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Monday, February 17, 2014

#3 Why I'm Not a Nurse

Originally published on 01/07/2012


*Warning* If you are squeamish like me or prone to preggo-nausea, you may want to stop reading now. It's your call. But really - maybe you should stop reading.

We had a lovely three day getaway in the mountains this past weekend. My favorite in-laws watched our children and B Daddy and I snuck up to a cabin with my parents and sister/brother in law to relax, play games and eat. This was our 8th annual trip over MLK weekend and it was perfect.

B Daddy brought his bike. He never used his bike. But he brought it. Along with two fishing rods and a paddle board. The man has never happened upon an adventure unprepared in his life.

So after the kids were in bed late Monday night, we were busily working to put away the mountain of outdoor gear that we had taken up with us. I was stowing the fishing gear and B Daddy was pulling his bike down from on top of the car. He was fiddling with the front wheel, trying to lock it back into place when I heard a loud CLANG! followed by a deep sucking intake of breath and turned in time to see B Daddy awkwardly drop his bike, grab his hand and groan as blood dripped down onto the garage floor.

B Daddy is no wimp (and clearly I'm no hero) so I gave him a minute or two before addressing the situation. Hey babe....are you ok? Do you need something? You look kinda pale. (I'm thinking he cut himself - like a paper cut - like a really bad paper cut.) Paper towels, he grimaces.  I ran into the kitchen, grabbed a wad of paper towels and prayed my nurse duties were complete for the evening as I hustled back out to the garage. He grabbed the wad I extended and it was my turn to suck in my breath as a gush of bright red blood pooled at his fingertips and soaked the towels quickly.

I am not the nurse in the family. My sister is. And for very good reason.

As I type this I'm sucking my breath in through my teeth and shaking my hand back and forth in the classic ew-ow-oh-my gosh-yuck weak stomached person kind of way. Never mind actually being on the scene. God help the person in need who has the unfortunate luck of my presence as Good Samaritan.

He came in to the sink and ran his hand under warm water until we could finally see what happened. (And by "we" I do mean "he"... I was on the floor in the corner, hugging myself tightly and rocking back and forth.It was not exactly a paper cut. More like a disc brake slice. Across the tip of his finger. Straight through his nail. As in - he now had two very distinctly separate index finger nails. (Pause - frantic hand wringing - full body shiver.) 

I asked from my corner, so what do you think? Is it deep? Should you go to the ER? Do I need to drive you to the hospital? B Daddy dismissed me (after all - not a nurse) with a speculative, what are they going to do? I don't think you can stitch this. He's busily prodding the tip of his finger with a steak knife (oh my gosh we are SO not medical people) and determining that he still has feeling and can move his finger.

Phew. A wave of "no big deal!" relief washed over me and I bravely offered to bandage up the nail, which was accomplished by squinting my eyes and singing This Little Light of Mine to myself. Then I got the man a beer. (I may not be a medical professional, but I'm a VERY qualified wife.) Before turning in for the night B Daddy texted a picture of the nasty finger tip to my sister (always wise to get a second opinion!) and I made sure we re-bandaged the finger so he wouldn't bleed all over our nice white sheets.

Tuesday morning my sister determined (via highly graphic severed nail text message) that B Daddy should seek medical attention. And we discovered some nurses and doctors and hand specialists had slightly different opinions of the disc-brake-sliced finger than we did.

You're shocked.

I was too.

Wednesday morning (aka yesterday) B Daddy went in for SURGERY to remove his nail, clean up the sliced bone (!) and sew back up his nail bed. Is this too gross? It turns out that if you cut your bones, there's a good chance they might get infected. And that, my non-medical professional friends, is a VERY bad thing. Also, sever your nail bed and your nail will never grow past that point. Who knew? Clearly not us.

And so yesterday I had a drugged up hubs at home and two kids who were really excited to watch movies and eat cookies on the couch while climbing on top of Daddy. I was excited B Daddy finally got to see what I do all day.

And today I am once again EXTREMELY grateful for those in our community who did go to medical school. Thank you for the years you spent learning to look at grossly severed body parts. Thank you for putting better-paying jobs on hold so that you could work at urgent care clinics and take care of the lesser-medically inclined.

And most of all, thank you for not disdaining your family members when they text you graphic images at 11pm to ask for a medical opinion. There will be more to come in the future, of that I am certain.


 
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