Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Stitch Heard 'round the World

I am back from our fantastic voyage, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed the Twelve-ish Bloggers of Christmas as much as I did. A big thanks again to JettSuperior, Erin, Miss Yvonne, Jason Avant, The Didactic Pirate, TwoBusy, Kevin, and Beta Dad. Not only did they keep my blog alive and running while I ate myself a pair of saddlebags at my mother-in-law's, but they also risked their own reputations by being associated with me. Clearly I owe them a child or something.  Maybe just a virtual hug.

So, after my two-week hiatus, my knee-jerk is to tell you all about our road trip to the great state of Georgia. But that would just include stories of me eating, a few more stories of me driving to faraway places to do MORE eating, a brief tale of how my children contracted the plague, and an epic poem about how I tried to practice the art of polite FUMING ANGER (or not so polite) as I chased my children around the homes of elderly relatives saying things like DON'T TOUCH THAT, OHMYGODGETINTHECLOSET, & JUST KISS YOUR GRANDMOTHER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Instead I'll tell you about how I cut my finger before Christmas and ended up in the emergency room, surrounded by onlookers and blushing myself into a shade of red only Picasso himself could replicate.


Scene: Day before Christmas Eve, kitchen full of the aroma of Christmas cookies baked with Crisco instead of butter because, hey, that shit's expensive. Children are nestled begrudgingly in bed for naptime and Husband has gone to meet some friends for some holiday caroling. Or some sandwiches and beer.

I had gathered the material for making some fudge and poured some stuff in a pot to begin the boiling process. But when I looked back at the recipe, I noticed I was supposed to CHOP the chocolate first. Well mothefucker, because that's three boxes of chocolate to chop, people, and I am just way put out by this turn of events.

And as if the universe itself were bent on the demise of my FLOWERY attitude, I promptly CHOPPED MY FINGER along with the first bar of chocolate.

Now, let's step back for a moment. I like to think of myself as a calm, level-headed woman who does not get all EEEEKKK!! at the sight of injury or blood.  But when I felt the chopping of my flesh and saw the trickling of my blood, I was definitely a little bit EEEKK! and a lot a bit oh, shit.

At first, I just threw a paper towel on it so I wouldn't have to see it. Maybe it would just go away! I once had a paper cut that healed in just one day! But then the towel turned completely red and I needed to rethink my strategy. So I got a new sheet and something about PRESSURE! APPLY PRESSURE! flashed into my mind. But that kind of hurt, so in the end I was doing some sort of squeeze and release thing as if the appendage needed CPR for crying out loud.

Next, I needed to call for help. What if it didn't stop bleeding?! What if I passed out from loss of blood and the children needed to bust into the refrigerator to feed themselves a dinner of leftover meatloaf with six gallons of ketchup?!  So, I called my husband. SIX HUNDRED TIMES. No answer.  KINDA GETTING PANICKY HERE. Wait, no. No, I'm not! See? Breathing! I'm breathing smoothly! I'm TOTALLY FUCKING CALM.  My next move was to call a neighbor, whom I remembered was a medic at some point in her life. Might have been in a school play for all I knew, but I was getting desperate. She answered quickly, and I immediately told her my predicament, looking around the kitchen for landmarks to direct her to my position if needed.

Her: Dude, how'd you even do that?

Me: I was chopping chocolate, but that's not impor---

Her: Oh, man. I remember this one time when I cut my finger and it went right through my finger nail! It was nasty, and I had to get stitches. It hurt like a bitch, dude.

Me: Right, well, see MY finger right now is bleeding kinda--

Her: It was on these new knives that my mother-in-law had gotten for us...

Me: *end call*

My thoughts returned to my husband. RIGHT! HIS FRIENDS! I knew one of his friends had called the house recently, so I scanned through the Caller ID to find his number. I'd deny allegations of an elicit affair later, if necessary. Alas, no answer there either.  BUT WAIT! My husband is conscientious and responsible and told me where he was going beforehand! So I called the bar.

Her: Thank you...for calling...The I...




Her: I' have'am...

Six years later, Husband called, and sensing the suppressed panic in my voice, left his buddies to come examine my opposable thumb.

He walked in the door about twenty minutes later, where he found me sitting quietly, doing some crochet work and balancing our checkbook and not AT ALL pacing and acting aloof while CPR-ing my finger.

Him: Let's see it, wife.

Me: It's kinda bad.

Him: [poking, prodding, and STUFF] Yeah. It could use a stitch or two.

Me: [Suppressing urge to vomit.] Okay.

So, I drove myself to the Army hospital over the mountain. Because I'm calm! I didn't need a ride! In fact, I texted some friends who were due for a visit in about 45 minutes. "Making a pit-stop for some stitches! See you soon! I'M TOTALLY CALM OKAY? SO DO NOT WORRY!"

When I got to the hospital, I was measured and monitored and taken to a room where I dunked my thumb into a cup of iodine.  It stung, I'll say, and yet, I managed not to cry a single tear.  But maybe I did bite my lip and look away solemnly while the male nurse rolled his eyes and noted that it was no longer bleeding, and you can let go of your thumb now and STOP SQUEEZING IT MA'AM.

He left the room for supplies or maybe to consult a neurosurgeon, and I was left alone with my thoughts. And an appendage I can only assume was going to gangrene. As I imagined my life without a thumb (zippers will be tricky...) I heard a familiar voice.  I looked up to the doorway and spotted my children's pediatrician chatting up a nurse (natch).

Him: Heyyy..!

Me: [blushblushblush] Hey! I thought that was you!

Nurse: [Scowl] How do YOU TWO know each other?

Him: I see her kids...what, since they were both born, right?

Me: Yep! Heh.

There's more chatter about our friendly, professional relationship, and I try to act really engaged as to distract them from the fact that I'm sitting in an ER room with my thumb in a cup full of iodine.  My puncture wound (kinda) suddenly feels much smaller than it did an hour ago. MAYBE IT DISAPPEARED AFTER ALL! Maybe they'll forget where we are and we'll all go have a friendly lunch and talk about how to cure the common cold!

Alas, this did not occur, so after more stalling and some awkward, blushy smiles (okay, FINE, he's MILDLY attractive if you're into successful males with athletic physique and sparkling blue eyes and...), the nurse asks to see my wound.

Me: It doesn't look like much, but I think it's pretty deep. Like, maybe to the bone.

Her: [Looking at thumb. Pulling it open, even, OHMYGOD] Mmhm.

Him: [Peering over my shoulder and whispering romantically] It doesn't look so bad...

Me: Yeah...well I...

Her: Welp. We can do one of three things.

Me: (Please don't take the finger. Please don't take the finger.) Okay?

Her: Do nothing.

Me: Oh.

Her: I could put A STITCH in it.

Me: I see.

Her: Or, I could glue it.

Me: Right.

Him: [Clears throat longingly]

Her: I'm leaning towards nothing myself.

Me: [Whispering] This is absolutely mortifying.

Her: What's that?

Me: I trust your judgement.

Her: [Applying a piece of tape] And I'll send you home with some more of these. They're really good for paper cuts!

Me: Paper cuts?

Him: Tell your husband I say hello!

Me: [Meekly] Will do.


  1. I'm glad you didn't do the glue thing. I had a cut on my head glued shut, about 10 years ago, still hurts every once in a while. Something about glue never really breaking down and allowing flesh to replace it. So I have scar tissue glued to scar tissue.

    Ps. If it was a puncture wound then yea it could have been really deep but not wide so stitches wouldn't be necessary. (Still hurts and bleeds like a mofo though)

  2. Barfity barf! ...although, really, I could have told you that if there was only a trickle of blood and it didn't spray all over the place, you prolly didn't need stitches... or you could stand to sharpen your knives. I'm just being a dick here. I'm sure you don't want to hear my interpretations of your event. I once chopped off the tip of my pinkie cutting a lime (in a hotel room bathroom, because that was where I washed the lime and it was years ago, I'm not that dirty anymore) right next to where my little sister (an adult, not little-little) was doing her makeup and I sprayed her with my blood on accident. Well the whole thing was an accident, but the blood spray was especially an accident. And I'm exaggerating about chopping it off because it didn't really come off, but it was just hangin' on there for dear life. Thankfully, my finacee used to be a chef and we frequently talked about the times he had cut off parts of his hands and had them reattached, so I remembered him saying to apply pressure and get my hand up over my head (or is it above my heart?) to slow down the bleeding. I went into shock for a second, like I am going to faint, and a wave of drenching sweat, and I had to sit down really quickly because I didn't want to faint and knock my head on the tub or toilet or anything else in a hotel room's bathroom. I was uninsured and terrified of any E.R. anyway, because I imagine they want to stitch fingers back into place, and I remembered once that my friend said that getting stitches hurts because they give you shots of the numbing agent IN the cut, like pulling apart a wound and sticking shots in there. And that wasn't what was about to happen to me. I remembered my unle telling me once that the reason super glue was invented was so that medics out in a war-zone could easily patch people up on the spot without giving shots or stitches or any of that, so I asked my cousin to see if there was any super glue in the hotel lobby concession and there was!

    I superglued my own fingertip back on and closed, went to TGIFridays and drank the Coronas I planned on drinking in the hotel room (hence the lime), and lived happily ever after.

    Well, the scar on my fingertip kind of looked like the head of a circumsized penis for a few months, but it has healed quite nicely now. Moral of the story: after the fainting happens, remember everything anybody ever told you about what to do when you chop off your finger.

    I hope you remember this story for the future, and I hope you don't think I'm too much of an asshole for typing all of this up and leaving it as a comment on your page, and thanks for sharing your story.

    P.S. I would have liked my story a lot better if there were a hot doctor in it instead of my little sister going, "OH MY GOD SICK IT'S ALL OVER THE MIRROR! I know you think you're going to faint, but don't sit THERE because I think I'm going to have to vomit in that toilet!"


    Carry on.


    I totally would have flipped out too. So glad they didn't have to amputate!

  4. Really happy to have you back! You and your gangrene thumb...glad to see it's in typing condition!

    Consumed: My Culinary Adventure

  5. OH! I applaude your bravery!!! Lesser people surely would have fainted! (me) I think you deserve a gift from Husband! And definitely a day of rest.

  6. You, my dear, are made of strong stuff. I mean, you stayed conscious throughout the entire ordeal. I salute you.

  7. Its almost like you have to injurer yourself right in the ER waiting room so that they will notice that you are indeed really hurt more than a paper cut.


  8. At least you didn't puke on your kids doctor. It would be hard to fantasize about him after that.

  9. Clearly your neighbor is Penelope, the SNL character that Kristen Wiig plays.

  10. "I'm leaning toward doing nothing"? That bitch was just jealous of your not-so-professional relationship with the doctor.

  11. I kept reading this and scrolling down, excited to see a pic of your scary gross mangled finger after the machete accident.... but you didn't give one. What the hell? Without a photo, this didn't happen.

    Just saying.

  12. He he he he he he. I did that once w/my foot. It was bleeding all crazy-like but when I got to the ER they were all nonchalant and "it'll be fine". WTH?! "Can't you see my toe is going to fall off??!!" You must need to actually be dying before they get all riled up.

  13. i'm glad you're okay. but bleeding is scary. also, you're not the only one who contemplated having it looked at - isn't YOUR HUSBAND the one who said it could use a stitch or two??

    his fault. he should be the mortified one. because, honestly, if he had like taken a look at it and said 'oh, it's not so bad, let's clean it out and put a special sparkly band aid on it', you would have gone along with that. right?

    his fault. he owes you.

  14. welcome back and ouch hope the finger is better soon

  15. I read this and watched Machete in the same evening. My life is a very full life.

  16. sent you a blogger award - go check it out at:

  17. I had to have stitches a while back, and the nurse who was cleaning the (ahem) wound suddenly bent closer and looked and said "Wow, I've never seen anything like that! Cool!"

    Uh, thanks, dude.

  18. Not the Hero: My husband kept offering to super glue it shut for me since the damn thing kept opening up again after I got home. But I stuck with the fucking tape.

    Ester Jean: I have a feeling you and I could make movies together. (FUNNY ones, that is. AHEM.)

    Roxanne: I appreciate your heartfelt concern. I'm also glad they let me keep the finger since it would've been awkward entertaining guests with a bloody stub.

    Danielle: Why, thank you!

    kmcaffee: Him not totally pointing and laughing at me for all eternity is a gift in itself. (And a pretty substantial one at that.)

    Vinny C.: See, now I wish the ER nurse had THAT attitude for crying out loud.

    Toni: THIS is why I threw a paper towel over it! I'm such a quick thinker!

    Jen: RIGHT?! I wanted to reenact the injury for some sort of credit. Even a fucking lollipop or something.

    Miss Yvonne: This is a whole 'NOTHA story, but the dude actually started crying at one point. No lie. So, it's pretty much over between the two of us.

    Kev D.: I. want. to. stab.

    Veronica: Maybe. Except that it *is* entirely professional, so she probably just called my bluff. Might have been the nervous hives that gave it away.

    DP: Dude, do you think ANYTHING I write on this blog actually happens?! PSHAW! I'm actually a highly successful literary GENIUS living in the woods of Vancouver! (And, I was going to, had it uploaded and everything, but in the end, was too embarrassed if you can believe that. It looked like NOTHING on film. Has a vampiric quality to it.)

    Crystal: I think this requires nothing short of a revolution.

    steph gas: He totally did. BUT, to his credit, he probably knew, in my TOTALLY CALM STATE that agreeing with me would be the ONLY correct response.

    becca: Thanks, lovely.

    .end transmission.: We could compare notes, you and I.

    Brett: Thanks! Will do.

  19. ToyLady: BLECH. I had to look away when she took it out of the iodine and started PULLING IT APART. I don't know when I became such a wuss. God help me if either of my boys has a bloody injury I have to deal with.

  20. Welcome back! In light of your injury it's even more heroic. How's the physical therapy going?

  21. A lesser woman would have lost control of the situation, thank god it happened to you...not that I wish you an injury but you know what I mean.

  22. That's almost exactly like the time I cut through three tendons in my wrist with a skilsaw. Good times!

  23. "I'm leaning toward doing nothing"? That bitch was just jealous of your not-so-professional relationship with the doctor.

  24. Its almost like you have to injurer yourself right in the ER waiting room so that they will notice that you are indeed really hurt more than a paper cut.


  25. Really happy to have you back! You and your gangrene thumb...glad to see it's in typing condition!

    Consumed: My Culinary Adventure