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Carol Perkins: Riding elevators

Her elevator phobia may not be so rare. And not so misplaced. Others may similar with her, especially after reading this harrowing experience the writer had in a Louisville Hospital lift. 'I still feel the panic of that day and I still hate riding elevators.' she writes. (Trivia question: How many elevators are there in Metcalfe County?)
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Win or lose, UK Blue dominates (UL) in this area Posted April 6, 2014.

By Carol Perkins

Last week I read a funny in the funny paper that reminded me of this story. Two guys were between floors in an elevator with the door open. One said, "I'll climb out and you keep pushing the buttons." (Something like that). I will share what happened to me.

When I say that I am reluctant to ride in an elevator, I genuinely mean I will avoid riding one by myself at all costs unless the alternative is to walk twenty flights of stairs. Sometimes I hesitate, looking busy, until someone else arrives to ride along.

It was just three floors up, but she took elevator, despite usual fears

I was staying with a relative on the third floor of a hospital in Louisville and a friend of mine was very ill on another floor of that same hospital. Normally, I would have walked, but I thought surely hospital elevators were safe, so I took the chance.

I didn't pay any attention to how unnaturally slow the doors opened when it stopped. As I started to step forward, I realized the elevator had stopped about eight inches short of the floor. I had to get out of there!

Doors started closing immediately after opening

Just as I stepped up with my right foot and placed my hands on the opening doors to hurl myself into the corridor, the doors starting closing. Here I was with one leg in the elevator, one on the floor eight inches higher, my arms pushing against each of the closing doors, and my mind screaming, "Get Out!"

By now, my elbows were pressed into my waist from the force of the closing doors, and all I could push with were my hands and wrists. With might I didn't know I had, I shoved those doors hard and fell to the side of safety as the elevator closed behind me, barely leaving my feet attached to my legs.

As I lay sprawled on the hospital floor, a waiting room full of people all shouted at once, "Are you alright? Are you hurt? That's the second time we've seen that happen to someone today! They need to fix that thing!" Not one of them came, however, to help me up.

She told onlookers - strangers - that she was okay. She wasn't

Embarrassed (as one normally is who lands face first on the floor in front of strangers), I poised my shaking body and assured them I was fine. I wasn't. My arms were aching and I just knew my wrists were cracked. My knees threatened to buckle with each step.

I passed the first nurse's station and immediately walked into the room of my friend, trying to act as if nothing had happened. I drew back the bed curtains and a man's feet faced me. What had they done with her? Wrong room. Wrong nurse's station. I was rattled.

Within seconds, I was blubbering to the head nurse about my near-death experience. She insisted I go to the emergency room.

Hospital person said she'd have to fill out a report

"You'll have to fill out a report," she said, "So, where can we find you?"

"I'm going to the next nurses' station."

I fell into my friend's room and within a few minutes a security guard arrived and insisted I go to the emergency room. I was not going to ride an elevator alone to the basement, so a nurse went with me.

Naturally, the emergency room was full of coughing children and families hanging out with sick relatives, so I left. Now "MY" elevator had an "Out of Order" sign on it. The other one was working, but I wasn't going to go alone so I waited and fidgeted until the elevator opened and a man with a mop stepped out. I blurted out, "Would you mind riding up to the third floor with me?"

Taken aback, he evidently decided I was safe and rode with me.

Remembered reading about a man decapitated by elevator doors

"Where have you been?" my relative asked from her bed. "You could have been killed," she gasped after I told my story. I hadn't thought of that until I remembered reading about a man decapitated by elevator doors.

I still feel the panic of that day and I still hate riding elevators. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2014-04-13 05:38:08
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