Tuesday, July 31, 2012

That time my husband almost lost his thumb.

I had come up from the dock to the cottage for a good reason that escapes me now.

Now that I think back.  

My 4.5 year old son trailed behind me.

As soon as we walked in my husband came at me.

"Get Scott! Get Cathy!  It's bad.  It's bad."  There was my pale, sweating, bleeding husband.  Holding his thumb that from a short distance with my hazy un-prescripted vision looked .... squashed.  And bloody.

And I?  Don't do well with blood.

It actually, irrationally, makes me feel like I could keel over and die.  My husband obviously knows this about me since he didn't outright show me.  And I thank the heavens and all that is good and holy in this world that in all his pain and suffering he refrained from that.

I ran to the door that I'd just come from.  I knew where Cathy was.  I didn't know where Scott was.  The owners of the cottage.

"Cathy!  CATHY!"

She turned and with the urgent panic in my voice ran up the many stairs at warp speed yelling, "The kids? The kids?!!"


Scott appeared and Cathy was there starting calling out loudly, one to two word sentences in a strangely composed yet manic tone.

Towel!  (Convenient WHITE hand towel tossed at John.)

Ice! Ice!  I numbly yet quickly went to grab cubes of ice from the freezer.  But she took over and threw the whole drawer at me.  Take it!

I took and ran over to my husband.

Call 911!  That was Scott.


The numbers echoed disbelievingly in my mind.

911?  I remember that thought of...911?  Really?  This was really bad.  I had no idea.

"Daddy...what happened to your thumb?  What happened?"  My sweet little boy kept asking amongst the chaos.  I'm still not sure he got an answer.

Shoes, get her shoes!  (my shoes were very important to Cathy though in retrospect a shirt to cover my bikini clad body would've been nice too!)

All humour aside we were out of the house in less than 2 minutes with Scott barreling down gravel cottage roads at an obscene pace.

(At the hospital he bemoaned the fact that he missed his calling as a Doctor which I can't say I disagree with since he took better care of John than the doctors, the nurses and me combined.  Frankly, he would've been a kick ass race car driver too if you ask me.)

During the insane ride from hell I felt utterly helpless to my husband's pain.

I liken it to how he must have felt during the labour I went through with my son's.  Though my pain was not for naught.  The two separate pains, really, cannot be compared.  But the feeling of not being able to help your loved one who is obviously is in an excruciating amount of pain must have some parallels.

John was beside me requesting ice.

So I crushed cubes of ice with my teeth and fed them to my husband.

His thumb was hanging by an artery.  I couldn't have him die of choking on an ice cube now could I?

With what seemed like so many minutes yet seconds at the same time we met up with the ambulance on its way to pick up my husband.  We hopped out quickly and they asked their questions, did what they do and said to follow them to the hospital.  There were no lights, no hoopla, no sirens.   No speed.  (that was a good sign Scott reassured me). Though at one point at a stop sign there was a long pause with what looked like way too much movement.  It made my stomach lurch in panic and worry.


Back at the cottage the kids ran circles around the adults as I can so imagine.  Their emotions contrasting deeply from the children's playing.

Subdued was the word of that day.

Until they decided that's it! My husband? He would be keeping his thumb.  And then they may have partaken in some (responsible of-course) imbibing.


Back at the hospital...things were looking grim for John's thumb.  The doctor seemed to make a decision on the spot after looking at it early on that it was pretty much un-salvageable.  The bone was crushed above the base of the thumb nail.  The artery and nerve on the left side of his right thumb were severed from the very, very, very heavy trap door slamming down on it.  The nerve - that John mistook for bone - was completely exposed.  The tip of his thumb was basically hanging by a thread.

I know.  Shudder.


There are pictures.  I have not seen them.

And I never will.

That is a promise.


At this point, we'd been at the hospital for a couple of hours.  John had undergone far too many needles for his liking and had many nurses coming in to check out the awesomeness of his wound. I felt close to barfing every second we were there.  And Scott?  He was topless.  And cold.  Because he was ever the gentleman and gave me his t-shirt.

They found him a hospital gown and I'm sure he felt warmer though perhaps a bit silly.  Considering the patient, my husband, wasn't even wearing one.


A couple more hours later: The good doctor conferred by telephone with a hand plastic surgeon at another hospital over John's x-ray's to determine what to do with it (I'm not going to pretend I have all the great specific medical details since I felt like hurling the whole time we were there) they decided to simply stitch it up and see how it goes.  (there's video of that too - *puke* - that I will never see)


Since then we've been dealing with doctor's appointments and many phone calls to doctor's offices, plastic surgeon's and hospitals to make sure this thumb is here to stay.

I've learned a lot from this experience.

My husband is one tough Mothertrucker....and I?  Am not.

Also?  It really sucks that I have to do all the poopy diaper changes.  And all the dishes.

And all of pretty much all of everything else.

(I joke, I joke.  I kid, I kid)

Okay.  Not really.  It really does suck.

But not as much as losing a thumb would.


middle child said...

This just happened!?? Yikes. Hope all goes well with the healing. I too wouldn't have been able to look. But.....I would have blindly covered it with a towel and driven him to the hospital. (I would have imbibed heavily baforehand though.)

Mel said...

Oh, my gosh! I can FEEL your panic through this post. I would have totally lost it I'm sure. Glad he is not going to lose the thumb and hope he is doing much better.

Kristin said...

oh i nearly barfed just reading this (the writing just go to me! well done!) i would so have had the exact reaction as you. i am just no good with that stuff. wow. that is one tough mothertrucker you've married. so happy to hear that this has a better than it could be ending. all the best with recovery.