March 21, 2009

"It is but a flesh wound"

After an amazingly busy week with loads of work, Friday's work finally ended and we began to look forward to the weekend. Kim and I went outside to read while David rode his bike up and down the street. I lit the firepit and stoked it with wood to take the chill off the evening air. In about an hour, I was planning to fire up the wood grill and cook steaks for dinner. We settled in for what we expected to be an enjoyable evening.

Then David said, "watch how far I lean when I take this corner up here." We watched as David zipped past us on the street. We could hear the click of the gears changing as he raised the gears to accelerate to ever quickening speeds. Then he took the corner.

He leaned the bike much further than he needed to in order to safely navigate the turn. In fact, he leaned it over about as far as he might have leaned it had he been placing it on the ground to go play with something else. We heard the skid and saw his body bounce off the blacktop.

He jumped up and inspected his leg and immediately began shrieking.

I ran to help him and found a half-dollar sized gaping hole at least an inch deep. It was absolutely disgusting looking. We rushed him to the hospital where, after David's leg was quickly bandaged by the intake personnel, we waited in the waiting room for about 6 hours. Then we were called to a room where a doctor examined the wound, asked some questions, and ordered an X-ray.

Lots of waiting, then the X-ray. Lots of waiting, then the explanation that his wound had torn everything out, not just ripped the flesh - but actually removed about a cubic inch and a half of his leg in the shin area just below the knee. He chipped the top of one of his bones below the knee, but had not torn ligaments or muscle.

So we waited and then the doctor cleaned the wound carefully, deep down inside the gaping hole. She used tweezers to pull out tiny pieces of gravel (and some that were not so tiny). And then, about 8 hours after we had arrived at the hospital, they put the final dressings on his leg, told us to see the orthopedic doctor in about a week and sent us home. We arrived home early this morning and crawled into bed at about 2:00 this morning.

David is now on crutches with orders to keep his leg elevated and to not put any pressure on his leg. He will be doing that for about a week and then will see the orthopedic doctor who may order further inactivity. David is not a sedentary type of boy. So it will be an interesting few weeks ahead of us.

What excitement.


  1. Oh, my, I'm glad he's OK.

    And what a coincidence. We JUST said that Monty Python line with a couple friends of ours.

    I got a call about 8PM tonight from a friend, who has a 2 1/2 month old girl, and three older children, asking if I could watch her children while her husband was in the emergency room getting his head stitched from a bad gash he sustained at the local park playground today. They were on an outing - the first fine day here, and this happened. Fortunately the park is near the hospital, and I'm only a ten minute drive from there.

    So the kids came over, and we played, and she nursed the baby at our house, then got her husband, and he came in as they picked up the kids and showed us his head and stitches, and we all started in on the "It's just a flesh wound" round of banter. I kid you not. They just left, and I came down to the computer to decompress a bit.

    All's well that ends well. I'm glad for the care we have for these things, and I'm glad your son is going to be OK.

  2. Lynn - I'm glad there are other Monty Python fans out there to understand my bizarre post titles. It's funny that you were just using that phrase before you read this post. Great minds think alike, eh?

    While we were in the waiting room at the hospital we met quite a few folks who had gotten hurt at one park or another around Lynchburg that day. It was a beautiful day, although we have had a few warmer days recently. I guess leaving the house is simply dangerous sometimes.

    David is back in school today - on his crutches. I'm sure he's getting lots of all-important sympathy from his female friends there. He knows how to play it up.

  3. That was a real weird coincidence. What happened was, our friend ran to chase one of his children under some playground set up, that only little kids can run under, and he didn't bend down far enough, and hit his head on a blunt object. The skin swells so quickly that it bursts the skin open on the forehead and head. Hence, you don't need a sharp object to cause a deep gash on the head.

    They had to shave a little bit of his head to do the stitches, and as his wife and he came to pick up their children, he said, "Happy Halloween!" All the stitches and blood all over his shirt - then we started in with that line from Monty Python.

    My daughter was very impressed, and said she needed to remember to be careful.

    I'm glad David is up and at-em again today.

  4. Rich,
    I read your wife's account and now read yours. I must say, your account made me rather queasy.

    I admire you all just for making it through six hours of waiting to be seen and then two more...

  5. It was quite an experience, madame. The emergency room was much busier than usual that night. I hate to think how long the people after us had to wait. By the time we were moved into an actual treatment room, the waiting room that had been about two-thirds full when we arrived was jam packed.

    All the seats were taken and more people were standing as they waited. There were at least 15 people standing or sitting in wheel chairs in the lobby outside the waiting room.

    I think the beautiful evening brought people out of their homes and accidents resulted. We must be a clumsy group of people here in Lynchburg.

  6. How are things progressing? I hope David's leg heals well.

    All the wounded: lack of exercise!

    Madame (on my husband's computer)

  7. Thanks for asking, Madame. David is doing well. He's great at getting around on the crutches and his wound seems to be healing. We give it new dressings each day.

    He is getting a bit tired of sitting around the house all the time and is very worried about one of his favorite activities that involves kneeling. (He kneels on his wagon with the leg that has the wound and pushes himself around with his other leg.)

    Orthopedic doctor appointment tomorrow.


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