Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Battle of the Barbed Wire

Today marks the one year anniversary of a very traumatic experience in the life of the Prairie Princess.

Rated PG13 for blood and guts, finger guts that is.

This was blogged the day of the incident:

While this story caused me great pain, I thought I would share it anyway because it will undoubtedly make you laugh out loud and really that's what I'm about even if it hurts me.
Let me just start out by saying from the moment I woke up this morning I wanted to go back to bed. I should really start following my instincts. It was cold and rainy but instead of curling back under the covers, I forced myself to go to work. Only to arrive to the sounds of what sounded like a 40 man wrecking crew working in our office. So it was only 2 or 3 guys working on building a new office but there were some really loud painful noises especially before 8 in the morning. Anyway, the day got somewhat better and I managed through a long boring day at work without once crawling under my desk to nap (although I considered it.) Because I was a tad slow in getting to work I stayed about 20 minutes late, meaning Dakota and Blade were latchkey kids for about 35 minutes by the time I picked up Ryder and got home. I finally walked in the door ready to put on my PJ's and do nothing all night when there smiling at me was Bob*, Blade's friend. Bob and his mom are obsessed with play dates with Blade, and I had totally forgotten that I had agreed after the 14th call last week from either he or his understimulated mother that he could come over today. Lovely. I thought "oh great, what a day to get home late." They were playing Wii and all seemed to be fine, he made no mention of being unattended for 35 minutes so I hoped that he didn't notice. Let me back up half a step, before I walked in the house I happened to look over at the emu pen and noticed that Elvis was not strutting around in it as he should be so I knew I had to immediately go search for him. Not wanting to waste time, I slipped out of my heels and into Justin's crocs (don't worry he doesn't wear them in public they are strictly for getting dirty) but didn't bother changing out of my work clothes so I looked like a million bucks...obviously. But I wasn't overly concerned as I was going to hunt down emus. Dakota and I headed out in search of Elvis whom we quickly found. He was on the outside of the fence so she climbed over and handed him to me in the barnyard. Keep in mind it had been raining ALL day and the barnyard was MUDDY and slick. So I was trying to wrangle a 3 month old emu and keep hold of him to return him to his pen. Just as I neared the home stretch I slipped on some mud so instinctively I reached out to grab anything to catch my fall. Unfortunately, the only thing for me to grab was the barbed wire running along the top of the fence. As I slid from my back to my behind in the mud, I realized my hand was not following me and appeared to be stuck on the fence. Hmmm....strange I thought, I'm not wearing gloves (although I have some very adorable pink John Deere ones that I typically wear for chores but remember this was an urgent emu catching operation, no time for gloves). So I pulled myself up to the fence and looked at my hand. And that's when I saw that the barb had managed to go completely into my little finger, the top part of the barb was in the top half of my little finger and the bottom part was in the bottom half of my little finger and I was bleeding just a tad. Ouch. So I tried to gently pull it out, it was in good and it wasn't moving. I yelled for Dakota to go get the phone to call GI Joe who I was confident would know a trick for removing barbed wire from a little finger. Don't ask me why I thought he would have a solution, it's just habit. She went and got the phone for me but the phone seemed to be unplugged or something cuz there was no dialtone. Seriously....could I get a break here? I sent her back in the house to check the switch and make sure it was plugged in and told her to call GI Joe. Approximately, 45 minutes later (ok that's probably a slight exaggeration but it seemed like forever) she came back out and asked me for GI Joe's number. She took one look at my finger was grossed, out, handed me the phone and headed back inside. But there was still no dial tone. I was going to scream, oh wait wouldn't do me any good. The neighbors/in laws weren't home yet and the other neighbors are too far away or would just think it was one of our peacocks again. As I weighed my options to just yank the fence out of my finger even though I knew it would probably split it in 2 or wait it out til either GI Joe or the neighbors got home, a van pulled in the driveway. Now some might think, oh good, help had arrived. Well, had it been any other van I would've thought the same thing. However this van belonged to Bob's mom, Bobette*, the very type of stay at home mom that drives me insane and is obsessed with having her son play with Blade and who also happened to be the first hand witness of my unfortunate ditch incident earlier in the winter. I'm quite certain she thinks I'm the biggest moron and worst mother in the world and that was BEFORE she pulled in to find me stuck to a barbed wire fence. I decided I would rather stand there and bleed to death than to ask her for help. I yelled at Dakota who happened to peek out of the house to tell Bob his mom was here. Thinking if she would just pick him up and go home I would deal with this in my own way. Yeah, no such luck. She must've thought I was standing in a weird way, covered in mud, cuz she came over to "chat" and then screamed in horror when she saw the precarious position my finger was in and the blood running from it. Apparently, she didn't believe me when I told her I had it under control, cuz she insisted on going inside MY house to get me a paper towel. (Sidenote: I'm a freak when it comes to people going in my house, I prefer advance notice and time to make everything picture perfect.) Let's just say the house was not in company form and I hadn't really been supervising the kids so who knew what they had done to it. So the thought of her going in my house did nothing for my fragile state. She came out of the house with my paper towel and announced that we should probably call someone. Thank you Mrs. Obvious. I told her that the thought had crossed my mind but that my kids were being less than attentive and I couldn't get the phone to work. So instead of immediately just grabbing her cell phone she went back in my house to check the switch that sometimes gets flipped that shuts off the phone. Can I just say that by this time I was ready to pass out, not from the pain or the blood loss, but from an anxiety attack of this woman nosing around my probably messy house? Sigh....we finally decided the phone was still not working so she went to the van to get her cell phone. I told her to hold on before we called anyone and that if we could get Dakota to find the fence tools maybe we could just cut the fence and then once the fence was detached from the posts I could manuever it out of my finger. By this time Dakota was very involved in her Wii game and oblivious to her mother's needs. I resolved that okay we're going to have to call, as I'm out of ideas and I certainly don't want to send Bobette* on any fence tool finding mission around the zoo. So I gave her the go ahead to call 911. But instead of calling 911 for me, she handed me the phone. Yep that's right, one handed Prairie Princess took the phone from her and called 911 for herself. Seriously. So the 911 call went a little somethin like this:
911: County 911 Dispatch, what's your emergency?
Me: Ummm, I think I need some help.
911: OK what kind of help?
Me: Well, I have a barbed wire fence thru my finger and I can't get it out and I can't move. I think I need someone to cut the fence.
911: So let me make sure I have this have a barbed wire fence thru your finger and need help getting it out?
Me: Yes that's correct. I fell and broke my fall by putting my finger thru a barbed wire fence.
911: Hmmmm, OK I'll call for dispatch.(After she gets my information, she hangs up to tell all her coworkers about the idiot who called 911 for a fence incident.)
Our small town has a complete volunteer system so it was about a 12 minute wait during which I had to converse with Bobette*. I'm telling you this day could not have gotten any worse. In that short time I learned that she doesn't like animals, she doesn't really understand why we have so many animals, and that her son doesn't understand why they can't have chickens since they live in the country and she had to explain to him that the "association" she lives in wouldn't allow it. Ask me another time what I think of an "association" being out in the middle of the country and what I think about people who say they don't like animals to a girl standing amidst her beloved pets. Needless to say, I have very strong opinions about all of the above items and focused so much energy on trying not to punch her in the nose that I felt no pain in my finger. FINALLY, we heard sirens. And all of the sudden, my concerned kids came out of the house to find out what's wrong. Nice huh? The ambulance rolled in and who got out but a guy who was/is BFF with one of my exes. And he LAUGHED at me. He and 2 other guys came over to the fence to check out the situation and told me that it was in there pretty good and we had 2 options. 1) he could try to get the fence out and it was probably going to hurt or 2) they could cut the fence and take me to the hospital to have it surgically removed. Well that was ridiculous, I was not going to the hospital with a piece of fence in my hand and leaving my children at MY house with Bobette. I told them to do what they had to do. So he started working on it but kept getting pelted in the leg by Moose, our giant choco lab, that the kids let outside when they saw the ambulance. So he couldn't work because he kept getting thumped by the otter tail. Of course, by that time my caring children had lost interest and returned to their Wii game so they didn't hear my yells to put Moose inside. I wasn't about to send Bobette* in again, so I just told the other paramedic guy to hang on to Moose's collar so Joe* can work. What choice did I have? Joe managed to get the fence out of my finger without me even really feeling it and without ripping it to shreds, I was impressed. He and the other guys decided that they could probably call off the other ambulance squad that was on it's way out. Yeah, I agreed, that was a good idea, I didn't need any more excitement. Because you get what you pay for with a volunteer rescue squad they started to walk off towards their ambulance leaving me there with a very sore finger bleeding. I had to yell at them and tell them that they could at least put a band aid on it for me. They begrudgingly agreed and told me to come to the ambulance. Meanwhile, much to my dismay, Bobette had gone back inside my house with the kids, to keep an eye on them I suppose. Little did she know they manage just fine unattended. I got to the ambulance, they did the report, somewhat cleaned up my finger, told me it's going to be sore (duh) and then Joe* filled me in on the ex and named all the people he planned to call and tell them this funny story. Apparently the patient confidentiality rule doesn't apply to volunteers. I went back in the house, ready to enter the Witness Protection program and relocate. I walked in the house to a putrid smell (Moose puked on the floor amid all the excitement), kid stuff everywhere, closet doors open, and Bobette sitting in the living room watching the kids. I was mortified beyond words but managed to thank her and send her on her way. I mean really she had to get home and start the PTA call tree. I put on proper farm gear (boots and gloves) to finish returning Elvis the Emu to his pen and then I came inside to tend to my wound since the VM First Responders did a less than bang up job and took some drugs as the adrenaline had worn off and my finger was beginning to throb.

I gleaned several important lessons from this rather painful experience. 1) I have become quite the tough farm girl, I mean I didn't even cry through the whole ordeal 2) Sometimes in life I will be forced to accept help from people I don't want to, I just need to learn to be grateful for it and quit being so stubborn (sidenote: realistically this will probably NEVER happen) 3) Never wear crocs on muddy slick surfaces. 4) Always wear gloves. 5) Next time just stay in bed.
*names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

***Update-I have since retired the pretty pink John Deere gloves and have upgraded to these bad boys. I now wear them all the time when outside except when I'm doing really dirty chores as I don't want to get them yucky.

They even say Tuff Chix on them, how perfect. Thanks Doug. Don't mind my giant pink ring on my right hand, it was my birthday.
I'm happy to report that I've regained full use of my pinky and only have a slight scar.
Happy Anniversary Barbed Wire! I'd shake your hand but we all know that probably won't end well.

1 comment:

  1. Oy! That was a bad day. I can't believe you didn't even cry! And, I'm the same way - I need notice if people come over, otherwise the house is never in decent shape.