December 26, 2013

The Non-Christmasy Christmas of 2013

Whew! I'm exhausted. It's 12:30 Christmas morning, I'm dead tired, but I want to jot down this crazy day before I forget it. This wasn't a typical festive, holiday eve. It was far from it.

The first thing that woke us up this morning around 9am was Livie being a silly toot in her room. Jake went to get her so she could hang out in our bed for a while so we could wake up. But, when he opened her door, she was butt naked, so he had to at least put another diaper on her. He went ahead and got up with the kids and let me sleep in. Apparently, while I was asleep, Livie took off her diaper, again, and peed on a pillow in the living room. *sigh*

I finally got out of bed around noon. My intention was to do some laundry and dishes before I needed to get ready to go to the Christmas Eve service. But, I only had time to pee when I heard Jake scream, throw his handsaw, and run to the kitchen. He'd been cutting new floorboards, and was almost done when the little handsaw kicked back on him. When I got to the living room, I saw blood drops on the floor, Jake at the kitchen sink, and blood on the kitchen cabinets by his knees. I thought he had cut his leg. I yelled from the hallway:

"What did you cut!?"

"My thumb!"

"Is. . . it. . . still. . . attached?"

"Yes!"

So I got a towel from the laundry room to clean up the blood before the kids stepped in it. Then I checked on Jake to see how bad the cut was. It was hamburger right at the base of his left thumb. No amount of home first aid was going to fix this. I told the kids to get dressed, tightly bandaged Jake's thumb, checked to see if ProMed was opened, they weren't, then called Momma to come get the kids so that we could go to the ER. Jake thought he could drive himself. I convinced him that I would take him, so after I got dressed and Momma picked up the kids, Jake and I set off in the Jeep to the ER. His hand wasn't really hurting yet, but the side of his thumb was numb.

Ok, well, so much for getting this typed out the night it happened. I was just too tired and went to bed. It's now the 26th, and I now have more to add to what I didn't finish in the first place.

On with the story. . .

I dropped Jake off at the ER entrance while I looked for a parking space. By the time I got in, he was checked in and ready to sit and wait. So we found some spots in the almost empty waiting room expecting to be there for a while. We had enough time to pull out the iPods and tell a random guy what had happened to Jake's thumb when they called us back.

They put us in the "let's-make-sure-you-really-need-to-be-here" room to check his vitals and look at his thumb. I guess they decided a nurse could fix him up, so they led us to a space with no door, just a curtain. Again, we expected to wait a long time, so we got settled, Jake in the chair because it had an arm rest, and me on the bed. By this time, Jake's whole arm and shoulder where starting to ache, partially because of the trauma, and partially because he was holding his hand up. We found some Star Trek on the tv and pulled out the iPods again. But a nurse showed up quickly to take us to x-ray to make sure there weren't any saw or bone fragments in the wound. I sat on a bench around the corner, texting Momma to keep her up to date.

They finished the x-ray and led us back to the curtained space. Again, we expected to be there a while, but another nurse showed up. Jake had to un-bandage his thumb for the third time. The nurse poked, squished, and moved the loose skin, "I don't know what they expect us to do here with inadequate lighting. You'll need to go to the laceration room."

The laceration room. A whole room for lacerations. Sounds. . . bad.

So, after a few short minutes, another fast walking nurse came to lead us to the laceration room. Jake took the bed/table, I took the chair. At this point, there were at least three different nurses in and out asking questions, sometimes the same ones, and typing things into the computer. I don't know how many times they asked if he'd had his tetanus shot. It had been nine years, so we knew he needed another one. But first, the thumb.

We were in the laceration room by ourselves for longer than any of the other places, so we had time to look around. That room was covered, floor to ceiling, with what we decided was rhino lining. There was no paint on the walls, no seams as if it were vinyl flooring. I guess they have a lot of blood spatter in the laceration room? I scooted my chair away from the wall.

And, of course, we took pictures (CAUTION: VERY GRAPHIC, at the bottom of post) and video of his thumb. It was nasty. One of the not good iPod pictures I texted to Paul and Philip. Philip's response, "Santy don't visit the funeral home, little buddy."

We also had time to re-evaluate what we were going to do over Christmas break. You see, we'd been working almost non-stop on our living room remodel since we got the money for it back in October. One of the things we wanted to avoid was getting the room "livable" without actually finishing it. We knew that sanding, staining, and finishing the floor was going to be a big job, but once we did some research, we realized it was going to be a bigger job than we had thought. So, for some reason, we decided to do it over Christmas break. We were basically going to move in with Momma and Daddy for half a week and work on the floor as quickly as possible. But once we realized that drying times and ventilation were going to be an issue with the cold weather, each of us separately considered putting the project off till summer. The problem was, neither of us told the other one our idea because. . . I don't know why, really. But after Jake jankied his thumb, we both decided that putting it off was the best idea. I was disappointed that I'd have to live in a half finished mess for another half of a year, but, we knew it'd get done eventually.

After not too terribly long a wait, the Nurse Practitioner came in to sew up Jake's thumb, and I got as much as I could on video. First, she had to numb everything. She was sticking that needle up under the flaps of skin, it was nasty. She probably stuck him over twenty times, but it did the job and even made his arm and shoulder stop hurting. Then she had to wash out the wound. I couldn't see much from where I was because she had a piece of gauze over his thumb so the saline wouldn't squirt everywhere. There was a lot of fluid gushing down his hand, though. She also washed the blood off the rest of his hand.

Then she started stitching. We're not really sure how he cut his thumb where he did. For some reason, the underside closest to the palm was what was torn up. He didn't notice till he took his bandage off the third or fourth time that he had small nicks on the top, where you'd think the main cut would be from the way he was holding the board when the saw kicked back. She started stitching the small nicks on top first, then worked her way to one side of the main wound.

The NP had to figure out how to jigsaw the jagged pieces back together. After stitching up some of the other side of the cut, she got to the middle where she realized some of the pieces wouldn't go back together. She had to cut off a few small pieces just to make the rest straight enough for her to sew it back together. I'm not sure how long it actually took, but she did a fantastic job, 14 stitches later.


Some of this is blurry, but there were other nurses telling Jake how to care for his thumb and what to do next. But, Pepper called on Jake's phone, so I took it out in the hall. I told her what was going on, and she told me how she'd lopped off the end of her finger before with a kitchen knife. Then she asked what we were doing on Christmas day. After changing phones, 'cause Jake's died, we got everything squared away, and I went back to the laceration room.

Now, we were just waiting on his tetanus shot, which he eventually got after not too long of a wait. Then he got his prescriptions and paperwork, and we were led to the discharge office. We were in and out quickly after a $150 charge and talk of financing what was left of the bill. We walked out to the almost full waiting room and left the building. All-in-all, the trip only took about two and a half hours, which I think is a record for that ER.

We drove over to Chick-Fil-A's drive through, because neither of us had had anything to eat all day, forgot to run by the pharmacy, then got home where our neighbor, Brad, met us. We were able to tell him, and show him, what had happened. He got to see the house, and we talked a bit more about different things.

By this point, I had less than an hour before Momma was going to pick me up to get to the church to practice for the Christmas Eve service. I showered, dried my hair, which I hate doing, and did everything else I needed to get ready. Then I helped Jake cut off his hospital bracelets and cover his hand with a Walmart sack so that he could take a shower. We had just enough time to get some of the kids' clothes together before Momma and Philip showed up. I showed them the REAL pictures of Jake's thumb, then we left for the church and Jake left for Momma's house to get the kids after a short detour to the Walgreens Pharmacy to get his antibiotic filled. But, since they were closing early, they couldn't fill it, so he went without antibiotics till today.

I got to church later than I wanted. But I was still able to practice with the Beasley girls singing "O Holy Night" for call to worship. And we ran over "Emmanuel" for communion. They even moved the piano onto the stage, which made it feel more homey. Jake and the kids got there on time, surprisingly, but still in the clothes they had left the house in earlier that day. The service went really well, even though I had to hold Livie in between singing sets. She hadn't seen me all day and really wanted me. She ended up on stage with me at the very end. Did you know it's really hard to hit the high notes in "Joy to the World" with 30 pounds of baby on your chest?

We headed over to Momma and Daddy's to have supper and try to have some semblance of Christmas. Usually, I have this "Christmas spirit" feeling around this time, but it just wasn't happening this day. But, we did have good food and got to show off the pictures of Jake's thumb. Once everyone got there, we started opening presents. I'm still not sure what my kids got because it was a mess in there. But one very cool gift was what my momma got from Paul and Becca. . . little baby socks! Yay! I'm gonna be an aunt again!





I realized during all of this that I had forgotten Momma's present at home. So, after we opened everything, I drove back to the house, barefoot because my shoes were really uncomfortable. I grabbed the Christmas candy, my comfy house shoes, and Momma's gift which was an unwrapped photo book of the kids, then headed back to her house.

I gave the photo book to Momma, she loved it, of course, then I walked over to Paul and quietly said, "That thing is on youtube if you wanna show it now. It's up to you." That thing was something else that had been consuming my life since before Halloween. Paul realized back in September that it had been twenty years since Momma and my aunt Stephanie had put together a video with music and pictures of my grandparents growing up. He thought we should make a new one with all the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. I thought it was a great idea, and took off with it. The problem was, I'm a terrible procrastinator, and I had to rely on many cousins and siblings to get me the pictures. That was more frustrating than I thought it would be. I realize that they weren't quite as consumed with it as I was, so getting me pictures wasn't at the top of their to-do list. I worked more on this the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas than before. I was so tired of it by Christmas. But, I got it done and uploaded to youtube so that those that weren't going to be in town would get to see it. And we went ahead and showed it to Momma on Christmas Eve. She loved it, of course, it looked great, I'm glad it exists, but I'm never doing it again.

Things went blurry again. The kids got baths at Momma's. They played with a remote controlled car Paul and Becca had given them, then we packed up everything and everyone and left for home. I felt kind of blah because I had eaten way more junk food than I should have. The bag of m&m's were right next to me during the entire 36 minute picture video, then I tried one of Anne's Nutella roll-ups, then I tried some of Momma's wassail. It was all yummy, but it was a bad idea to eat all of that.

We got the kids in bed, and I was ready to sleep, too, but I had to get things ready for Christmas morning. Jake left for the annual Waffle House tradition with the guys, and I set out the presents and got the stockings ready. We couldn't do any of that before because Livie would have unwrapped everything. I watched only one episode of Bones, then attempted to start this blog post. I eventually went to bed.

Then Christmas morning came! . . .

Yay for Christmas . . . I didn't feel well. Benjamin woke us up around 8 am. We opened the curtains, got the Five Iron Frenzy "You Gotta Get Up" song going to wake up Emma, then started in on the presents and stockings. I got great pictures, they got everything they wanted, Jake got his stocking full of canned meat products, and I got a very cold, unwrapped digital picture frame straight from Jake's car. But I was too nauseated to enjoy it much. I assumed it was because of all the junk I had eaten the night before, so I had some crackers and water. That didn't help at all. After everyone got all their presents out of their packages and started playing, I went back to bed, for what I assumed was just going to be a little while.






I didn't get better. Pepper and Charles showed up. I could hear most of the festivities from the bedroom. Emma got the Anna doll from Frozen that she'd been wanting, and they all needed to get ready to go to Jake's dad's house. Pepper had to help with the kids while Jake came into the bedroom so that I could re-dress his wound. Sitting up made me feel worse. They eventually left, and I tried to go back to sleep.

But I got up to go to the bathroom. I tried blowing my nose, but my gag reflex got the better of me, and I threw up. I felt better for a while after that until the knot in my stomach started. I had crackers and orange juice because I was a little hungry, but that didn't help the knot. By this time of the day, the modem had crapped out. . . again. . . so I had no phone, no Netflix, no internet, unless I could get Paul's wifi to work from across the street. So I was awake, but bored because I had nothing to do and was too tired and sore to do any chores or clean up the wrapping paper. This stomach thing was just flat out annoying at this point.

I did manage to borrow the wifi long enough to ask how the picture video went over with Grandma. After talking with Momma later that night, I think I'm glad we didn't end up going out to Grandma's. It sounded as if the whole day was awkward out there.

Eventually, I went back to bed to try to sleep off the stomach knot, then Jake and the kids came back. We hung out watching Kung Fu Panda 2, and I actually had an appetite for potstickers. They stayed down, but I still had a knot, and now, a terrible headache. The kids went to bed, I settled on the couch 'cause I wasn't tired, and even tried a swig of Jake's beer to help with the knot. It was nasty and didn't help at all. Then my headache got worse. This just wasn't my day. I took Tylenol because I thought ibuprofen would hurt my stomach. But the Tylenol made me nauseated, gave me chills, and made me achey. It made no sense. On top off all that, Livie kept waking up because she was constipated.

Around 1:30 in the morning, I had crackers and apple juice, started feeling better, then snuggled Livie through two episodes of Bones. At 3 am, I finally got to go to sleep. This morning, if you can call 11:30 "morning," I woke up with a slight headache, but my stomach felt great. By the way, it's taken me from noon today till now, 9 o'clock at night, to finish this post. This is why I don't blog.

This was probably the most non-Christmasy Christmas I've ever had. Maybe next year I'll laugh about it. It wasn't all bad, it just wasn't Christmas. It sounds as though I had the worst two days ever. Christmas was yucky for me, but Christmas Eve. . . Jake and I were kind of having fun together in the ER. He called it a little date. I loved leading the Christmas Eve service. I always love going to my Momma's. It was an exhausting day, but, surprisingly in light of what happened, a good one.

I'm glad it's over. I'm glad Jake's thumb still works. I'm glad we're not going to work on the floor. I'm glad we've got a week and a half before school and therapy start back. And I'm glad I'll get to go on a date with my husband, 'cause that's what he wanted for Christmas. We won't be able to go to a steak house, though. Jake can't cut a steak right now. :-)

If you want to see the VERY GRAPHIC and NASTY picture of Jake's thumb, keep scrolling down.
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