell off, leaving a gaping hole where my bottom gum was.
I can't describe it properly. If you pried open my bottom lip and looked down, there would be a hole there. My gum scraped itself off, basically. My dad and brother sheepishly brought me straight to my mum.
'What happened? WHAT HAPPENED? Are you as stupid as you look?!? And you … you two! Why did you two just stand there?! I can't believe you didn't stop this one. Were you just looking for trouble? Leave, LEAVE!' She screamed like a banshee.
All this while I was already in pain, right? And my mum then grabbed me and poured out some adult liquid onto a cotton pad, and relentlessly pressed it on the bleeding hole in my gum.
Oh my god. To this day, I cannot describe the sheer amount of pain that I felt that day. It was excruciating. I was screaming and crying, crying and screaming, trying to get the pain to just stop.
In response all my mum did was snap and say, 'Why are you crying? You asked for this. Now stop crying.'
Yeah, not much sympathy there. Eventually the bleeding stopped, but oh lord did I learn a number of lessons that day.
I developed a bit of an aversion to any sport involving racquets and balls and nets. I could never really truly enjoy playing squash, tennis or badminton from that day onwards."
"Picture a somewhat overly confident, but loving, fifth grade student outside her house during a snowstorm. Now, imagine a mother warning her kid not to climb the icy bulkhead and slide back down in her winter boots.
That stupid eleven year old child was, of course, yours truly.
The snow, upon landing on the metal bulkhead doors, would melt and freeze in place; creating a makeshift ice skating rink to play on. After hearing the ruckus I was causing outside, my mother decided to come out and investigate what all the commotion was. She watched me slide down the bulkhead, for what had to be my fiftieth time, through the foggy window of the entry door. I pretended not to notice and scrambled back up to continue my fun. She came outside and stood on the deck for a few moments, watching me, before telling me to stop before I hurt myself. I was having too much fun though, and begged her to watch and see how harmless this simple activity was!
My mother agreed to allow me to keep going a few more times because supper was almost ready, and she needed me to help her peel potatoes. I climbed back up, for what was to be my final pass, and slid back down; this time bumping my boot on the door handle. I stumbled down and lost my balance on a wet patch of newly formed ice. I threw my right arm out to break my fall and a pain like I had never felt shot up my arm.
My mom must have thought I was joking around because when I looked up she was laughing. Her laughter immediately ceased when she noticed the tears welling up in my eyes. I've never been one to cry, so she knew this was serious. She realized it had to be extremely serious when I skipped supper to ice my wrist.
That night we made a visit to the emergency room and I had my first x-ray taken. I had sprained my wrist and the doctor told me if the sprain had been a tiny bit bigger, my bone would have broken. I spent the next six weeks with a baby blue cast on my arm; showering with a bread bag over my cast and writing with my non-dominant hand.
Yup, I was a dumb kid."
"I was 17, fresh out of high school and working at the local, small-town grocery store for the summer. It was my first job and I was brand new at it, doing menial labor.
My immediate supervisor, an enemy from my high school class, who’d worked at that store for several years, was in charge of training me. One task in particular was filling the customer-facing drink cooler from the stock in the walk-in cooler. Most of the drinks were in nice, neat, consistent packs of cans that we load up on a hand truck and wheel out.
But there was a small section of exotic drinks where we kept only a few bottles of any particular brand, and every brand had a different size and shape bottle. For those, my supervisor taught me to fill up an empty cardboard box with whatever was needed, and then holding it in both hands, kick the inner latch of the walk-in cooler’s door to shove it open.
My injury occurred the first time I tried to do it myself. It turns out that since I’m a lot shorter than he was, I missed the darn latch with my foot.
The door didn’t open, and my left knee twisted and collapsed on me, and I fell to the cold concrete floor. Then the box of bottles fell on top of the knee that’d slammed onto the floor.
When I stood up I could barely walk. Within a few minutes, my knee was massively swollen up. Fortunately it was close to the end of my shift.
The next day I saw the doctor who told me to stay home from work until the swelling went down. He said he could tap it, but didn’t want to risk the possibility of infection, at least, not for a teenager’s minimum wage job. I ended up missing nine days of work, more than the total number of days I’d actually worked since I started the job.
Soon after I returned to work I hurt the same knee again. Doing almost the same thing again… This second time I was filling up a hand truck with cases of cans, up to almost the height of my head.
When I was ready to take it out to the customer-facing side, I got behind the hand truck, stood on the axle and leaned backwards. My left leg touched the cold concrete floor, but the heavy hand truck kept falling backwards and didn’t stop.
I missed another couple of days of work because my knee was swollen again. But it wasn’t as long this time. And after that the rest of the summer went smoothly enough.
That knee still gives me problems today. Every couple of years I’ll be doing something it’ll just give way on me. Recovery is a lot faster than that first time, fortunately."
"I was in 9th grade and I was about 14 or 15. About 1983 or 84. I had been watching this one dude in our P.E. class monkey around on the basketball hoop backboard supports. He was maybe a year older than me. Almost every day, he’d get up there before class and do this.
The supports were in the form of four round metal tubes about three or four inches in diameter, spaced evenly so that the supports would come out from the back of the backboard into a couple other bars that joined the one pole jutting from the black top of the exercise area. The exercise area was basically a very wide road with white and yellow lines on it separating basket ball ‘courts’ from other areas.
Anyway, he would jump up on this thing and swing around like a monkey. I’d admired this guy’s physical abilities. Very athletic. It seemed to attract the admiration of some girls across the yard, who were being instructed by a different coach.
So one cool morning, we’re awaiting the coach to show up to start taking attendance. The athletic dude had gotten into a fight the day before and had been suspended for a while. Well, he wasn’t doing it today so I thought I’d practice. After several attempts, I discovered that I couldn’t even jump high enough to reach the bottom-most bars!
But, over the next couple weeks, I’d developed more leg strength (and technique) to make the vertical jump successfully. I was about 10 or 12 feet up I think. I had my hands hooked around the bottom bar.
I started swinging. I had my eyes on the bar directly across from me separated by a couple-few feet. After a few swings, I let go of the first bar with both hands and hooked the second bar.
I made it! I thought to myself.
So I turned around and started swinging again. A few swings. Release. I fell short a couple inches of the bar and almost horizontally to the pavement below.
I must’ve reached out toward the ground in an instinctual attempt to cushion the fall because, when I went ‘splat’ on the pavement, I broke my left wrist. Though, I didn’t realize it immediately.
After I ‘landed’, several of the guys in the class clustered around me and, my friend at the time, goes 'Robert, are you okay?'
I brought up my hand which was starting to hurt a bit, and noticed that my wrist was misshapen.
I very calmly said, 'I don’t think my wrist is supposed to look like this. Could someone go get the coach, please?'
My hand started quivering as if it were the only cold part of my body. I was so embarrassed.
The coach drove me to the hospital where my Mom worked, and I went through a series of tests because of the way I fell.
Apparently, my wrist (the ulna specifically) took a good portion of the energy of the drop, followed by my butt (which wasn’t all that padded at the time - I had been super-skinny) and then my left elbow which, I discovered later, had a big raspberry on it from the impact. I hadn’t hit my head because I had reflexively tilted my head so that my chin was almost touching my chest.
They tested for nerve damage up my left side and down my right side, poking dull needles onto my skin, scrapping the bottoms of my feet, etc.
'Do you feel that? Good. How about this? Okay. And, how about this? NO?! Well that’s good because I wasn’t doing anything!' He laughed.
Doctors and their sense of humor. He made me laugh, though. They determined there were no internal injuries, and that I could just take this sling around my arm/wrist and wait for ‘forever’ in a waiting room with my Mom for the next few hours.
Finally, we get called in to see the orthopedic doctor and his redheaded, very attractive nurse. I don’t remember the doctor’s name at all, but the nurse’s name was 'Valerie.'
Valerie guided me gently to the exam ‘bed’ which was probably as high as mid-thigh. I laid down, looking up at her.
Oh, the fantasies I was having. My mind forgot about the throbbing in my wrist and wandered over to the other throbbing part of my body, trying to ‘get it under control’. Then, she started an IV and injected Demerol. This was my very first experience with being in an altered state.
Doctor said, 'Look into her eyes. That might distract you from the pain.'
Valerie: 'Those aren’t my eyes.'
I flirted with Valerie while she held me down while the doctor grabbed hold of my wrist and put his foot in my left arm pit. He pulled hard so the bones popped back into place so they’d mend properly. Barely felt a thing.
Then, they put my arm in a cast from just below the shoulder down to my hand. Six months they said. I remember that much.
I don’t remember much of the trip home after that."
"When I was one and half, I was one of those kids that couldn't stay still. I always had to move, to jump around, to do anything to make my mom's life more difficult. On Christmas eve it was no different. So when my uncle, sitting next to my mom, lifted his glass, I didn't know anything better than to jump around and land face-first in that glass.
I ended up having a quite large piece of glass in my head, sticking out right above my eyebrow. There was a big panic, and I was screaming. My mom didn't think straight and pulled the glass out, so blood was pouring all over my baby face, my grandma screamed we should call an ambulance… As far as I've been told, it was pure chaos.
We went to the doctor and I got stitched up. I fortunately remember none of it."
"As kid, I started mowing the lawn at 10 years old. The lawnmower was a piece of trash, and the problem was the cut grass constantly got stuck between the blade and the bag attached to the back. Being a ginger, I don't do great in the sun over prolonged periods of time. To beat the heat, I started my weekly chore early in the morning. Unfortunately, this meant the grass was still a bit wet which added to the problem.
My stepdad gave me a wooden stick to move the grass along until the momentum of the dull blade was enough to push the grass into the bag. I would have to hold onto the dead man handle with one hand, unclip the bag with the other, grab the stick, then hold the door to the blade open with my left foot. I would then use the stick to move the grass along. This got tiring after a while, so I zip tied the dead man switch. Then I ditched the stick and started using my hands to move the grass along. I found that if stuck my fingers in just far enough, I could get the grass out while the blade was moving. I must have been doing this for three years.
One Sunday morning, I stuck my hand in a little too far. I felt a sudden painful zip across my fingers. Luckily it made such a loud noise that my neighbor heard it from his garage across the street. He saw me holding my right hand staring at it and ran over asking if I was ok. I told him I didn't really know. Somehow I still had all my fingers but they were beaten badly, bleeding from a few different cuts. We went in the house, cleaned, and bandaged my hands. In a few hours, three finger nails fell off from the trauma. My whole was throbbing, almost unbearably. A couple ibuprofen helped with that. I went to football practice the next day with a taped up hand and did what I could to run routes and catch. I didn't do too bad, considering everything that had happened."