Tagged with: disability family health life
In Sickness and in Health…
We didn’t actually say those words in our vows, I guess we figured it was kind of a “given”. We were married so it just comes with the territory; kind of like the weeds in your yard when you buy a house- you just have to deal with it. And we’ve had our share of sickness but nothing too major (unless you might count the tummy issues the hubs had last summer).
Well, this past weekend the hubs decided to test my love for him. It was a typical Saturday. He was out back making things with man toys, as all men like to do, and I was inside doing our taxes when all of a sudden I heard my name called in a manner that didn’t implicate that I should take my time getting there. As my heart sunk just a little, I dropped what I was doing and ran to the back deck. There in the middle of the yard next to the table saw, sat my husband holding his hand in the air with a fair amount of blood! He said, “I cut my hand”… so knowing my phone was inside I yelled back,” Is it something I can handle or do I need to call 911. He looks back at his hand for a split second and then responds… CALL 911!
So I sprang into action. I ran and grabbed my phone while simultaneously dialing 911 and getting a towel and ice out of the freezer – impressive, I know. But we’ve all seen the TV shows when the appendage is severed you have to get it on ice as soon as possible if there is going to be any chance of reattachment. 911 called, I run back out to him, wrap his fingers in the ice and towel and realize fingers are still attached, at least for the most part, and think well, that’s a bonus! As the hubs holds his fingers, I run around getting ready for the fire truck to arrive; throw the dog inside, clear a path etc. Fire truck arrives as the neighbors stare on and the firemen head to the back to assess the situation. One fireman is attending to the fingers as another is asking me questions. I realize once we get past the; Name, Age, and Birthday, I know pretty much nothing… so much for our 4 years of marriage. If that had been a test I would have failed. Social security number – I don’t know. Is he allergic to anything- ah, I don’t know? Good thing he was conscious and could answer his own questions. I did however explain to them that I was sorry we had to call them; I just couldn’t get him in my truck by myself since he couldn’t help me transfer. They said, “No problem, paramedics are on their way,” and they were glad I called. A few minutes later the paramedics show up and it’s two girls… not tiny girls but still just two girls and I think well that isn’t going to work… So the firemen get him all bandaged up and move him over to the stretcher and the hubs says,” I’ll help as much as I can but I don’t have much”. So they immediately do the first thing everyone always does when they try to help move him and pick up his one good arm… there goes any chance of help he could have given. Then they count 1…2 …3 and no one moves… It’s as if they were waiting for my husband to stand up and slide over. So they all kind of awkwardly look at each other and I was like, yeah, he actually needs that wheelchair he’s sitting in – it’s not just for looks… ok maybe I didn’t say that but come on people .. you see the wheelchair… we told you he is a paraplegic… and that the only reason we called is because I can’t transfer him alone…you are going to have to transfer him… so they grab a few more firemen. I grab his legs and we count it off once again and get him onto the stretcher and off they go.
Once we all are at the ER it became real obvious we were not the most urgent case… Over 40 minutes before he got a bed which meant he just got to hang out in the hallway on a stretcher… then it was another 2 or 3 hours, yes I said HOURS, before they got any type of pain medication in him or attended to his finger…. Another hour and they took x-rays and another hour before they actually gave him morphine. Somewhere in there the first doc comes in and is kind of just asking questions looking very tentative and then says, “ I just need to take a look at it”. So he starts to take off the dressing which we all know once blood has started to dry into the dressing the two have become one flesh (pun intended) and it is going to be painful. Not to mention the tip of his finger looked liked raw hamburger meat when they put it on. So he just starts tugging and pulling – no drugs, no numbing just goes at it while I watch my husbands’ face go ghost white. After a few minutes looking he says,” well I am not really the ER doc I’m just on rotation so we will have to let the dr. take a look at it…” WHAT? That was all for nothing? A Few hours later the “real” doctor comes in and is going through his chart and asks,” Any previous surgeries or anything?” And my husband answers” Yes I broke my back and have a fusion from T11 to L3.” Doctor replies, “So you are all good now no problems, legs ok?” Now, I realize that not everyone lives in my world where we see spinal cord injuries everyday but HE IS A DOCTOR…. So with as much normalcy that I could muster (and not just pure shock) I say,” No he’s paralyzed- Legs not so good if you mean do they work and all!” And think to myself, -Oh boy, it’s going to be a long night!
Eventually, after going back and forth, they decide that he didn’t hit his bone severely enough to have to shave down the bone and they are just going to put in stitches…lots and lots of stitches. It’s amazing how they can take raw hamburger meat and turn it back into some resemblance of a finger tip! Total props to our stitches doc who also happened to come equipped with lots of pain meds- we thank you!
All in all he cut his fingers around 1:00 or 1:30 in the afternoon and we got home from the ER at 10 PM. It was a long day but the fun was only just beginning for us. The hubs is now 3 appendages down…there’s not a whole lot you can do for yourself with only one working appendage. Think about it- try to name one thing you do with only one appendage… and even if you can, you probably only got to that position or place because you used more than one! Pushing in a chair with only one hand just makes for lots of circles! But, together he and I managed to get him on the couch and there he remained for almost 24 hours. Too afraid to go to bed and not hear him in the middle of the night, he slept on one couch while I slept on the other. The second evening we managed a little more movement including a wash cloth sink bath, getting out of the same blood stained clothes, and getting into bed. It took me about all of 2 minutes to realize I was not cut out to be a nurse or personal care attendant… mercy…compassion… patience… nope, not this girl!( Your deodorant might not be on the way you do it but you’re lucky to be wearing any in my eyes )
We are now 4 days in … things are looking a little bit better… but if my school lesson doesn’t quite make sense or it looks like I might be wearing sweat pants to the office or we have chicken fingers for the 5th night in a row for dinner or the house is looking a little messy… I am just going to have to deal with it. Because no matter how full my plate gets I still have four working appendages so I’ve got nothing to complain about here!