Holding It All Together-The Night Of The Gasher

By Amy McCollom
Friday night, I did not use my CPAP machine and mask because I had been having some strange symptoms, and wondered if it was attributed to the CPAP, so I took a night off.  In order to breathe better without the CPAP, I put extra pillows behind my head, and propped myself up to an inclined position. 

Sometime in the night, our friendly 15.9 pound cat named Gaster sleeked into the room and settled himself to sleep on the stack of pillows behind my head.  It was 2:40 a.m. when I awoke instantly to a horrible ax-like chop to the top of my head.  I hollered out in pain and grabbed at my head with both hands.  I felt something wet and immediately sat up in bed and yelled for John to turn on the light.  

He turned on the lamp and said, “Oh!  You are bleeding!”  He helped me out of bed and into the bathroom, and asked me what happened, and I said I thought the cat got me.  Gaster was still laying on the stack of pillows above where I had been laying, and he had blood on his paw.  Meanwhile, there was so much blood all over my head, and since my hair is platinum blonde, I looked like I had a busted tomato on my head.  I couldn’t find where I was bleeding from because of so much blood coming out, and blood was going everywhere in the bathroom.  It was beginning to look like a murder scene off of Forensic Files.  On the mirror, the wall, the sink, the floor, all over my nightgown.  I tried washing my hands and head off in the bathroom sink but couldn’t get my head under the water.

John rushed me into the kitchen so I could put my head under the kitchen faucet, and sprayed my head down with cool water until we could see the gash.  John then took clean paper towels and held pressure on the wound for a while until the blood stopped soaking through the paper towels.  John is such a great guy.  While I was holding my head, he cleaned up all the blood in the bathroom.

We took a trip to the ER and I ended up getting five staples in my head to close the gash from the cat, and a series of antibiotics for good measure.  Getting the  staples was pretty painful and made me nauseous, but John drove through McD’s and got me one of their new blueberry muffins to settle my stomach afterwards.  It did the trick.

I’m not the kind of person to feel sorry for myself or place blame.  This was a freak accident and was probably my own fault. I probably smacked the cat while flailing my arms around while sleeping and he smacked me back.  There are always lessons to be learned from everything we go through.  That’s the important thing; what did you learn from it?

1. Don’t let animals in your bedroom at night.  I don’t care how nice they are, things happen.

2.  If you use a CPAP and start having upper respiratory symptoms, change out your tubing and talk to your sleep doctor.

3.  Direct pressure stops most bleeding.

4.  Head injuries bleed a lot.

5. The ER doctors do not numb your head when you get staples put in.  Just hold someone’s hand and squeeze. You got this.

6.  Remember to ask if the doctor could use glue instead of staples.  We forgot to ask.

7.  McDonald’s now offers a really yummy blueberry muffin.  Go early and get a fresh baked one.

8.  Dawn Ultra Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray can remove blood stains from nightgowns.  Apply until the   garment is soaked through with the product, rub the fabric together roughly, then rinse under cold water.  Also cleans walls, mirrors, sinks, lightswitch covers, doorknobs, you name it.

I have always been a staunch opposer of cat declawing, but in light of new circumstances, I think it could be ok sometimes. Gaster the cat (although now known around here as Gasher), just cannot be fully trusted.  I love him still, but not enough to let him sleep on my bed, especially with knives for fingers.

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