ER: L hand lac


It had been a productive weekend until about 5 pm, when the hollow metal pushbroom handle snapped in Mr Speed’s palm, mid-sweep, sending us to Kent County Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. In the Triage Room, the nasty gash was assessed and given an impressive sympathy bandage, a kind of consolation prize for the hours of waiting ahead.

There are two waiting areas, labeled Right and Left (flu-like symptoms); we chose the Right, with its two competing television sets (cartoon channel and golf), and its huddled, though non-infectious masses yearning to be seen. And then we waited.

Of course there’s very little else to do than people watch. A bottle of water costs $1.75 from the vending machines, located in the contagious waiting room. Our waiting room contained the doorway to Express Treatment, a portal into another dimension where things actually happened that might get you out of this place, and home, to cocktails, and dinner, the happy dog, your comfortable bed, your beautiful life. As I began to get a sense of the place, Express Treatment was also the much better door to be called to, rather than the double-doored corridor that wheel chairs and weary-looking relatives emerged from.

Mr Speed had brought a book to read and was very nearly incapacitated by stinging pain and the shot of fine tequila he had taken before we left; I hunkered down and alternated between thinking compassionate, healing thoughts, eavesdropping and/or making up stories about my fellow waiters, accidentally watching the annoying animated movie on the cartoon channel TV, and wondering what snacks were in the vending machines in the plague waiting area.

When finally we were seen, the wound was pronounced superficial, cleaned and coated with Dermabond skin glue by the very funny NP (working two jobs to pay for her student loans). An RN gave Mr Speed a Motrin and a Diptheria/Tetanus vaccine, and instructions not to complain about it to me. I think we all know how that’s going to play out.

The wound is not pretty. It’s primarily a J-shaped rending, located on the Mount of Jupiter, for all you cheiromancers out there. (I have no idea what the significance of that location might portend, nor why I even know that name.) Weird things happen. Biggest bummer might be that’s his bow hand. When he asked the NP how soon until he could play guitar, she asked him if he could play before he got cut. I think that’s when we knew everything was going to be all right.

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