Sunday, August 28, 2011

My First Trip to the Emergency Room

It is a typical Friday night. I am doing my dishes, whimsically scrubbing my glassware to the sweet sound of classical music. But as I clean a glass, it shatters, lacerating the side of my right hand. As blood pours out along my forearm and onto the floor, I ponder my predicament.

Now, let me give you some background. I am not wearing a shirt at this point. I prefer not to get my shirts wet while I am performing house chores. I am also wearing some wool, gray-green dress slacks and no shoes (Japanese household and all that). It suddenly crosses my mind that I will have to go to the hospital, which means I need to put some clothes on.

I walk over to my closet, dripping blood along the way, to examine my shirts. I realize that I cannot wear any of my typical button-up, collared shirts, as they require both hands to button, and thus would become a bloody mess. I then decide I would wear a polo shirt, the next best option for a business-casual patient. However, all of my polo shirts are in the laundry, and I do not want to wear a dirty shirt to the hospital.

Thus, I am forced to walk to my dresser and examine my t-shirts. Keep in mind that blood is still dripping on the floor. My first thought is to wear my white v-neck undershirt, but the neckline seems inappropriately revealing to wear in public. Ah, a red shirt. That would hide the color of the blood. It does not match my pants unfortunately, but as the saying goes, "those rapidly losing blood cannot be choosers."

After donning the shirt, I go to find a pair of shoes. Unfortunately, my choices are limited, as laces present the same problem as buttons. I am forced, again, to pick shoes that did not match. In this case, they are blue, which, when combined with my gray-blue slacks and red t-shirt, make me look like a color-blind, deconstructed hipster.

At this point, I realize I should call a friend to help me to the hospital. Having already forgotten that I had injured myself, I reach out with my cut hand for my cellphone. Needless to say, I managed to grab it with my second attempt and second hand, and call a friend to meet me on the way to the emergency room.

I gather a dishrag to cover my wound and leave my apartment. As I am walking down Michigan Avenue, clutching a bloody rag and nodding politely to the Friday dinner crowd, I observe that few people are even taking notice of me. I got more looks earlier that day when I was wearing a bow-tie, making me wonder if bloody hands are already passe in today's fast-paced fashion world. I meet my friend at her apartment. Here's an approximation of that conversation:

ME: Hello, how are you?
FRIEND: What!? Why are you asking me that? We need to go to the hospital!
ME: Okay. I just wanted to be polite. Let's go.
FRIEND: Let's get a cab! I don't want you to walk.
ME: No, I don't want to bleed in the backseat of a cab. That's just rude.

We arrive at the emergency room, where I am told it may "be a few hours." The triage nurse gives me a temporary bandage.

NURSE: Any allergies?
ME: Just cats and dogs.
NURSE: Any allergies to medications?
ME: Not unless they have cats or dogs in them.

Then, after only about an hour of waiting, I am lucky enough to hear this sound across the waiting room.


Ah, how lucky that I, Mr. Flansnee, get to see the doctor so soon. But first, a lovely woman comes in to make sure she has my insurance information, and thus I can pay for my visit.

LOVELY WOMAN: Can you sign with your hand like that?
ME: Well, that depends on how much blood you want on these forms.

After my bills are cleared and my wound cleaned, I am examined by the attending physician.

DR: How did you cut your hand?
ME: I was doing the dishes.
DR: You are a medical student? Where are you from?
ME: Kansas.
DR: Kansas? Why were you doing the dishes?
ME: I'm a good country boy; I do all my own housework.

A new intern comes in to stitch me up.

INTERN: You know, you should make up some cool story to tell everyone how you got these stitches.
ME: Yeah. Like a bar fight.
INTERN: [jokingly] You should see the other guy.
ME: [deathly serious] Yeah, he's dead.

Six stitches later, I am on my way. Now I just need to get back to my apartment before it is legally declared a crime scene.


  1. So far the record shows:

    Sai 0 Dishes 1
    Ryan 0 Watermelon 1

  2. Remember when you took me to the emergency room after crumbly steps behind The Wheel defeated my ankle? Also remember how all of KK believed I hurt my ankle cage fighting? Yeah. Thanks again for giving up Rob's birthday party so I could temporarily inflate my ego.

  3. You forgot to discuss your underwhelming pain scale rating about this experience, because you are such a superman. Lol.

  4. This is your best one yet.

    Lesson learned: your blog is more interesting if you get hurt.

    ...and have a fashion crisis.