Booyah! I’m back! In more than one way, to be honest. I had to take a little bit of a break recently, as after my daughter left London I found myself sinking into a bit of a depression. In truth, I think it was a perfectly natural reaction to going through the stresses of trauma, hand surgery, plans going awry and having to say goodbye to my daughter. We did have a lovely time together despite my mishap and the consequential rearranging of our holiday plans…because that is what we Carltons do…we fucking get on with it. I had the stitches out today and all seems to be going well, other than the constant pain caused by the nerves trying to get their shit back together after having been so rudely sliced apart. (For anyone just jumping in here…I quite badly stabbed myself in the hand on Christmas Day here in London while trying to “de-stone” an avocado. As you do.)
So, anyway, I’m ready to continue my story, if you are ready to hear it. WARNING- ICKY THINGS AHEAD. If you are squeamish, I have broken the paragraphs into “PLEASANT” or “PUKESOME“. Choose wisely…
PUKESOME (scroll down for Pleasant)
After bleeding all over the floors in the loo and the A&E waiting room, I was finally taken back into the sanctum-sanctorum…the treatment area. They sat me down on something, I don’t know what…raised my hand in the air and unwrapped the bandages which were now completely soaked through. When they finally had them all off…I could see the blood gushing out of the wound…seemingly pulsing in tandem with my heartbeat. (I had cut an artery)Now…as I have said…I am not a very squeamish person, but that sight was apparently the dead end of what I was able to handle, and I started to feel queasy and very close to passing out. Now, there were medical people buzzing all around me, but Hannah managed to keep right in the middle of the action like the awesome Spawn that she is. I told her I felt queasy and faint, and then asked the young man in blue scrubs attending me if he would mind terribly if I put my head between my knees. Somehow Hannah had gotten her hands on a disposable emesis basin (emesis is Greek for ‘yucky things that come out of people’) and handed it to me. I now had my head between my knees and was feeling less faint, when one of the people in scrubs pressed VERY HARD right on the open wound in the attempt to stop the bleeding…and according to Hannah, I said some things that signaled my displeasure. Very loud things, very…’sweary’… things. Things you would definitely not say in front of the Queen if you were invited to tea. I of course do not remember anything but excruciating pain and an overwhelming feeling of “WTF?” I may have actually howled. I asked if a doctor was going to see me, and the young man dressed in blue scrubs and still wearing his gold Christmas cracker crown from family dinner quietly and calmly informed me that HE was in fact the doctor. I will admit…I was skeptical..as he looked to be no older than 20 and had absolutely NO sense of urgency to his manner. In fact…NO ONE in the A&E did. Not even the other patients. Hannah remarked on it later…it was so different from the typical cacophony of an American ER. Hannah and I were the only agitated people in the whole department…and it was weird. That “stiff upper lip” thing is real.
A stretcher was brought over and I was finally able to lie down. Someone had dressed my wound and the bleeding had slowed, but they still wanted me to keep my hand raised in the air. The ‘boy in blue’ started wrapping gauze around the light overhead, and Hannah and I looked at him, both a bit puzzled. Hannah watched for a second, then asked ” When are we going to see a doctor?” I of course started laughing as the ‘boy in blue’ explained yet again that he was in fact the doctor. (Turns out his name was Sam. Dr. Sam. No surname…just Dr. Sam) By this point Dr. Sam had firmly anchored the gauze to the overhead light,wrapped the other end around my arm a few times, then tied that end to the overhead light as well…keeping my arm elevated. It looked a bit shabby, but seemed to work. Hannah quipped ” What… were you a doctor in WWI?” A nearby nurse laughed…Dr.Sam did not. (By the way, Dr. Sam looked a lot like the actor Ryan Cartwright from the TV series Bones, who played the British assistant to Brennan who gets blown up)
Finally, Hannah and I were able to relax for a little bit. Well, we tried to anyway. I was now becoming fully aware of the damage to my hand, and the impact it would possibly have on its mobility…not to mention that our holiday plans were almost certainly fucked. We had both been working in crisis mode up to that point…and the reality of it all started to seep in as the adrenalin wore off. Neither one of us had any idea of what was going to happen next, and no one seemed in any hurry to address it. We both were a bit in shock…and a few tears finally broke through. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that my Spawn was by my side. As desperately sorry as I was for ruining her Christmas Day…there was no one in the world I would have rather had with me. She even demanded that they check my blood pressure, as no one had done that up to this point…which we thought was odd.
Eventually the nurse returned to re-re-dress the wound. I apologized profusely to her for yelling earlier, and then seconds later did it again when she doused the open wound with water to clean it. Why in holy hell does water hurt so friggin much? (Again, I don’t remember my exact words except I do know I ended my second explosion with the phrase “SHIT BALLS!” That I remember. I’m a classy broad.
Eventually Dr. Sam came back, and explained that because the damage was extensive I would need to be seen by a plastic surgeon, and since they had none there, I would have to go to a different hospital for my wound to be appraised. X rays were taken, and we were given an appointment for 11am the next day at St. Thomas’s Hospital in Central London. And we were done…both of us exhausted. We booked an UBER, and were back in the flat by 9:30pm…expecting that to be the end of our evening.
When we walked in the door, the first thing I noticed was the cause of the incident still malevolently sitting there on the kitchen counter.( I bet you didn’t know an avocado could look malevolent? Keep an eye out people…I’m just sayin’…)
Hannah and I were getting ready to pour ourselves two very generous glasses of wine, and I was “revenge eating’ the unsullied half of the avocado when I received a text from my friend Chick, asking if we were back from hospital and were we still coming over for drinks. It took all of two seconds for us to decide that HELL YES…we were still coming over for drinks! And so, thanks to Chick and his family, the end of our Christmas Day was filled with laughter, friends and food. They even re-heated some turkey with all the trimmings for us, as we had missed our own planned dinner of steak and taters. (Which we ended up having for Boxing Day!)
We went the next day to St Thomas’s, and eventually saw the plastic surgeon. She examined the wound, and informed me that I was most definitely going to need surgery as soon as possible to repair the nerves, but that the good news was that the tendons did not appear to be severed. I was scheduled for surgery for three days later on the 29th, and needed to be at the hospital by 7:30AM.
I was heartbroken, as Hannah and I had already booked and paid for train tickets for the both of us to spend four days in Scotland, leaving the next day. We discussed it, and I was adamant that there was no point in the both of us missing out, not to mention wasting two train tickets. She had friends meeting her up there, so wouldn’t be alone…and I had friends here, so I wouldn’t be either. And then when she returned, the surgery would be over and we could go on with the rest of our plans. I managed to convince her, and the next morning, the 27th…she was on the train to Scotland. I felt so much better knowing at least one of us was going to have fun for the next few days.
Stay tuned for the third and final chapter of this saga…tentatively titled- “That’s not my arm. I don’t know where that came from”
I have pics below…there is only one that might be considered slightly upsetting, so have put it last. If you don’t want to see it…stop at the pics of me face swapped with Gene Wilder, and Hannah face swapped with Obama. Personally, I find those pics far more disturbing than the last one, but to each his own.