I wanted to write this post sooner so I don't forget anything (since this is like my online scrapbook/journal), but time just hasn't permitted. This is the story of what happened to Doug's hand. Forgive me if it is a bit long ...
Doug is on vacation this week from work. He was getting some things done around the house. Putting up trim around a few windows among other things. He is a very do-it-yourself kind of guy. That is one of the qualities that I love about him. He makes his own trim for the most part. He's got all these power tool thingies that I don't know the first thing about, but he insists that he needs them in order to do the job right. No argument from me ... I've got a lot of scrapbook supplies, so I understand the importance of having the right tool for the job. :)
Wednesday morning, he said he would take Alex to preschool if I would pick him up. No problem. I got Keira and Nick on the bus, then went for a run on the trail. I always put my keys, phone, and chap stick (necessities!) in a fanny pack around my waist when I run. I don't like carrying them because my hands get sweaty. Anyway, I did my run, came home, took a quick shower, grabbed my keys and chap stick out of my fanny pack and threw them back in my purse, went to the back yard where Doug was cutting wood to give him a quick kiss and find out exactly what he wanted me to pick up for him at Lowe's, and I left around 11:20. Preschool finishes up around 11:30.
When I got to preschool, I reached into my purse to get my phone. I always carry it with me in case the school would call because Keira or Nick were sick or hurt. I had a very small panic attack at the fact that I had forgotten my phone, then figured it was no big deal. After all, Doug was home in case the school called.
Once I picked Alex up, we ran to Lowe's, then to get drinking water, and got home around 12:30. When I pulled in the driveway, I didn't notice right away that Doug's truck was gone. When I got to the front door, I noticed blood on the door handle of the storm door and the inside door was locked. Then I realized his truck was gone. I thought that was strange because he had asked me to get his lacquer at Lowe's so he wouldn't have to go anywhere. Plus I'm wondering why there is blood on the door handle.
As soon as I opened the front door, I saw the note sitting on my kitchen counter, which thankfully was clean from the night before. :) It said "smashed my hand up - went to ER - call me". I immediately called his cell phone. He told me he cut his fingers on his left hand up pretty bad and that he was waiting for X-ray to come get him because he was pretty sure he had a broken finger. I asked him what happened and he said, "a board exploded" while he was running the router. Then he told me that my cell phone was on the kitchen counter. I could picture him standing at one end of the kitchen on the phone listening to my cell phone ringing on the other end of the kitchen while he was trying to call me. :) Oops! Maybe it was a big deal that I forgot my phone! We talked for a minute or two and he said that he'd call me back once he had more information.
So Alex and I had lunch and waited for Doug to call. It wasn't too long after that he called back and said that his middle finger was broken in 3 places and they were going to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to see if he needed surgery. In the meantime, a nurse was going to stitch up the other 3 fingers. I asked if he wanted me to come in to the ER and he said not yet. All I would be doing would be sitting there waiting with him. He also said, "you don't want to see my hand. It looks pretty bad." Again, he said he'd call me back when he found something out.
He asked me if I would go out and gather up his tools and wood and put them away. And cover up the router table. So I did. I put the wood on the porch so it would be protected in case it rained. And I carried the tools to the basement. When I got to the router table, I saw a glove sitting on top. It was all torn apart and tangled into the blade. *shudder* I tried to pull it out but it was pretty stuck. I did finally manage to get it out though. It was totally shredded. But it probably saved him from losing some fingers since it jammed up the machine.
After I was done I busied myself with some things that needed done around the house. Dishes, laundry ... there's always something to do. I also called my church's prayer chain to request prayer for him. Alex was watching a movie after lunch, so he was occupied.
Around 2:15 I ran out of steam. Doug hadn't called yet and I didn't want to call him in case he was trying to nap. He had sounded sleepy when I had spoken to him earlier, probably because they had given him a strong pain medicine. So I convinced Alex to lay with me on the couch with the phone right beside us and wait for Daddy to call. He fell asleep for about 45 minutes. I might have slept a minute or two because it seemed that every time I was about to fall asleep, he'd flinch or squirm and wake me up.
The phone rang at 3:40. It was my good friend, Kiersten. We talked for a few minutes and I explained what was going on with Doug. The kids also just got home from school so I was telling them what happened while I was on the phone with Kiersten. Doug beeped in while we were talking, so I got off with Kiersten and answered his call.
He still didn't know anything more, but he had just awakened from a nap and wanted to check in. Apparently the surgeon was still in surgery and hadn't gotten to him yet. I told him I would drop the kids off at church at 5:00 for Bible Quizzing and I would come straight to the hospital to sit with him. They would be able to eat supper at church and then stay for Kids 4 Truth, which gave me 3 hours to spend with Doug.
A few minutes later he called back and said, "They're taking me to surgery NOW." He sounded really drugged up, like they had already given him something. He asked the doctor a few of my questions and told me he'd see me later. He also said he would be spending the night and asked if I could bring him a change of clothes.
I scurried around gathering some things. Clothes, deodorant, comb, sneakers, and his favorite hat. Yeah, I'm a good wife. :) We jumped in the car, I dropped the kids off at church, then was off to the hospital. I found the short-stay OR area as he was just being wheeled back for surgery. Yay! I wasn't too late!
So I got to talk to him for a second and give him a quick kiss. He was looking quite handsome in his hair net and gown. :) His hand was all bandaged up. Then one of the nurses gave me a little electronic device that would let me know when he was being moved. He had one on his hospital bed that tracked his movements. She gave me all his personal belongings, gave me a few instructions, and showed me back to the waiting area.
I had thought ahead enough to have remembered to bring a book with me, so I sat and read. There was a woman there talking on her cell phone which was a bit distracting at first, but I eventually blocked her out enough to be able to concentrate on my book. After a while, we began talking and had a pleasant conversation. A friend of hers was there also and he knew the doctor that was operating on Doug. He reassured me that Doug was in good hands. Dr. Waltrip had operated on this man's shoulder or something.
Around 6:45 I heard a man calling for Doug Vensel, so I peeked around the corner to see a quite handsome doctor in scrubs looking at me. He motioned for me to come talk to him, so I followed him into a consult room. He told me the surgery went very well and that he had inserted a pin into Doug's middle finger that would be removed in 4 weeks. That made me cringe. The taking it out part sounds worse than the inserting part does. He explained that there may be some nerve damage to the tip of Doug's finger, but that we won't know that until later on. He also said that a tendon had been nicked but not enough to require repair.
We talked about what he could and could not do, mostly what he could not do ... work, shower, get his left hand wet or dirty at all ... for at least a week. Maybe more. Oh boy.
I went back to the waiting area and my beeper thing went off. It said they were moving him to the recovery room. So I read until 7:45 then found my way back to where the nurses were earlier. I had to leave to get the kids and wanted to give Doug his bag of clothes that I had brought for him. They let me go back to the recovery room to see him for "2 minutes."
He appeared to be asleep when I got there but he was awake with his eyes closed. If you've ever been under anesthesia, you know how hard it is to open your eyes for a while afterward. The nurse told me that they were waiting for a contraption so that he could keep his hand elevated, then they would take him to his room. She got me the room number and the hospital's phone number. Doug and I talked for a minute. I explained that I needed to go get the kids, left his bag with him, gave him a kiss and left.
I got to the church just in time for K4T to be finished. My brother was there picking up my niece, so I explained what happened and asked him if he wouldn't mind coming with me to the hospital to get Doug's truck. It is a diesel stick-shift and that's what Dave drives, so I figured he wouldn't have any trouble driving it home for me. He said no problem, so we left his truck at my house, I got my kids inside and asked Keira to start Alex's bath and I'd be back in 10 minutes. We drove to the hospital, found Doug's truck outside the ER and Dave drove it home for me.
Jordan, my niece, rode with me. She was very quiet on the way to the hospital, but she jibbered in my ear the whole way home. We talked about school, her kitties, her bunnies, and her chickens.
Doug called me a short time later to tell me he was in his room and what the room number was. Visiting hours were anytime. So I told him I'd see if I could get someone to watch Alex in the morning after I got Keira and Nick to school, and I'd come up to see him. I told him his truck was home safely. He asked if Dave rolled his windows up. :) He cracks me up.
I got the kids to bed and made a few phone calls - his mom and dad, my mom, and my friend, Jody, to see if she was available to watch Alex the next day. Then I collapsed into bed exhausted from the day's events.
I'll stop there since this is long enough. I'll write about Thursday's adventures tomorrow. So as they do on television ...
To be continued ...