Monday, February 05, 2007

An interesting thing happened on the way to fixing dinner tonight

Funny thing, I had just popped dinner in the microwave and had asked son to put his father's clothes in the dryer for him. No problem. Benjamin starts putting the clothing in the dryer and guess what he found? No, no critters in the washer. His father left a metal washer (I'm talking steel) in with his clothing. No big deal, right? Well this was a metal ring (see picture) that had been engraved with husband's nickname (he did the engraving at work - the piece of metal for lack of better word for it is - metal washer - was from his job also) --

So Benjamin finds this metal washer and proceeds to go upstairs to watch TV before dinner. He comes back downstairs within five minutes of getting upstairs with none other than this metal thing stuck on his middle finger. His knuckle was already swollen so the ring was not sliding off at all. I was concerned because his finger was dusky colored, not a good thing to someone who has been a medical transcriptionist as long as I have and the fact that I couldn't get the thing off without hurting my baby concerned me more.

So, first thing - get some dish detergent and soap up the hand and finger to hopefully slide the ring off. Nope didn't work. Okay now the finger is really turning colors, almost bluish in color. So call EMS. Yep, they show up in my driveway with no lights or sirens since it wasn't a real emergency just scary. They put some lube all around the ring and try to slip it off. Nope, knuckle is too big to get it off. Benjamin was in pain. Humm, think. Don't we have a ring cutter in here somewhere? Yep, found it but the ring cutter is too small to grasp the metal ring. Okay we've exhausted our methods. Only other solution, take him to emergency room so they can remove it. Ride in the ambulance or you take him in private vehicle. I'll take him since I had to pick up daughter from church since no one else at home.

Benjamin and I head to church to pick up Hailie and her friend and her friend's nephew. Hailie is a bit shocked to see me as she hadn't called me yet. So I go in to get her and have to tell her the situation. Benjamin is in the car and slightly embarrassed knowing that Hailie's friend and the friend's nephew will be getting in the car too. Then had to talk to one of the ladies from the church who adores Hailie. Gave her my business card with web address for my story (yeah, sales me at work too - got to sell my story - lol). Okay take friend and her nephew home and then head to the hospital.

Get to the emergency room and sit for a couple of minutes before they put in the vital signs room - take his temp and blood pressure. Instead of sending us back to the "emergency" part of the emergency room, they send us back to what they call "fast track" which is supposed to be nonemergency emergency room type visits and gets you in and out fairly quickly. A nurse, an aide or secretary and either a doctor or physician's assistant are usually back there. Tonight we had a PA. So we go in the waiting room for like less than two minutes. They call us back (the nurse did) and we coming down the short hall and the PA asks what the problem is and they both look at his finger like, hummmm we don't have anything to remove that from his hand. We may need to send him to intermediate care.

Now the fun begins - he doesn't belong in emergency, fast track has no tools or devices to remove a metal washer from a 12-year-old child's finger. So what do we do? Well first the PA lubes the heck out of the ring and finger hoping to get it over the knuckle. Nope, didn't work. So then she wants some dental floss. I knew what she was going to do if she had found it. No dental floss was found but she did find some kite string. She tries wrapping his knuckle with the kite string hoping to compress it enough to work the metal ring off his finger. That didn't work. No ring cutter (yep if things aren't tied down, they tend to walk away from that acute care part of the emergency department). Okay, think, who can we call with some tools that might work on getting this thing off his finger? Humm, I know (PA or nurse) - how about some bolt cutters. Call security see if we can get some bolt cutters. Good idea. Now, I've seen bolt cutters on TV but never in person and those things are very wicked looking in person. Like big pliers kind of but supposed to be able to cut through dead bolt locks and padlocks - ha!!! - well guess what - made some indents in the metal washer but wouldn't go through it. Okay this isn't working. Two security guys try to figure out what they can use. PA says, I've called engineering to see what kind of tools they have that might work on this. So security leaves for a few minutes comes back with a mini sawzall ring cutter type thing (electric and pretty wild looking). He puts the finger protector on Benamin's finger and shaky hands and all starts sawing through that metal where the bolt cutters had marked. He was nervouse as all get out here. So, he saws down. Then takes the bolt cutters and has to work another spot. Starts sawing down that way. He was very afraid at this point knowing that he wouldn't be able to go all the way down.

Engineering shows up with this huge sawzall type thing - nope first thing went through my mind - that will never be used on this metal piece to get it off - not on my life -no way. So one of the engineering guys (we had two security guys, two engineering guys, the PA, the nurse, the aide/secretary who wasn't that curious really, the cashier who didn't stick around much, Hailie and myself in this little section of the acute care area where Benjamin was on the little bed there) pulls out these two pocket tools. One being like a multipurpose type thing clamps, grips, you name it - I think it had it on there, and another tool that was mostly like pliers or something to get a good grip on the metal ring.

Lead security and lead engineer guy do this tandem thing where the engineer guy is holding the bottom part of the ring (the uncut part) while the security guy is using the other tool to work the cut part out - the wedge that he had sawed down as far as he could. Whew, piece one out of there but ring still on finger and not coming off.

Okay security guy picks up bolt cutters and makes another indent where PA had previously tried to cut through the ring with the bolt cutters. Again, in tandem, engineering guy and security guy work second piece out. Whew, second piece out but the ring is still firmly on Benjamin's finger.

Now we know eventually this thing has to come off. Third wedge cut with bolt cutters and then again the two men holding and wiggling the third piece out. Get the third piece out and finally the larger piece of the metal ring comes off son's finger - with a swollen, reddened knuckle and all but his finger is free.

Now here are the four pieces of the ring. Sorry the picture isn't that good. We have poor lighting in this house and every try created shadows on the picture. This was the best I could get.

You can't see all the pieces all that great but there are three small pieces and one large - this is sitting on a small notebook - one of those pocket sized pads - so the ring is not that big but big enough to slip over a 12-year-old's finger and create all kinds of problems -

Now you know the funny thing that happened on the way to fixing dinner tonight (this was Sunday, February 4th, between 7 and 7:30 pm when it occurred and we got home from emergency room and trip to Wal-Mart to get some medicine and an ice pack after 11 p.m. - almost 11:30 p.m. - (it is now 1:06 a.m. Monday, February 5th, when this blog post is being posted - lol -

I know it really isn't funny but these are definitely the things where stories come from. They say truth is stranger than fiction and I believe that - lol - see you all in the postings - E :)

1 comment:

Rain-drop said...

Wow, truth IS stranger than fiction! That is indeed a very strange story. Why did your husband have the thing in his pocket? Why did your son try it on his finger? What on earth IS the ring, exactly? It doesn't look quite ring-ish to me.

I was shocked that this thing was so difficult to get off of your son's finger. And how scary to see them continue to pull multiple weird looking engineering tools out! Your son must have been scared, poor kid. Wow, I still can't believe this...what an amazing story! In parts it is funny but at the same time it's just like, whoa. Crazy.

Very interesting blog post. Lol, not that I want anything more to happen like this to your family - I was afraid they were going to have to cut his finger off! But it did make for a very entertaining story. The strangeness of

Thanks for sharing!