Folks who know me or who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am somewhat accident-prone. Happily, these accidents tend to be minor and only mildly life-threatening, leaving me with increased safety awareness, entertaining stories, and cool scars. Also, for all the accidents I’ve had, I’ve never had to get stitches or a bone reset, so I’ve been very fortunate in that case as well.
Remember how in last week’s post I said I’d stay inside, away from the fireworks, so I’d be safe?
It didn’t turn out so well.
Read on for a fun story about a drunken accident, and some mildly upsetting photos of hand trauma.
If that’s not your thing, the tl;dr is I got a bad laceration Friday night and got my very first ambulance ride and seven stitches.
Since it was a three-day weekend here in the US, my office let us out at 2. On the way home from work I ran past Publix for snacks, wine, stuff to make dinner, and just post-work Publix visits are a regular thing for me. I wanted a certain kind of port, but apparently they don’t carry it, so I settled for some 7-dollar wine that had served me well in the past.
I did about 3 hours of writing, then stopped to make dinner and relax. I was so excited! Three whole days of my keyboard clattering away, of pajamas and snacks and coffee and naps. Callou Callay!
It is at this point in the story I feel I should make clear that I own Govino shatterproof wine glasses. I have them out on my little cool grown-up booze sideboard, for just this reason. They are within easy reach! I OWN THESE THINGS. Yet when I carried my bottle into the living room, I thought ‘Pff, I’m using one of my Ikea wine glasses. I AM AN ADULT AND I CAN HANDLE THIS.’
I watched a movie. At some point during an intense scene, I reached for my wine glass. I grabbed it a bit too hard, and it basically popped in my hand (This might be the most first-world of accidents, EVER).
I had one of those marvelous epiphanies where I realized I was well in over my head, and that this wasn’t the sort of thing you mop up and shake off. I’d had a bad accident involving my thumbs a few years, and after showing them to a healthcare professional was told ‘You were stupid for not going to the ER for stitches for these.’ I knew that wounds in the extremities could bleed and look worse than they were, but there was also a rather large flap moving around on my palm and I was worried I had severed something important.
The Emergency Response people were very nice, and I felt terribly guilty that they had to be looking after my dumb drunk ass while there were probably people who really needed them somewhere. I told them this in the form of a long ramble, and they assured me that my laceration was serious enough to warrant not just emergency response, but a trip to the ER, an X-Ray, and stitches. “Better safe than dead,” they said.
So all those happened, in short order.
The nurse practitioner who did the sewing gave me a shot to numb the pain, but it didn’t work very well. I felt every stab of the needle and tug of the line, even though I was looking away, although she was very good. I have to admit I sort of lost it at one point – my brain disengaged and I just started babbling nonsense until she was done.
I had to call and pay for a cab, which was also my first cab ride. I’ve done Uber, but never a cab. It was cheaper than I thought it would be!
All told, I was only out of the house about two hours.
I took a photo right when I got home, because I was fascinated by how swollen and gross my hand was.
The rest of the weekend alternated between resting, watching movies, and very gingerly typing out my blog entry on Ferdinand Lyle. Full-size keyboards are still challenging, but I can use my cramped laptop keyboard with no problem.
Tuesday I dithered about whether or not to go to work. I could use my right hand for computer stuff, but my job really doesn’t get the concept of ‘going easy’ on somebody. If you’re here, you’re expected to put in 100% for all eight hours, and sometimes longer.
If I don’t go I’ll be a loser, a stupid loser who got drunk and got hurt and is a fucked up person, I thought, angry with myself. This is just another in a long line of things in your life you’ve fucked up, and everyone thinks you are a headcase.
But as I was getting ready for work, I realized something – my kitchen was clean.
Before I went to bed Monday night, I had done my dishes. With one good hand, I had cooked several meals (I make my breakfast omelet every day), washed my dishes, put them away, and even cleaned the counters and taken out the trash. The floors were swept, my bed made (I make my bed every day; even if nothing else goes right that day, at least my bed is made), the cat fed, watered, and cat litter cleaned (which is it’s own complicated operation). I was changing my band-aid every day, and had even figured out how to shower and wash my hair one-handed.
Maybe I’m not as useless and fucked up as I think. Maybe I’m actually pretty high-functioning and I’m dealing with this really well. Maybe accidents happen and the only thing that matters is how you deal with them.
Cheered, I finished getting ready and went to work. It turned out we had a pretty big deliverable to get finished, so I worked on that all day.
The rest of my week has been likewise productive between work and writing. I haven’t been back to the gym yet, unfortunately.
Today, Friday, I went to my doctor for a follow-up. I was hoping to get my stitches out, but the Nurse Practitioner said that since I am active, it would be better to leave them in over the weekend so my hand gets the full 10-day healing time. It would be easy to get overconfident and do something that reopens the scab, which sounds totally like something I would do. I have an appointment to get them out on Monday.
Edit: Had this idea just now and had to add it!
So that has been my week! I hope yours has gone well, and that if you were in the US you had a happy and safe 3-day weekend!
Please tune in next week for entries on Penny Dreadful, and the career of comedy legend, Eddie Murphy. See ya!