Oh, sonova–!

The last decade or so, it seems that as soon as I get one ER visit/hospital stay paid off, I wind up back in ER.

Friday, I got my final payment slip from the local hospital, and I stood in the living room with the cheque in one paw, and the envelope in another; and I said: “I really don’t want to send in this last payment. I’m not ready to go back to the hospital yet.”

Witnesses pooh-poohed.

Sunday morning, at or about 03:45, I was helping Reno strap a selection of fishing poles into the back of his pick-up in preparation for a run to Lake Texoma, when a sudden piercing pain in my face announced that Something Wasn’t Quite Right.

“Reno, I think I just hooked myself.”


“Oh, yeah. I hooked myself good.”

Quick work with a Leatherman — the carbon-steel American Express card — and I hauled butt into Reno’s bathroom to discover a hot-pink jig buried shank deep in the side of my nose.

Well, to make a long story short, we expended not a small amount of my blood to discover that extracting said jig was a wee bit beyond our powers.

On a side note, I can testify that Mustad makes a damned fine hook.

So, off to the local ER we go.

Thankfully at 0400 on a Sunday morning, the local Emergency Room is blessedly short of customers.

I walked up to the triage desk, and the Sweet Young Thing in the Hot Seat asks, “What is the nature of your …”

I silently point to my now-dripping snout

“… holy [deleted]!”

Attracted by the yelp, several ER staff immediately descend upon the triage desk. “How did you …” “You did …” “What the hell …” “How in the hell did you get a fishing lure stuck in the side of your nose?”

“Well,” I announce, as the adrenaline started to short out the old mouth-brain connection, “There I was, minding my own business, when this little bit of pink wanders across my path, and I couldn’t help myself.”

Note to self: if you wander into a deserted ER at four in the morning with a fishhook sticking out of your nose — everybody is going to come take a look.

So. There I am, on the hospital bed, surrounded by twelve — count ’em, twelve — nurses, paramedics, techs and such when the doctor enters the room, announces, “What do we …”

Long pause.


Somewhere near the front of the room, I hear a late comer, “How in the hell did ..”

The doctor pokes my snout a couple of times with his forefinger.

Reno murmurs, “Trolling … pink … jump on it every time.”

Doc sayeth, “Hmm.”

Doc leaves. Reno takes the opportunity to snap pics with his camera phone.

Doc comes back with an armful of stuff, suggests dryly that I might want to close my eyes.

I’ll give the man props: I didn’t feel the needle slide into my nose one little bit. Of course, when the local anaesthetic lit off a bonfire in my snout it kind of ruined the whole effect …

What really concerned me was when the doctor mused, matter-of-factly, “Looks like it’s already been used” just before something smelling strongly of fuel oil clamped onto the jig.

One would tend to thing that an ER would have a set of side-cutting pliers on-hand — so to speak — rather then having to pilfer the janitors tool box, but that’s a minor quibble.

Lots of tugging as the doctor proceeded to drag me by the nose all over the bed, accompanied by a chorus of “Eep”, “Ook”, “Jee-zus” and the like from the twelve fascinated bystanders.

I would like to thank various approved deities for modern pharmaceuticals, because –despite the comments to the contrary from the peanut gallery — I didn’t feel a bit of pain.

I was a bit worried that the doctor was attempting to rip my nose of my face to get access to the hook, but when it became all-to-apparent that the hook wasn’t coming back out the way it went in, the doctor paused his ‘Dog-dragging activities, announced, “Huh”, and changed grips.

A sudden firm wrench, an odd popping sensation, and I’m pretty sure we lost a tech or two when the doctor twisted the point of the hook out through the top of my snout.

Ah, well.

He clamped a gauze pad on the holes, took my hand and said, “Firm pressure here and here until the bleeding stops. Tetanus booster.”

“That’s it?” I asked.

“Well, and a ‘scrip for antibiotics. And some lortab — your nose is going to be bruised.”

“Hell with the lortab, I’ll take a tylenol. Direct pressure?”


“Anything mild enough to be treated with pressure means we can still make the lake while the fish are biting. Thanks, doc!”

You know, one wouldn’t think that particular statement would generate the sheer number of rolled feminine eyes that it did, but then the distaff side of the species has always been a pleasant mystery to me.

Fishing wasn’t bad, either.


That's what friends are for.
Choices, choices.

42 thoughts on “Oh, sonova–!

  1. You the man for sure. You went fishing after that. btw long as you are not driving could probably fish with lortab.

  2. LD, you are indeed a macho man. I can’t say that I would have taken a fishhook in the schnoz that well, myself.

    I just hope you kept it covered at the lake…

  3. If you hadn’t of made the comment about your love life awhile back, I would swear you were my husband. Hope you caught plenty of fish to make up for it. Feel better soon.

  4. I love self-deprecating humor. You may as well laugh at yourself, because everybody is will anyway.


  5. Dang, the nose and ear are probably the only 2 places my backup, fail safe, do it yourself hook removal method (when you can’t run it through and cut it off) would make me think twice! Here’s how I do it. Take some paracord, long enough to loop around the hook at the point of penetration and give you a good grip of the doubled cord. Hyperventilate for a minute (optional). All in one motion, press in on the hook like you are trying to dig it in deeper (to disengage the barb), twist/press in the direction opposite the barb (to minimize it’s digging in as you…) and yank the paracord straight back out.

    Yeah it burns, but so does having a lure/hook dangling from you for the 2+ hours it sometimes takes to get medical attention when you are waaaaay out in the boat.

  6. Good to hear you were still able to hit the lake. Did you salvage enough of the lure to use it? If so, did the LawDog nose bits work well as bait?

  7. Tough guy!

    May I suggest you arrange to pay this bill in $5 monthly increments? Perhaps you can winnow out a longer reprieve before your next ER trip.

  8. Of course, you could have just kept it in and claimed it was body art…

    Seems to have been the weekend for injuring schnozzes. Managed to pop myself in the nose with the guide rod plug I was installing in my 1911 yesterday. Thumb slipped off the bugger. Now that I’ve put in a full-length guide rod and a 20lb recoil spring, I understand the value of a bushing wrench…

  9. A fishing lure would be one of the least offensive pieces of body art I’ve seen…

    Heal fast, pay slow.

  10. Ow, that was one painful post to read! Considering how effective you say the anesthetic was, it might have even been more painful for me to read it than for you to experience it.

    Nah, no way. But I’m glad to hear it was sufficiently minor that you could carry on with the fishing trip.

    I hope you don’t have any allergies. A sneeze could be…messy.

  11. OH.. shouldn’t laugh.. but I am.

    What did you end up catching that day, other than yourself.

    btw: I guess you had the biggest catch of the day.

  12. I swear, between you and HollyB, I’m starting to feel like my plethora of simply ridiculous injuries aren’t all that bad.

    Course, I haven’t posted any of them yet.

    Thanks for the inspiration, though!

    Don’t suppose anyone had a camera…



  13. I shouldn’t laugh. I really shouldn’t.

    You should crop that photo that your friend took and post it here. I’d be one of the people running in to have a look at it before it was yanked out.

  14. cdh: You’re right on the money there, thats how my father (a small town Doc in Alaska) used to do it. He used fishing line though, and would take 2 or 3 motions to get the hook out.


  15. I distinctly remember saying to the team doc “If you tape it tight enough, can I stand? Good, then I’m going back in next series”.

    I’d had small fractures in my left ankle and both little fingers, when I got hit with three guys on one play.

    We were against the all Germany champions, and I’d rather badly hurt their star linebacker on multiple plays (he was 235, I was 325 and moving just as fast, do the math). They had their guys gunning for me hard the entire second half, and by the beginning of the fourth quarter they were giving up plays to try and take me out.

    I didn’t feel it at all that night; but the next six weeks I was walking funny, and my pinkies and ankle have never been right since.

    … but we won, and I only missed five plays.

  16. Man, your schnozz must be pretty this morning.

    I can just see you in the uniform, glaring at some teenage miscreant over your bandaged nose.

    “Kid, I started my weekend by getting a fishhook extracted from my nose. Are you sure you want to try that line on me?”

  17. I was participating in a living history reenactment (French & Indian war) skirmish back in 2003 when I slipped and two of my front teeth ended up sticking out of my gums horizontally instead of vertically courtesy of the butt of my .54 cal. flintlock pistol.
    A trip to the ER, another trip to an orthodontist, half a dozen holes drilled through my upper gums to wind the wires holding the teeth in place, and I was back out at the camp site by 5pm.

    At the camp meeting that night the booshway asked our group how “the guy who busted his teeth” was, and his eyes bugged out when I said “I’m fine” and smiled, showing off my new hardware. I didn’t even call my wife (she would have nagged me to go home).

    The archbar that held my teeth in is now sewn to my bonnet as “trade silver”.

  18. Ermmm, you went to ER for a fishhook? Man I would have just pushed it through and clipped it off wiyh the Letherman… then promptly pass out… 🙂

  19. Well, the nose would be one of the places I would prefer not to get a hook myself.

    My run in with the “caught the biggest fish” normally involves a lure eating tree or shrub eating the lure then suddenly, coughing it at me at record speed.

    My reflexes are still good but some days….BAM….well now, that didn’t go as planned…MEDIC…

    Heal fast LD and enjoy the fish! You sure earned ’em. heh

  20. I know one guy who framed a Rapala Magnum with a before/after photo layout as a background after a similar trip to the emergency room. He figured it was the most expensive catch of his life to that point in time…

  21. “Note to self: if you wander into a deserted ER at four in the morning with a fishhook sticking out of your nose — everybody is going to come take a look.” Maybe in Texas. Where I grew up, in Traverse City, Michigan, everyone’s seen it before. A friend worked summers in the ER while going to med school (he’s now a doctor and a professor in Wisconsin), and he claimed that not only did they do fish hook removals every shift, but they let him do it, with the doctor looking it over afterwards and prescribing tetanus boosters, etc.

    Although I think that through the schnozz just might be the worst possible place to get it. Ears are no problem, according to my buddy – just snip off the shank and push it on through.


  22. UHhhhh – – Yeah, that would smart a bit.

    I, too, would like to see the photo of the lure in place before the doc started messing with it.

    In a way, it’s a shame that you’re so conservative and, uh, mature. I’ve seen young folks on the street who spent good money on nasal piercings, wearing jewelry not as nice as yours. 😉


  23. At least it wasn’t up your nose. This – and the fact there’s usually at least a couple of younger kids along – is why I’ve snapped the barbs off all of my lures and flies.
    And, yeah, I’d like to see some picture. Be well! OldeForce

  24. I”m going to ask Reno for a Pic of that. 🙂 Glad you’re ok, and the fishing was good so the day wasn’t a total loss.

  25. I don’t want to quibble, but if you were a real friend, you’d have driven all the way over to AD’s hospital in Podunk, LA.

    Then you could have done a collaboration on this story.

    Besides, he’d probably get you a professional discount or something.

    Thanks for the laugh, though.

  26. Your lucky this did’nt happen in California! You first of all would have been fined, had your equipment confiscated for catching something not listed in the 325 page DFG fishing rules! Then immediatly upon arriving at the lake you’d have been required to throw yourself back in, under Catch and Release laws!
    Remember: Fishooks don’t hook people, only people hook people!
    Methinks a 12 week fishhook safety class/exam is in order!

  27. Get a big bandage and you could go around looking like Jack Nicholson in Chinatown, right after the punk cuts his nose. Hope you feel better soon.

  28. On the bright side, a hook in the nose is probably one of the least serious ER trips for a peace officer.At least you got the jinx over with.
    I once had a really bad week that ended up with hitting a deer with my car, and my first response, after verifying that the car and I were still mostly intact, was “Thank heavens! That makes three, the string is over!”
    Hope you start feeling better soon.

  29. and my Mom called ME an accident waiting for a place to happen! Sheesh!*grin* Way to show your manliness by continuing with the fishing trip. Women don’t understand US either. I kind of like it that way…

  30. I’m going surf casting in a couple weeks. I haven’t hooked myself, yet.

    Gosh that looks painful

  31. Normally, I’d roll my eyes, thinking, “The man sticks a fishing lure in his face, and all he cares about is getting back out there so maybe he can do it again!” However, I’m facing having a spinal tap sometime in the near future, and all I can think is, “If I have to stay in bed for two days afterwards, how am I gonna use my sewing machine those two days?” I think that makes me ineligable for eye rolling.

  32. Owww. . .

    Having caught my own ear the first time I ever attempted casting (having previously done only trolling in the Atlantic), I can sympathize.

    In all honesty, though, the bloody tetnus shot hurt worse than the removal — even though it was done “advance and cut” sans anesthesia right there on the river bank. Being at least 30 minutes walk from the vehicles and this in pre-cell phone days, my Scoutmaster didn’t think it was worth the risk of having me tromp through the woods with my “neat new earring”, snagging on everything in sight.

    About ten years later, I watched a buddy of mine grab the base of his skull when casting as some truly attractive girls went jogging past. . . luckily, that one didn’t embed to the barb. . .

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