Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cool, Calm and Collected

Men are always going on about how macho they are and that nothing will happen to them and that they will never admit defeat! Well have I got a story for you proving them wrong!

So my dad is a very hands on type of man and enjoys making whatever he can himself. So after getting back from a hunting trip, he decided he was going to make some dry wors. He normally always makes biltong.

While he was in the garage making the dry wors, I was upstairs in the kitchen starting to make supper. I heard him come into the house, when he made his way into the kitchen he had both his hands behind his back. 

He looked at me and said “there has been a small accident” 

I was like “ok”. 

He  said “don’t panic” (right so now I’m thinking don’t panic, don’t panic – btw this never works when you tell yourself not to do something). 

I said “ok, what’s wrong”.

My dad brought his hands around from behind his back, around his right hand was a hankie that was now covered in blood (ok so I’m thinking not too bad maybe just a deep cut – I didn’t realise how wrong I was going to be). My dad slowly removes the hankie to reveal part of his middle finger  missing (yes I mean missing as in the top of it was gone!) now I must credit myself in not fainting at the sight of the finger – luckily I have never really been a softie when it comes to blood (boy oh boy I was glad about that!) First thing that popped into my mind was where is the other part? Which I enquired about only to be told it was still in the machine. (apparently the mincing of the meat was taking too long so my dad used a wooden spoon to feed the meat into the mincer – which worked fine for a while. Now don’t ask me why he did what he did but the meat was getting clogged in the machine so he put his fingers in there to push the meat down. (and guess what happened – the machine literally ripped the top of his finger off). His finger almost looked like a miniature shark had attacked it, like shredded skin, I could actually see part of the bone! (again super glad I’m not squeamish – and to think of I never even heard him scram in pain – hello I would have!)

I was like “ok first things first, we need to do is stop the bleeding” so off we went down to the garage and the first thing that came to mind was a cable tie (don’t even ask how I thought of that in a time like this) so we got a cable tie and put it around the finger just below the area where the finger had become detached, tightened it as tight as was bearable. I looked inside the mincer grabbed the other part of the finger and wrapped it in a clean hankie and my dad put in his pocket to take to the doctor. (now I must say the texture of the top of the finger was the strangest sensation ever it was so loose and floppy obviously because there was no other tissue or muscle etc...

I thought we should go straight to the hospital but my dad insisted on going to the GP first. So before we left I told my gran we were just going to get something from the shop (so as not to alarm her – she is a hypochondriac - you can only imagine!). Now you would think a man who is injured and perhaps less able to drive properly would let the female drive? Wrong! My dad drove with an impaired finger to the doctor – now we didn’t have an appointment and we all know what doctors rooms are like and it was late afternoon / evening. I went to the receptionist and explained we needed to see the doctor immediately, pleasant as she was she explained I had to wait. That is when I pulled out the big guns and showed her my dad’s finger. We shown to and examining room immediately.

We  waited only a few minutes – I think she interrupted him and told him about us because he came in quite quickly and anxiously. He couldn’t believe what he saw and was pretty impressed with my quick thinking of putting a cable tie on it to stop the bleeding (maybe I should have been a doctor?). He had a good look and prodded around the area of the finger and my dad didn’t even flinch. It must have hurt like a hole in the head – I would have screamed and punched him out by now. He also enquired as to where the other part was, we explained wrapped in a hankie in the pocket. (I couldn’t decide if he thought we were joking or being serious). Eventually he said to us that we would have to go to the hospital to have it sorted out. Oh great! Did I mention it was a public holiday the next day?

So we were off again on route to the hospital. While in casualty, I’m trying to fill the forms in as quickly as possible so that they can see to my dad. Only to be told that they couldn’t operate that night due to some reason. I thought to myself you have got to be kidding me. Could it get any worse? So they injected painkillers into the area and bandaged the finger up. My dad had to come back the next morning as early as 7am and would then get admitted into the day ward have the amputation (he decided he didn’t want the tip out back on) and would be discharged in the afternoon.

So now on the way home, I see like 10 missed calls from my brother. We phoned him on the way home. Yes my dad is still driving – men will never admit defeat! My brother wants to know what is taking so long, so I don’t exactly want to tell him over the phone. I just said we are nearly home will explain when we get there. We get home explain the whole long story to both my brother and my gran, they couldn’t believe it!

The next morning which was the public holiday in South Africa (16 June - Youth Day) my dad got his boss to fetch him and take him to the hospital to get the amputation done. I started to get the feeling my dad doesn’t trust my driving! I haven’t had an accident yet!

He came home in the afternoon, finger looking like it was in plaster of paris the bandage was so thick! He had to keep it covered for a week!

Now for those who are faint hearted don’t read any further....

My dad kept the tip of the finger, he has it in a small little bottle in mentholated spirits on a shelf in the garage as a reminder of what happened!

Editors note: This is a guest post by Blackjack and not always the opinion or view of the blog or its owners and related parties. As a result no action can be taken against such parties

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