Monday, October 17, 2011

Tales from the E.R.

Saturday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. It was warm but not oppressively hot as it can easily get to be in Texas. In all it was really a perfect day for the faire. After the disastrous opening weekend weather, we all decided to pretend that last weekend was simply practice and this was the real opening. The crowds were large and they all seemed to be in a pleasant and buying mood.

I was standing at my jewelry counter, finishing a sale with a nice woman, while also talking with the boss, when the husbeast walks over. His right hand is in the air and his left hand is tightly gripped over his index finger. All I can hear as I am talking to my customer is him say the word 'stitches' before disappearing through the back door. Not precisely the words I wanted to hear. In my head I was hoping that he was exaggerating. I was hoping that this was a wound that could be fixed with a bandage or some super glue. I should know better than that.

I make it up to the apartment and find him with his hand in the sink as one of the other workers is running back and forth from the bathroom trying to get his finger bandaged. I ask how bad it is and he removes the pressure so I can see. At first I was not sure what I was seeing. There was a long bleeding cut on one side of his finger, and all the flesh around it was turning purple already. I thought to myself it was bad, but probably could be solved with a little super glue. Then I noticed there was a cut on the other side of his finger as well. I asked him, confused, if the blade had gone straight through, creating a sort of tunnel with an entrance and exit wound. It was at that point he showed me that the side of his finger had been sliced through as though cut by a pair of scissors and he actually had a triangular chunk of flesh hanging off.

I was proud I neither screamed not threw up, though I was tempted on both counts.

It was quite apparent though that we needed to go to the E.R. I hate, and hate might be too mild of a word, the E.R. I have some pretty horrible nightmare stories from visits to the E.R. Also the fact that faire is in Todd Mission Tx, which is outside of Houston, meant that the nearest E.R. was going to be a small town hospital. I am always leery of such places. Also the fact that I am not from this area meant I had no idea where the hell I was going.

I got some fast and dirty directions, grabbed my keys, threw him into the passenger seat and headed out. We got stuck in faire traffic, and had to roll down the windows and ask for directions from people standing at gas stations more than once, but after about half an hour we pulled into the Tomball E.R.

Now at this point I should mention we are still in full garb. When one is injured and bleeding there is no time to change. I was still in my bodice and skirt, I didn't even drop my belt, so I was covered in gypsy bells. The husbeast wears a kilt at this particular faire. Again this is a small East Texas town hospital. It is the closest hospital to the faire so they had to have seen people like us before, but we were certainly not normal to them. The security guard at the door watched us walk in with a very baffled expression.

Now came the time that he had to explain himself to the triage nurse. Sheepishly he began to explain that he works in a sword shop and handles blades all day long, and has for a decade now. She looked a little impressed asking what sort of sword he cut himself on. At this point he had to admit that it was not a sword or even a knife that had got him, but a screwdriver. It was actually a multi tool with a serrated saws-all blade on the screwdriver attachment. For some reason the blade does not lock on this tool, and while he was using it, it snapped shut on his finger. He was terribly embarrassed.

The nurse looked him over, planted her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side.
"Let me get this straight." she said looking quite skeptical.
"You are embarrassed you cut off a chunk of your finger with a screwdriver, but you are not embarrassed you are wearing a dress?"

At least the ER staff had a good sense of humor.

There was no one else there so we were taken right back. The PA we saw was very sweet and very good. They put some sort of nerve blocker in his finger to numb it so she could put in four stitches. Unfortunately his body metabolizes pain killers and anesthesia very quickly, and his finger was not numb for the last two stitches. She offered another shot, but he just wanted it over with at this point.

In all we were in the ER only 30 minutes, and it was probably one of the most pleasant trips to the hospital ever. The staff both pleasant and competent which is a huge bonus. I think it took us longer to get his prescriptions filled than to get the stitches in.

We pulled back into faire in a little over two hours, and were back to work as though nothing had happened. Of course now when someone asks him if the swords he sells are sharp, he has proof that yes they are.


  1. Oh dear. Glad he made it through okay.

    Several years ago, I got a call from my husband going to the ER, telling me "I had an accident...STAY HOME!"
    He was doing some demolition for a person who didn't have any worker's comp coverage and the metal roof he was prying up slipped and cut most of the way through his finger. Lost the end of it. It was super gross... and we were screwed with the bill... so I feel your pain!

  2. Oh, I remember when Glenn cut the tip of his finger off (off-off, all the way off, but just the pad, not the bone or nail or anything) trying to cut a frozen apple...

    Actually, what I remember is him showing me the wound afterwards, screaming about how gross it was, then begging to see it again.

    Yeah. I know you're shocked!

  3. I'm glad he's okay, and that it all went a lot better than it might have. I expect you made the hospital staff's day :-)