Oh what a night

Yesterday, my dear sister-in-law got married. The Brack wedding machine was in full swing. There were pretty dresses, good food, lovely centerpieces. There was laughing and crying. There was the post-wedding hang-out.

After an exhausting but joyful day, my husband and I and our 2 guests, Clare and Liz, headed back to our home. Robert stopped on the way, so we arrived first. I was putting sheets on a bed for a 3rd guest on their way when I hear these immortal words... "Chrissy! I need you... and the first aid kit."

I hurried downstairs to find my husband, still only about a week post-op from having gallbladder removed, hobbling around our foyer. To make a long story short, he slipped on the ice and cut himself.

Luckily, friends, I am CPR certified and used to be first aid certified. They aim this training to be something that "kicks-in" as a first response to a crisis.

I did the very first thing they tell you to do -- assess the situation. Well, we need a chair as there is NO WAY I am letting my husband bleed out on my white carpet. Done.

Next, you check the ABC's -- that is, airway, breathing and circulation. Oh, his airway was open. In fact, he's asking for a beer. Check. Breathing -- yup, he's wincing in pain. Check. Circulation -- there is a wound on his leg gushing blood. That's what I'm talking about!

Next, apply firm pressure to the wound, putting a barrier between you and the blood. They tell you in first aid to call for help, so I sent our concerned guests to dig around in our bathroom closet for the first kit, and I grabbed an old rag and applied direct pressure. You will know if you have taken First Aid that they tell you to ask the person bleeding to hold the rag themselves if possible -- seeing as how Robert was unable to bend in his waist due to surgery, he wasn't reaching his legs.

Liz came back with the first aid kit, and Clare came back with his beer. By the way, this is the first aid kit Nathan, our best man, gave me at our wedding. Nathan, that was the best wedding present ever. Anyway, I did what I could to clean blood off his leg and check out the wound. I was ready to go with ointment, butterfly bandages and gauze. I lifted the rag to see... muscle. This is the part in first aid where they tell you, don't go in over your head. Begrudgingly  I looked up at my husband to announce this news, "You are going to need stitches. We need to go to the ED."

I wish I could explain the look on his face. He looked so... defeated. "Are you kidding me?" He asked. "No." I replied. "You know I'd butterfly this in a second, but there's no way it's going to hold. I can't clean it out properly without some Lidocaine, either. We need to go." This morning, Robert left at 5am to help a friend drive to Memphis. I was NOT letting him go into public restrooms with an open wound on an already compromised immune system.

I gave Liz and Clare instructions for preparing the final guest room and to watch the dog. Like champs, they make the bed, did dishes, and baby-sat Otis.

We drove the familiar drive to the Saxony ED, where the same lady who checked us in for Robert's gall bladder attack sent us back to the same nurse that assisted us the last time. We did have a different doctor this time. The nurse cleaned out the laceration. The doctor administered a painful but much needed dose of Lidocaine. As tears of pain came from his eyes, Robert joked, "I promised myself I wouldn't cry today." The doctor laughed when we explained it was funny because his sister got married earlier. I held his hand, thinking about another copay after the other visit and surgery, and I noticed it was quite warm in the room. "Look," I said, "it's almost tropical in here. It's like we are on vacation. And it cost as much, too. If I close my eyes, I can pretend we are some place nice."

After 6 stitches and discharge instructions, we were released. Liz and Clare gratefully welcomed us home, glad to see we were in one piece. Robert went straight to bed. At 5:00am I helped push him out of bed to go do 18 hours of driving today. I woke up a few hours later, dehydrated, my head pounding, not sure of when my last "real" meal was. I took Otis for a brief walk and ate some breakfast with Clare until Liz woke-up. Clare cracked up, having known us for a while. Liz, having met us only the day before, understands now what it is like to be us, to have no dull moments. Looks like more than one person got added to the family yesterday.

Never a dull moment.

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