My Louisa Musgrove Moment

My Louisa Musgrove Moment

I love the part where Louisa Musgrove falls off the Cobb in Persuasion, but I must admit that I’ve had my doubts about it. I mean, how does a girl hit her head hard enough to go into a coma when she’s jumping down five or six steps? Wasn’t Captain Wentworth coordinated enough to keep her upright? Also, did Jane Austen consult a doctor before she wrote this part?

The funny thing is, though, that I have a crazy injury story like Louisa’s.

My crazy injury story took place three weeks before my wedding. Eric, who’s now my husband, took me up to a friend’s wedding reception, which was about an hour away from where we lived. After the reception, Eric was so excited to show me “this great rope swing” he’d played on with his friends.

The rope was attached to a tall tree on the edge of a steep hill.  Eric and I took turns holding onto the rope and letting it swing us over the wide expanse. It was dark, so I couldn’t tell what exactly we were swinging over, but I could tell it was quite a drop to the ground– ten feet or so.

The rope was up so high that I couldn’t grip it with my legs, only my arms. After I’d taken a couple of turns, my arms were starting to feel it. “I don’t think I’d better swing again,” I said. “My arms are tired.”

My future husband, who perhaps had listened to one too many motivational speakers, replied, “Come on. You can do it one more time.”

Well, I did it one more time, and my arms must have given out.

The next thing I knew, I was lying in the midst of a pile of junk, and Eric was leaning over me, asking me if I was okay.

Once he got me back up to the car, he discovered I had a big gash in my chin. I had to get stitches, which made for an interesting look on my wedding day three weeks later. You can see the scar a little in the picture I’ve included.

But what makes for the best story was that I couldn’t remember why we were there or what we’d done that day. I did, however, remember that there was really bad music at the wedding reception we’d just attended.

“Are we getting married?” I asked. I had a vague recollection of something like that.

“Yes,” Eric answered. He says he would have said yes even if he hadn’t proposed yet.

“I’m glad,” I said.

It sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? But it really happened. Just like it really happened to Louisa. Oh wait! That was fiction . . . I think.

Do you have any crazy injury stories that are stranger than what you could find in a book? Please let us know about them in the comments.

17 Responses to My Louisa Musgrove Moment

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I always wondered about the Louisa Musgrove moment as well but I’ve heard a lot of stories of people being injured due to unusual circumstances. I’m quite clumsy so I often end up walking into things and getting injured.

  2. Oh my! At least it all worked out in the end. My husband and I were friends for months before we started dating, and I remember that we started dating right around the time I sprained my ankle playing tennis and he took such good care of me. (I was in college and lived an hour away from my family, so it was sweet that he stepped up like that.)

  3. Oh yeah, trust me that head injuries can be really bad. Poor Louisa! And poor you, Rebecca! How scary that must have been! But like all good crisis moments, once all is well it makes for a fascinating story! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Sharon. You’re a nurse, so I’ll trust you. I have always been skeptical of amnesia stories, as many authors use it as a crutch, particularly on TV. But I’ve heard so many crazy amnesia stories from friends over the years that I’m beginning to believe everything is possible.

  4. Rebecca, thank you for the interesting post! I’m not accident prone so no stories to share.

  5. Great story, Rebecca! Most of my significant injuries were when I was a child or adolescent – I’m not a chicken, per se, but I do like to be well strapped in and harnessed if something seems risky. Call me overly cautious, but I’m still here. 🙂

  6. I have the same mental image of Louisa’s accident as PP J.W. Garrett does. I always think of her launching herself AT him over THERE and closing her eyes as she jumped and him dashing to try and get to her except gravity takes over and she and the stones have an intimate moment.

    I do have a dumb stunt moment and I have no physical scars for it but…LOL I was dating a guy that was a bit of a livewire, always running and going over things for some reason or other. I never had ran anywhere at that point but felt the push to keep up. (insert eye roll). He was climbing onto rails and cement walls and jumping over bushes and such and goaded me into climbing up some stairs and jumping over a hedge. LOL The problem was the other side of the hedge dropped off, oh maybe 4 or 5 feet, and I hadn’t a clue. So I climb up and launch myself over. I landed rather unceremoniously on the ground with no breath, a severely sprained ankle and a knot on my forehead the size of an orange. He laughed and laughed at my “botched landing” and I felt too poorly to kill him. I survived. The relationship, however, did not. 🙂

  7. That really is a great story, fit for a book 🙂 I haven’t had anything like that happen. I’m a klutz, so I get a lot of scrapes and bruises, but I know I am, so I don’t try anything so exciting as rope swinging 🙂

  8. The pictures I’ve seen of the Cobb make it look higher than five or six feet but . . yeah, I’ve always wondered about that concussion too!

    My weird accident moment: I was taking care of a friend’s one year old Kane Corso dog, which is a lot like a Rottweiler. It was winter and our backyard, which had a gentle downward incline, was covered in snow that had congealed into ice. The dog needed to go out. I put her leash on her and opened the back door, at which point she saw a neighbor’s dog going by and took off at full speed. I was desperately holding onto that leash, with both hands, as she pulled me out the door and down the slippery slope. My feet could find nothing solid to grip. The dog pulled me behind her like she was a boat and I was on water skis! I finally sat down on my butt and got pulled down the rest of the hill, then got pulled forwards and landed up splat! on my face.

    And that’s how my finger got broken. Not my nose, or my arm, or my leg. Just my finger. It wasn’t even enough to miss work. 🙁

    • That’s a good point about the Cobb. I have never been there to see it, so maybe I’m imagining it wrong.

      That’s a great story. My dog is very strong, so I can see him doing the same thing to me. Sorry you broke your finger.

  9. When I think of Louisa’s accident… I don’t think of her jumping straight down. I see her doing a swan dive into the good Captain’s arms… only she miscalculated and didn’t give him enough time to get into place in order to catch her. Therefore, her feet were not in a position so she could land gracefully. The silly girl probably had her eyes closed, as she thought of the romance of being in his arms.

    I can’t think of any injuries that I have sustained or I don’t remember [sorry]. However, I did have to have major surgery several months prior to my wedding, so I was not at my best. Mother demanded my doctor’s approval before she would allow us to continue. It was bad.

    I’m glad you were OK… I hope when you tell you husband something… he will now listen. Men don’t think about things like that.

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