A Stitch in Time
The injury itself wasn’t really that epic. Nor was the story behind it. I didn’t get stabbed breaking up a knife fight or get bitten by a shark or fall from great heights whilst escaping danger. I cut the back of my leg on a broken vase while taking out the trash. I know. Lame-oh. So why even blog about it? Because you know we’re all about trying new things around here and my little cut wasn’t just a scratch that you could slap a band-aid on and be done with it. It wasn’t horrible…but it was big enough that it involved a trip to the local ER and five stitches.
I mentioned this to Dr. Hurt (yes, his actual last name) as he wrote me up for an x-ray (to make sure there were no “foreign bodies” aka glass shards) left in my calf before they sewed me back up, and his response was, “wow. you must have had a very, um, safe childhood.” Yeah. To say I was a cautious child is an understatement.
Anyway. Back to the “incident.” I was taking the trash out, accidentally swung the bag with the broken vase in it into the back of my leg, felt an immense pain, cried to the hubby who immediately bandaged it up and drove me to the ER. The ER is an interesting place. I could write about ten blog posts of things I saw and overheard in my four hours there, but I won’t because I don’t want to violate any sort of HIPPA laws of any sort. It took a while to even be seen, and then a longer while for them to get me to xray to make sure there weren’t any glass shards still lurking in my calf. Once it was time to stitch everything back together, the resident attending me brought in a medical student.
I’d worked as an admin in a teaching hospital for a few years so I wasn’t entirely shocked when they told me that the medical student was going to be cleaning my wound and doing my sutures “if I didn’t mind” but I certainly wasn’t super pumped about it. I joked with him about “of course….I mean, you’ve totally done this before right?” His awkward chuckle and suddenly-active facial sweat glands assured me that he had done sutures before…probably on cadavers and old couch cushions…and that we were about to be in this “first stitches” bit together. After a brief discussion about the best places and angles to inject Lidocane to numb everything up, they helpfully cleaned my wound with some sort of saline solution or something and then threaded the needle.
It was an odd sensation knowing that someone was literally SEWING MY LEG TOGETHER and yet I couldn’t feel anything but an occasional mild tug or pressure. Keith helpfully photographed the event (I vetoed his earlier idea of adding eyes and a nose above the wound so it could be a face) and I’ve included a little collage below. Don’t worry. I’ve posted a cartoon PG version on the front page here, and then if you want the guts-and-gory version (complete with actual blood) click through. I’m grossed out by blood, so if you are too….don’t click the photo below.
This whole crisis took place two and a half weeks ago on Sunday, January the 12th, but I’m bringing you the story now because I wanted to wait for the exciting conclusion….you know…where the stitches come out as well! The night of the incident, I texted my sweet friend Cassie, a nurse who’d gone to Brazil with me back in June to get a recommendation on where to take my injured leg. In her response, she said she’d be happy to take my stitches out when they were ready. I mean….that’s friendship right there, ladies and gents. Although I guess once you’ve lived on a boat on the amazon for 5 days, hunted for caymen, visited with villagers, shared two hotel rooms and argued with the airlines over your obliterated luggage together, your friendship is sort of automatically skyrocketed to the level where taking out stitches seems like the next logical step.
A week ago, after a yummy girls night out at the local burger joint, Cassie checked out my wound and decided that those little stitches weren’t quite ready to come out. So we left them there for another week. Which is why this past Sunday night, Cassie once again swung by the house to take a look at my leg. This time, she pronounced them “just right” and carefully snipped them out of my leg. Getting the stitches out was every bit as odd a sensation as getting them put in. She’d snip then pull and while I felt them all come out, none of them hurt. It really is the oddest thing.
So I guess I can check that off my list.