Warning: I told you all from the beginning that I was going to share the ups and downs of owning Flyrock Lake, including injuries . . . so here you go. I don’t think it’s too gory or gross. I wouldn’t do that to you; well I might, for the sake of the blog, but not in this instance. So just in case you’re extremely squeamish, this is your warning.
As my husband swims up, he says, “You ready to go in?”
“No, I’m happy right where I am”, I say as I finish my last sip of Summer Shandy and lay back on my raft. I’m thinking that he’s wanting me to slide off into the water to swim, but I’m not about to do that. After a day of working in 100° heat, I’m ready to just lay back and relax.
Ready to just cool off and relax.
“Well, I really need you to go in with me,” he says, “I think I’ve cut my finger pretty bad.”
Oh, he means go in, as in “get out of the water.” We head for shore. With his hurt hand clenched in a fist, in an effort to keep the lake water out and the blood in, he pulls me on my raft, because he knows it will be faster than me swimming. We haul ourselves out of the water and I run for the first aid kit.
A little apprehensive and not sure of what to expect when he opens his hand, I see a one inch cut, deep enough that raw meat is exposed, right at the base of his index finger. It’s all black and nasty from the gunk that was on the piece of metal in the water — the metal that Curious George just had to touch.
Junk from the water. A barrel, part of a refrigerator, fishing poles, railroad ties, part of an old buggy seat, a bicycle . . .
A few weeks ago we pulled some nasty stuff out of the cove west of the peninsula. I think it’s amazing that the water looks so clear and tested so clean with all this stuff down there. Tires, railroad ties, a bicycle, an old buggy seat, barrels, a refrigerator, just to name a few of the items. My husband would dive down, hook a cable around the treasure and I would pull it out with the tractor.
The self-proclaimed “Flyrock Diva” driving the tractor.
Oh yeah, we bought a tractor. And yes, I drive it. In fact, I’m getting pretty good driving it. It’s a 30hp Kioti, hydrostatic transmission (I have no idea what that means, but he always says it like it’s something important) and a bushhog and box blade. So now we’re further in debt, but we’re able to get some stuff done, like working on the road, mowing, and pulling crap out of the lake.
Earlier in the day, standing above a different cove, east of the peninsula, we saw several ugly things that need to come out of the water, one of them being some sort of big metal frame. So later, when we go swimming, Curious George has to go have a look. Which would’ve been fine, but then he just has to see “how hard it’s going to be to pull it out” someday. Back to George, right now, inspecting junk, underwater, holding his breath —something the man in the yellow hat would probably rather George not do. He gives it a big yank and, uh-oh George, the rusty metal was razor sharp and it sliced his finger open.
So I’ve got the first aid kit, he opens his fist and we’re looking at the cut.
“You need stitches,” I say.
“No, maybe not,” he says hopefully.
“Yes, you do need stitches and antibiotics,” I reply, firmly, in a motherly tone, which I know husbands hate, but someone has to do it.
He begins droning on about how much it will cost. I’m not listening, I’m thinking: wait a minute, we’ve spent bookoos of money on buying the property, buying a tractor, buying a truck, buying a Jeep because the truck was a mistake (oh yes, we replaced Barney, the purple truck) and now the old miser is worried about what a trip to urgent care and stitches are going to cost! Really?
We doctor it as best we could. Which means we poured ear beer on it to try to rinse the black stuff off (a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar — hey, it was that or Copper Run Whiskey and we chose to save the moonshine for other purposes). Then, knowing that it still wasn’t clean we smeared the cut with antibiotic ointment and taped a gauze bandage on it.
We still had to gather up rafts, masks, fins and snorkels, change out of swimming suits, load up the car and hook up a trailer full of tools, then drive the tractor up to where its trailer was parked and lock them up, and finally lock the gate before we could head out. While he’s fumbling around doing all of the the locking up, I’m on the iPhone trying to find the closest urgent care.
The small town once again reared its ugly head. There’s no urgent care or emergency room. The one lone doctor’s office is closed up tight on a late Saturday afternoon. We stopped at the local EMS, banged on the door, but no one was home. All this is really good to find out with a minor injury, though. Heaven help us if someone gets seriously injured or has a heart attack or something. We have to learn to time those type of things during working hours or we are S.O.L.
Curious George, is all smiles; optimistic that he won’t need stitches.
We need to head back home and go to urgent care there, but it’s 5:45pm and Freeman Urgent Care closes at 6 o’clock. There’s no way we can make it. I’m thinking it’s going to have to be the emergency room, but as a last resort I decided to check urgent care in Carthage and found that there was one and they were open ’til 7 o’clock — that we can make.
We pull into the parking lot a few minutes before closing time. My husband still hoping, “we can put this off until Monday. It’ll be okay. It’s not that bad”.
“No, you can’t put it off!”
He gave it one last shot at the front desk as we were checking him in.
“I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on this if I don’t need to. Could someone just look at it and tell me if I can just go on home and it’ll be fine?” (Meaning: could someone tell my wife that I don’t need stitches.)
The doctor comes up to the front desk window and says, “All right, let me see it.”
My husband removes the gauze pad . . .
In a real close to annoyed tone and with a very stern look the doctor informs him that, “No you can’t go home. That has to be closed up immediately! You did that in a lake? You need stitches and you need antibiotics and then you need to pray!” Yes, the doctor said pray — not pay. And me? Well, although I did feel bad that Curious George got hurt, I was feeling pretty smart right about then, but refrained from saying, “na-na-na-na-na-na” or “told you so”.
Then the fun really begins. After a hand soak in iodine, the doctor comes in and tells George that he is going to give him a shot in the finger that’s going to make him hate the doctor. It’s going to hurt — really bad, but then the finger will be numb and he won’t feel a thing. My husband has had a few injuries in the past, including a three thousand pound steel beam crushing his leg when he was a teenager, so he’s pretty sure he can handle this shot. He’s got this covered. The doctor inserts the needle and George proceeds to cuss like a sailor. The doctor looks at him and says, “oh, that wasn’t the bad part” and proceeds to push the medicine in. George about comes off the table and, once again, starts in with demanding that God condemn something. The two assistants are wide eyed, thinking he’s mad. The receptionist has come and peeked in the small room, curious about all the commotion. I ask my husband if the cussing helped and the doctor laughs and says that it might be good to not used God’s name in vain because, “you’re going to need his help with this.” Immediately the finger goes numb, and George is happy again, and the medics dig around in the cut with cotton swabs and more iodine. They even use a big electric magnet in search of any little pieces of metal. More cleaning and finally four stitches and a prescription for the antibiotic.
We really liked the Dr. and the assistants at Carthage Urgent Care. I have a feeling we’ll probably be seeing more of them in the future. And for now, my husband can’t get back in the water until the stitches come out. But it’s only for a little over a week.
Maybe the medication sharpened George’s wit. He reeled off a pretty good line when he asked the doctor, with an exaggerated slur (you know, that mumbled voice like when the monster in Young Frankenstein sings “Puttin’ on the Ritz”), “em aye gunna hype ike hiss?”
The doctor look a little like he’s offended, and like he thinks George is crazy and says, “What?”
“Hyping . . . hyping . . . when I hype! (he motions with his numb bloody swollen fingers as if he’s typing on a keyboard and once again repeats), “em aye gunna hype ike hiss?”
Thinking back, I’m not sure the doctor ever laughed, but George thought it was hilarious.
We’ve been doing a lot of clearing and mowing at Flyrock. My husband has spent hours working on the road down to the quarry. We can see the difference, but there’s still so much to do, that others probably don’t. But big things are going to be happening in the very near future, maybe even next week. We have an excavation company coming out to clear the peninsula and a few other areas for us, and to cut a road all the way around the lake. Big stuff that will make a huge difference. However, I’m pretty sure that even with all that big stuff taking place, the number one thing on my husband’s priority list, once he can get back in the water, is pulling that finger slicing piece-of-junk out of there.