Yesterday I was upstairs on the phone with Social Security. I was finding out if I had to go in person to their office to get a replacement card or if I could do it by mail. My wife and I need the physical cards in order to get the new health insurance we want. We had full coverage in Germany which ended the day we were no longer residents in the country (6 days ago). There wasn’t a way to get new coverage in the USA before I was here. I figured I should get the new insurance right away because you never know what could happen.
I was on the phone listening happily to the Social Security automated phone system in English when I heard my wife yelling at Milo (Boston Terrier). After a few minutes it got really distracting so I walked downstairs to discover a horror scene. Blood was everywhere and Julie was trying to stand up near the sink. Apparently something pretty bad happened but I was clueless to what. She was crying, covered in sweat and blood and was starting to pass out. I noticed two incredibly deep large cuts on her hand. My next glance was at the kitchen counter where I saw the Braun Hand Blender in a few pieces. Clearly this piece of crap decided to chop more than vegetables this day.
I picked Julie up and into the car we took off. The freezing air woke her up and within a few minutes we arrived at the hospital. This was a bad enough accident they took her right inside. The bleeding was fully stopped, and an IV was put into her arm with some well needed Percocet mixed into the hydration fluids. The emergency room physician poked Julie’s fingers and with luck she felt all the pricks and pins. She was able to open and close her hand. However, when the doctor told her to resist his finger when pushing her thumb closed she was barely able to comply. It was clear she cut a tendon and a hand surgeon would be needed.
The hand surgeon, Dr. Troy Callahan arrived about an hour later. He was one serious cool fellow. Tall, skinny, young and dressed in a nice suit. He didn’t bother to joke around and just proceeded to lay out his tools. Hand surgery is delicate stuff and he had some wicked gear. Out of a large leather bag he pulled out a wooden box of his own personal steel tools. He also had some crazy looking magnifying eye glasses. I guess tendons are pretty thin and hard to see. He worked silently focused repairing Julie’s hand for about two hours (photo on right). Anyone who watched him create her cast with those bandages you dip in water could see this man was a real artist.
In the end she cut two tendons and a knuckle cap. She will need to wear the cast for about six weeks and then need hand therapy for three months. What’s your guess this bill is going to cost? Somewhere between $8,000 – $30,000? Whatever the price it’s worth it. That said, I talked to the hospital administration and explained my circumstance and they have some ways they can help me with the bill (if I qualify).
There no music in emergency rooms. There was no music all day. When we got back home and she was in bed we put the television on. A few stupid commercials came on. Happy retarded jingles compressed to the max shot out at us. I was never more happy to be home listening to them. Music signaled some return to safeness. Yesterday was just a small hand injury. Music is still important.
Photo credit: shell belle