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Getting Right to the Point

Disclaimer: There is a potentially disturbing image in this post. If you’re upset by pictures containing blood, please point your browser elsewhere.

I mentioned the other day that I was putting in a home gym. Well today I purchased the first parts of it. A variable dumbbell set from Dick’s Sporting Goods going from 10 – 50 lbs and a olympic bar and 255lbs of weights. Loaded it up in my truck and brought it home, then proceeded to take it to the basement in several trips. I was near the end when I decided to cut open the box on some weights so I could take the box up and throw it in the trash. That’s when things went wrong.

I sharpened my jackknife the other day, a seemingly harmless task. It turns out it was far sharper than I expected. It cut through the strap on the box and then I thought my jeans had stopped it. Then the blood started raining down from under my jeans onto my sock and shoe. I looked at my knife and saw the blood on the blade, then closed it and slipped it back in my pocket while clamping my hand down on my bleeding calf. I held pressure on it for a minute but the blood kept soaking my jeans and shoe, so I kicked my shoe off (new white shoes, I was NOT happy). I risked pulling my pant leg up and found the blood was flowing out of the puncture wound. Flowing, as in a fountain. It was a little disconcerting.

“Honey,” I called out in a calm voice (I didn’t need my wife or kids freaking out), “could you come down and help me with something?” She took a few minutes taking care of things then came down and asked what I needed. “Well, grab some towels, I’m bleeding.”
Things went downhill from there.

She was less than model definition of calm. I let off the pressure to show her and what had been flowing earlier came out in a stream. That really tipped her over. She was bound and determined to call 911 but I talked her off that ledge. It wasn’t arterial, just a 2″ deep puncture wound into the muscle of my calf. Turns out there’s a lot of blood in the human leg! She ran off to go talk to our neighbors, the wife was a registered nurse before she retired. By the time she made it back I was upstairs and doing my best to elevate the wound and keep pressure on it (yes, I’ve been through this before – don’t ask).

The neighbor helped me get the bleeding stopped and bandaged it, then verified that it needed stitches. I didn’t think so at that point, the incision was only about half an inch across. My wife had heard the news though, there was no backing down. Fortunately the urgent care is less than a mile from us so it wasn’t a big deal for me to hobble out to my truck and crawl in the back seat while my wife drove me there. After some entertaining dialogue with a couple of nurses and the doctor, he decided to put a stitch in it. I talked him out of the anesthetic (lidocaine stings worse than the stitches do in my opinion) so he put a stitch in it and said he was leaving the ends open to allow drainage. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Got a tetanus shot and I was good to go.

After we got home I hobbled across the street with my wife to get our kids back. On the way I felt something give in my calf. I thought the stitch pulled through but that wasn’t it, where the muscle had pressed together inside had pulled apart. The waterworks began again. I clamped down and gimped my way back to my house so I could lay on the floor and elevate the foot up on a foot stool. That did the job nicely, except it was a night full of activity (work dinner with my department then some birthday shopping for my son’s pending birthday). Yes, my wife pushed me around the store in a wheelchair. It was humbling, to say the least. Good research for how a puncture wound would feel for one of the characters in my books though (honestly, there’s been no pain at all other than pulling the bandages off my leg and ripping out leg hair, even getting stitched up without anesthetic was barely a pinch).

There’s no moral to the story, it was just an accident, but it was entertaining. Between getting in trouble for joking that my wife attacked me with a butter knife to being called a tough guy by a nurse for not wanting anesthetic, it was certainly an eventful day. The day started off so positive too, with the release of my latest high fantasy novel, Child of Fate. If you’re feeling bad about my predicament, I’m not above suggesting contributing to my urgent care medical bills by going to buy the book (or any of my others). Or if you’d rather point at me and call me a dumbass for stabbing myself, I’ll accept that too since I probably deserve it.

And now for the image I promised above. This was the state of my jeans after I’d been stitched. The blood was what happened before I pulled my pants up to put pressure directly on the wound.

Later the next day I revisited the scene of the attack. There was more evidence left behind than I realized. I took another pic, including putting my foot where it was originally for perspective. If they ever open up a sport at the Olympics for blood spurting I suspect I might be a medal contender! The stains took place after I pulled my jeans up to check the injury. I immediately clamped my hand over it for pressure, but in the half a second or so prior to that this is what happened.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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