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 Round....Table...This...is...SSSSally...how...may I...
Her: And...you'd like....me....to....?
Her: I'd...be...more...than happy....to have him....call...you...back...ma'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).
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.
Her: I could put A STITCH in it.
Me: I see.
Her: Or, I could glue it.
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.