June 23, 2017
I was upstairs in our room Wednesday evening when I faintly heard the sound of Steve shouting my name from the kitchen.
I couldn’t imagine why Steve would be shouting. He is not a shouter. If he had something he needed to tell me, he would come up the stairs to talk, the way he always does.
It occurred to me pretty quickly that a shouting Steve could only mean that something was wrong. And as I quickly found out, something was most definitely wrong.
Steve had been working on his radio controlled airplane when his hand had gotten too close to the propeller and bits of skin and chunks of flesh went flying. He and I are both incredibly thankful it was not an entire finger (or two) that went missing. It could have been much worse.
We got the wound on ice and wrapped in a towel and then sped out the door to the nearest Urgent Care, about 15 minutes away.
Please note the stylish duds that Steve is wearing for this particular foray out into public eye. Part of his great joy in working on his plane is getting to wear his oldest and most stained and ripped items of clothing. It’s obviously a guy thing.
As we were checking in and telling the receptionist what caused Steve’s injury, her face lit up and she said, “My grandpa also flies RC planes and he’s getting ready to move to the Outer Banks!”
At that point, my dear hubby put aside his trauma and discomfort and began enthusiastically telling her all about the local RC Club that he’s a part of; he even gave her the website address to pass on along to her grandpa.
But then all too soon, the fun was over and it was down-to-business time.
Over the next fifteen minutes, three different people were in and out of the room, assessing Steve’s injury, taking his health history, giving him a shot for pain, getting his hand in an antiseptic bath, and preparing the suturing materials. Steve got everyone’s name and engaged them all in conversation. Even in a tough situation, he is a people person to the bone.
The shot he’d been given was starting to make him feel just a bit mellow.
But in addition to the shot mellowing him out, it also contributed to his more-than-usual genial garrulity, as he kept up a steady stream of conversation. (The genial garrulity of the gentleman on the gurney. Trying saying that three times fast!)
As the Physician’s Assistant started doing her excellent suturing work, Steve regaled her (and the other in-and-out medical personnel) with all sorts of stories, asked them questions about themselves and in general, had a very jolly time.
Except of course, during the not-so-cheerful moments when he got half a dozen different anesthetic injections in his finger and thumb. You don’t realize how sensitive finger tips are until you have needles poking around in them.
The ten stitches took quite a long time since the PA was meticulous and precise, which is exactly how you want someone to be in this sort of situation. (She did sadly inform him that his career as a hand model was definitely over.)
Halfway through the procedure, the receptionist (whom we had talked with earlier) stuck her head in to see if it was okay to come in. Steve was, of course, happy to have someone else to chat with and was thrilled with the distraction.
The clinic had closed to any new patients for the day so she told him she’s already a chance to be in touch with her grandpa and he was so excited about joining Steve’s club. He was asking his granddaughter all sorts of questions to pass on to Steve, so the two of them happily chatted for ten minutes or so. Steve even asked me to get his phone and text her pictures of his airplane to send to her grandpa. He was definitely in his element.
When the receptionist left, we went back to chatting with the PA and found out she was married with a 9-month old son. When she told us his name I said, “Does he happen to go to the Sandbox Early Learning Center?”
Turns out I have actually cared for her sweet, smiling son during my part-time job there. That’s one of the great things about living in a small town–all the connectedness.
After about ninety minutes (and a tetanus shot), the procedure was finally done. The PA rightly said, “It looks like there’s been a massacre!”
But the good news is that Steve (while missing a few chunks of flesh) will have full use of his all his fingers, once the healing is done. He has to keep the dressing on for a week and then the stitches wil be removed.
You can’t see it, but there is a metal splint on this palm to keep him from bending any fingers and breaking open any sutures. Definitely not the most comfortable thing to deal with but he hasn’t let it slow him down.
And in closing, this photo is for the people at the clinic who Steve (in one of his moments of garrulity) mentioned my blog address to. I just had to show you what he looks like in his non-tacky mode. (smile)
Once again, we are both so thankful that this incident wasn’t worse. A fraction of an inch closer to the propeller and there would have been a very different outcome.
The funny thing is that on this coming Sunday afternoon, some young boys from our church are going to the RC flying field to meet with the members of the RC Club, learn about the planes, and fly one themselves. Part of the focus of the afternoon will be teaching on airplane safety.
Don’t you think it was so nice of Steve to put himself through this experience so that he could serve as the object lesson for this teaching session?
My husband. Always willing to go the extra mile.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.