Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where I've Been, or: Finger Pesto is Never a Good Idea

Any illusions I had about being a tough girl are completely shattered.  But I'll get to that in a second.

Where the heck have I been all week?  The answer is unable to type and completely frustrated.  I was having the best first week of school ever--all of my careful planning and arranging ahead of time meant I was exercising, we were eating healthful and delicious meals, and everyone's homework was done.  I was looking forward to Wednesday night because it meant pizza night, and I'd get to make my new favorite, chicken pesto pizza.  E'd smoked a chicken on Sunday night and I couldn't wait to taste it with pesto from the garden and some manchego I picked up at the store.

We got home after school and all was normal; the monkeys started in on homework and handing papers to me.  I went out in the backyard and picked almost all of the leaves off my basil plant.  Fortunately basil is one of the two things left growing in my yard (Hurley seems to have no interest in herbs or tomatoes).  I picked two cups worth and came inside.  I set my mise en place of olive oil, basil, garlic, almonds and pecorino Romano.  I took out the pizza dough I thawed the day before.  I lugged the new food processor, replacement for my broken birthday appliance, over to the counter so I could watch TV and prep.  Carefully and mindfully I opened the storage container--I'm so afraid of cutting myself that I'm always conscious when I handle the blades.  I proceeded to lift them out carefully by their inner plastic rings... and then my hand slipped, my left index finger finding its way into a blade of the disc.  I didn't know the disc I was lifting was double-sided, and I found out the hard way.

My first thought was that I was just a big dope, cutting myself as I always do.  Mom's voice sounded in my head and I did what all mothers tell you to do when you're hurt: go run some cold water on it.  The cut was quick and clean and I honestly didn't feel it at first.  But as I looked into the sink and saw the rouge of a more serious injury, I decided it was time to upgrade this situation from a cold water I to a strictly Band-Aid II.  Into the kids' bathroom I sprinted and applied one of the only non-cartoon bandages.  Only the blood didn't stop.  It seemed like it got worse.

At this point I feel like I must interject to tell you that I believed myself to have a high enough tolerance for pain or physical mutilation.  One of my dancers once dislocated her kneecap in front of me and I sat with her until the paramedics came.  I've seen kids get hurt at school and I go into Mama Bear mode--cuts, broken bones, head injuries...  I don't flinch at barf or poop or anything else gross that comes out of my own kids.  But for whatever reason on Wednesday night, the sight of the blood that I couldn't stop from flowing out of my own finger made my world close in a little.  I got the ringing in the ears and the tunnel vision that are a telltale sign of imminent fainting.  Like a complete fracking BABY.

My first thought was that I needed to abandon the silliness of water and Band-Aids and treat this like a real injury.  Apparently it wasn't going to just clot up and stop on its own.  My mind flashed to my required CPR/First-Aid classes and I realized I needed to get some pressure on the wound and I needed to get myself into a position where if I did pass out, I wouldn't knock my head or fall on a hard floor.  To the couch I went and wrapped my Band-Aided hand in a towel.  By then it started to hurt pretty bad and I started to feel queasy.  I called Ad into the room and I told her Mommy might fall asleep and that if she couldn't wake me up, she needed to call 911 and Daddy.  I kept making her repeat my instructions to me and tell me E's phone number.  I wasn't so worried about the finger--when you see the pictures, you're going to laugh--but the thought of them seeing me unconscious (no matter what the reason) made me afraid it would scare them.

Ad was such a great little nurse.  She sat with me in between checking on her brother and brought me a bowl in case I barfed (!) I called E and told him what was going on so he would call and check in every once in a while... but he was at least an hour away at work, as was my sister.  I called everyone I knew and I couldn't find a single person who was home.  The bleeding would not stop, and every time I looked at my finger I got the stupid ringing in my ears and blackness at the edges of my vision.  I'm a real tough chick, apparently.

Eventually about an hour later I got a hold of my mom and since two rounds of holding my pressured finger above my heart for 15 minutes hadn't gotten anything to stop flowing, she drove me into the emergency room.  Good times.  E met us there and I got glued back together by the lovely Dr. William.  *sigh*  Oh, and lest I forget, the triage nurse in the ER bandaged my finger like this and made me keep it elevated.  Feel free to create your own punch line:

E kept me company (doesn't he look so cute in his work clothes?) and made jokes to distract me.  Between E and Dr. William, I was feeling like quite the... well, something.  Whatever it was, it was good.  Except for the part where Dr. William unwrapped my bandage and made me stand with my finger under the faucet for a good three or four minutes.  All I could think of was that Mom has been right about running cold water on everything for my whole life and she'll probably do a victory lap when she read about it.  A medical doctor made me stick something under the faucet.  You win, Mom.  Add that to the column of a billion things she's been right about in my life.

This is after he glued it back together.  It looks hideously insignificant.  I told my students I wished I got some stitches or something--stitches seem to make a hospital story really legit.  And staples?  Staples are like the Varsity squad of injury repair.  Surgical glue or Dermabond, or whatever they used on me is kind of like the JV of being put back together.  So bush league.  But the fact that I nearly passed out over a glorified paper cut that wouldn't stop bleeding is enough for me.  And it might not look so huge, but the blade cut pretty deep.  There was a definite flap.  Gross, right?

So since Wednesday night I haven't really been able to type.  It's been killing me, because I've been running around with a billion things to say... but it's taken all I have to type out a few 9-fingered responses to email at work.  Only today am I finally feeling like I can type without it hurting me.  So there you go.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


  1. You totally could have called me! I would have come and B would have kept the kiddos. Next time - call me!! Glad it's getting better. :)

  2. Silly girl you could have called me too! I'm glad your okay! Now get to typing! :-)