I should be unpacking boxes and putting things away…but I’d rather tell some more specific stories!
The Story of Jeremy’s Thumb:
It was Cooper’s birthday, Friday, July 20. We woke him up singing happy birthday to him as he smiled sheepishly at us. We let him open a couple of presents that morning, but wanted to wait until Jeremy came back at lunch to open the big one from Grandma Morbelli. So the morning was a pretty normal morning. I even recall telling Cooper that I wasn’t above spanking him on his birthday……
Jeremy came home at lunch and since we could all hardly stand it anymore, we let Cooper open his big present. It was a Harley Davidson tricycle bike (which Daddy had cursed and jostled the evening before trying to put the thing together) complete with helmet, knee pads and elbow pads. The bike is black with flames on it and it has pleather fringe on the handle bars. His helmet and knee pads match it!
When Cooper opened the helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, he immediately wanted it out of the box and on his head. He knew it went with this bike because he loves telling me about the “hat” motorcylists wear when we see them on the highway. So…he wanted it out of the box or “off, Daddy, off!” as he said while patting his head. Of course, the helmet had those evil zip tie things holding it to the packaging. Now at this point, I had walked away and was doing other things somewhere in the vacinity while Jeremy and Grandma putzed with the helmet. I did not know that Jeremy had JUST bought a new knife at the PX and had decided to use it on the zip ties. Just as Marsha was going for the scissors, Jeremy sliced through the zip ties and his thumb. I heard “Hey T” in a very serious tone. I turned around to see blood everywhere and Jeremy gripping his thumb as blood is oozing out of his clenched fingers. Marsha was cool as a cucumber as they headed over to the sink. I on the other hand,…needed a minute to collect myself over all the blood I just saw and not knowing if Jeremy had sliced his whole hand or just knicked it or what. Meanwhile my sweet 4 year-old niece, Ashlynn, is in the kitchen asking us a million questions not realizing what had happened to Uncle Jeremy.
Marsha handed Jeremy a paper towel as he started to run some water on the cut to see how bad it was. He said, “A papertowel isn’t going to do it Mom” but he took it anyway and it was immediately soaked with blood. Ashlynn is still asking questions about nothing in particular and talking up a storm. So I hand Jeremy a washcloth, pick Ash up and give her a new location in the living room, telling her that Uncle Jeremy is hurt and I need her to stay in there and watch Cooper for us. I proceed to grab my keys and my purse and tell Jeremy that we will now be going to the emergency room at Madigan Hospital.
Jeremy beat himself up over what he did as I drove him to the hospital (it’s close here on post). He knew this was bad and he felt pretty dumb. He kept saying a class on knife safety was probably close at hand for him. Once we got there…it was pretty funny. I knew the ER people would move quick but I didn’t realize they’d move that quick. We were seen immediatly and a triage nurse checked us in. She asked Jeremy what he had cut himself with and the dork whips out the knife again – blade open and all. Ugh…..She asked if Jer’s thumb was still bleeding and we said “only one way to find out.” She was a bit concerned when I moved across to the other side of the room. I tried to explain that it had squirted quite a bit before that. So as soon as she took that cloth off…there went the blood. She said “ok then” or something like that. And we rushed into a big ER room. You know the room where gun shot victims and stuff go in – yeah that one. Jer was calm and collect and said it really wasn’t hurting. I told him that it was because his endorphins were kicking in – and I told him all about how those are our natural pain relievers, etc. But when the nurse told him that same thing a few minutes later he’s like “Ohhhhhh.” I reminded him that was exactly what I’d told him a few minutes prior but apparently the nurse was more believeable….
The doc came in a few minutes later – but not before some curious interns had ventured in the room. If you are a Grey’s Anatomy watcher, it was like that. They came in all wanting to see the cut! It was funny because those interns kept hanging around…talking to us, trying not to have to leave so they could see the spurting arterial laceration! Ok…um, where was I? Oh yeah the doc – he was really sweet. He took a look at the thumb and was concerned that in addition to slicing through his thumb severely, he had gotten one of his arteries and possibly broken the bone. So he wanted x-rays of the thumb. We went to x-ray and they took some shots of it. But when that was done they told us to go into the waiting room of the ER…so we did what we were told. Maybe 30 or 45 minutes later (it had been almost 3 hours now) they paged Jeremy. So we went back into the ER and they asked “where did you guys go?” We told them we were sitting in the waiting room like we were told. They just shook their heads. We were apparently supposed to go back into the ER …not the waiting room. (a great reminder that communication between departments is rather important)
The x-rays showed that there was no fracture or broken bone…so now they had to figure out how to fix his thumb. First things first…gotta get it to stop bleeding. Yeah….that took forever. An hour of trying several different methods and nothing…Jeremy is quite the bleeder. But then again….who isn’t when you slice an artery? Next, they called ortho down. That took a bit too. By now it is 4:00 pm and he is still bleeding (it was being maintained and all with pressure…but if you took the pressure off it kept going). Poor Mr. C was up from his nap and Jeremy would have been off work for an hour. But there we were…still in the ER. I was mildly annoyed by now. Because it’s great that they are a teaching hospital and there were interns who had never had the chance to stitch a wound before…but it takes a long time to treat someone and teach someone else. And it was my baby’s birthday. Oh well.
Finally, ortho got there. They ended up carterizing his artery then stitching him up. The doctor overseeing this whole mess was SO sweet. He was incredibly kind and tender hearted. He made sure Jeremy got lots of drugs (because now that some time had passed the endorphins weren’t kicking in and he was being poked and prodded among other things). I believe he got aspirin, then vicadin…then maybe some demorohl on top of that! Needless to say he was quiet funny and very talkative. The doc had me go down to the pharmacy to pick up some meds he was perscribed and by the time I was at the window getting the drugs, Jeremy was right there – discharged, bandaged and taped – and a little loopy.
It was a little after 6:00 pm when we got home. 😦 Bummer. At that point we decided to go out to eat. So we took ourselves and the birthday boy (though he didn’t really care) to Outback and had a lovely birthday dinner. Cooper was a normal 2-year old – though he was very cute while our pretty waitress and some others sang happy birthday to him. Ashlynn melted Uncle Jeremy’s heart in the parking lot on the way back to the car. As were walking to the car she was holding his hand and she said, “Uncle Jeremy, I have just one thing to tell you.” He said, “What’s that?” She said, “I love you.” And then Jeremy cried. We all laughed about it later. He tells the story like this, “All day long I’m being poked and prodded, I’m bleeding with a severed artery and I’m getting all kinds of shots and stitches and not one time do I cry. But then, my niece tells me she loves me and I ball like a baby.”
So all in all, it was a pretty fun day. Though…we all would have had things work out differently if it was up to us. Oh and for the next several days after that, anytime Jeremy had a sharp object of ANY kind in his hands, Ashlynn reminded him he needed to be careful!