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This is a question Blood

Like a scene from The Exorcist, I once spewed a stomach-full of blood all over a charming nurse as I came round after a major dental operation. Tell us your tales of red, red horror.

(, Thu 7 Aug 2008, 14:39)
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A bit of blood, and some flesh too!
It was long ago, back when I lived in NY and had very small kids. Seventeen years? Something like that.

Anyway, we had a house along a lake up there. It was an old house with a cobblestone basement- it would be close to 200 years old about now- and had been a farm house for an orchard, until a dam was built across the end of the lake in the 1930s. The result was a long narrow triangular lot, very close to the road, with a long narrow side yard that was below the road level.

I had an old chainsaw, and wanted very much to clean up the place to make a nice shady yard out of that side yard with lots of room for the kids to play and a bench swing. So one afternoon when the wife and kids were absent I decided to start cleaning it up.

I took out a load of stuff and piled it to be burned later, then eyed the scraggly tree in the middle of things. It was a skinny little oak, maybe eight inches in diameter- trivial to take out. Three cuts later it was on the ground, right where I had wanted it to land.

I walked along the trunk, the tip of my bar making short work of the branches. Just as I had done for years, I sliced them all off flush with the trunk, letting them fall to the ground to be removed later. I got to one large-ish branch that was folded over under the tree and started cutting-

SPROING! The branch kicked out as it released, carrying the running chainsaw across my left knee. I felt it rip at my jeans, and felt the fire of it doing some work on my flesh as well.

I stood up straight, panic flaring, unable to look down at my leg. My finger found the switch and shut off the saw. I stood there in the silence, staring straight ahead as I realized what I had just done. I fought off the grey that came around the edges of my vision, and took a deep breath.

Okay, I'm standing. The saw had hit just above my left kneecap. It couldn't be but so bad- no tendons cut or anything like that, or I'd be on the ground. But still- shit. I can feel the blood running down my leg. Can't look down, though. Nope, can't handle that right now.

I put the saw in the shed, then put away the gas and the oil. I was able to walk, but I could still feel my leg getting wetter. Shit.

I climbed the stairs to the back door, went into the kitchen and opened the cabinet that held my tools. I took out a roll of masking tape, the kind you use to seal boxes when you move. No duct tape, dammit- well, this will have to do. I unbuttoned my jeans- damn 501 Levis, should have worn the ones with the zipper- and pulled them down. Then I looked.

Deep breath, then mopped the worst of it off with a paper towel. A wrap around the knee with the tape, followed by a few more passes. Okay, now the tape is holding things together, anyway.

Only thing is, the nearest hospital was 45 minutes away- and I was there alone. Nearest neighbor was a quarter mile away. Shit.

Well, let's see- the kids' doctor is about five miles away in the next village. He's a pediatrician/general practitioner, but hell, I don't need anything too fancy- he can stitch me up, right? Just got to drive myself there, just five miles away.

With a stick shift. Which means using my slashed leg to push on the clutch. Lovely.

I got there and parked, then hobbled in. The anvil-faced harridan behind the desk, of the sort who always seem to gravitate to such jobs, glared up at me. "Yes?"

"I need to see the doctor, please."

"You don't have an appointment," she snapped. "You need to make an appointment, and he's booked up until next Tuesday."

"I cut myself with a chainsaw."

It took her a second to process that. "So now you're bleeding all over my nice clean floor, aren't you? Come on, this way." And she ushered me into a room.

The doctor was in there moments later, a very nice guy in his early thirties. "Hi, Mr. Loon. Usually I don't see people your age- it's normally your son who comes in here." He grinned as he said this, then looked at my knee. "Nice job. Took out a fair amount of skin... well, we'll just have to pull it tight to make up for the missing skin." And he removed the blood-soaked tape, then started jabbing me with lidocaine. Which hurt worse than the initial wound.

He cleaned and sewed, and I left fingerprints in the steel of the table. At last he was done. "Okay, remember- limp like this." He hobbled like Igor around the room. "You have to play up the sympathy angle. This should get you out of mowing the lawn or doing dishes for a few weeks, anyway."

I pulled on my still-wet jeans, thanked him and left.

I got home, opened a beer, followed it with another, and was working on a third when Nurse Ratched arrived. "They called me from the doctor's office and told me what happened. Drop the jeans."

(That was the last time I ever heard her demand that I take off my pants, I might add.)

It didn't get me out of doing dishes for more than a week, of course. I still had to drive my stick shift to work, although I managed to avoid field work as it healed up. At the end of it, when it had healed and the stitches needed to be removed, Nurse Ratched came home from work with a suture kit. "Why take time off to go to the doctor? Here, sit down in the rocking chair... see, the scissors have this little hook on the end to go under the suture. Isn't that neat? Okay then, let's take this one out... Sit still, will you? The stitches are tight. Of course I have to dig under them!... Okay, there, it's cut. Now I'll just pull on the end... whoops, wrong end. The knot came through and there's a little blood, but not bad... Sit still, will you? It's not that bad! Stop being such a wimp!"

(I still believe to this day that her patients recovered quickly just so they could escape her.)

Eventually it healed, but even now I still have a large ragged line over my left knee to remind me of why one needs to respect power tools.
(, Thu 7 Aug 2008, 17:12, 8 replies)
just that. Oh, wait, there's more

(, Thu 7 Aug 2008, 17:21, closed)
Nicely told
(, Thu 7 Aug 2008, 17:29, closed)
Who's a brave little merkin then : )
(, Thu 7 Aug 2008, 19:25, closed)
As soon as I started reading this...
And the oak was mentioned - I thought "Ah, the Loon..."

Have a click sir
(, Fri 8 Aug 2008, 10:28, closed)
I've read references to this tale before in your posts, and now that it's been fleshed out (pun incredibly intended), I have to say, kudos to your quick thinking and straightforward actions.

I'd probably have bled to death in a corner, curled up with a cuddly toy.
(, Fri 8 Aug 2008, 14:09, closed)
Just what we've come to expect
from our favourite Yankie.

I hope you were wearing a thick lumberjack shirt - just for the look of the thing you understand. Likewise, I hope the rocking chair was out on the 'stoop'.
(, Fri 8 Aug 2008, 15:40, closed)
I think I still have the shirt I was wearing at the time- it's a light tan color with thin black stripes, like mattress ticking, and is basically lightweight canvas. (I have the shirt- just not certain that that was the one I was wearing at the time, but it likely was.) But the rocking chair was in the living room, not on the stoop. Had it been outdoors I might have given in to my impulse to vomit down her back.

Not one of my finer moments, really.
(, Fri 8 Aug 2008, 15:52, closed)
Having used chainsaws for years myself, they still terrify me!

I have shivers still from reading the start of your tale.
(, Mon 11 Aug 2008, 16:48, closed)

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