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Party, Interrupted

Today’s post is supposed to be all about my brother-in-law Randy’s 60th birthday party. Friday night he had a big bash down by the river behind his house (I’ve talked about this place special before, if you recall) with a bonfire, family and friends, loads of food and folk guitars and singing. He kept referring to is as a Vernal Equinox party but it was truly in honor of his birthday. I thought I’d have loads of pictures to show you. Pictures of people eating and drinking, singing and laughing, doing what our family and friends do best. I have one. Picture that is.

This is Dale and Randy’s friend Mike before.

Before what, you ask? Before Dale decided to hoist a flag. And before the top of the flag pole and the metal pulley that hauls the flag up the pole came crashing down and smashed into the side of his face.



I present Exhibit A. This is the 6 lb. hunk of metal and wood that split my dear husband’s temple wide open just before the festivities were about to get under way. Scary looking, isn’t it?

I was helping out with a few things when I heard Dale call my name. I looked over and he was on the ground. I thought he had slipped and fallen so I called over, “Are you okay?” And he looked at me in the most vulnerable and scared way and said, “I’m hurt. I’m bleeding.” That’s when I saw that the side of his face was covered in blood. I ran to him and saw a gash on his temple and knew immediately that he needed stitches. Probably a bunch of stitches from the depth and length of the cut. I squeezed it together and started yelling, “I need help! I need help!” I spotted Dale’s sister Lisa (she’s a nurse) and called her name. She told me afterwards that she’d never heard me sound like that before and she came running. So did Randy and Mary. They all thought Dale was having a heart attack or something, the poor things.

While I raced around frantically looking for my cell phone, Lisa and Mary got clean towels to apply to Dale’s face and Dale’s dad came over with a golf cart (we hadn’t brought our cars all the way down to the river) to bring Dale up to my Jeep. It seemed like everything was happening in slow motion but I think we were on our way to the hospital within 10 minutes of the accident.

We got to the hospital and I have to say, as awful as it sounds, that it was a good thing he was bleeding so much as we were seen much quicker than I think we might have been otherwise. The doctor explained that Dale had cut a blood vessel in his temple and that’s why there was so much blood. 18 stitches and two hours later and we were ready to leave. Dale was sporting a giant goose egg on his temple and an ace bandage wrapped around his head to apply pressure to the wound to decrease the swelling. His eye was already turning black and blue but he insisted on going back to the party. No surprise there, eh?

He was greeted as the conquering hero by everyone there. I made him sit, he made me let him have a couple of beers. And then we headed home. What a night!

By the way, Randy writes a weekly column for the Brockton Enterprise. You can read his version of the party here, if you’re interested.

There are pictures for those who want to see his eye as it looked on Saturday and Sunday. Just look in the extended entry. And if you don’t want to see them then don’t scroll up when you leave a comment. It’s not that bad, but then again, I’m used to it. It might not be good for the squeamish.

I shudder at the thought of how much worse things could have been and I will be forever grateful that Dale wasn’t hurt more severely. Really, this was a close call.

Saturday afternoon, still wearing the pressure bandage.

Sunday afternoon, no more bandage but UGH.

This Post Has 93 Comments

  1. Thank goodness he’s okay. Took me right back to a bazillion years ago at a lab softball game where my major prof and very good friend was hit in the temple when a play slung his baseball bat. He had a bit of a concussion and his wife had to wake him every hour all night long for a couple days. We later awarded him a baseball trophy with a bandaid on it. Let’s hope that’s the last such excitement you guys have for a good long time.

  2. What a way to spend the weekend! Glad Dale is OK. It never ceases to amaze me how stuff like that always seems to miss the eye! Wishing him well and calming of nerves to you.

  3. Those adventures are never the fun ones! Ouch. It definitely looks painful, but like everyone else has said, it could have been far worse. Well wishes and speedy recovery thoughts are headed Dale’s way.

  4. Wow, that looks really nasty. I love that he wanted to go back to the party, though. That’s one tough–and dedicated guy.
    I hope he’s doing better.

  5. How scary for you! Thank goodness he’s alright and there’s a nurse in the family. I hope he’s listening to you and taking care of himself.

  6. Oh! Carole! How scary! How lucky!

    I don’t need to tell you how much worse it could have been. Yikes.

    You do tell a good story, my friend the librarian. Sheesh.

    Hope Dale heals quickly and well.

  7. Oh, I am so glad to hear that he is, well, as okay as he is. I can imagine how terrifying that was for all of you. At the end of the day, quite a story to tell!

  8. I’m so glad he had family nearby! Ouch!

    Vitamin E oil around the sutures to aid healing, shea butter to reduce scarring, Refresh Tears eyedrops if his eyeball needs cleansing or moistening, and Traumeel for the bruising and his neck. Getting hit in the head like that can really do a number on the neck verts and shoulder muscles, and a gentle massage there and to the area above his left ear, going back and down, will help decrease the swelling.

    Did they check for any cuts behind his ear? Sometimes if you get hit like that while wearing glasses the earwire can wreak havoc. Please, if he has to get new glasses, get the shatterproof lenses, okay?

    Big sigh of relief that Dale didn’t lose his eye (or something worse). May he heal with grace and speed.

  9. Oh, no! You’re very lucky that it wasn’t worse. Is he going to milk this injury for a while now, or is he the kind of guy who won’t even mention it?

  10. Oh dear. I’m so sorry. But it looks like the flag pole got it worse. I hope he heals up well and fast. I’m glad he got to go back to the party… But I think you are the one that should have had a couple of beers by then. (maybe you did !)

  11. I think my heart skipped a beat for a moment there when I was reading about Dale on the ground bleeding. What a horrible thing to happen on such a momentous event. I’m so glad that everything turned out alright in the end. Whew … that was close!

  12. Ack! That’s SCARY. But thank God it ended well. (Or, as well as something like that can … you know what I mean!)

  13. Sheesh, Dale always has to be the center of attention, doesn’t he? (Sorry Dale.) I’m glad all turned out well.

  14. Whooooaaaaaahhhh, Nelly! I’m so glad everyone is relatively ok. Isn’t it amazing how things can turn on a dime? Though it makes for a good story, I’m thinking everyone there would be happy with a calmer celebration next time…

  15. I’m glad he’s doing okay! How scary (probably more for you than him, because you could see how nasty it looked)!! Hugs to you both!

  16. holy crap Carol! Thank goodness there were others around to help you. Very scary indeed! Hope he heals quickly!

  17. Wow! I’m glad Dale is ok! It brings to mind a saying in many families (mine included!).. “its not a party til someone goes to the emergency room!”

  18. OMG – I’m so glad that Dale is okay! It does not, however, surprise me in the least that he wanted to go back to the party. 🙂

    Give Dale a big hug from me, and make him give YOU one, too! xo.

  19. Oh, yikes! I’m glad you posted next day pictures – his eye looks better already. That’s gonna be a right pretty scar.

  20. Ah, man, Dale, that looks like it HURT! I’m so sorry.

    I hope you’re both coming up with great and creative explanations for how it happened…

  21. wow — how terrible! I am so glad Dale is (relatively) ok. I can’t believe how close to his actual eye it was. I do so hope he feels much better soon.

  22. Awful as that is, and it is quite a black eye !, it could have been so much worse. How very scary for you. So lucky that Dale has a nice, thick skull ! Being a bloke I’m sure he’ll wear his scar with pride.
    It’s amazing how efficient we can be when the adrenalin kicks in. Did you have a wobbly moment once you got home ? That’s what I usually do.
    I’m so glad you’re both o.k. Hope Dales sore head heels quickly.
    Knit on !


  23. geez! OMG, what can I say. I know I’m coming to this late, but thank God he’s OK. How scary for you both. Wishes for quick healing being sent your way!

  24. OMLord – what a terrifying event. And how close it was to being so much more serious. I am so glad that Dale is okay.
    Get better very very fast Dale… we are all rootin’ for you.
    Carole – I send a gi-normous hug today… wow…

  25. I’m just catching up today but goodness! Poor Dale. I hope he mends quickly. Good vibes to you both.

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