Sunday, March 29, 2009

The "Luck" of the Irish

Let's recap:

Thursday--Stuck in a blizzard in Denver.

Friday--Declan comes down with massive stomach virus on his 9th birthday (the bright side is we were already home, not stuck in the hotel or in a car during the onslaught).

Saturday--Eamonn nearly amputates the end of his index finger on his left hand and undergoes surgery. Seriously.

For those of you who don't know, Eamonn is a carpenter. He was working with his battery-operated circular saw when it jerked or hit a knot of wood or something and whoosh--blood everywhere. Through two arteries and tendons. Ick. Some direct pressure, elevation and a bag of ice later we were on our way to the hospital (with the kids because I didn't feel like I could leave Declan with anyone because of his stomach virus. Heck, he was right at home with the germ-filled hospital.) in Vail.

And I guess I thought that when you came into an ER with your hand in a bag of ice and wrapped in a bloody towel and mentioning the word saw, you would get priority over the people there with a sprained ankle from skiing. Not so. In fact, I had to go back up to the window and mention that I thought that perhaps time was of the essence considering a finger was nearly dangling off my husband's hand and that hand is his LIVELIHOOD. They were unmoved.

Eventually he was seen and a good friend of my sister's was the x-ray tech on duty so things started moving more quickly (once again, a perk of a small town). Miraculously, Eamonn had managed to jerk his hand away before the blade hit the bone, which amazed everyone who saw the x-ray. It still makes me wince just thinking about it. He commented that he has used the saw millions of times and never had a problem. Apparently yesterday was the day.

So off Eamonn went to surgery with the same surgeon who had operated on Eamonn's cousin Eamon's hand two weeks ago. I think he was a little confused. And probably thinks we're a family that's careless with their hands.

The surgeon gave Eamonn the option of just taking off the end of the finger or trying to save it. He opted to try and save it since he was one of the few carpenters who still had all of his digits anyway.

The boys and I got to hang out in the x-ray lounge all evening, thanks to Chris, instead of being in the main, crowded lounge. So thank you, Chris! We got to watch the Nicklodeon Kids' Choice Awards instead of Jerry Springer, or whatever those people were watching in the other lounge.

After about 2 1/2 hours, we got to go see Eamonn, who was awake, hungry, and a little put out by being told he could have some soup. This isn't good news for a man who hasn't eaten for nearly 12 hours and does not believe that food should splash. In the end he didn't get to eat anything. They kept him overnight and we came home as he was being moved to his room. Finn was surprisingly upset by the whole thing, which I think was primarily driven by fatigue. Today he's more interested in playing Wii than wondering where Eamonn is.

The surgery was completely successful and all tendons and arteries were able to be resected (is that the correct word? I think I heard it on ER.).

We'll be heading back to Vail to pick Eamonn up this afternoon. He has already spoken with the surgeon this morning and had some physio today. According to Eamonn, the most distressing news was not that he will not have any use of his hand at all for the next six weeks and limited use for another six weeks after that (should be interesting at work), but that he cannot have any chocolate for the next two weeks. Apparently the caffeine in it restricts blood flow and the vessels need to be operating at 100% for everything to heal properly. This is hard news for someone who eats chocolate every single day.

I need to go now. I have a papercut on the middle finger of my left hand and it hurts when I type. I'm going to put some Neosporin and a bandaid on to make sure it doesn't get worse. We've had enough trouble around here for now.


Lauren said...

I said in my email, ow ow ow! I don't think resected is what you want--that's a medical term for removing or cutting out part of something. Maybe reconnected, for the blood vessels, and reconstructed for the tendons.

Ok, gross share--in trying to confirm the word you wanted, I googled and found THIS picture:


cut and paste if you dare

Hoping all heals well.


Kristie said...

Yes, "resected" .... that is correct. We've used that word a lot around here, too. But I didn't know about the caffeine thing. I think since Blaine's surgery was several years ago and he drinks like twelve pots of coffee a day and what's the harm now it's all over and what you don't know won't hurt you .... I just won't mention it to him. But good to know in case any of us have anything resected in the future!!!

In all seriousness, ow. You should be feeling pretty good about things now because your family has used up its quota of bad luck until at least 2017, by my calculation. :)

1dreamr said...

Oh dear... [cringe] -- poor Eammonn!! Glad to hear the surgery was a success, and I sure hope this is the end of your "Irish luck" for awhile!

(P.S. A good wife would eat plenty of chocolate for her husband while he is unable to.)

in a world surrounded by men said...

WOW. That's a story! I'm sorry about the finger (and the chocolate!).

Hang in there and gross us out with some pictures when you can!

Jane Copes (Professor Sepoc) said...

Oh my! I'm glad you were home when the accident happened. My father cut the end of his finger off (a hundred years ago) and drove himself to the hospital--but it wasn't nearly so bad as Eamonn's. Whew! Keep on being lucky! Jane

Leeann said...

Dang, how scary is THAT story??

Now, every time he pissed you off, eat a piece of chocolate in front of him. Make sure to close your eyes and moan in ecstasy, frequently. LOL

Haley said...

Ouch! Thank goodness my dad's docs didn't mention the caffeine thing...that is practically all that he has consumed since getting out of the hospital last week.

Hope all goes well with the rest of his recovery!

Mamasita said...

Ew. Yet I still want to see pictures.

Glad to hear they were able to (hopefully) save the finger. Of course, he may be wondering if giving up the chocolate for so long was worth it. :-)

Hope you all get a positive turn in your luck now.

M said...

Ohhhh so sorry to hear about the finger! Glad it was a successful surgery and I hope that he is back to eating chocolate soon- man that would kill me too! I need chocolate first thing in the morning!

sportzmom said...

Ouch! I was getting a little queasy with the retelling of that story! Glad to hear surgery went well.

Lisa said...

What? No chocolate for the next two weeks! That is tough!

Oh! I am very sorry for your husbands hand too. My husband did almost the same thing years ago. He is a carpenter too. I hope everyone starts feeling better soon and you guys have plenty of chocolate together. Maybe you should eat the chocolate.....It is a stress reliever.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that Eamonn's surgery went so well. Scary stuff! My husband cut off the tip of his finger on an old-fashioned forest preserve water pump a few years back. He was frantically explaining in the ER that he needs all his finger as he's a pianist. All ended up well there, too. :)