I woke up late today. It was nice to sleep so long, but I had a busy day planned. I put on a sports bra and one of my running skorts, and I grabbed some socks. When I got downstairs, I fed Pancake and settled into the couch to have breakfast before going for a run (more walking than running, but that’s what I call it at any rate). After a much too long time had passed, the doorbell rang. It was the postman dropping off a large package, from my aunt. I read the letter, and she was sending our holiday presents along with some things that had been my grandfather’s that she thought I might like. I grabbed one of my knives and cut open the package. The box was full of plastic bags (for cushioning) and items wrapped in some of the bags.
As I was digging through and pulling things out, I reached into the box and grabbed something that felt really sharp, like grabbing a porcupine or knife. I yelled an expletive and dashed over to the sink. I had blood streaming down my hand and arm, dripping on me and the floor. I rinsed off in the sink in cold water, and it looked like it was just a small cut on my finger, so I wrapped it in a paper towel and started cleaning up the mess. I knelt down on the floor and started wiping up blood drips and washing off the drips on me…and it just seemed like there were so many spots! I kept cleaning and cleaning…and then I realized…I was still bleeding. The blood had soaked through the wrapped up paper towel and had drizzled down my hand to form all those drops on the floor.
Eek! So, I rinsed the cut again and realized it was still bleeding profusely. I wrapped it tightly and applied pressure, raising it over my head. I consulted the in-house doctor (aka the internet), and I couldn’t find anything that definitely told me whether I should be really worried. Finally, I found one site that said that if your skin wasn’t staying together on its own, you should go to the emergency room. I looked (which made it bleed profusely again, as soon as I removed the pressure) and the skin was definitely gaping a little.
Right, then. I ran upstairs to get some medical gauze pads. I wrapped one of those around the finger in place of the purple party napkin that I was using at that point. I tried to get a rubber band to hold it in place, but that didn’t work, so I held it tight with my thumb. Then, I tossed on a shirt, and I grabbed my purse and a coat. I’d left my keys in B*’s car last night, so I had to retrieve the spare set. (My DH was at work, so I was home alone.) I awkwardly drove over to the nearby urgent care center.
The attendant at the window gave me a form to fill out, but I had hurt my right hand, so I couldn’t write. She ended up filling out the forms for me, but I still had to sign the waivers. I signed with my left hand, so it was illegible. I might as well have just made an X. She told me that there were 4 people ahead of me and to go wait unless I started feeling faint. At this point, the bleeding had slowed, so I wasn’t too worried. I sat down in the waiting area. A call had come in on my cellphone while we were doing the forms, and it was Ms. Moo. She was in Third Lake (not far from Gurnee) performing in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This is how the conversation went when I called her back:
Ms Moo: Hey sweetie!
Me: Hello. (pause) What’s up?
Ms. Moo: What’s wrong? Are you okay?
Seriously…three words, and she knew something must be wrong…and I was relatively calm, I thought. I explained what had happened, and she said she was coming to where I was right then, and no protesting on my part could stop her. 🙂 She rocks. 🙂
Granted, I wasn’t spewing blood any more, so I was beginning to feel silly for going in. But, then I soaked through my gauze and had to get more gauze from the desk attendant. (One thing I learned from the internet: don’t remove the gauze or paper towel or whatever if you can help it…just add layers…because every time you remove it, the clotting stuff gets removed along with it. That’s one thing I screwed up at first.) Around an hour and a half later, I finally was taken back to the back. In the interim, Ms. Moo entertained me. We laughed and chatted so much that, aside from me having ten layers of gauze on my finger, you might think nothing was wrong with me.
When I got back, the nurse tutted over the fact that I’d been waiting so long, given that I was actively bleeding. Then, she cleaned up my finger with saline and asked me to rate my pain (1 to 2…it wasn’t hurting too much, just bleeding). I gave a brief medical history, and she put a wet compress on my finger and made me comfy in the little bed.
It was the same bed that my toenail was removed in,back in November, 2003. 🙂 But, this time, instead of my DH holding my hand, Ms. Moo was holding my hand and keeping me sane. The doctor came in to take a look, and she initially said it was no big deal, no sutures needed…but then she looked a bit closer and got concerned. She said I could get sutured or I could just get glued, but she thought the sutures would do a better job given that the cut was on the fleshy part of my finger and it was fairly deep. I opted for sutures.
They refreshed my tetanus shot, just in case. (My tetanus was 9 years old.) They also positioned my arm in like twenty layers of fabric with a special finger-isolating hole in it. Then, the doctor got me numb. It hurt like bloody hell when the needle went in, but it didn’t take long for it to numb up and stop hurting. I looked at it, and it looked bright white and swollen. It was really freakish looking, but I couldn’t feel anything. Then, she started sewing. I didn’t watch that part. I intentionally looked at Ms. Moo and she talked to me about other, unrelated things to keep me distracted.
I ended up with three stitches. They’re black and look like little bugs. They coated it with neosporin and wrapped my finger in a band-aid. I have to keep it dry for the next two days, then do a checkup, then get the stitches removed in ten days.
Ms. Moo came home with me. She brought me a chicken sandwich and a McDonald’s toy. (It’s a bobble-headed frog!) We watched TV together all afternoon. I should be doing homework right now, but I need to get this story out of my system first. Typing is a bitch. I’m using my other two fingers for what that finger usually does. It’s my birdie-finger, by the way.
It hurts to press on the finger, but aside from that, it’s doing fine. The tetanus shot arm will probably hurt tomorrow, though, and that’s my other arm.