Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Little did I know…

048When I wrote this yesterday, I just meant that we had a bit of a hectic day ahead of us.  Lots of coordinating of schedules to make sure we made it to our certain appointments on time, figuring out who needed the car and when, trying to make sure it all fit neatly together. 

I was breathing a sigh of relief at 9:30 last night when I pulled into our parking space.  We had made it!!  A successful day that started with a breakfast meeting,  and then went on to include volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages, a chiropractic appointment for Mark,  guitar lesson for Sam, supper squeezed in there somewhere, and then a board meeting.

But little did I know that there was a small crisis budding in the house that would translate into a 12-hour ordeal at the ER.  Sam had found a ring of some sort on the floor of the school gym locker room a few days back. He had meant to take it in to lost and found, but had forgotten.  Last night he put it on his index finger and went about his evening routine of homework and this particular night, reading with Mark and the other boys.  After an hour or so, he felt the ring was too tight and tried to pull it off.  He worked on it awhile and then decided to tell Mark.  I came in about that time and suggested oil.  We tried, we failed, we looked up tips on the internet, and then Sam and I hopped in the car and drove to the ER. 

For 3 or 4 hours “everyone” tried a little of this and little of that.  There were ring-cutters, wire cutters, lubricant, bags of ice, elastic tubing, a file, a hacksaw (yes), and even the janitor was called in to have a look.  This was no ordinary ring, and everyone seemed to want to know about it. So poor Sam, who was feeling foolish enough already for what had happened had to explain to each new “consultant” that he didn’t know what kind of ring it was, that he’d picked if off the floor at school.  And for my part, I was yawning and reading signs in the triage room and trying to curl up on the exam table and rest. 

Finally, around 2:30 it was decided that Sam should be kept overnight to make sure the circulation was not cut off.  Nothing could be done until morning when the main hospital area would open and the orthopedic surgeon could be consulted. Off we went to a room to sleep.  I even got my own teensy bed to flop onto. 

Meanwhile back at the ranch, my concerned husband was pretty much pacing the floor.  I couldn’t use my cell in the hospital, of course, so when I could I’d go outside and give him a head’s up.  That wasn’t happening often enough in his opinion.  The meager sleep that Sam and I got, was quite a bit more than Mark got as he informed me this morning that he didn’t get one wink.

Around 8:00 things started to buzz with the new shift coming in, being informed of all that had happened that night.  In came new nurses to check on Sam and to ask the questions we had answered 12 times earlier.  And then, an orthopedic surgeon popped in with an idea and his iphone.  He took a picture of Sam’s finger and took off.  It wasn’t long before we were following two surgeons down the hall to the bio-med lab.  Here was a workshop where the surgery equipment gets repaired.  They talked things over with the technician who informed us what this object was around Sam’s finger—a casing for a bearing.  He even opened up a drawer and pulled one out to show us.  Then they chose a diamond turbo blade for their saw, donned their special binocular glasses, clamped the ring into a vice, and  started in.  One sprayed water on the sparks while the other drilled/sawed into the ring, which was not really a ring.  I was a nervous wreck and glad to have my phone with which to snap a couple pictures.  In about 20 minutes they had made two cuts and the ring fell off causing me to say, “hallelujah!” and Sam to wrap his arms around me.  I know he really wanted to hug those doctors, but even with his relief, he wasn’t about to forget himself that much!DSC_8907

Back at the nurses station we rejoiced with everyone showing them the remnants of the cursed ring.  Sam was offered breakfast, but all he wanted to do was go home.  I was glad to oblige!

Total cost of this experience….$11 for parking! 

Oh, and the price of a basket of Fair Trade chocolate that we will be delivering to the surgeons and the ER crew very shortly!