Tuesday, February 28, 2012

::Injury::


Reviewing the new recipe, I decided to take a shortcut and not use the food processor. Too many dishes to do, and honestly, I do a lot of the dishes at my house. One of the downsides of liking to experiment in the kitchen is the amount of dishes it creates.

I pulled out the bright orange, handy-dandy stick blender I bought last fall. I've given up on waiting for shower gifts in order to get good kitchen equipment and slowly begun collecting my own good quality kitchen supplies, this being the star until it was overshadowed by the fabulous KitchenAid mixer my parents bought for Christmas/my birthday this year.

 Maybe it resented being overshadowed.

In any case, my shortcut wasn't working very well, and the blade kept getting clogged by the raw cauliflower I was attempting to 'chop, but not puree".

The blender comes with an eject function to separate the blade from the motor so you can clean around the blade without danger. I did this several times until, hands slippery, I attempted to sweep around the blade with my left index finger *without* disconnecting the two halves of the blender. My right hand angled the mixer for a better grip, and with blinding quickness, squeezed just enough to engage the trigger button  while my finger was still negotiating the blade.

It's amazing how quickly your body takes over in the event of physical trauma. In a split-second, the rotating blade had connected with my fingertip more than a dozen times, the first rotation (my guess) chopping 1/3 of the way through the bone. A long shallow cut went across the dorsal (front) side of my finger and up to the inside, followed by three deep gashes through the finger pad, and multiple smaller cuts along the inside cuticle, including one cutting partially through the fingernail halfway up the nail. "Mangled" was the word my doctor used, and the ER doc who put in the stitches called it a jigsaw puzzle as he tried to decide which remaining islands of skin were large enough to support the end of each stitch.

For a brief second before the bleeding started, I stared at my now stark white fingertip, wondering, irrationally, "did I actually hit it?" and then the only thing I had to wonder for a while was how bad it was and how I couldn't tell, really, what had actually been hit under all that blood.

My friend Deni had been coming over for dinner and a movie. She arrived, and mercifully helped me clean up the kitchen and watch an episode of Mythbusters before my parents arrived to take me to the ER.

And then the four-and-a-half-hour process of paperwork-wait-paperwork-wait-numb wound-wait-wash wound-wait-xray-wait-antibiotic drip-wait-tetanus shot-wait-stitches-wait-wrap wound-wait-prescription-wait.

And then Vicodin and sleep. 

A lot of sleep, because apparently pain and adrenaline takes a lot out of you.

*note* while I am fascinated with the healing process, I am aware that stitches are in a word, shudder-inducing, and am saving you from a photographic depiction of my frankenfinger. You're welcome.

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