Sunday, September 28, 2008

Emergency Room Excitement

As I was driving to work on Friday morning, I was cut off by a middle-aged man in a minivan. I don't have anything against middle-aged people nor do I have anything against minivans, but when they are coupled together with a super star attitude, it's bad news. He just looked at me as if to say, Get out of my way, lady, because here I come in my super cool minivan. I'm hot and I know it. Eat my dust. Naturally, I waved at him. With one finger.

As that one finger was outstretched, I was reminded of an adventure that Dennis and I endured about a year ago....

I had just started packing for a trip to Orlando for work when Dennis mentioned going to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Of course, he didn't need to twist my arm too much and fifteen minutes later we were waiting for a seat and the inevitable margaritas and soft tacos that would follow.

At that time, our neighborhood wasn't quite finished and I felt that it was my duty to walk around in each house prior to it being sold. So, when Dennis was driving us home from dinner, I said, "Hey Dennis - let me out. I want to see what type of garage doors that new house on the corner is going to have."

"No, don't worry about it, Krista. You'll see soon enough."

"No, please stop. I HAVE TO know." He slowed down and I jumped out, ran towards the house that was still under construction and went into the garage. Thank goodness the garage was open. Actually, it might have prevented what followed if the garage doors had been closed.

Dennis loves to make fun of my 2 inch vertical jump but none-the-less I had enough "ups" to jump up and try to pull the garage door down. Try was the key word. I jumped up, grabbed onto the normally rubber end of the door, and quickly realized that the end of the gatage door was, in fact, sharp metal. There was no rubber.

When Dennis retells the story he says that my eyeballs were the size of saucers. I looked down at my bloody fingers and screamed. I shook my hand back and forth, as if that would make the blood and the severed fingers go away.

"Krista, are you OK? Oh my God, Krista, are you OK?"

"Dennis, I'm fine. Go ahead and drive the car home. I'll walk. I don't want to get blood all over the car."

"Krista, get in the car. I am driving you home." We went back and forth for a few minutes and somehow Dennis managed to get through to me and I climbed in the car. Two minutes later, we pulled up to our house and I laid down on the driveway, as if I had been shot.

"Krista, what are you doing? Why are you lying down on the driveway? Atleast go into the backyard to lay down so that the neighbors don't think that I stabbed you. And, let me see your hand."

"No Dennis, don't look at it. It hurts. It's bad. I need to just lay here for a few minutes while you call an ambulance."

"Call a WHAT?"

"Call an ambulance, Dennis!"

"Krista, I can definitely drive you to the emergency room if you really need to go."

"I need to go. Now. Please call an ambulance!"

"Krista, I WILL DRIVE YOU." Again, against all odds, Dennis managed to coax me into the car after he tried to clean me up with a wet rag and wrapped my hand in a towel.

We pulled up to the Emergency Room around 8:00pm. I was "assessed" by one of the nurses who told me that I definitely needed stitches. Then she motioned me back out to the waiting room where we waited...and waited...and waited.

As I sat there next to Dennis, I took an assessment of what was going on around us. There was a lady sleeping in the corner (hopefully sleeping, and not dead), and there was another lady who had a puke bucket in her hands and kept staring at Dennis. Even when she puked.

Being super patient, about an hour later I decided that I need to walk around. So I started pacing up and down the hallway. As I walked past our waiting room, I saw a police officer that was crying in the next waiting room. I went through the whole dilemna of Do I or do I not say something? Do I pretend like I don't see him? Should I just mind my own business? Figuring that he may be as near death as I was, I went ahead and asked him if he was OK. He informed me that he was going to be OK, but he had accidentally sprayed himself with mace. That was nothing, though, compared to his broken hand that he was waiting to have examined. I guess he broke up a fight and escaped with a battle wound. And then he sprayed himself in the eyes with his mace. This guy was definitely not having a good night.

I went back to our waiting room and told Dennis the story. A few minutes later, a nurse came out and said, "Who is here for the sleep study?" Without a moments hesitation, Dennis quickly pointed to the lady sleeping in the corner and said, "she is!" We both laughed and I looked at my watch. It was midnight.

"Dennis, do you have your laptop? I wonder if there is wireless internet in here."

"I doubt that there is wireless in here but I'll go get it."

About 10 minutes later, I was doing a google search for "Smyrna Emergency Rooms" and found a phone number for a nearby hospital. I called and asked what their wait time was and then looked at Dennis. "Let's go to Kennestone Hospital. They don't have a wait right now and this place sucks." Obviously he is an incredibly patient husband. He agreed and we were off. Again.

The second emergency room was pretty efficient seeing as how we arrived a little before 1:00am and were headed to the pharmacy for some Vicodin by about 3:00am. The nine stitches in my middle finger were wrapped in some white gauze.

The next morning, Dennis drove me to the airport because I had taken half of a Vicodin and he was worried about me. I think we left our house around 6:30am. We were both exhausted since we didn't get home until about 4:00am and I had to get up about 5:30am to pack and get ready for the meeting.

As I walked up to my co-workers at the airport, they all stopped talking. One of them noticed my bandaged middle finger and one of the others noticed that I had on two ID bracelets from two different ER's. I sat down next to them and told them the entire story.

I would like to say that I learned my lesson about being a nosy neighbor, but I think that the real lesson that I learned is that it is vitally important to check out the bottom of the garage door before jumping up to pull it down. And, if you see only metal and no rubber, don't do it. It's not worth it.


Dennis said...

Krista, you were hardly as calm as you would have your readers to believe. It was more like, "AAAAHHHHOOOHHHHMMMYYYGODDDD!!!!!! CALL AN AMBULANCE!!!!!

Emmy said...

This is hilarious! I actually have a very similar story to tell about Chris slipping in the shower. Perhaps I will blog it one day.