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when you don't know what to do...
do the next thing
i'm gonna start in the middle
Wednesday night at Pennsic, Wolfie saw me to bed, and then went walkabout.  He does this sometimes; he likes to party-hop, and I had breakfast duty, so he went alone.

I woke up to thunder and rain at 4:11am, and no Wolfie.  I dozed and fumed, off and on, till about 7:15, when I got up to start breakfast for the camp.  I didn't want to be the hysterical wife and go running off to Security because my husband had been out all night drinking, despite the fact that this was utterly atypical behavior for him.  Some of my campmates tried to console me, suggesting that he might have holed up somewhere to wait out the rain, or that he'd passed out somewhere, but I knew that he'd rather come home wringing wet than worry me, and that he isn't the kind of guy who'd drink to where he'd pass out.  By 9am I was bordering on frantic, and was planning on going to Security after breakfast was over if he hadn't returned by then.

At about 9:15, someone from Chiurgeon's Point (the onsite infirmary) came to our camp, and said some very welcome but terrifying words, "Wolfie's at Chirurgeon's Point, but he's okay."  I don't think she'd finished saying the word "okay" when I was at the end of the lane.  Had I been wearing a bra, I'd have been running.  I stopped only because I also realized that I didn't have a medallion (you need one to get through the checkpoints on site, and I didn't want to have to hurt anyone who tried to stop me getting to Chiurgeon's Point.  The meessenger gave me a ride over in the golf cart, but my household brother Liam still beat us there (we literally had to go around the barn).

When I got there, a friend of mine who's also a chiurgeon met me at the door.  I asked, "Where is he?"  "He's yours?"  "Oh yeah, he's mine."  He led me to the very back of the tent, and there he was, lying on his side, on a gurney.  Robin (my friend) said that they'd gotten a call at 7 or so in the morning from a group down in W20 to come pick up a drunk in a ditch, and that's where they found him.  He had a cut over his left eye that required 4 stitches, and he was covered in blood and dirt and oogie stuff.  After all those hours of worry and wondering whether to kiss, kick, or kill him, I finally knew where he was and what condition he was in, and I just cried on Robin's shoulder.

The next couple of days, he slept a lot, iced the shiner, and didn't do much that was too active (he'd already shot his War Point on the archery range, and it was raining, anyway).  He told us that he'd started home from the party he was at in E26 when the rain started (around 4am), and that the last thing he remembers is turning around and seeing someone behind him, and then he woke up in Chiurgeon's Point.  Three hours, alone, unconscious, in the fucking rain and lightning.  I knew something was wrong, and I hadn't the foggiest idea where to go look for him.  When it rained all day on Friday, I spent a bit of time curled up under my cloak on the bed, absolutely miserable, and it wasn't till this very minute that I realized that the rain was triggering me back to those awful three hours between waking and getting up for breakfast. Bleah.

Saturday was gorgeous -- not too hot, but sunny, and just what we needed to get the canvas dry for packing.  The rugs were soaked (the water was seeping up out of the ground), and everything that was on them that wasn't plastic was also wet, but that stuff can be cleaned and dried.  We travel fairly light; we were actually ready to go by about 2, but hung around for a while longer, helping break down the "community" stuff for storage.  We hit the road at 6 or so, and drove till we were too cross-eyed with exhaustion to see (about 3:30am, which included stops at rest areas for naps).  We stopped for a few hours sleep at a slightly sketchy EconoLodge outside Albany, and then drove the rest of the way home.

We got home at around 2 this afternoon.  After cleaning up the cat poop (Max seems somewhat fixated on the one litter box, and therefore didn't use the others we left), and after Wolfie checked his email, I was up here checking mine, catching up on back LJ posts and writing my Pennsic report, when I had to pee (so nice to have a potty where you know you have enough bog paper), and saw, as I walked by, that Wolfie's eye had swollen to about twice the size it had been when we got home.  He iced it for a bit, and then we realized that he needed to get it looked at when he peeked at it in the mirror and saw that it was oozing goo.

I took him to Lawrence General Hospital, and the ER doc pulled out his stitches and reopened the cut.  The amount of pus and blood and dirt that came out was staggering, both in the sheer quantity and the smell.  The doctor put a length of cotton ribbon called a wick into the wound to keep drawing the goo up and out, and he continued to dab at it the rest of the evening.  The diagnosis is cellulitis of the eyelid; the CAT scan ruled out retro-orbital infection (behind the eyeball), so it's not as bad as it could be.  They admitted him so he could have some heavy-duty IV antibiotics tonight, and we'll see how he's doing in the morning.

It was a little scary and more than a little revolting, seeing all that junk come pouring out of the wound.  But what burns my bacon is that I am told it was a doctor who stitched him up, so it was a doctor who stitched all that dirt into the wound.  If we had not been as vigilant as we were, he could have lost his eye. Right now I'm trying to decide how annoyed I am about all this, and whether I think we should take legal action.  I realize that the damage is minor, but I can't help but wonder if he didn't get the best of care because they smelled the drink on him and assumed that it was a self-inflicted wound, and therefore might not have done the best job they could?  Above all, I don't want this to happen to anyone else.

I'm exhausted, both emotionally and physically.  My parents are in Canada, or I'd be over there right now.  The one person I'd turn to at times like this is the one person I need to be strong for, though he knows I'm hurting for him.  The truck isn't unpacked, and I'm feeling awfully alone.  I just don't want to go to bed.  The large deposit of white Max-fur on the navy blue sheets is a large factor in that, but the lack o'Wolfie is the biggest.

I know he's going to be fine... but right now I feel very small and alone...

i feel: worried worried

12 trips or shoot the rapids
was1 From: was1 Date: August 22nd, 2004 11:18 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Holy crap, that's pretty scary! It's annoying and repuslive that a doctor stiched up the wound with that much dirt in it. I'm just glad to hear Wolfie will be okay and there won't be any major complications from this. As you said, it could've gone much worse.

I'm glad you guys caught it in time.
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: August 22nd, 2004 11:35 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Yikes. Legal action or no, they definitely need to know if the doctors on duty aren't competent. Here's hoping Wolfie heals quickly and is back home soon.
From: ex_misschili604 Date: August 22nd, 2004 11:43 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Yipe. Did they stitch him up at Chirurgeon's Point? Even in the best of times, that doesn't seem much better than a Civil War-era field hospital. Or did he get to pay a visit to Butler General, and they left the dirt in the wound?
tashabear From: tashabear Date: August 22nd, 2004 11:56 pm (UTC) (base camp)
At the Point. But you'd think a doctor would know enough to thoroughly irrigate and clean the wound so she could see the bottom. I realize that they were busy (and in one instance I know why, but cannot talk about it), but I have that nagging fear that they smelled the booze and saw the puke (I'm told he threw up twice, but that could easily be a reaction to a blow to the head) and perhaps weren't as conscientious as they could have been, thinking it was a self-inflicted wound (ie, he was falling-down drunk).

I'm torn between being enraged that they'd hurt him with their negligence and weak with gratitude that they found him before he could get hypothermic or run over by a car or something.
cellio From: cellio Date: August 23rd, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I didn't realize they did even minor surgery at the point. I thought for anything more than band-aids, sprains, and sunburn, they made you go to the hospital -- because most chirurgeons aren't doctors, and it's not a hospital, and that's not what it's for. If I were a doctor, I sure as heck wouldn't agree to administer stitches under Pennsic conditions, liability waiver or no. It's just not clean enough, and I'd fear causing (or aiding) an infection.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: August 23rd, 2004 06:04 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I wish they had transported him. Goodness knows I could have gotten my ass there easily enough, and he would have been clean and dry and and properly looked after. Instead, he's now spending his second night in the hospital because some yabbo couldn't flush a wound properly.
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: August 22nd, 2004 11:58 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Also, the last thing he remembers is someone behind him, then he spends 3 hours in a ditch? Did the "someone" clobber him and leave him for dead? WTF?
tashabear From: tashabear Date: August 23rd, 2004 12:15 am (UTC) (base camp)
That's just it; we don't know. The EMTs thought he'd passed out drunk and hit his head (highly unlikely, given the clean cut and the fact that he wasn't that drunk when he left the party). We think it was either a fight (because his fist hurt like he'd punched someone in the forehead, and as an ex-bouncer, he'd know) or a quick and dirty attack, possible attempted robbery, and the perpetrators were so shocked by his collapsing in a heap that they scampered off. He wasn't missing anything when I picked him up at the Point.
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: August 23rd, 2004 12:37 am (UTC) (base camp)
Sigh. That's awful.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: August 23rd, 2004 12:56 am (UTC) (base camp)
Yeah, but if I get hung up on the mechanism of injury, I'll go nuts. Right now I'm more concerned with the fact that a doctor seems to have failed to give the best care she could to a patient.
emmacrew From: emmacrew Date: August 23rd, 2004 01:34 am (UTC) (base camp)
Yeah. SOMEONE needs to know about that. Should never have happened.
goingdriftless From: goingdriftless Date: August 23rd, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Oh my god! That's just horrible... the whole kit and caboodle. I'm so sorry. I hope that he's able to come home soon... I'll bet you both need each other right now. *big hugs for both of you*
12 trips or shoot the rapids