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.”
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 …”
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.
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.