Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Full Moon? LOOK OUT!

Some emergency room doctors have said that their ER's become extra busy whenever there is a full moon. Skeptical as I may be, I'm starting to believe it. Today there is a full moon and late yesterday, I had to make my own trip to urgent care.

I spent a beautiful day inside doing a bunch of paperwork that I needed to catch up on. Toward the end of the day, I needed to shred a few documents that contained some of my confidential information. I thought to myself, "I'll shred these papers, then go for a nice long bike ride."

As I often do, I tried to push the 5 sheet limit of the shredder and it became jammed. I reversed the shredder so I could retrieve the jammed paper and my plan was to put the sheets in one at a time. Well, the sensor in the middle of the shredder had somehow malfunctioned and it wasn't working at all. I figured it needed to be cleaned out so I took my pocket knife and started picking out little bits of paper. I grew more frustrated as I cleaned out the paper and the shredder still failed to work.

As I grew more and more frustrated, I started to put more "oomph" into cleaning it out and as I did, the knife slipped and before I knew it, I had cut my finger open and there was blood all over the place. I quickly rushed to the bathroom to clean it out, thinking I could just throw a band-aid on it and call it good. Once I started running water over it I noticed that I had cut a big gouge into my finger and it was pretty deep. After I finished rinsing out my finger, I put a gauze pad on it (which I had to rip open with my good hand and my teeth, just like they do in the movies). The gauze quickly became saturated with blood. It was at this point that I thought I might need to go to urgent care. I took the saturated gauze off, put on a new gauze pad and drove to the hospital (hoping that I wouldn't pass out on the way).

I made it to urgent care without any problem and got checked in. I showed the girl at the front desk my finger and said "Can you fix this?" She said she would get me right in but first she needed to see my insurance card. I wanted to say, "Ummmm, my insurance card is in my wallet, which I'll need to retrieve with my hand, which happens to be where my fingers are, and I'm not sure if I mentioned that my finger is gushing blood." I awkwardly retrieved my insurance card and handed it to her. Then she wanted $15 for my co-pay. I was thinking, "Do you think we could do this after my finger gets fixed?" I gave her my co-pay and sat down in the waiting area trying to figure out what everybody else was there for. I mean, if there's a guy who just cut his leg off in a farming accident, I may have to wait a while.

Fortunately, I was brought back within a few minutes and the nurse asked what I did to my finger. I was trying to think of a cool story that I could end with the line, "But you should see the other guy." I told her what I had done and she had me soak my finger in some hot water which felt good, she told me I would probably need stitches and then left to find the doctor. The doctor came in and again I was asked what I did to my finger. I can't figure out why they need to know what you did to cause your trauma. I mean, if I don't tell them a good story, are they not going to put the stitches in as well as they would if I told them a great story? I think they just like to hear stories from stupid people who have hurt themselves.

I told him I have never had stitches before and he said, "It's no big deal but I'm going to numb your finger with a local anaesthetic which kind of sucks." I had to laugh a little because I don't think I've ever heard a doctor say to a patient, "This is really going to suck." He was right though, it did suck. Having a needle jabbed into your finger does not feel good. He asked when my last tetanus shot was and I confidently said, "Oh, I had one in college so I think I should be good." Then he reminded me that college was 10 years ago which made me feel old. So he hooked me up with a tetanus shot.

He put the stitches in, which by the way, also sucked because the anesthetic didn't reach all the areas of my finger. Then a nurse came in and put a huge gauze pad on and I got one of those cool braces to prevent me from moving my finger. Seems like a lot of pomp and circumstance for three stitches.

I left the hospital knowing that I had been well taken care of and am now another statistic that makes doctors and nurses think that more people hurt themselves when there's a full moon. Maybe they're right?

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Really Bad Day!

Earlier this week I read of a Sudanese Airbus 310 that crashed in Khartoum, Sudan. It was carrying 214 people including 11 crew members. Unfortunately a couple dozen people were killed. Apparently it veered off the runway during a thunderstorm and burst into flames. Do you think as the plane was skidding off the runway the Captain said something like "whoops-a-daisy"?

What I thought was entertaining about the article was the following paragraph:

"The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that 103 passengers and all 11 crew members survived. But it said some other passengers may have gone home directly from the crash on the rain-soaked runway after crew members helped them through the emergency doors."

Ummmmm, what? Some of the passengers may have gone home directly from the crash? Do you think they just stood up, brushed themselves off and said, "Well, this is close enough, I think I'll walk from here. Does anyone know where I can pick up my bag? No? That's okay, I'll just stop by tomorrow and see if they find it." I picture someone like Bruce Willis walking toward the camera as the airplane blows up behind him saying something like, "I've had a really bad day."

There is a joke in the aviation world that any landing you walk away from is a good one. I don't think you're supposed to walk away from a crash. I mean, if you can literally walk away, that's good, but just a word to the wise, don't leave the scene of an accident. I'm pretty sure someone will want to make sure you're okay.

Good luck.