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ER, the real one [Sep. 30th, 2008|04:30 pm]
Kudrasslipper's posts have inspired me to pull out some of the posts I've written, but stored for editing, or adding to -- it's gotten a little boring out here in LJ land, so let me at least add to the volume if not the quality.

I may not be able to find my way to the grocery store, but I'll have the route memorized to the nearest ER. Let's face it, you can afford to dick around when you're heading out for milk and bananas...not so much when the only thing holding your finger on is a crumpled Kleenex and a rubber band.

I like to credit those preparations for me only having to go to the emergency room three times in my entire life. For my OWN injury. I always seem to be driving other people there...

I know, you'd think that with my stunning ability to make things go terribly, horribly wrong, in physical ways that often include broken glass or rough pavement, I'd be there all of the time. But really, only 3 times.

Emergency Room Visit #1
The first time was when I was 6 or 7. I was at my best friend Laura's house and it was smack in the middle of a gypsy moth invasion. She was throwing a ball for her dog, Lady and I was picking through the grass, hunting caterpillars. (buggeek) I bent over, just as Lady came running past me and BAM, she smacked right into the side of my face, splitting my eyebrow.

I got up and thought nothing of it, until my friend started screaming and then when I saw the blood...and her Mom saw the blood...hysteria ensued. My own hysteria got nipped in the bud though, when, on the way to the emergency room, they started talking about putting Lady down because she bit me -- suddenly, it was no longer about me. Of course, no one believed me that we had simply bonked heads. My previous hysteria about bleeding to death was replaced by hysteria that they were going to kill the dog just because I chose the worst possible moment to bend over. (Jokes may ensue)

See, now that I've had more time on the earth and ample time to demonstrate that the unlikely can and will happen to me, especially if it's going to involve pain, broken crockery, or embarrassing circumstances...no one would be surprised. But then, I was still new to the world and my superhero epic fail ability had not been fully revealed.

Thankfully, the doctor at the ER supported me, saying that the wound didn't look at all like a bite, more like I'd smacked my head on something. Like a running dog. Our first inkling that I had timing issues.

Six stitches later and all I have as a reminder is a little scar in the middle of my eyebrow and the bitter memory of having my birthday at the lake a couple of days later and I wasn't allowed in the water. MY birthday and I had to watch everyone else swim. On the other hand, I had Betty Crocker Cherry cake with Cherry icing and confetti sprinkles, which totally nauseated the adults, but we kids loved it. Loved it. (I suspect it would nauseate me now. Erp. As a matter of fact, why the hell don’t I have Tums here at the office?)

Emergency Room Visit #2:
Despite a childhood filled with animals, including large hoofed mammals, spent roaming barns, falling onto and off of rusty farm machinery, tooling around in streams, rocky cliff faces, riding bikes everywhere with no supervision and no helmet, riding and training horses, falling off said horses, being kicked, bitten, trampled, laid down upon, scraped against fences, tree trunks, thrown onto fences and tree trunks by the same horses, falling out of hay lofts, off of hay trucks, onto pitchforks...I managed to stay out of the emergency room.

But finally, as an adult, it was time to pay my dues. I was managing a gourmet cookware store in Cranston, Rhode Island. (Creee-an-stin, to those of you who are familiar with the melodic tones of the local accent.) The delivery truck had arrived early and I was the only one in the store to unload it. Which was fine, until I was carrying a case of Calphalon around a corner and slammed my right hand into one of the metal shelving units. You know, those ones with the holes so that you can adjust the shelves? The hole, that, when you’ve got 52 pounds of Calphalon and 180 pounds of bruiser chick behind it, can actually slice your knuckle skin right off your finger? Yeah, those shelves. What a mess...

I had to get the rest of the delivery in the door and call someone else to come in and open the store – so I just wrapped some Kleenex around it, and then grabbed the packing tape to wrap around it, but the packing tape kept slipping, I had to resort to a rubber band. Do you think I could get a hold of my two assistant managers to come in and cover the store? No, of course, not. Left messages, left a note on the door, “closed due to emergency”, thought about leaving the sign up, festooned with bloody smudges, but thought better of it, re-wrote sign, drove myself to the ER, where they sewed the knuckle cap back on. Where the doctor wrote me a note saying I didn’t have to go back to work for a week. Bwah-ha-ha! I’m a retail manager, dude, I’m leaving here and going back to work, keep your note. Of course, if I’d had any idea that I would then be WRITTEN UP and REPRIMANDED for leaving before I found someone to relieve me. That I would be dinged on my annual review for not having the store open during regular hours…I would have gone home, taken the pain pills that the doctor wanted to give me and faxed the “Meredith can’t come to work for seven days” note to my boss. Some things you learn only with age…

Emergency Room Visit #3:
I have impaired depth perception. This is most evident when I’m playing some sport that involves a ball or when dealing with glassware and shelves. While I have the sense to just back the hell away, when I lose control of kitchen knife and it goes a-flying, I don’t have the same instincts for glassware. If it’s going to fall off the shelf, I should just get the hell out of the way. But no. I can’t resist the urge to try and CATCH it. Which would be fine – I’m actually pretty good at catching a falling glass. However, not so good at pulling the punch…as this time I caught the glass, but was unable to stop my arm’s forward motion. Well, of course there was a shelf right there. And of course I smacked that glass really hard into the shelf, and managed to slice off the front of my finger. Sigh. This time I had someone to drive me to the emergency room. Sadly, I wound up with a member of the hospital’s “B-Team”. In the middle of sewing it back on, f-nut takes a break for a phone call – giving the anesthetic just enough time to wear off. So those last four stitches were sans anesthetic, so while I know I could stand a field-stitching…I’m not doing it without a serious shot of bourbon.

Plus, the jackhole sewed it on crooked, so that little bump you have in the middle of your finger pad, is now on the side of one of my fingers now. The extra pain I could look at as a test of some kind. I mean, now where the line is for me – the holycow I’ve broken out in a sweat, I can’t decide whether to throw up or pass out kind of line. But every time I have to look at my finger pad, which thanks to the universe of splinters and bugbites and other whatthehellisthat moments, is often, I have to think “I can’t believe he sewed it on crooked…”

[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-09-30 09:16 pm (UTC)
I won't overlay ER:Hoosier Klutz on your LJ, I'll just say that if your superpower is bad timing, mine is getting mixed up with cretinous medical bureaucracies. In Minneapolis we lived two DOORS down from the largest trauma center on the north side. One Sunday I took my ice skates to the lake that was just on the other side of the hospital. Yes, the hospital lies smack dab BETWEEN my house and the scene of my multiple fracture of the wrist and elbow. John phones the number on the insurance card and they inform him he had to take me to the hospital across town on the other side of the river.
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[User Picture]From: dashrippington
2008-09-30 09:23 pm (UTC)
I am SOOOO gonna look at your finger this weekend.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-09-30 11:08 pm (UTC)
I got the B team @ Whidbey Island NAS Dispensary once ... sadly it was for a broken bone (that I got doing handsprings) and it happened right around shift change.

Remind me to show you my arm sometime ..........
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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-09-30 11:54 pm (UTC)
Remind me to show you my arm sometime ..........

If the Pyrate Encampment is going to become the Museum of Freakish Body Parts this weekend, I'll buy a ticket.

But Skivee still can't show us his war wound.
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[User Picture]From: skivee
2008-10-01 05:07 am (UTC)
well, I really just have the scabby bandages now
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-10-01 09:09 am (UTC)
Hey y'all not before my morning coffee .............
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