Friday, April 5, 2013

A Cautionary Tale

So, I'll tell you a little story about my life the past month.  You know I've been working on the quilts for  Midwinter Reds and things were a bit harried here.  The quilts are done now and I've posted about them this past week.  Thanks for saying such nice things about them.

Anyway, on to the story..... About a month ago when I was immersed in these projects and running lots of errands, I walked into my dining room from the kitchen after putting away groceries.  I suddenly had a stabbing pain in my thigh.  Not horrible, but kind of an "ouch".  It felt like a bee sting, or being stuck by a pin.  I felt my leg and felt nothing.  The pain went away and I didn't think about it again until I took a shower the next day.

There was a huge bruise on my thigh and a hard lump underneath the bruise.  Hmmmm.  It didn't hurt, but was a bit tender on the bruise.  So, I did what anyone would do - I googled  "stinging pain, hard lump" and watched what came up.  The online search pointed to several things, but it seemed to suggest a spider bite.


All the symptoms fit.  I never found a spider the day before, but what else could it be?  The bruise faded a bit, but the lump got bigger.  9 days later I went to the doctor to see what could be happening.  Basically, I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to lose my leg.  The Doctor was reassuring and said it wasn't any bug bite.  She thought it was a "spontaneous eruption of a blood vessel".  Hmmmmm, this didn't sound too good.  I would prefer a spider bite.  She said to not worry and just watch it. So I did.  The bruise faded completely, but the lump was still there and it seemed to change shape from a round lump into a hard, sharp point.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  I walked into the doorjamb and my leg brushed up against the door.  The lump broke open and started to bleed.  While bandaging the "lump" I noticed a piece of metal.  I pulled.  Yep, you guessed it.  A needle.  A 2" long, straw needle.  Super long and thin and perfect for applique - and also for plunging into cellulite riddled flesh, I discovered.

After a quick call to the Doctor to confirm I had a recent tetanus shot (I have!), I washed it and bandaged it.  Did you know that after 1 month in your leg a needle will get rusty?  The eye of the needle actually rusted shut.  (Have I ruined your dinner yet?)

Anyway - all is good.  The leg doesn't have any symptoms of infection or inflammation.  It looks like I'll probably be keeping the leg.  Gibby is pleased about that.

Seriously, I have always agonized over "lost" needles.  Especially with pets in the house.  Who would have thought this could have happened though.  Lesson of the day - keep track of those needles.



As to HOW it happened?  All we can figure is that it somehow got stuck in my jeans and was there for quite awhile before it decided to impale me.

All is well here.  Bill asked if it hurt.  It didn't.  Really.  But then again, the Detroit Tigers had just hit 3 home runs.  I was kind of numb.  Here is the miserable little piece of metal for proof.


Keep Stitching!

Laurie

49 comments:

Jacqueline said...

OWWW Ihave found a few needles and pins that same way.. I hate it when I lose them but am happy it is me that "finds" them instead of my grandkids.

Julee said...

The same thing happened to me...found a needle stuck in my upper thigh but mine had thread attached to it. It apparently went thru my nightgown and I remember a pirceing stick but didn't feel anything in the that area at the time. Next morning when I went to shower I found the needle and guess the thread kept it from going clear in.....Its good that both of us got to keep our leg...LOL Let's keep track of those needles & pins...

Cathy said...

If I hadn't just read it I wouldn't have believed it! What a story!! Glad you are ok!!

Lurline said...

I couldn't stop reading ... had to know the ins and outs! Pretty terrible - heal quickly, My Love.
Hugs - Lurline.

Kerry said...

Reminds me of another famous quilter who used to stick needles in her shirt near her breast. You guessed it same thing. It was protruding out of her breast this day and the students commented. I hope you get better real soon.kerry in Sydney

Janet said...

Wow! That's quite the story. I hope your leg makes a complete recovery soon! I often lose needles - a good reminder to be sure to find it back - every time!!.

Cathy said...

Wowza! Good that you are ok though. I think I'll stick to machine sewing for the next few days, lol!

Jan PATEK said...

Keep stitchin - but not with THAT needle. Glad you're ok.

IzzyR said...

omg!!! YOU ARE LUCKY THAT NEEDLE DIDNT GET INTO YOUR VEINS AND TRAVEL TO YOUR HEART !!!!IT'S BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE HAPPEN..

Vickie E said...

That is quite a story. I'm nearly speechless. . So glad it was found and is resolving!

badlandsquilts said...

I had a bad spider bite and ended up on Cipro after getting bit at one of my son's baseball games so I was following along nodding my head at first...so glad you in the end found the cause to resolve your situation. Always so nervous about those things, my sewing room is in the basement and we all wear slippers so hopefully that will avoid an injury!

AnnieO said...

Wow, that is a great story! I've been bitten by a spider on the leg and it caused me to itch like a fiend, got all red, hard, and hot. I had to have antibiotics and a tetanus shot. I'm pretty sure a needle in your leg is a story worth retelling forever! The rusty part is pretty impressive too.

kshackabq said...

Oh my! So glad you are fine. What a nasty lesson . . .

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

OUCH! I did pretty good with the story until you got to the rusty needle....yuck!

Laurel Keith said...

Oh my, glad you're ok. Our puppy got a hold of a straight pin so fast I didn't see him do it. Several days later he wouldn't stop vomiting. The x-ray at the emergency vet (because nothing ever happens conveniently) showed the pin through the wall of his stomach but fortunately the head of it had stopped it from lacerating his liver. $2400 later we had our healthy puppy back...just saying...keep your pins and needles away from the pets.

Vicky said...

Yeow! Thank goodness it has all ended well!

PamKittyMorning said...

So holy crap that was crazy. My mom taught me to never set a needle down without at thread in it, and I haven't for just that reason. Weird that that's the lesson that stuck with me. Stuck. Haha get it. Sorry it's late. Anyway Holy crap is all I can say. That's one long needle. I've seen some scary stories on House about things like that.

Miriam said...

Ouch! Hope you are healing well.

Hildy said...

Glad you're okay ... but is this considered a work related accident?
Have a wonderful weekend, Hildy

Sue Bennett said...

So glad that you are OK. I panic when I loose a needle when it flips across the room. Hope you are healing good.

Kate said...

I was sure this was going to be a story about a bazillion baby spiders coming out of your leg. THANK GOODNESS it was "only" a rusty needle. Glad to hear you're on the mend...(and that no baby spiders were harmed!!!)

Deb said...

Oh my goodness - of all the strange things to happen. Thank goodness you're okay!! And yeah Tigers!!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

I have a similar story but the needle was in my arm (appliqueing in bed). I had to have an operation to get it out! You can read about it here http://pinkadotquilts.blogspot.com/2013/03/miscellaneous-saturday.html

Karen in Breezy Point said...

Yikes!! I'm glad you were up to date on the tetanus injection or it could have been a whole other story!

Mary said...

Oh Man. This is a terrible story. A real quilter's nightmare. I am so sorry. Take care of yourself.

mary

Susan W said...

Eewwwuuu!Thanks for the heads up! I'll keep better tabs on my needles. I found one on the wooden floor and hadn't been in that area with any needles. Made me wonder how it got there. Glad you are better!

Maxine said...

I try to use one needle at a time to make sure I haven't lost one somewhere. After your experience, I will be extra careful.

Stitched With Prayer said...

OH MY WORD!!! I'm so glad it didn't get any worse than it did. I would have thought a spider bite too, or bug of some kind. But really it begs the question, why don't doctors (and don't get me wrong, I adore my doctor of the last 16 years) but...why do they dismiss us so easily with things like this? It's like, if they can see it, there's nothing wrong. I have to tell you a story, I hope you don't mind, but after your experience, you should truly appreciate it. Years ago, I was 23, so this would be 40 years ago, I worked as a nurses aide at a large local hospital. I worked on the orthopedic floor and we had a nice looking 18 year old young man come in for surgery on his middle toe. He was on a pair of custom made crutches, that he'd made himself nine months before because the foot was far to painful to walk on and had been for over a year. Now, rewind back to when his pain started. He was walking barefoot through his house, when a toothpick he had been noodling with his teeth (a habit he had back then), flipped out onto the floor as he took a step and he hit the toothpick just right so that it embedded all but about 1/4" up under the middle toe. He went to the emergency room, they pulled it out and handed it to him and only half of it was there. When he asked where the other piece was, they told him that was the entire thing. He tried to tell them the entire thing was in there and he could still feel it in the joint of his toe, but they just gave him a tetanus shot and sent him on his way, telling him to check for the other half on the floor at home. Well, you can guess where this is going. 14 different doctors and over the year of trying to explain that the pain was unbearable and he KNEW the toothpick was in there, many of these doctors specialists sent him on his way. Finally the toe, which had never swelled up at all, but was very red, almost purple when I saw it, became completely frozen in one position with a very hard knot around it near the foot. Now this young man had been given no pain medication at all, had even been accused of drug seeking and doctor shopping. He talked to the police more than once when doctors reported him. Finally he happened onto doctor (a family practitioner that told him he didn't know what was going on, but something was not right and he sent him to a surgeon. That is how he ended up as my patient. When he returned from surgery, he was minus the offending middle toe, but he also had a souvenir ... a small bottle of formaldehyde by his bedside held a large calcium formation about the size of a quarter, perfectly round like a golf ball, but poking from one end of it was the tip of the other half of the toothpick. He said he didn't want to sue, but he planned to pay every single doctor he had seen and been dismissed by, a visit with his little (well not so little) reminder in a bottle and tell them they need to listen to people when they try to tell them something is wrong. I'm so glad your needle showed itself but my gosh it must have been sore. Heal quickly! Okay, now I've rambled long enough, but like I said, I thought you would appreciate how something like this happens. By the way, this young man is now an orthopedic surgeon and a very fine one from what I heard last. Ever consider medical school Laurie? I'll just bet your stitches would be magnificent! *wink* Hugs...

corinne said...

OMGoodness. I a;ways worry that one of my animals will get a pin or needle in their paws. My nephew had to have surgury on his very swollen thumb because of a piece of metal.

slrquilts said...

And don't put a needle in your mouth because when you go to retrieve you might bump it into your tongue...I have.

Pookie said...

AAAAAAIIIIIIEEEEE!!! That's so terrifying! I'm so glad you're alright and it didn't lead to an infection or worse. (Too bad it wasn't a radioactive straw needle that could have turned you into a comic-book-style quilting superhero.)

I once stepped on a blunt needlepoint needle and got it stuck about 1/2" into the sole of my foot. I still get squeamish thinking about it 20+ years later.

Helen said...

When I embroider or applique I have a bad habit of putting the needle in my pant leg when I need to get more thread. I have lost many needles that way. Unfortunately, I haven't been the one who found them--that would be my niece and nephews when they sat on the couch. After reading your story, I'm going to be more careful with them.

Glad to hear that you are on the mend.

Anonymous said...

I still have half of a needle in my knee from when I was 4 years old and I think I am about your age. I was embroidering a dish towel, while sitting "Indian style" on the rug, and put the needle in the rug to rethread (I was a precocious sewing child) . As I pulled the thread off the spool, my knee went down and picked up the needle. I tried to pull it out but it broke. I had to have surgery but the doctor could not remove it even with an electro magnet because it was in the bone. Since it was the eye part of the needle that remained, the doctor felt that the bone would grow through the eye of the needle. Never had any problems since.

"SEW" glad that your needle popped right out - lucky that it did not travel in your body.

Charlotte

Carole~Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus said...

OMG! How absolutely terrifying but do glad that you have shared this so the we can be extra careful about those 'missing' needles. So glad you're ok.

Linda P said...

ACCcccckkkk!! Glad you have a happy ending!!!

Sherrill said...

Oh wow, yuck! I remember a story Brenda Papadakis told about sticking her needle in her nightgown and forgetting it, going to bed and it stabbed her boob. If I recall correctly, she had some issues like yours. Those needles are WEAPONS! Glad you're OK now.

Anonymous said...

My stomach got a little queasy just reading this...I can picture it happening so easily. Sorry for your pain.

Me and My Sister Designs said...

Oh Laurie!
I am so glad that you bumped your leg and found the culprit!

Congratulations on the Tiger hits too!!

Hugs!
Barb

suz said...

that's a first for me. My son's feet were excellent for finding needles - once thru his big toe (still makes me cringe to think of it), but I try to keep track of them because of my cat (son moved out for some reason...mumbled something about a needle-free environment). Glad you are okay and got it out. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

Annick said...

What a story ! I'm happy that your leg is becoming ok again. It would have been too disappointing for you to miss your next trip to Nantes and for us, French quilters, to miss visiting you at "Pour l'Amour du Fil" ! All the best to you and, please, keep sewing and quilting !

Annick said...

What a story ! I'm happy that your leg is becoming ok again. It would have been too disappointing for you to miss your next trip to Nantes and for us, French quilters, to miss visiting you at "Pour l'Amour du Fil". All the best to you, have a wonderful stay in France and, please, keep sewing and quilting !

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Wow - I guess the advice to count needles in and count them out has never been more true. Glad it worked it's way to the surface and didn't go the other way!

Anonymous said...

Oh no.

Anonymous said...

I knew a needle flipped somewhere around my chair and have been looking for it. A few weeks passed. I have cleared out the room in order to paint. I kept looking and am relieved to say I found it. May I recommend what a great centering experience it has been removing everything from that room? I have a new relationship with my stash, cannot wait to buy a set of shelves to be more organized, and I will be removing everything that has nothing to do with quilting from that room. My new motto is "nothing again on the floor". Very exciting.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I use one needle at a time. I am weird for a reason.

Laurie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pdudgeon said...

WOW! so glad that the needle was found and that you're recovering. that's quite a story. Who ever knew that quilting could be such a hazardous occupation.

A Quilter's Mission said...

Poor baby! I think that all quilters should get hazzard pay. ; )

The Michigonians said...

Quite a story, Laurie. Glad you are ok and you found the needle. Would hate to see you miss your France experience due to a lost needle in your leg. Safe travels. Teri

Blog Archive