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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I swear I wasn't running with them

It began, as so many accidents do, with a great idea.

Here's a little context before we get to the part where blood is pooling on the ground around my feet. I'm teaching a drama class at my children's school and, as is the case in many small schools, that means in addition to directing the show, I am also in charge of costumes, props, lighting and sets.  This can get pricey so I look for ways to cut costs. So, instead of buying chicken wire to make the frame for a paper mache tree, I decided to recycle the light-up reindeers that stopped working this Christmas. You've seen them. They are made of white wire and have Christmas lights clipped on them. We had three and I figured if I got the Christmas lights off I could reshape the wire. Nice idea, yes. And many of the lights easily snapped right off but then there were a few. Those few were attached by plastic ties, the kind that they strap toys in with. I needed scissors to cut through them but it was hard to get the blade of the scissors underneath the tightly wrapped plastic so I shoved really hard and wham, scissor blades into my index finger. Very warm blood began welling out of the cut at an astonishing rate.

I cupped my one hand over the other to try to catch it but then found myself in a quandary. Since I stood in the garage, I had to get back into the house to do any wound care. Blood was beginning to spill over my palms into large nickel size droplets on the floor. I couldn't grab a dirty rag because well, it was dirty and an open wound. I also didn't want to get blood all over my welcome mat. I'm not saying that was the most rational decision, just giving you my train of thought. In my defense though, I really like that welcome mat and it is textured so there is no way I could have ever known it was truly clean.

So I walk over to the door, blood still occasionally splatting as it goes over my hand. I lean over and kick the door, hoping to draw the attention of my children. The dog comes running, barking, but no one opens the door, so I kick it again. This leaning over and kicking motion causes much more blood to spill on the garage floor, but not on the door mat so I'm still feeling okay. I kick again and again, this is where the blood began pooling around my feet. I start feeling woozy, not because of actual blood loss, just because it looks like a lot of blood loss and it is my blood. My blood is not supposed to be on the floor. Finally, when I'm thinking I am going to have to leave horror film worthy hand prints on that door, my daughter opens up, becomes incredibly solicitous upon seeing the blood and helps me get in without staining the welcome mat.

My husband comes home soon after this and insists I go to the emergency room for stitches. The blood flow has mostly stopped by this time and I have examined the wound. It is a pretty small cut, despite the original blood output so I argue until he says, "if you don't need a stitch, I will run naked through the hospital."

So now it is a win-win for me. Either I really did need a stitch or he has to follow through with that. So, fast forward three hours. I am sitting in the waiting room at the ER, a paper towel wrapped around my swelling finger, with all sorts of scary maladies around me. I tried to make the children promise not to breathe while in the waiting room before making my husband take them home for fear of their contamination. I said I would call him when finished. The blood has mostly stopped at this point and I am feeling like an idiot for being in the ER.

They finally call me backand the doctor asks, "Why is your finger swelling?"

I shrug, not feeling especially medically qualified to answer this. All I know is that it isn't really bleeding, it just feels like I can't bend it and is turning blue. It seems I do not need a stitch after all. I have nicked a blood vessel so she tells the nurse to give me a tetanus shot, clean the wound, bandage it, and splint it for a few days so it won't break open again. She says, "I'm not going to stitch it because your primary risk here is infection and if that happens they will need to get in there." I try not to think that through and make a self-promise to faithfully take my antibiotic.

Then the treatment begins. Since humor is my primary defense mechanism, I am one of those people who cracks jokes (probably very bad ones) when I'm uncomfortable. So this poor nurse had to yuck it up along with me as I joke first about the shot (You any good at giving those? ha, ha) to the cleaning (wow, that really hurts, said with a big smile on my face) and finally the putting on of the splint which is painful enough to silence me. Hey, maybe that was why he squeezed it so hard.

So, with splinted finger, I escape to the outside, away from the germs, and call my husband to pick me up.  He cruises into the lot and I climb in. As he drives away, I remember I didn't get a stitch and his part of the bargain but he refuses to turn around. Oh well, I probably would have had to bail him out of jail and since my writing finger was in a splint it would be hard to sign the bail bond papers. Maybe it all worked out for the best. Monday and Wednesday posts had already been written thank goodness because I can just type again today.  

11 comments:

  1. What finger was it again? How did you even type? I did have my pinky incident last week and I'm still struggling. I took pictures with the intention of blogging about it in some detail, but then decided that I should probably not do that.

    Stay away from scissors. Glad you're going to survive.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. the other comment wasn't too exciting but I had a few typos in it. Anyway, it was my index finger. I think having it immobilized for a few days really helped. My kids have said they are going to safetyproof the house for me.

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  2. What is the chance that you'd nick a blood vessel? Good aim!

    I'm glad you didn't need stitches. I'm sure your husband will pay his bet back someday. :)

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    1. Yeah, at least it is something I can hold over his head.

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  3. Glad you're all right. My wife would've worried about the welcome mat as well.

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    1. the more I hear about her the more I think your wife and I would really get along.

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  4. Reminds me of a time when my brother almost cut his finger off cutting cardboard with a steak knife.

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    1. Yikes that sounds worse. My cut looks very unimpressive for the amount of blood spilled.

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  5. You know you probably couldn't have done that if you'd tried :-)

    Hope it's healing nicely.

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    1. much better now, thanks, but you are right.

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