Sunday, November 29, 2009


Stella is beginning to be one expensive dog!

We decided to put up a smallish fence for her. We've been pricing materials for the last few weeks and had intentions to begin on Friday. We rented a monster of an automatic post hole digger. It's a huge rig that you have to tow behind your vehicle to get to your destination. Big! Anyway, we got about four holes dug when one of the two hoses connecting the engine to the enormous drill bit started spewing hydraulic fluid. It looked just like when you get a small hole in your garden hose. The pink oil was just spraying. Edward grabbed the hose and immediately yelled and let go of the hose. I thought he got a burn, so I booked it to the house to get some ice for him. He yelled for me to come turn off the machine. "Oh yeah!" I thought. "That's a good idea." By that time he'd run into the house and was running his thumb under cold water. I could just see a pretty small flesh wound that was bleeding. His thumb really started to swell.

Basically what happened was the equivalent of Edward holding his thumb over the nozzle of a high powered pressure washer. The liquid (hydraulic fluid) blasted through his glove first (thank goodness) and into his thumb.

Edward mentioned something about possibly going to the ER. I said surely he didn't need to because it didn't look that bad. He asked me to call my sister who is a nurse to get her opinion. After describing the injury, she asked if we wanted her to come take a look, and we did. She asked when was the last time he had a tetanus shot. We told her it was our first semester at Mizzou as newlyweds, 12 years ago. She said it would probably be a good idea to go get one. Our doctor was out for the Thanksgiving holiday, as were all other doctors in town except two. And of course they didn't accept new patients. So off to the ER it was.

Being the good and caring wife that I am, I sent Edward off to the hospital alone so I could finish digging. Actually, we weren't too concerned at that point, considering we were expecting a quick tetanus shot then a trip back home. I called the rental company, and they sent someone over to replace the busted hose. I continued digging holes when Edward called me informing me he was most likely being sent to St. Louis for hand surgery. WHAT?!?!?! The ER doc had a call in to the hand specialist at a St. Louis hospital to get his opinion. While we were waiting, I hitched the post hole digger up to the Jeep and returned. I still hadn't showered that day, so I took a quick shower. As soon as I got out, Edward called back and said he was definitely being sent for surgery that night. I got the kids settled with my mom (This is why we love having family so close!!!!) and joined Edward in the ER. To my happy surprise, they let me be his ambulance to the city.

After arriving at the ER in St. Louis, we waited and waited some more and explained the situation 87 more times. Once the surgery team arrived they explained to us why they needed to operate. They said that hydraulic fluid would potentially eat up the tissue in his thumb. But even more scary, it had the potential to travel down into his hand, wrist, or even elbow and cause a lot of damage. They were very pleased he came in when he did (thankfully he didn't listen to me when it first happened!). So, he was taken back for surgery at 8:45 p.m. I got a call in the waiting room at 9:00 p.m. that surgery had begun and he was doing well, and by 9:15 the surgeon was in telling me how great it went. He said that the hydraulic fluid was just contained to the end of his thumb. Most likely the glove dissipated a lot of the fluid. He said there are times when they have to go in two or three times to clean out the wound, but he didn't feel like that was necessary this time. He did sew a shunt in the incision for drainage. Ouch!

Edward got to his room at 10:15, and we settled in for a long night. I was worried I would be sleeping in a non-reclining chair but was relieved when an aide delivered a recliner to me at midnight. Edward woke up feeling nothing and doing great, so we were discharged at about 10:30 a.m. We head back in tomorrow for a post-op visit.

He felt great all day yesterday but has felt pretty crumby most of the day. That is mostly due to the oxycodone he is on. His thumb was hurting when he woke up so he took the pain meds. That left him feeling pretty nauseated. He has spent the evening taking it easy. Maybe the doctor can help us figure out something else we can do for the pain.

So, not only are we paying to install a fence for Stella, she is also causing us to hit our astronomical insurance deductible. Edward's about ready to get rid of her at this point.

And, my wonderful father came and manually dug the rest of our post holes while we were gone. He's the best.

Give us a thumbs up, Eddo!
Thrilled that I'm making him pose for pics. :)