Monday, August 1, 2016

Writing Lessons In The Form Of Stitches

So there was a thing that happened to me and the thing is that I put my arm through some plate glass. There was a screen door swinging shut in front of me, and apparently my kickboxing instructor has done a great job of teaching me how to identify an opponent's weakest points, because I straight-armed that door in exactly the right place to make it shatter. I watched it go, saw a huge piece dangling right above my arm and thought, Oh, this could be bad, and then it fell, guillotine style, and yes, it was bad.

Now, I've always kind of mocked heroes in movies who get shot and stabbed, then run a lot and win big prizes and often have sex shortly thereafter. I'm like, um no, that person is in pain. They are not doing any of those things. On the other hand I've been told that being cut by a very sharp object doesn't hurt, and have always been somewhat dubious of that fact.

I'm here to tell you it doesn't hurt. In fact, it's so misleadingly doesn't hurt that you think you're just fine until you hear the blood dripping off your elbow. I grabbed the boyfriend and bled through three kitchen towels, all while he told me not to look at it (I didn't tell him I already had, and found it fascinating) and tried to find the keys.

The conversation on the drive to the ER went like this:

B/F: How are you feeling?
Me: I'm fine.
B/F: Okay, keep your arm up.
Me: I am. I didn't know Family Dollar was open this late.
B/F: Are you sure you're okay?
Me: I'm fine.
B/F: Keep breathing.
Me: Um, okay.

Then my mom texted because I had texted her saying that I was headed to the ER and could she please come over and put all the pets out because I didn't want them running through broken glass. That conversation went like this:

Mom: WHAT HAPPENED?
Me: I broke the door with my hand.
Mom: WHERE ARE YOU?
Me: Almost to ER. I'm fine.
Mom: THERE IS BLOOD ALL OVER IT'S RUNNING DOWN THE CUPBOARDS (then she followed that up with heart emoticons. I don't know if she was asking if it was arterial blood or letting me know she loves me).
Me: Yeah I know, there's a bunch in the sink too.
(long pause)
Mom: MINDY YOU ARE NOT FINE.

I get to the ER and walk in, arm in the air, bloody dishtowels dangling, and am immediately redirected to registration even though boyfriend told the nurse I needed attention right away. She said since I walked in under my own power and could talk fine they'd rather I'd do the paperwork first. He tried to explain to them that I would probably walk and talk even if I'd been decapitated, and I was already done with the paperwork by the time he finished. (I did drop some nice big blood spatters on it to make a point though).

Got a room. Got a bed. Got my feet up. Got comfortable.

Then they took away the dishtowels and the nurse said. "Um..." and left, to reappear with a doctor who had me do some hand exercises and told me to stop looking at the wound while I did.

Me: Why?
Dr: Because you're cut down to the muscle. I can see it moving.
Me: Really? *leans forward*
Dr: Seriously, you shouldn't look.
Me: Too late.
B/F: I have no idea how you can be so calm right now.
Nurse: Her blood pressure hasn't even gone up.

I tried to get the boyfriend to take a picture of the open wound, but he refused. The doctor stitched me up (two internal, twelve external) and asked what I do for a living, and I explained and he just shook his head and said that made a weird kind of sense.

I was back home in 90 minutes, cleaned, stitched, and honestly, a little bored. My mom had cleaned up all my blood and the shattered glass, so there was nothing for me to do except go to bed, which seemed somewhat anticlimactic. But I did.

So I learned something. You really can be badly injured, lose a lot of blood, and maintain an even strain. I didn't defeat the bad guys after being wounded, but I did fill out a lot of insurance paperwork quickly and efficiently, so there's that.

And no, there's no pictures for this blog entry. I've been told some people don't like to look at injuries.

I don't understand.

13 comments:

Tez Miller said...

I'm guessing that wasn't your writing hand, since you managed to handwrite the paperwork? ;-)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

The blood splatter on the paperwork was an excellent touch. Hmm, maybe you should've pretended it was from paper cuts from handling said paperwork.... :)

Hope you're healing well!

Mindy McGinnis said...

I was speaking at a writing conference this weekend for Sisters In Crime, and one of the other guest speakers, Nancy Harper, had a wonderful observation : "Write fast parts slow, and the slow parts fast." And that's exactly how things go in real life. I swear it took a full minute for that piece of glass to fall, yet I didn't have time to pull my arm back.

Healing well!

Marin McGinnis said...

Having once cut my arm open pushing a door I can relate. I think I was six, it didn't hurt, and it bled a lot. But seriously, you are the only person I know who would react quite that way. Glad you're still alive and healing, but disappointed there are no pictures.

E. S. Lomen said...

I hope you heal quickly! My daughter jumped into pool with her toes pointed two weeks ago, breaking one foot and spraining the other. You don't realize how difficult everything becomes until you have a disability (even a temporary one).

The Lookout Shop said...

This post is win!! Thanks so much for sharing! And I'm so glad you're okay!! :D

Robin Breyer said...

Mindy, only you could make a blog post about a serious-need and ER-type of injury and make people laugh about it. You are marvelous. Sending quick healing vibes your way.

Ellie said...

Wow. This reminds me when my BF put his elbow through a fish tank and sliced his elbow on glass. He drove himself to the ER and sat there for like an hour or three (it's in a city hospital, so gunshot wounds take priority lol)
But all this so true! lol

tracey said...

I had a similar experience with a broken drinking glass and a finger. You may not see the similarities, possibly because a door is much larger than a glass but they are there. Btw It's fascinating to see your muscles and ligaments move, and I'm glad you are ok.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Thanks everyone for all your concern! I'm doing just fine - stitches came out yesterday and I'm now held together with little white strips that make me look like I went to an Office Depot sponsored ER. But I'm doing well!

Mindy McGinnis said...

And since everyone enjoyed my stitches story so much, you might want to check out writing lessons gained from the time I had a concussion. http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/07/house-of-writing-metaphors-bbcs-howm.html

TeenLibrarianChristina said...

You are amazing! I don't think I would have been that calm, no sireebob. We're all very glad that you are healing well, from both of these traumatic incidents! Good grief!

Deb R.H. said...

I've been missing posts, so I'm mad I missed this. I feel like I shouldn't laugh at all of your injuries, but the way you write the situations. lolol

And what's the point of panicking and making your blood run faster?! Oh to be the people outside of the looking glass. lol