Monday, July 28, 2008

Adventures in First Hand Research

by Annette Dashofy

My husband absolutely hates it when I blog about him. However, considering I have spent the past few days at the hospital—driving him to the emergency department and then visiting him—and as such, have nothing else to use for material for this blog, he’s outta luck. If you don’t want to be the subject of my blogging, quit doing stupid shit. Darling.

Flash back to Thursday afternoon. I was minding my own business, fixing dinner, and getting ready to go teach two yoga classes. Hubby rolled in from work followed by a buddy who was buying the leftover heating oil from our old furnace (the new heat pump is on back order, thank you very much). The two of them started loading 50 gallon drums of oil onto the buddy’s trailer when something went awry. Hubby came to the door, calling my name in a tone that sounded rather odd. He stood there with one hand wrapped around one finger of the other hand and announced that he had smashed his finger between the drums and broken it.

Sweetheart that I am, my first inclination was to tell him “drive yourself to Med Express. I have to teach yoga.” Then he opened his hand, revealing the finger in question. You know how a ripe grape pops open when you squeeze it? It was kind of like that. Only bloody. Very. Bloody.

Okay. Maybe driving himself to the doctor wasn’t such a good idea.

I whipped out the first aid kit, complete with all the goodies including popsicle sticks for splints. I barely managed to get a couple of gauze sponges around the smashed finger. When I reached for the splinting material, hubby ordered me to just put some tape on it and let’s go.

Later, in the emergency department, they commented on the ugly bandaging job. In my defense, it was the best he would hold still for.

I made some frantic phone calls to line up a substitute yoga teacher and to confirm from Med Express that the hospital was, indeed, the place we should go. Then, after shutting off the stove (no time for supper), we drove to the hospital.

Have I mentioned that I used to be an EMT? Or that my protagonist in my current WIP is a paramedic? Honestly, I don’t need help from my hubby to do the research. I’ve spent plenty of time in the ER (ED, these days…department, not room). However, the doctor was more than happy to let us look at the injury while he cleaned out the excess blood and gook, although he offered some concern that one or the other of us might pass out. Not a problem. It was actually rather interesting.

Bottom line: the middle bone of his left ring finger was in four or five pieces and the tendon was split. He’s had surgery. He’s home with the bones pinned and the finger splinted and bandaged. And he has discovered the joys of Vicodin.

And me? I have a drugged hubby hanging the house for the next week or so. He can’t get that bandage wet and he only has one useable hand. Any suggestions for activities that he can do that will get him out of my hair so I can do some writing?

(FYI, if it was me, I’d be reading, but he’s not big on that particular pastime.)


Anonymous said...

So sorry about your husband's finger!

What happened to the heating oil, by the way?

Annette said...

Thanks, Tory.

Hubby's buddy from work managed to get the rest of the drums loaded by himself. The poor guy looked like he was in shell-shock after the accident, though. I hope HE'S okay. Anyhow, the oil now has a new home.

Annette said...

By the way, our electric company is supposed to cut our power for a couple of hours this morning in the continuing prep work for the back-ordered heat pump, so if I seem to drop out for a while, that's why.

Joyce Tremel said...

All I can say is "OUCH!"

Anonymous said...

Annette, you're a cool head in an emergency. I want you on my team when we choose sides!

I'm a big Med Express fan now. Pneumonia last month, then various unmentionables.... They're quick and expert. Maybe they need you on staff?

Annette said...

Nancy, I wasn't all that cool for a while there. With hubby trying to rush me out the door while I was attempting to locate a substitute yoga instructor, make sure the windows were closed, turn off the stove...I'm glad no one bothered to check MY blood pressure. Once we got to the hospital, though, I was fine.

It made me flash back to my days on the ambulance. On the way to a scene, in the ambulance with lights and sirens going, my adrenlin would be pumping out of my ears. But once we arrived and settled in to work, you had to be calm and focused.

And it's always a whole other matter when the patient is a family member or friend.

Annette said...

And, Joyce, yeah. Ouch just about covers it.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with Ray's handling of the situation. I broke a finger once -- just a hairline fracture -- and I was having trouble staying conscious! Fingers are very sensitive to pain. That he could even come into the house seeking help says a lot.

That said, I'm impressed with you, too. I was in the ER with my ex- once when he'd cut off the end of a finger, and I had to sit down. It's rough when somebody you love is showing all those bloody parts beneath the skin we'd rather never think about.

Annette said...

Gina, you need to understand, this is NOT the first injury we've gone through together. He does tend to be a bit accident prone.

The worst didn't even involve blood. When he had a kidney stone (serious OUCH) I drove him to the ER while he was alternately screaming "HURRY UP!" and "SLOW DOWN!" scattered with a mulitude of expletive deleteds.

Well, the power company just pulled in, so I'm going unplugged. Will be back shortly!

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I remember using that tone with my wife after I bumped into our bike hanging on the wall of the garage. The came off their hooks and the teeth of the crankset (you know, the pointy things attached to the pedals) burried itself in my calf. It fell in such a way that I couldn't lift the bike to free myself. So I used that "Honey? I could use some help over here." tone.

I told her to get a big towel to wrap it in because I thought as I lifted the bike up, I thought it would bleed... A LOT. Surprising that there isn't a lot of vascular activity there and when I unwrapped it at the hospital, there wasn't much blood at all.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, Annette...

Good for you, knowing how to handle it. I pass out, and I'm not even the one with the injury. Serious wuss. I'll never understand why reading and writing about crime appeals to me, since I abhor violence and faint at the sight of blood.

You know, operating the remote only takes one good hand. Or would hubby get into listening to books on tape?

Annette said...

Ha! The power is back on.

Jennie, operating the remote control is all he's done for three days now. At least today he's outside, heckling our electrician.

Books on tape might work. We do those in the car on long trips. Thanks for the suggestion.

And, Will, thank goodness your wife was there to rescue you! I keep wondering what would have happened if I'd already left for yoga class when this occurred. I don't think his buddy would have been able to deal with it. He looked like he needed some oxygen himself.