General Special Needs

Handy Medical Supplies

Over the years we have acquired a LOT of medical equipment and supplies. There is not a room in our house that does not have some sort of medical items stored inside. We have the Vest in the footstool, closet systems in half the closets to house everything from tape and syringes to IV supplies and oxygen.

After Casey passed away we gave away everything that could expire, and then we have slowly found homes for some of the other items. We still have quite a bit of stuff though. Over time I am sure we will get rid of more stuff, but sometimes it actually comes in handy.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I decided to get some gardening chores done. I was trimming some of the hedges and the trimmers kept sticking shut. I used a limb I had cut to pry them back open. The blade snapped back and caught my knuckle in its path. It didn’t hurt, but I felt the blade connect with my finger so I looked down to see if it was okay. There was a LOT of blood! I ran inside and washed the blood off to see that I had cut really deep. I am accident prone – always have been. It is not uncommon for me to cut into my finger while slicing bread (or whatever). The huge inventory of first aid supplies gets used at least a few times a year. I am a big fan of steri-strips. With a cut like yesterday’s I would typically go right for the strips. However, this cut was through my knuckle so I knew there was nothing I could do myself that would keep the wound closed. If every time I bend my finger I reopen the wound, it will never heal. Ugh!!! I knew I had to go get stitches.

Tim was in his office with the door closed. I could hear him talking, and could tell it was a work call. I didn’t want to interrupt so I got the bleeding under control by applying pressure, cleaned up the blood in the sink & counter, and then drove myself to the ER. As soon as they got me settled in the room, still bleeding, I thought I should tell Tim what was going on. I was worried I may have missed some of the blood during clean up and if he went into the kitchen and found blood and then couldn’t find me that he may panic a little. In case he was still on a work call though I opted to text him instead of calling.

“In case I missed any on my cleanup, and you see blood in the kitchen, don’t panic. I’m fine, just getting a few stitches and then I’ll be home.”

He thought I was kidding. but after I replied with a picture of my finger he saw that I was not. He told me stitches is a valid reason to interrupt work. I guess now I know for next time. The doctor got me stitched up and made sure that I had not damaged the tendon. She said I was the 5th hand injury that day! She said another guy had a very similar wound, just a tiny bit deeper. He has to get surgery now because he did damage the tendon. I guess I was pretty lucky.

She stitched me up and told me that I needed to keep them for 7 days and then get the stitches removed. She listed off different places I could call, but I told her I would just take them out at home. She asked if I had sterile scissors, which of course I do (I have pretty much any medical supply I could need). I told her that I usually just use steri-strips, but because of the location of the wound had to come in for this one. She laughed a little and then had to know why I was so well stocked at home.

I told her a little about Casey, and of course telling a total stranger your child recently passed is always hard, but then she understood where I was coming from. It made sense why I never go to the doctor, why I have so many supplies, etc.

Since the wound is on the knuckle I have a big brace to keep my finger straight for the next few days. I needed to take a shower, so this morning I went back to my first aid supplies and had to rig up a waterproof splint that I could use. I found tongue depressors in our specimen collection supplies and some waterproof tape. It worked perfect!

Of course, if there is a family that needs any of the supplies we have for a medically complex child we will gladly give them away. While they last though, they do come in handy!

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