I promised you another E.R. story after yesterday’s Eva asthma tale. This one’s ending is a little less happy…
So last September, my friend Jed came to town. He had decided it was time to propose to his boyfriend and was seeking preliminary wedding/engagement advice. We browsed a little bit at rings online and then I told him we should probably just head out to Tiffany and Co. because, if for no other reason, Tiffany’s makes every other jewelry store seem a lot more affordable.
This being early September, Calvin was just about six weeks old and my mommy-is-free time away from the house had been pretty limited, so I was psyched to have an excuse to get out kid free. I grabbed my wedding ring on the way out the door so I could have it polished, since I didn’t wear for most of my pregnancy. I get pregnant in my fingers early and have never been able to wear my rings, so my Tiffany and Co. ring had been hanging out in a jewelry dish for almost a year. I put it on with a little push and Jed and I headed out to the mall.
We used to hang out all the time, but since college Jed and I have never lived in the same city, so it was fun to be downtown again wandering around. We went straight to Tiffany’s and browsed a bit, laughing at our sticker shock and talking seriously about styles and what we thought Steve would like. After a while, a salesperson came over and we were chatting with him while he showed us a few things from the case. I remembered my ring and how I wanted to get it polished, so I tried to take it off.
Totally stuck. Not budging.
Picture me in Tiffany’s with the low lighting and the high end salespeople and the quiet, pleasant conversation you can have when you soak everything in money and here I am trying to yank on my wedding ring without drawing a lot of attention to myself. Jed decided he wanted to shop around a bit, so we headed to another store and I told him I was still trying to get my ring off and we laughed about baby weight and then reviewed what we had seen at Tiffany’s. I left Jed at one of the smaller jewelry stores and ducked into Macy’s to get some sample lotion from the cosmetics area to help get my ring off. It was at this point that I realized my finger was seriously swollen.
A combination of warm late-summer weather, the pressure of yanking on my ring to get it off, and increasing pressure from the swelling itself had made my ring completely immobile on a swollen and quickly-becoming-immobile finger. I won’t provide too many other details because ew ew ew but I stuck my hand in my pocket, went to the jewelry store to grab Jed, and dragged him out in a panic.
Jed, in classic Jed style, tried to calm me down by speaking evenly and providing very reasonable options, one of which was to go get some ice from the cafe. We walked over and grabbed a cup of ice and some frozen lemonades and then I started icing my finger and realized I could no longer feel my finger and that’s when we went to the emergency room.
I am glad that I was with Jed, who manages to even me out despite my resistance, because I was seven shades of panicking. We checked in, I told them that I couldn’t get my ring off, and they took us in after a 5 minute wait and pretty much pronounced the ring to be history on site. The doctor did make a good faith effort to just pull it off, but that ship had sailed and I was on the verge of passing out from the ick of it all, so he took out this little tiny clamp with a tiny round saw on it and he very carefully sawed through my wedding ring and freed my very sad finger.
I will say that he did a good job with the cut. There’s only one slice through each piece of the puzzle ring, so in theory I should be able to have it repaired. What might not be reparable is the trauma of the whole incident. I haven’t been able to slip a ring onto my finger since without reliving everything and getting nauseous. As for my finger – it’s recovered, but it was bruised for about a week and a half and I’d say that it was at least two days before I got feeling back.
And that’s the sad tale of how my wedding ring ended up like this: