Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Wedding Rings are Dangerous
Warning: Slightly graphic blog. Read at your own risk. (Really, does that kind of warning ever deter anyone? Heck, when I see that, it makes me want to read on. But you have been warned.)
With the title of this blog, I know you are expecting me to go into some long tirade about how being married is a dangerous proposition and how the ring is symbolic of that union, blah, blah, blah.
Unfortunately, I'm not that clever. So this blog is about how the actual wedding ring itself is dangerous.
The bosses on the fire department usually recommend that firefighters don't wear wedding rings at work. In the academy they showed us pictures of some firefighter, somewhere, who put his hand too close to something electric and, well I won't go into the gory details other than to say think about a hot dog in a microwave for about ten minutes. Yeah, I know.
The only problem with my bosses' recommendation is that I have another boss at home. And she prefers that I wear that symbol of my love at all times. I was informed that taking off my ring at any point in my life was detrimental to my continued married bliss. Some guys wear their rings on necklaces but that just isn't me. So for me it becomes a game of finger roulette. Early on I had to make a decision. Do I profess my love to the world by wearing my ring or do I keep my finger in tact? To be honest, I'm rather attached to that finger or more specifically my finger is rather attached to me.
So here is a quick fire department story that'll make you think twice when you look at your incredibly dangerous, should-be-outlawed, wedding band.
I was on the medic and we were called to an office building where a woman was injured. When we arrived, we were met by some of the patient's pretty anxious co-workers. We found the patient in quite a bit of pain while holding her bloody hand in a towel. Upon further investigation we saw her ring on the floor beside the door. That would have been fine if her finger wasn't lying beside it.
I'm sure all of you are making the connection of her missing finger and her wedding ring, huh? But the question is, how did such a terrible thing happen? Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll tell you how it was explained to me.
It turns out this unfortunate woman was walking through the doorway when she slipped. Instinct told her to grab the door which she did. But her split second mistake was that she grabbed the gap between the door and the frame on the hinged side. Her weight from falling caused the door to close slightly, pinching her ring. She was already falling and couldn't stop herself, nor could she pull her hand free of the door. Pop! The ring pulled off her finger at the second knuckle. I'm not talking, cut off, I'm talking pulled off. From her second knuckle to her fingertip was laying on the floor. From that knuckle to her hand was exposed bone and overstretched ligaments.
We gave her an IV and a bunch of drugs which eased her pain and anxiety before rushing her and her finger to the ER. I wish I could tell you how it turned out for her, but we rarely hear how our patients do so you'll have to be in the dark just like I am.
I was telling my cousin, who is also a paramedic, about this blog and he told me about a call he had in which a police officer had the same thing happen to his finger while chasing a suspect. Only his finger ripped off when he jumped a fence and his ring caught on the chain link. You see, this happens more than most people realize.
Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
Down with wedding rings, I say. They are dangerous and should be public enemy number one. Just please don't tell my wife I wrote that. She'll kill me ;)
I suppose you'd like to know what I decided for my own finger's well being. After everything I have written, and everything I have seen, I decided to continue wearing my ring. That's right. It isn't because my wife is a tyrant or anything like that. (I was mostly kidding when I wrote about her objections.) Don't get me wrong, she did object, just not so strongly. I don't think she would be too terribly upset if I chose my finger over a piece of jewelry. No, I wear my ring because I'm proud of it. If anyone asks, I tell them with pride that I have been married for 15 years come this October.
On any given day at work, I can be injured or worse in a thousand different ways. Although I see people die in car wrecks on a regular basis, I don't stop driving. Life is about choosing your risks. Sure, you want to minimize them as best you can, but you can't live in a bubble.
With all of that said, is my face going to be red if something terrible happens to my finger after writing this blog.
If it does, rest assured I'm going to keep that between me, my wife, and my plastic surgeon.