Bonnie: “Why is there blood dripping off of your hand?”
John: “What? Oh…nothing.”
Bonnie: “Do you want me to get you a bandage or a towel or something?”
John: “No, I’m fine.”
The above conversation has happened more than once. The end result can range anywhere from a sliver in his finger to a hospital emergency room visit. I never know which way it is going to go in the beginning. I have to become a stealth spy. I can’t rush right over to look because he gets annoyed and tries to hide the injury even more. He once hid a swollen infected thumb from me for days before I dragged him, kicking and screaming, to a doctor’s office. (That injury resulted in a hospital stay…while we were on vacation in Mexico) True, there have been some false alarms, like the time the white of one of his eyes went entirely red because a blood vessel burst and I rushed him to see the doctor who said “A blood vessel has burst. Leave it alone, it will heal on its own.” Still, it was his eye! Some things should have a professional opinion!
Anyway, back to the scene of the injury. I have to be sly and sneaky in my approach. I let him think he is walking past me without being noticed. I pretend to be studying something in my hand. I have learned to scan his whole body for evidence of injury without lifting my head and actually looking in his direction. Then, when I can’t discern anything out of the ordinary, I go into full Nancy Drew mode and start looking for clues at the site of his last job. What tools was he using? Which tool looks as though it’s been dropped in mid use? Are those droplets of blood or just wood stain?
I should also admit that I’m always mad at this point. I’m mad at him for not being honest about what he has done to himself, I’m mad that he’s gone and hurt himself again, and I’m mad that I’m imagining the worse when it could be nothing at all or I’m imagining it’s nothing too serious when he could be passed out on the floor of the bathroom from loss of blood. I’m mad because I just don’t know what’s really happened and I’m mad because I don’t really want to know. I get queasy at the sight of blood and for some reason when someone I love hurts themselves…I feel it…physically. I take it on. If they stub their toe, my toe throbs for them, if they bang their thumb with a hammer, my thumb will ache all the way to my shoulder. All of this just makes me cranky and, come to think of it, snarly. What happened to sympathetic you ask? Well that comes a little later, after I have a handle on the extent of the injury and I know what I’m dealing with.
Sly and sneaky
In that order.
Ok, so I’m starting to understand why he isn’t as forthcoming as I’d like him to be when he first hurts himself. I imagine his thought process probably goes something like this:
Ouch! I’ve hurt myself. (I’m keeping it G rated)
Damn, I’m bleeding.
Don’t let her see.
Deny. Deny. Deny
You can’t see my injury if I sneak by you.
Oh, oh. I’m in trouble now.
Why, sure you can rub my back and fetch me things because you feel sorry that I hurt myself.
So there you have it. This is what happens in our house when John hurts himself; which, by the way, happens too frequently in my opinion. C’mon man! I love the skin you’re in. Please stop carvingpuncturingburningrippingslashingbreaking hurting yourself. What’s yours is mine remember. 🙂