They saved the finger..

This was supposed to be an easy, carefree weekend.  One of those rare weekends where spontaneity is possible because plans were not made ahead of time.  We could lounge on the couch, work on our hobbies, or even do a little shopping.  And, no, I'm not referring to the necessary evil of grocery shopping, but the much more enjoyable version where you get to buy things that actually make you happy.

Because the oldest boy needed some pants and the youngest could use a new pair of shoes, I decided to head into the city to do some shopping at Kohl's.  Of course, my decision to shop there was not quite so altruistic.  Mama needed a new bathing suit!

So, I pack the kids up and head into the city.  The youngest picks out his shoes.

The oldest tries on a few pairs of jeans and ends up with two in the basket.  Did I mention we have to shop in the men's department now?  That he's wearing size 29?  My baby is growing up!

Then it was Mom's turn.  I was looking over the options, selecting those that appealed to the eye and might - hopefully - fit, when my phone rang.  It was the hubby and he had me on speaker phone.

"I cut my fingers on the table saw.  I'm going to need to go to the hospital."

I thought he was joking. 

"No, really.  The EMTs are here and they're patching up my hand.  I'm going to need to go to the hospital, but finish your shopping because it's going to take awhile to get down there."

Um.  What?  Seriously?

"I'm fine.  I just can't drive myself down, so I'm going in the ambulance."

Then he tells me, again, to finish my shopping.

Now, it may sound crass, but we live about 45 minutes from the hospital in question.  Since I was already in town, I was a mere 15 minutes away.  So I finished my shopping.  I tried on the bathing suits, picked out my favorite, and headed off to the hospital.

Even after trying on the bathing suits and checking out, I still managed to beat the ambulance to the hospital by about ten or fifteen minutes.  This helped immensely with my guilt over not rushing immediately out of Kohl's.

When the ambulance finally did arrive, we were able to join Ken back in the ER triage area.  His hand was bundled in several layers of blood-soaked bandages, but he seemed remarkably calm and, oddly enough, strangely cheerful.  One of the EMTs handed me his wedding ring - also covered in blood - and I stuck it in my purse while he chatted affably with the nurses and doctors.

The boys and I stepped out of the room.  I don't do well with blood and he was afraid the boys would be freaked out because he was fairly certain the fingertip of his middle finger was mangled beyond repair.  As in, he figured there was no way it could be saved and he was looking at losing a good 1/4 inch or more, possibly down to just below the first knuckle.

Nope, didn't want to see that!

Well, I didn't.  The boys were trying their best to peek around the curtain in order to catch a glimpse.  I'm assuming it's a boy thing.

After being treated by the ER docs, it was decided our hospital would need to transfer him to a different hospital where a hand specialist was on staff.  Can you believe I drove him from one hospital to the next?  Me, either!

Oh, and here's my next guilty moment.  I dropped him off at the ER doors because he wanted me to take the kids home.  He didn't want them at the hospital after dark.  Neither did I, to be honest.   This particular hospital is known for its less than savory after-hours crowd.  Although, to be fair, this was the quietest I had ever seen that particular ER and wasn't nearly as scary as it has been in the past.

Still, I let him walk in by himself so I could take the boys home.

I returned an hour later with my Dad as escort.  I think we spent another couple hours in that ER before he was finally moved upstairs to a room where he would await surgery.  Surgery that wasn't supposed to happen until 1 or 2 in the afternoon the next day.

My plan was to get to the hospital by ten or ten-thirty that next morning.  Wouldn't you know they took him down before I got there?  By minutes!  I arrived to an empty room and was directed down to the surgical waiting room.  About an hour and a half later, he was out and the surgeon gave me the good news:  he had saved the mangled finger!  It was "groddy" and "wouldn't look like the original equipment", but he felt optimistic.  We'll have a better idea of how successful the procedure really was in about six months, but things looked promising.

Hubby's home now.  He's on some pretty powerful narcotics and a precautionary antibiotic regiment.  The first night home he slept well and didn't complain too much about the pain.  Last night wasn't quite so easy, though.  The pain seems to be increasing as the nerves wake up - we were told to expect this.  On the bright side, we think this means the blood flow is good enough to keep the tissues and nerves alive.



A Brief Book Review

Reservation BluesReservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a lot of ways Reservation Blues reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Repeatedly I found myself thinking of the similarity in technique, the blending or bending of time and space. One significant advantage this book had over Marquez's, though, was the fact that the characters were at least easily identifiable by name alone.

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Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey

DragonsbloodDragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's been a long time since I've read anything set in the Pern universe. Oh, how I missed those dragons and their little Pernese brethren.

This particular book is Todd McCaffrey's first solo foray into the Pern his mother created. While there's no denying there are stylistic difference, I thought Mr. McCaffrey did a fair job in continuing the saga.

One last thing...I might have gotten a smidgen teary-eyed near the end of the novel.

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Tacos and Newspapers

There are so many things I've already forgotten about my boys growing up, so I've decided I need to make more of an effort to record these fleeting moments of childhood.

KC turned thirteen last Friday.  Although his birthday didn't create the mythical teenage monster every parent fears, his personality has been gradually changing over the last several months.  He's a bit more willful now and isn't afraid to voice his opinion.  (At least, not with Mom; with Dad, he's still a bit more hesitant.) His willfulness sometimes crosses over into moodiness, but that's mostly directed at his brother, which I think is perfectly normal even if it is annoying beyond belief. 

As an official teenager, his mouth does occasionally get him into trouble, though.  He doesn't always know how to read the nonverbal cues or is unaware of proper social etiquette.  He doesn't always respond to people who approach him with a friendly hello.  He's still learning the ins and outs of "respect your elders", whether you like them or not. 

Interestingly enough, he has come up with a diversionary tactic for those times when he's nearing his limit of discomfort or uncertainty.  Tacos.

Yes, I said tacos.

Actually, that's what he says.  He'll blurt out "tacos" in the middle of a conversation and give a goofy grin to distract the speaker from their point.  It's annoying, but surprisingly effective.  It's also inappropriate and should be used sparingly, but trying to get a thirteen-year-old to understand why is a bit more challenging than you'd think.

So, that's KC.

Unlike his brother who opts for silliness, Gage is a bit more serious-minded.  I guess that's why his skewed observations are so memorable.  He isn't trying to be funny, but it's hard not to laugh.

Take for instance, this scenario: 

We're sitting together in my recliner watching television.  The actor - Tom Selleck from Blue Bloods - sits down at the dining room table to have his morning coffee.  In Tom's hands is a newspaper.  Gage turns to me with the most serious expression and asks, "Don't they have a TV?"

I was a bit confused.  "What do you mean?"

"Well, why's he reading that?  Don't they have a TV?"

Oh my.  After I finished laughing, I explained to him that Tom was reading the newspaper in order to catch up on the news.  That, while we only get the newspaper in order to find coupons for grocery shopping, some people actually read their newspapers to find out what's going on in their city or even in the world. 

He didn't look convinced, which made me laugh all the harder.