Tag Archives: nurse anesthetist

Three men and a lawnmower

Guess what happens when you pair a nurse anesthetist, a lawyer, and a journalist with a lawnmower whose adjustable wheels have a mind of their own. Surgery.

I’m serious. I know this because I witnessed this in action. One minute, there’s said journalist happily trotting around the backyard, creating neat rows of mowed grass.¬† The next minute? Silence. No mower engine to be heard.

At first, I ignored the silence. After all, I was busily working away in my sewing room, hoping the funny sounds from my serger didn’t mean another trip to the fix-it shop. Besides, the mower started back up pretty quickly. And stopped again just as quickly.

After about 10 minutes of these fitful stops and starts, I peeked out the window. There were the journalist and the lawyer crouched over the now-silent and upturned mower. A few minutes later, the nurse anesthetist¬† — black bag in hand — joined them.

Here’s the problem. My little voice told me to stay out of this. But then, I’ve never been very good at listening to my little voice. By the time I got outside, the three of them were on their way to the anesthetist’s shop where, they informed me, they would be performing some sort of surgery on the wheel lever.

At first, there were just two heads bent over the mower….IMG_0478[1]







…and then there were three….IMG_0480[1]





And then somehow, as if by magic, the surgery was over and the journalist happily trotted off to level off the grass. The other two? Deliriously happy at having been able to perform a successful procedure, they retreated to their respective shops to take on the next project.

The journalist is a lucky guy to have two such good friends with mechanical expertise.


Hubs tries to even the ER score

This has been a month of hospital visits I’d rather have done without. First there was my mom’s early morning trek to the ER, then my dog bite visit. Not to be left out of the excitement my husband tried to even the hospital ER score by snipping off a bit of his left index finger. Well, technically, it wasn’t the finger snipping that sent him to the ER, but it was the initial catalyst.

Here’s how this happened. We have a composter to which we regularly add garbage, such as vegetable and fruit skins. To help speed up the composting process, Fred cuts it into smaller pieces….usually with scissors. So on Sunday, while I was minding my own business grading papers, I heard a muffled curse word. This is usually my clue that my assistance might be needed, so I zipped down to the kitchen. There he was, water running over his hand — not exactly hitting the finger in question.

Momentarily forgetting his dislike for blood, I foolishly suggested he keep an eye on the hand to be sure the water was running over the finger while I fetched bandages. That was my first mistake. The second was leaving him without telling him to sit down. I returned to notice he’d gone white and as I steered him toward a nearby stool, he suddenly passed out. It was like one of those movies where the person just goes down, in what I can only describe as a dead faint.

Smacked his head on a metal strip between the kitchen and laundry and then had what I initially thought was a seizure but was more likely the result of syncope. His eyes were unfocused, he thrashed around and then suddenly went completely still. Where was I? Standing there stunned, screaming like a ninny, as I fumbled for my phone and tried to remember how to call 911.

He suddenly came around, looked at me disgustedly and asked why I was screaming at him. He had no idea what had happened; in fact, he said it seemed like a long dream. He thought he was in bed and had overslept.

This is when it is helpful to have a neighbor who is a nurse anesthetist. Once I helped the hubs settle in a the recliner, because “I just want to rest for a few minutes”, I zipped across the back yard to fetch Bill Swartley. He came quickly, armed with an airway thingy, checked Fred’s vision, inspected the various cuts (finger and head) and suggested we stop by the ER — if only for a tetanus shot.

Which we did. Two hours later, having undergone an EKG, various blood tests, a tetanus shot, and dressings of the finger and head, we returned home. Having been warned to do nothing much for the rest of the day, the hubs retired to his basement office to watch his computer screen.

I think it’s time to install a garbage disposal.