Thursday, October 13, 2011

Losing his rings

Bob has worn two rings for over 20 years: his wedding ring and an initialed signet ring which I gave him for our 22, 23, ?? anniversary. (In recent years he's "remembered" the story that our daughters gave him that ring --who cares?)
Anyway, he has always been obsessive about these rings. Worrying if he placed them to the side when washing hands or putting on lotion.

Two weeks ago I had a call from the "home." He'd put the signet ring on the wrong finger, hadn't told anyone (really is incapable of such realization and communication), and in worrying the ring had caused the finger to swell and even cut his finger. They had tried ice, vaseline, force -- everything they could think of to no avail.
The problem was now in my hands.
Quick google search brought up several options: take him to a jeweler (yeah,sure!), a doctor (fortunately it was Rosh Hashanah and our doc's office was closed) or maybe a well equipped EMT.

Knowing we get what our tax money pays for here, I called our local fire hall where the answer was a confident, "Sure, we can do that. We'll send a truck right over."
I live only five minutes away but they beat me, and when I arrived, Bob was surrounded by aides trying to comfort him and two calm, competent EMTs with a little ring cutting tool.
We got the ring off, but not after many cries of distress from dear Bob who had really no idea what was going on.

"No! Stop you're hurting me!"
"You're killing my hand."
The aides and I hugged him, tried to soothe him.
"You don't understand. They're hurting me."

Finally the ring was off and he cradled his hand. I got him to do some deep breathing, but he still moaned quietly. One of the aides brought him a glass of apple juice, he drank it. He continued to shake his head as if in despair.
Another aide brought some cream for the small cuts on his finger and put a band-aid on it.
Bob muttered, "They were trying to take my hand."

The other "inmates" sat quietly and one woman commented to me, "Hey I think he's crying."
Other folks seemed completely unaware of the drama.

The EMTs left, telling the supervisor this was their best call of the day: success and no harm done.

Bob continued hugging his hand until I told him it was time for supper.
"Finally, I've waited long enough," he said. "I'm hungry."
The band-aid was gone.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see you back :)
    Took my kid to the fire station one Sunday morning, on the way to church--to get the ring cut off. What a wonderful thing is the ring cutter!
    So Bob has become one of the gang at "The Place." How are YOU? Are you doing anything just for you? I always hated it when people asked me that... but I could not do anything "just for me." It's hard to pull away from the "should" place--the guilt place. But I wish I been able to, and I hope you can!