One of the best and worst things about my paralysis is that I cannot feel pain below my injury level the same way most people do. Pain may not hit in time to prevent injury and when it does hit, it may not be obvious where and why I am uncomfortable. Strange, I know! This phenomena opens up possibilities for secondary injuries like burns, abrasions, pressure sores and other unwanted pesky and ugly, sometimes scarring events.
A recent clash with unknown pain came one night last summer when I was washing my face. I finished my face and brushed my teeth and was ready for help with the final bedtime routine.
As I backed away from the counter and looked down at the stone tiles, I saw a pool of blood. Alarming? Yes, alarming, because I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. In a panic, I called for my sweet hubby and we discovered it was my toe bleeding. Oh my, I had banged it against against the cabinet. I usually don’t take my shoes off until the last minute, but for some reason this night I did. **Note to self – don’t take shoes off before finishing your face.
Anyway, we called our nurse practitioner neighbor, aka neighborhood 911, and she took no time to ascertain that we needed to go to the emergency room for stitches immediately. I wanted to wait until the morning… So we went to the ER.
As an aside and perhaps the only value in this post: We have several good hospitals within 30 minutes of us, and because this was a minor injury we didn’t care which hospital we chose. We wanted to get it done and get home. As we pulled out of the driveway I called the ER where we were headed and they reported ‘at least a three hour wait’. I called another hospital’s ER and they said they had one person waiting but could not predict if someone else would come. We changed directions and headed to that hospital where we were taken care of ‘right away’.
‘Right away’, of course, still includes the obligatory half hour here and half hour there while the medical staff helps others and work on increasing your bill.
Brent tolerated the wait well with his iPad in ‘toe’. Hope you don’t have a weak stomach for blood….Four stitches later we headed home.
…and the next morning Tahoe helped the healing along with kisses. The kisses made the boo boo all better.