Monday, 17 March 2014

Wedding Flashback: something has to go wrong

Continuing our wedding flashbacking... previous posts include: 
Getting ready
The ceremony
The reception and YUM
I'm aware that I'm not really writing in any sort of logical order...

A year ago, it was a week until our wedding. The weekend before our wedding held big and exciting plans. My brother was coming to visit for the Saturday night because he had some work to do in town, and Malcolm and I decided to exploit the fact that he was coming in a Bakkie (pick-up...) and asked him to help us move most of Malcolm's things to my flat. The fact that we were about to get married was getting real, and things were pretty much smooth sailing.

On the Saturday morning, Malcolm and I went to have a breakfast picnic with my French class. Somebody asked how things were going and I replied that things were going really well - everything is on track, and so far nothing has gone terribly wrong. The reply was something like, "oh, something will go wrong..."
I blew it off casually.

Martin arrived later, and since he was in town for work, needed to go do some geological testing on a site nearby, and then he'd come help move things. To make his work go faster, and to repay the favour I guess, Malcolm went along to help.
Malcolm has since found geology something he is thoroughly uninterested in.
Off they went, while I kept myself busy at home. It got later and later, and I was getting a bit irritated that they were taking so long.

Cue the phone call.

"Erica, don't panic, but I need Malcolm's medical aid details, and he left his wallet at your place."

Who DOESN'T panic when they hear that?

So I hasitly looked for the wallet and got my things together, jumped in my car and raced to the hospital where Malcolm was.

Turns out, they had been doing impact testing (essentially dropping a very heavy weight over and over again to measure something about the soil) and after somebody had stopped by and spoken to them, Malcolm's rhythm was broken and, being in a rush, he caught the weight before it hit the ground... and wasn't actually prepared to catch it. Resulting in thoroughly squished fingers. Which fingers? Well, as it was the day before St Patrick's Day, I guess the luck of the Irish was early, and it was Malcolm's left hand. Ring and middle finger.

He'd lost a lot of blood and had gone into shock. His fingers were incredibly swollen and had essentially popped. Malcolm has issues with cocktail sausages these days, as when they've split while cooking, he can't help but think of his fingers. 
When I arrived he was waiting with Martin in the ER until the paper work was done. It was a sobering moment when I signed papers for him and realised the weight of taking responsibility for him.
Unfortunately, there had been a lot of school rugby that day, and boys were being brought into the ER on stretchers from ambulances, though mostly for rather minor injuries. But, because they were from ambulances and Malcolm had been brought by car, he had to wait until they had been attended to.

Eventually, he got a bed, and when they unwrapped his fingers to look, I was the one who nearly fainted. The entire process of getting a bed, getting his fingers xrayed, getting an injection, his fingers soaked in disinfectant, and getting a plaster put on, took 4 hours. It was ridiculous. The x-ray revealed that the finger tip on the one finger was broken, but there was nothing they could do to fix it. Also, because his fingers were injured in so many places, stitches weren't practical either. But lots of pain medication helped.

Martin, meanwhile, had organised pizza for supper for us, and when we eventually got back to my flat, we were very thankful for it. I drove Malcolm home that night, since he couldn't change gears, and unfortunately, when I dropped him off, forgot to pack his pain medication.

The next day, we finally got around to moving some of Malcolm's things.

His fingers are now mostly healed, though there are scars and there's a lump in the one finger that feels odd, but I'm so thankful that the fingers are still there and that he has a wedding ring on it!

Of course, for the wedding, a ring wouldn't fit over his plastered left finger, so it went on his right hand instead.

Fortunately, with Malcolm's careful finger-wrapping, and Cara-Lee's careful photography, it isn't tooooo obvious most of them time. And I got an xray to closely inspect the hand I took in marriage.


  1. I was just checking that it was a good hand, so I needed to have it x-rayed somehow....

    And I thought leading with "Do not panic" was sensible.... I know you, little sister. :P

  2. Oh gosh, I bet you were freaking out on your way to the hospital!
    I have to admit, I almost didn't want to read this post as I have the serious wedding jitters, but I think I could handle this in terms of the wedding, it'd be the worry that'd get to me!

  3. oh erica, as hard as these moments are, doesn't it make you feel comforted knowing that you get through them together? it's beautiful hearing about how you were there for him and how much you carried. oh, and i lovve that picture of you two kissing in the garden :)

  4. Yes, it was a sensible thing to say, but really, of course I'm going to panic!

  5. Fingers are such precious things - so easily injured! Cooking can be a danger to them - it seems your family must have some pretty sharp knives! Why don't they ever show that in a knife-commercial I wonder.... ;)

  6. Haha, well, of all things to go wrong, it wasn't disastrous. Malcolm might say other wise though ;)

  7. Oh definitely! I guess I got tested a little on the sickness and health thing... though I failed at the sight of blood - I'll be there as long as there isn't too much blood!!!
    And thanks - I originally thought it looks like he's strangling me, but I kinda like it too :)

  8. *shudder* I can only imagine your panic! sheesh. you know, I scrolled through the photos before I read the text (I'm a wedding photo fanatic) and I didn't even notice the bandages!

  9. When I heard it was his fingers I thought "surely not his ring finger? Of all ten fingers, not his left ring finger, right?" Wrong. Oh well. I was also quite surprised at how they aren't all that noticeable! Okay, no close ups of our hands and rings, but who needs those anyway? ;)

  10. Oh goodness. I would have SO panicked too. I think the "Don't panic but I need Malcom's medical information" part would be enough to make me panic even more than had his friend just left that phrase out!

    But you're right though...SOMETHING will always go wrong. While we were setting everything up and about to do the rehearsal, Tyler's grandpa fell and pulled his hamstring and ended up having to go to the hospital. We were so glad it wasn't worse and that he could still make it to the wedding the next day.

  11. Exactly my thoughts! I guess no day goes perfectly, just that it's not usually too much of a problem, unless it's a day one has planned for so long - like a wedding day. Things going wrong are expected, just the degree of them! Glad that his grandfather was ok - I was so worried about guests travelling to and from our wedding, that an accident might happen or something!

  12. It would be so awful to have something really tragic happen on your wedding day. One of my friend's grandmother passed away while she was on her honeymoon...I just can't imagine. But you're so right, a wedding day is just as vulnerable as any other day - we just hold so much importance in it.

    *Saxon Nicole Smith*
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    The University of Oklahoma
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