October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
Mister Red braves the city streets of Los Angeles on his bike daily. On this day, our hero avoids a collision with an angry driver, taking pretty bad spill. This accident puts a puncture wound in his abdomen. Bleeding and in pain, he bikes two more blocks to safety.
After a lot of huffing and puffing, my first question (and this should always be the first question) was, “did you hit your head?” No he did not. Second question, “why did you bike here? I would have came to get you!” Tough guy.
Now I am not a girl of immediate action and am likely to panic in such situations. I’d say I’ve never passed out completely from the sight of blood or pain, but I will cover my eyes when even a cartoon character vomits on TV.
Because I am the only one there, he braves my nursing skills as I help him to the couch and we assess the point of pain. We undress him (without the porno sound track that usually plays in my head). The wound positioned slightly above the family jewels. Thank god it missed that scared spot.
Well, there’s blood and he can’t look at it cause that makes it hurt more, and I can’t look at it because I don’t do blood. It’s a pretty deep gash but it wasn’t like his handle bars were sticking out of it. It did seem to be speaking to me, open mouthed in a gurgley voice, “clean me.” Gross. And now we know why neither one of us are physicians.
So he gets in the shower and washes the cut and the dried blood off of him. Meanwhile, I call my mom. I’ve held my panic in just long enough so I could get her on the line. She says to apply pressure and if the bleeding doesn’t stop in a couple hours that we need to go to the emergency room for stitches. Yeah right, on what health insurance?
Like most people our age we both have that “only if I’m hit by a bus” health insurance with the really high deductible. Then my mother asks, “why are you calling me and not his dad, isn’t he a doctor?” Great point, mom, thanks. And that’s why I always call her. So with a cold wet compress firmly on the wound, we call his dad.
Turns out, you should not get the wound wet (whoops) as it encourages the bleeding. He gives us a list of supplies and assures there will be no need for stitches. And now I’m really glad there is no damage to the family jewels, there’s a doctor in the bloodline.
Leaving Mister Red with a dry compress and some ibuprofen I head out the the store. On my list: steri-strips, gauze, medical tape, hydrogen peroxide, and benzoin (liquid bandage).
Like I said this shit is pretty deep, I’m talkin’, you could tuck a pen cap in there for a nap. I know, gross. However, it was no bigger than a nickel in diameter. Ever notice how the medical profession uses every day objects to describe the size of something, lemons, quarters, baseballs, etc? Anyway this is how you dress a deep flesh wound:
2. If the bleeding has stopped, close the wound and apply the benzoin (liquid bandage), but don’t let it get inside the wound. If it is still bleeding, try putting ice on it to encourage the blood to clot. Do not get the wound wet.
3. Apply the steri-strips to hold the wound closed. It is okay if the strips overlap each other.
4. Cover the whole area with gauze. Tape gauze down.
It’s really that simple. It took a while for him to stop bleeding, in part because we applied a wet compress before the call to the dad/doctor. The cut being in near the hip joint he was compelled to rest for the rest of the night. The next morning he woke a little stiff and sore from the accident, but the wound appeared to be healing. We redressed the cut in the morning.
We might not all be nurses, but we should all know what to do in case of an emergency. Obviously, if this happens to you, you should call your mother anyway, and if she says go to the hospital, you should probably do that regardless of your health plan. Mom always knows best. Anyway, now your prepared.
P.S I came out of the experience only slightly scarred, with the notion that my eventual children may be screwed when is comes to cuts, bruises and bedside manner.