fastest rate of bleeding
Tuesday, February 8 2022
It was a bit warmer today than it had been, and with the sun shining down about as powerfully as it can at this time of year, we finally experienced some serious melting of the ice covering all the vegetation. That ice kept raining down out of the trees with such an intensity that I was sure to avoid it as I went out to the mailbox to get the mail.
Meanwhile Gretchen had been on a long walk up the Farm Road that the dogs had opted out of. When she returned, the exercise of having trudged through the ice and snow had worn Gretchen out, and she was desperately craving something to restore her blood glucose levels. In that state, she went out into our cluttered garage. I heard a crash out there and didn't think much of it, but then Gretchen opened the door and asked me to please come out and help her; she'd just cut her hand open and was bleeding everywhere. It seems she's slipped on the several steps that lead down to the garage level (it's 25 inches lower than the floor of the house), knocked over a large 64 ounce glass beer jug that has been there for years, and then fell left-hand-first into the shards of broken glass. Her hand now had three deep lacerations, all of which were dripping blood at a worrying rate. I didn't have anything to catch the blood, but then Gretchen found a plastic bowl, the kind you get from a Thai restaurant to contain a soupy entree. By the time we got into the kitchen, that bowl had about a half a cup of blood in it, the fastest rate of bleeding I'd ever seen from a human being. I was worried the glass had sliced open a vein or perhaps even an artery. I got Gretchen a rag, and her compressing that against her injuries while holding her hand above her head soon made the bleeding stop. It surprised me how quickly she got it under control. But lacerations were bad, and Gretchen thought she could see layers from beneath the skin poking through, so she decided she needed to go to Emergency One. Normally I'd be the one to take her, but Powerful is feeling fairly good these days and seems to want to demonstrate to us that he's not just a teenager playing videogames in our basement. So Gretchen had him drive her to a medical professional.
I stayed in contact via Facebook Direct Messages, learning that Gretchen had found nobody in the waiting room at Emergency One, meaning she got attention right away (and didn't risk incidental covid exposure). Eventually an doctor who turned out to be Asian-Indian arrived and sewed up all three of her lacerations after first injecting them with a local anæsthetic. All that sewing took awhile, and it's a pretty intimate act, so as the doctor worked, he told Gretchen his entire life story, which included a green card, an arranged marriage, and the production of numerous children.
All that was over in time for Gretchen and Powerful to get takeway at a Greek place called Opa and then go see the new Spiderman movie at the Hudson Valley Mall (Gretchen later told me that the theatre was entirely empty except for them and one other person, making it about as covid-safe as the Emergency One waiting room had been).
This evening at around sunset, I went on a walk up and back on the Farm Road, mostly to get a little exercise after sitting at my desk all day. There was still plenty of ice on the trees, and the forest was beautiful in a delightful monochrome way.
When she got home, Gretchen asked what I'd done with the bowl of her blood. I told her that it had quickly clotted into a thick mass and didn't elaborate. "What did you do with it?" she wanted to know. I eventually admitted that I'd hoarded it. But it's not like I'll be keeping it for long. One possible use for it would be to fertilize the soil for next year's cannabis crop.
It's out of focus, but it's the only picture I have of Gretchen's injured hand, which she took immediately after it was all stitched up.
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