Saturday, February 4, 2012

Slice of Life

My kids had the day off school yesterday so their teachers could work on grading.  I wanted to find something exciting to do together to make the day off seem worthwhile.  A seven-mile run was on the docket for my training schedule so I arranged to run earlier than usual with my friend Julie.  She brought her jammie-clad kiddos over to play with mine and we took off for our run.  A beautiful morning awaited us and the miles flew by.

When we got back, we lingered over coffee while the kids played.  When they left, my kids realized they wanted breakfast.  I set my new phone on the counter, took out bagels, and prepared to slice them with my very sharp (also new) serrated bread knife.  Just as I started slicing, my phone dinged alerting me that it was my turn in Words with Friends.  Being the Queen of Multi-Tasking, I opened the app, glanced at the game board, and prepared to slice the next bagel.  Silly me - decided to look at the game board one more time and sliced into my finger instead of the bagel.  Not exactly the kind of excitement I was hoping for on a day off from school.  Why does stuff like this always happen when Curt is out of town?  Two more days and I could've cut off all ten digits and Curt would have been there to fix it.

While cold water poured over my bleeding finger I ran down the list of options.  Drag all four kids to the Immediate Care and hope they did stitches there.  But when I called and got a "we could PROBABLY take care of it in the office," I ruled that one out.  "Probably" was the operative word that nixed that idea.  I called my Doctor Cousin in Colorado and asked her to walk me through Weekend Warrior First Aid.  While we talked, I dumped a bunch of hydrogen peroxide in the wound and then attempted to use Super Glue to close the wound.  It didn't work.  The blood kept pushing the glue away from where it needed to go and sending it instead all over my fingers that then started sticking together.  I tried a tight band aid but when it was still bleeding steadily three hours later, I finally threw in the towel, swallowed my pride and headed to the local ER.

Sheepishly I followed the triage nurse back to an exam room.  When she put up the guard rail on the hospital bed and patted it for me to lay down, I protested.  "Do I really have to sit on the bed?  Why can't I sit on the chair?"  But she made me.  Then she told me, "Josh the PA will be taking care of you today."  I filled her ear with the general medical chit chat of "oh my husband is a PA but he's in Haiti right now on medical mission or I'd have him stitch this up blah blah blah..." as if she cared.

She left to get Josh the PA.  A few minutes later he timidly entered the room and asked, "Are you by any chance related to Curt?"  When I confirmed my identity as Curt's wife, he nodded and said, "I thought so.  He was my professor.  I wondered when I took this job if I'd ever have to treat him and it made me kind of nervous.  But I've gotta say taking care of his wife has me even more terrified."  Well good.  At least we're both embarrassed and awkward.

He poked around on my finger, confirmed that it needed stitches and then added, "Your husband taught me how to suture."  I assured Josh the PA that I'd have Curt check his work when he gets home from Haiti, and he went about the business of fixing my owie.

Three needle sticks, two stitches, six emergency room employees, and one ginormous $250 co-pay later, I was out the door.  Me and my Words with Friends blunder.  On a positive note, I've apparently whipped myself into good enough shape that I have an alarm-inducing resting pulse.  It's happened twice now where nurses get all frantic, start whispering, then send the doctor to ask, "Are you by any chance a runner or endurance athlete?"  Me - with chest puffed out - "Why yes, yes I am.  And while you're at it, can you call me an endurance athlete one more time?"  I'd hate to see what happens if I said I wasn't a runner.  And that my friends, is just a slice a life at the Stilp house.

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