Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Not to Spend A Friday Night

The evening was winding down and it was time to give Toby his pill. He was huddled in the corner of the sofa, down from the mother.

I approached him slowly, casually, acting as though I had no interest whatsoever in him. It's a skill I'm still perfecting but have been pretty lucky with.

Until last night.

I walked past him, reached back and grabbed. Toby pulled forward and out of my grasp with such force that it caught me off guard. I tilted, I wobbled, and then, unlike a Weeble, I DID fall down. The unfortunate part is that I was still trying to keep my balance. Had I just let myself go and fallen, I'd have hit the floor and only the floor.

Instead, I almost righted myself. Almost. And then I collapsed like a ton of bricks, my head forcefully striking the corner of the hall table. I didn't lose consciousness. Instead, I sat in the floor and ... laughed. For some reason, I do this sometimes when something initially hurts really bad.

But then the pain got really bad and I whimpered a bit. I instinctively put my hand on my head and when I pulled it away, it was full of blood. For 15 minutes, blood continued to pour down my face despite my best efforts to smash a cloth over it. If my hair wasn't so thick, it would have been worse. It worked as something of a mop to catch a lot of the blood.

It quickly became clear that a trip to the ER was inevitable. That made me laugh because the mother and I frequently joke about near accidents under stupid circumstances by saying: "Try explaining THAT at the ER." Well, I was trying to medicate my cat when ...

The parking lot was jammed though there weren't many people in the waiting room. It took nearly an hour to get seen. A nurse came out and poked around, gave me a fresh bandage to hold on my head and declared that I was OK. Still, the blood kept pouring.

I finally made an initial stop at the treatment part. The nurse was kind and consoling but her examination made the blood stream. I got a bigger glob of bandages and a wet cloth to wipe off my arm where the blood was now pooling. It was horrifying because I'm just not good with blood. Especially when it's mine.

I was taken to a treatment room ... where I sat for another 45 minutes. Finally, a doctor came in. His bedside matter left a lot to be desired. He roughly pushed my hair aside and grumbled, "OOOOOOh. Good one!" Good? Really? Not if you're me!

I asked about my injury and he said I had a gash about so big, holding his thumb and forefinger about 3 inches apart. "We'll get you washed, numbed, barbered, fixed and out of here," he said nonchalantly.

Wait. Barbered? Did he just say barbered? I asked. "Just a little," he said.

An orderly came in with a Bic razor and began shaving a patch atop my head. He grazed what had to be the wound and I nearly came off the stretcher. He left and returned with a battery-powered shaver and I watched in horror as clumps of hair fell to my side. "Hey," I said. "I'd rather not be bald, please. The Sinead look never quite caught on." He laughed, finished and disappeared.

He came back in and set a few packets of things that looked like curtain brackets on the counter and slunk back out. A female nurse came in about 20 minutes later to retrieve supplies from a cabinet. She glimpsed the packets and said, "Looks like you're getting staples."

Staples? In my head?!

That's exactly what happened. The three needles to numb me were horrific and the first staple was hell. I didn't feel the next four. Three and a half hours later, $50poorer and armed with a medical staple remover, I was finally done. They had initially wrapped an Ace bandage, holding a bandage in place, over my head and under my jaw. That slid off before I was done checking out. The kindly nurse from the initial consult redid it, tucking it under my hair like a bizzare headband. I was able to remove it this morning.

I have to contact a doctor on Monday, either mine or the surgeon they've referred me to. The staples will require a visit in a week to 10 days to remove them. I am not looking forward to it.

The worst part is that I have to wait until tomorrow morning to wash my hair. Earlier, I was finally able to try to wash out some of the blood. Disgusting! And that doesn't address what's atop my head, near the gash.

All in all, I have to say, it's not the way to spend a Friday night!


Kate R said...

Oh Nicole - I am so sorry to hear you got hurt! I hope the pain has subsided. I learned when dd was just a toddler that any cuts around the head/scalp will bleed profusely & are usually not as bad as they seem, but D@MN! 3 inches!! I'm really shocked to hear they used staples on your head! I hope your thick hair is able to cover you barbering.

And for blush-inducing explanations at the ER, yeah been there when I broke my arm tripping over the hose at the gas pump. When I was a kid, it was breaking an arm falling out of a tree, breaking the other arm when I tripped chasing the neighborhood bully, smashed fingers in a sewer lid, cracked forehead going head first over my bicyles handles, etc, etc. Yeah, I was a tad accident prone. Years later my mom & I joked that if I'd been born 20 years later, she surely would have gone to jail for suspected child abuse.

Karen Anne said...

Poor you!

Staples? Yikes, I mean, is that not barbarous? And you're supposed to remove them yourself eventually?

How come no nice tidy stitches? That's what I go when I fell on a concrete sidewalk. Which I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten away with with just a gash under my chin.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Yeah, I'll try to avoid a Friday night like that for sure! I'm queasy just reading this...ouch! Hope you are pain free and heal quickly!

Anonymous said...

Nicole - You poor dear! I'm so sorry for your pain. That's why I feel terrible telling you that you wrote this so humorously that it totally cracked me up - not unlike your head! But seriously, I'm glad it wasn't worse and I hope it heals fast and that your hair grows back quickly. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.

Vicki said...

Oh N!!! I'm so sorry! My whole family got a recounting of the story because I was cringing and whimpering right along with you as I read, and they needed to know what happened.

I hope your head heals soon and that you're able to get that blood out soon.

And I can't wait to see/hear what your new hairstyle will look like ;)

MonkeyGirl said...

Ouch! I hope you are going to be ok but I have to say that only you could require a shave and staples trying to reach for the cat!

Mend quickly. And you HAVE to take a pic of the new do - you don't have to post it but I need to see the new style!

sewwhat? said...

So sorry to hear about your accident, is your new do a reverse Mohawk? That's what I'm picturing! You co-workers won't recognize you when you return to work! Get well quickly and don't lose that staple puller!

Jayne said...

OUCH!! I'm so sorry you got hurt and hope you're feeling better now. I thought for sure that you had hurt yourself working on the house or the restaurant. Stupid cats--I had to take antibiotics for a week after Mean Marie bit me in the hand a few years ago. She & Toby really are related, I'm sure of it.

Why S? said...

OMG! OMG! OMG! This made me laugh too. Then wince. Then laugh. Then wince.

And I also laugh when I first hurt myself badly. Or when something is hurting me. I think it's a nervous tension thing.

Anyway, I'm so sorry about the whole incident. And so sorry about your new 'do.

NV said...

Thanks for all the anecdotes, good wishes and laughs. Glad to know that despite the head-banging, my sense of humor remained intact.