Friday, August 24, 2012

Thumbthing Wicked

Story time; unusually quiet night.  SIC talked about a patient who had scarred her for life with a particularly horrible thumb amputation, some kind of outdoor industrial-type accident that occurred during a below-zero day here north of the Arctic Circle.  It was so cold that she had to peel off 8 layers consisting of orange day-glo vest, other vest, jacket, coveralls, flannels, long sleeved shirt, long underwear shirt and silk underwear before discovering that not only was he missing a thumb, but his ulna and radius were poking through the skin.  Then she described having to retrieve the thumb from the front seat of his truck (he drove himself to the ER) and having to shake the amputated thumb out of the glove.  Urp.

I once had a man chop off his own thumb with an axe (fairly common), except he came to the ER without the amputated part.  It was missing.  His family was searching for it.  The search lasted for nearly an hour and feared that the family canine had absconded with the the thumb.  Fortunately  it was found near some canned goods in the basement.  The thumb, not the dog.  Bobo was concerned that the family should know exactly how to transport the thumb.  Yes, I told them to put it in a baggy.  Yes, I told them to put the baggie on ice.  Yes, I told them not to put the thumb directly on the ice.  Finally the family calls to alert us that the thumb has been located and is on the way; the dog is in the clear.  I relay this information to Bobo, who is a genetically humorless individual.

Me: "So, the wife has located the thumb and is on her way in"
Bobo: "Ok, good; they have it on ice, I heard you telling them how to pack it"
Me: "Yep.  I have just one question though"
Bobo: "What's that?"
Me: "Do I have them register the thumb as a new patient?"

Bobo actually laughed for about 2 seconds before he composed himself.  I don't believe anybody has ever heard him so much as snicker.

I know.  I have a dark gift.