After my partner left for work around 7pm it was time to get my 11 year to slow down and begin his nightly ritual. First course of action was getting him to take a shower. He had his tennis lesson and was outside playing basketball for most of the afternoon so his body odor was as his other mom says, “Ripe!” It took me 30 minutes to finally get him into the bathroom to start his shower. And even then he didn’t just jump right in. Instead, he turned on his music, unclothed down to his underwear and then began practicing his basketball moves while looking into the mirror. Well at least he was in the bathroom, right?
And so, while my kid was occupied I thought I’d finally go and sit down. I had already taken my shower and I was so tired. But then just as I was going to do just that I noticed our kitchen counter was filled with dirty dishes. It bothered me and knowing Carol, my partner was just as tired as I was, I figured I’d go ahead and get those done. It had been a tremendously busy week. Carol was working nights and coming home just in time to take Judah to school. Then, she’d rightfully sleep all day. I was up at 5am and by the time I got I had gotten home at 4, I was also exhausted. And so, I thought washing the dishes then was as good of a time as any.
Just as I started to rearrange the dirty dishes to get them ready to wash…that’s right folks. No dishwasher. We hand wash our dishes. And yes, we do that by choice. Anyway, as I’m starting I can hear Judah singing in the bathroom. That was a good sign he was about to step into the shower.
As I was entertained by my kid singing I reached for the first glass to wash. It was an actual glass, glass with the letter “B” engraved on it. We had gotten a full set of them from an estate sale. Folks, how often do you find glasses with your initials on them? We had to get them. And so, Carol and I agreed they were to only be used for when we had guests and for special occasions. That rule came about because well, we were of the klutzy kind and knew we’d break them all if we used them daily.
And so, as I reached for this glass to wash I wondered why it was with our daily cups and not put away with our special occasion dishes. Meanwhile, it really didn’t matter at that moment because it had to be washed regardless. As I was washing it I could see some crusty stuff on the bottom. Not able to rinse it out, I took a wash cloth and proceeded to reach inside of the glass with my hand. For a quick second I did think it may not be a good idea to do that but obviously I didn’t listen because that folks was when all of the excitement began. Just as I reached into the glass, it exploded. And when it did I felt a snap and then a rush of pain that went straight up my arm. I instantly grabbed my fingers and screamed knowing I had really cut myself. In fact I screamed so loud I fully expected Judah to run out of the bathroom but his radio was too loud for him to hear me. I stood at the sink for a second watching the blood dripping out from my squeezing hand. And so, I squeeze harder but the blood kept on coming. I panicked. Listen, all of the times before when I cut myself all it took was me squeezing my hand and the blood stopped. BUT, not this time. Holy shit! I knew I had cut my finger badly. It hurt like hell and the more blood I saw, the worse I felt. I got scared and any rational thoughts of what to do were gone.
As I hung my hand over the kitchen sing squeezing my fingers and watching the flood drip, I started yelling for Judah. But, I knew it was a mute point with his radio on so loud. I I’d have to go to the bathroom to get him. BUT, what about the blood? It would get all over the place? And letting go of my hand and wrapping something (like a towel) around it was not an option. Why? Well, I don’t know except that I couldn’t let go.
SO, with no other option I ran to the bathroom and banged on the door yelling,”JUDAH! JUDAH! JUDAH!” At that moment I had a quick thought of how I was sounding like the Big Bang Theory character, Sheldon, SO I added another, Judah!” as if that made a difference. When Judah didn’t hear me, I really panicked and yelled, “I hurt myself… emergency! Now, for those who know me. For some unknown reason when I panic I seem to yell, “Emergency!” Not sure why except that I am so panicked that is what I am able to get out.
Well, finally, Judah runs out of the bathroom. He’s in his underwear. He wasn’t concerned at all. I knew he felt I was over reacting. He asked to look at my finger but I told him I couldn’t let go. He could see my hand was full of blood and only then did he realize it wasn’t good. I tried to think of friends I knew who handled emergencies well. And so, when Judah asked what he needed to do, I told him to call his aunt Jackie. As Judah was doing that I began walking around crying. The pain was intense. When Judah returned from the back of the house to tell me Aunt Jackie didn’t answer her phone, I asked him to call his best friend’s mom. When she didn’t answer her phone I asked him to call my partner, his other mom. OK, so when she didn’t answer the phone, I really lost it. I couldn’t stop crying. Meanwhile, Judah was as calm as a cucumber. He kept telling me it would be OK and told me to put my finger under cold running water. I walked over to the sink, turned on the cold water and held my finger’s under it. Grant you, I never let go. I kept squeezing my hurt hand the entire time.
Finally, Carol, my partner, called back. As Judah was talking to her he walked to the back of the house. I suppose that was because I kept yelling and crying and he couldn’t hear on the phone. Judah told me later that he had told Carol there was lots of blood but what was really bothersome to him was I wouldn’t stop crying. Anyway, Carol told him to get the neighbor across the street. So, when Judah hung up the phone he quickly put on his pants and shoes to head towards the back door. He tells me he’s going to get Brian across the street. I went into a different panic. How could Judah go get our neighbor when our house was such a wreck!? I told Judah I didn’t want him to get the neighbor. I can’t even remember if I told Judah why but it didn’t matter anyway, Judah didn’t listen. As I’m yelling at him, he proceeds to leave and run across the street. With in minutes our neighbor came over with a first aide kit. He asked to look at my wound but I told him I didn’t want to let go of it. Well, folks, he was awesome. He was as calm as could be and got me to let go so he could see it. The entire time he was worried I was going to pass out and had Judah get me a chair.
Just as I sat down there was a knock on the door. It was Brian’s parents. They were concerned and came over to help. Ten minutes after that there was another knock at the door. Tt was Judah’s best friend and his mom. Y’all my worst nightmare…a messy house and 100 people inside. OK, so the only mess was the dishes and obviously it was not 100 people BUT it felt like it. I was on death’s bed, blood was everywhere. I was delusional. No not really. It’s just that blood and me don’t get along.I HATE blood and on top of that the fear of needles. And knowing I’d need stitches did not help the situation.
As I sat in a chair holding my hand in the air to try to stop the bleeding our neighbor and Judah’s friend offered to take me to the hospital. I didn’t mind our neighbor taking me but as upset as I was I really wanted someone I knew. So, after a few minutes of figuring out what to do, Judah’s friend’s mom, Beth, said she’d take me to the urgent care place that was nearby. Y’all, I can’t tell you how much I love what our neighbor did for me. We really need to do something for them and as a thank you. Special people that’s for sure! Anyway, my neighbor went back to his home and I went to change my bloody clothes to go to the urgent care place.
About five minutes later we were in the car and heading to urgent care. As we were driving there Beth says she needs to get dinner for Christian. I suggested stopping at McDonalds on the way to the urgent care place since it was right next to it. Now, let me say this. My finger wouldn’t stop bleeding so my neighbor told me it was important to keep my hand/finger up in the air. SO, as I’m riding in Beth’s car I have my hand up in the air the entire time. And as I am doing this my son and his friend were hysterically laughing about it. They said I looked like I was flipping everyone off who was driving by our car. And you know what? They were right! Each person who drove by gave a second look every time.
When we got to the McDonald’s it was packed. The drive through had a good 9 cars waiting in the drive thru. However, I wasn’t in a hurry to get to the urgent care. It took a good 15 minutes to get the boys food and then we headed to the Urgent care place. As we drove into their parking lot I asked Beth, “Should I be concerned that there are cars here?” Well, there were a couple. Beth tells me that’s good that means there won’t be a wait. Well, dammit were we wrong! Wouldn’t you know it? They were closed! Urgent care after hours closed at 7! It was 8. The fact that Carol was leaving work about 30 miles away and meeting us there, I had to call her to help come up with a plan B.
We decided to go ahead and head to the hospital emergency room. I hated the thought because of the long wait, however, there weren’t any other choices. Beth needed to get home. She needed to get her kid home and ready for bed. So, I ask her if she could drop me off at the ER where Carol would be meeting me.
From the Urgent Care place to the hospital ER it was about 15 minutes. To get there we headed through one of the scenic areas of Augusta. To occupy myself and to try to keep thinking about having to get stitches I look around at the old house with my hand up in the air obviously giving every one who drives by the finger. Just as I was taking in the scenery Beth slams on her breaks and yells, “Wiener dog! Wiener dog!” That was when I noticed a dachshund that looked like ours almost get hit by a car coming from the other direction. Now just to show you how the site of blood makes me delusional, I actually asked myself (quietly) how our dog, Bessie, had gotten out of our house. Meanwhile, I knew it wasn’t our dog. Well, just as Beth stopped the car, I jumped out and ran towards the dog hoping to get it out of the street. Of course I did this with my damn arm held up over my head and my finger in the air. Honestly, I can’t imagine what people were thinking. I’m guessing they thought my arm in the air was my way of getting the cars to stop. Surely, they saw my bandage? If it had been daylight they would have seen the blood but then again that may have made me appear even more crazy. At any rate thank goodness the owner was nearby and I was able to get the dog over to the side walk.
When I jumped back into Beth’s car she started laughing and saying that it was the injured person who was the one who ran to save the dog. Listen, it wasn’t as if I was in a hurry to get to the ER. The other thing I hated just as much as blood and that was shots/needles. SO, sure, I’ll stop and help out! No problem.
The remainder of the ride to the ER was uneventful. When we got there Carol was already waiting for me. Beth dropped me off and took our kid with her to spend the night. By this time it was 9:00pm. The ER was packed. We hated to think how long the wait was going to be. We check in and I go to get my vitals done. Folks, would you believe the woman asked me if I ever tried to commit suicide? Um, hell no! I can’t even stand blood! How could I possibly accomplish that!? And wasn’t it clear I was a total whip when it came to any bodily harm?
Once my vitals were done we went back into the waiting room. It was so packed we had to go into another room that was less crowded. As we sit down we were almost immediately approached by this young man in a wheel chair. Of course I’m sitting there with my hand up in the air feeling like the statue of liberty but a lot less green. He bean talking to us. He apologizes up front and says he’s really scared because he had accidentally stabbed himself in the wrist with his knife when he was cutting bamboo. Now folks. There I am sitting with my damn hand in the air. I’m in pain and terrified of getting the stitches. BUT my injury certainly did not compare to that man’s injury. He by all means won the award for worst injury. I felt bad for him. He was so nice. He even asked about my injury and was concerned for me. It really made me feel bad for my piddly ol injury. Hell, I couldn’t compare to his. I could try to tell him I cut my finger on a glass and that I cut it to the bone BUT even that couldn’t match his by any means. Listen, the guy was so sweet. He fully admitted he was scared and was looking at talking to someone so he could keep his mind off things. HOWEVER, when he kept talking about holding his veins and such, I just couldn’t handle it. The worse part was when he told us he had been waiting in the ER for 3 hours! Damn! We had only been there 30 minutes! I wasn’t sure which I was more worried about…getting stitches or having to hear more about his injury. It was funny when the man told us he was embarrassed because he had just gotten some kind of award from the Boy scout’s for teaching a troop about knife safety. Whoops.
About 45 minutes later my name was called and we were able to head into the back. Because my injury was cut and dry…pun intended, they could sew me up quickly and get us on our way. Oh how easy they made it sound. I have to say the staff and PA were so nice. They handled me very well. The numbing shot which was given directly into my wound was crazy painful. Where in the hell is the Star Trek medicine they promised us? You know the kind with out any needles or pain? OY VEY!
Only 3 hours in the ER and six stitches later, the PA told us we were cleared to go. But before we left the PA stresses that it’s very important to not move my hand a lot, keep it rested and upright to get the swelling down. She tells us we need to go buy a finger condom…yes, you heard me right. A finger condom to put over my bandage to keep it clean. Nothing like thinking about heading back to my teaching job teaching teenagers all while wearing a finger condom on a finger that has to remain in the “flipping off” position. Oh, this is going to really be good.
The PA continued to tell us more. I need to keep my finger clean and from getting any dirt in it. WHAT? NO DIRT? Folks! I work with clay and was working on this awesome piece! Great! Just great! No playing in dirt for at least a week? How will I manage? Meanwhile, all of that isn’t even the best part. Y’all want to know the best part of this entire thing? Tomorrow morning I am taking the first part of the GACE test. It’s the test that if I pass will allow me to apply to the art teacher position at the school where I have been teaching art since this past October. WELLLLLLL, tomorrow I take the WRITING portion of the test. Yes, it’s on the computer BUT without the usage of my right hand I will have to hunt and peck just as I’ve had to do when writing this piece. Oh, my life has never been dull.
After we get home and both Carol and I are lying in the bed, I begin to laugh hysterically. Carol asked me what was so funny. I tell her, “You realize you’re going to have to do my hair in the morning?” For those who know my partner hair is NOT her thing. She didn’t even know how to open a burette. All I can say is the next 7 days of not having full usage of my right hand it going to be very interesting and in some cases very comical. OY VEY! Only I could manage this!