Monday, September 05, 2005

My Holiday Weekend

I managed to get Friday night off so I could make the drive down to the lake. I wasn't going for leisure. I went to help Mom move some of her stuff down to the cabin. Before then, I realize I can't find my debit card...and I have run out of checks. Shaping up to be a great weekend, this is!!

Being the chipper morning person I am (and the preceding statement is utter BS), I drove about an hour north to my parents' house. Lucky for me, all three trucks were already loaded. All I had to do was drive one. The 3 hour drive was long and boring, and I feel a glazed-over look coming on just thinking about I won't elaborate any further on that matter.

At the cabin, the unloading of the trucks went quickly and without incident. My dog Sam played with my brother Mike's dog, Bob. I swear, if they gave out awards to families with the most mediocre-named pets...we would win first prize. We had dinner at some small podunk diner before we went back to the cabin and turned in the for the night. This was Saturday.

Sunday, we just sort of moved boxes at a turtle's pace. I had Sam tied up outside because I got tired of the little bastard running away and not coming when I called him. I saw that he had become tangled around a tree, so I attempted to get him untangled. My finger was caught in his choke collar and in his excitement to see me, he jumped. I felt white hot pain in my right hand, then saw a big chunk of flesh just hanging off my index finger. I yelled a tirade laced with profanity at the Sam who probably just heard, "Blarg! Blarg-blarg!!" coming from me, then I ran back into the cabin, almost plowing over my waif-looking sister-in-law in the process. I held my profusely bleeding hand under the sink faucet while the rest of the family gathered round. Damn, the cold water hurt too much, so I just held my hand over the sink while fighting the urge to just faint.

"Put your hand back under the water," said Mike as he tried to force my hand under the nozzle. Nevermind the fact that I am white as a sheet, and in a cold sweat. I can hear blood flow roaring in my ears.
"Hold pressure on it" someone else said, it could have been Mom.
"It don't look that bad, you're just being a big pansy" said Mike.

After I decided I wasn't going to pass out, I inspected my hand. Shit...I was going to need stitches. My family objected. I just needed a bandaid, so Mom brought out all she had there...a box of bandaids and a big bottle of rubbing alcohol. Can this wait until I get back to civilization? I thought. After a couple of minutes of studying the wound, I decided that I should be seen by a doctor that day.

So, Mom drove me to Bolivar...some 30 minutes away. We pulled up to County Medical Hospital. When I say little, I mean that the entire hospital would fit in one of the parking garages of where I work. This hospital was pretty much all the folks down in the area had. (Allow me to point out that the counties in the surrounding area are among the poorest in the state of Missouri.) True Rednecks live in this area...they live and breathe the redneck mentality...and seeing how I still have all my teeth, I belong in the minority. I'm a weekender.

Mom and I went to the ER waiting room where there was an eclectic mix of rednecks and weekenders (city folks that come down on weekends for fun on the lake). Ironically, the televisions in the waiting room were showing "Roadhouse". Bouncers to big country bars watch this movie and jerk-off. Bubba is sitting across from us in the waiting room, wearing a confederate flag bandana, and watching the movie as if Jesus himself just walked into the waiting room.

After waiting...and waiting...and waiting...and waiting (Oohh! Patrick Swayze beat the evil town bully!)...and waiting...I was finally called to triage, where a nurse took my information and I was assigned to room 4. Yay for room 4. I perched myself on the cart, Mom in the chair...where we proceeded to wait some more. I noticed their ER was staffed with 2 doctors and a gaggle of nurses...of all which were determined to hold the desk down and keep it from floating away. One doc came in, examined my hand, announced I would need stitches (thank you, Captain of the Obvious!) and then left. Then, some little oriental man shuffled in my room like he had a cob up his butt. He rattled off his name (Ping Pong?) and examined my hand. His accent was so thick, I had to ask him to repeat himself.

Dr. Ping Pong: whistle, whistle, click, click
Me: What?!?
Dr. Ping Pong: I put stitch in.
Me: Okay (passing a worried look to my mother) Will I be able to work with these?
Ping Pong: Yes...what do you do?
Me: (pause) A nurse
Ping Pong: Oh!! So you know every ting!
Me: Not quite (The other nurse sort of giggles, which annoys me. She wouldn't last 10 minutes where I work!)
Ping Pong: You can't work. I give note.

Mom decides to go back to the waiting room because she is squeamish and doesn't want to watch. Pansy! How she managed to raise 3 children, I will never know. Now, she is abandoning me at the hands of America's Newest Citizen, the only Chinese person for 100 square miles, and ER physician of Podunk Community Hospital/Bingo Hall...Dr. Ping Pong.

So, Ping Pong shuffles around the room to get his act together, and I am now laying on the cart, watching him suspiciously, my hand still flayed open. He first attempts to raise the cart so he won't have to bend over, and does it without success. "Bed no work" he mutters until he finds the right pedal to push to make the cart elevate. He indicates he wants me to lay on my side. I indicate I want the bed rail up so I don't fall out of the cart which is now six feet in the air. Ping Pong shuffles to the other side of the bed and lifts the rail. It falls. He lifts it again. It falls again. After a dozen attempts of trying to figure out why "bed no work", he goes to find a nurse who knows the magic secret to bed operation.

When he finally gets the tools he needs he, injects my hand with lidocaine...which burns like hell. The good doctor then puts 3 stitches in, and decides a 4th one is in order. I yelped because that area wasn't numb at all...I felt the needle go in, then out. I thought my chicken lunch would be revisited.

Ping Pong: whistle, whistle, click, click
Me: (through clenched teeth) What?!?
Ping Pong: It not numb?
Me: No! (Dumbass!)
Ping Pong: Oh (then procedes to finish the last stitch anyway)

Ping Pong inspects his work (which looks a lot worse than before he even touched it) and declares "One more stitch and then we done". As an afterthought, he decides to inject more lidocaine in the area he will put his last stitch. He leaves the room to look for something, leaving his needle and crap laying on the cart next to my leg. I shifted my weight and his tools crashed to the floor...oops. Ping Pong comes back and sees his instruments on the ground and makes a snorty noise, as if I did it on purpose. So, he shuffles out of the room to get another suture kit. I'm glad I wasn't bleeding to death or anything.

Ping Pong does the last suture, attempting to shorten the thread by sawing at it with a scalpel before giving up an using scissors, and tries to give me instructions on how to care for my wound. As usual, it comes out as whistles and clicks.

Me: What?!?
Ping Pong: (annoyed) I get nurse come and tell you.

I lifted my hand to inspect it. The laceration now looks like raw hamburger. My dreams of over being a hand model are now over. Where did this guy learn to do sutures? Bob's Community College of Medicine?? I take my gauze and wipe some of the blood that ran down my hand. Ping Pong gets upset.

Ping Pong: You no clean...I make nurse do it!
Me (thinking): (I am a nurse, you Asshat!)

So, he shuffles to fetch my nurse (who probably should've been in the room to assist so he wouldn't have had to walk away from the sterile field so many damn times). My nurse, who was very pleasant, wraps my hand...but doesn't bother to clean it, and gives me discharge instructions. Ping Pong wants to know if I need a note for work. I tell him no...I will just go see my doctor (a real one) when I get back to KC. Ping Pong thinks this is a fine idea. Mom and I check out, and the clerk almost is beside herself when I hand her my insurance card. Apparently, she doesn't get to see those very often. ..which of itself is rather sad. She did manage to misspell Mom's last name. Then she would repeatedly ask what relationship she was to me (and we answered her each and every time). I was starting to get annoyed. I should have just told her that she was my girlfriend.

So, now I am the nice confines of my KC apartment. I've emailed my boss, who I am sure will shit a barrel of blue monkeys when he realizes I won't be able to work for a week. Mom thinks I did this on purpose to get out of helping her with the big move next weekend.

What a way to cap off my summer. I didn't get to do any boating. I think I swam once. The only thing of interest was going to the PT Cruiser event...which is sort of pathetic when you consider I am 30 years old and supposed to be hitting my prime.

Good-bye, sucked ass.


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pengalin said...

Damn, I'm sorry about that! My husband cut his foot in Alaska a few years ago and the only doctor for miles around had to be called in off of vacation.

The results of that? A doctor recently looked at his foot and said, "Whoever stitched you up must have been pretty pissed off." No shit.