But seriously, if you’re squeamish, don’t keep reading.
On Wednesday night, I got home from campus determined to grade all of the papers…but first, I had no supper. Nothing to snag for leftovers or cook up quickly. I did, however, have all the ingredients I needed in my pantry to make an experimental version of low-FODMAP chicken pot pies, a recipe I’ve been meaning to try on the blog for a while now.
I don’t have a pastry blender, as I would ordinarily use to make pie, so I decide to make the pie crust by pulsing the butter and flour together with my immersion blender.
Perhaps you know now where this is going.
The thing is, with an immersion blender, if you have something sticky and thick like, say, banana ice cream or cold butter, all that junk gets trapped around the blade, and you have to reach in and scrape it out…which you should do with a spoon or knife or spatula…
Now I think you know where this is going.
I blenderized my finger.
There was so much blood! My first reaction was to stick my hand under running water, which I did, but the water from the tap was accumulating in a little pot that had been left in the sink, and the water was bright red. “This isn’t stopping the bleeding,” I thought, which was a surprisingly coherent thought, given that most of my brain was sort of screaming incoherently: “aaaaaaaaagggghhhh!”
The paper towel roll on the counter was out, so I went looking for paper towels in the laundry room and ripped out a new roll, leaving drops of blood all over the kitchen and laundry room floor. I then contemplated driving myself to Urgent Care, concluded that I couldn’t do it, and instead, called my neighbor. She didn’t pick up, and then I really started to panic. “Help!” I started yelling to no one in particular. “I don’t know what to do! Help!”
At which point, I heard a voice coming from my phone. “Joyce? Joyce, are you there? Are you okay?”
It was my friend Dana. Somehow, when I hung up on my neighbor, I had accidentally dialed my friend and colleague from the creative nonfiction program. And yes, she said, she could come right away and take me to Urgent Care.
When I hung up, my hand was not only still bleeding, but the paper towels I had grabbed were totally soaked in blood. I had my second surprisingly coherent thought–“Raise the injured area.” Yes, that’s right–that’s what my first aid training had taught me–if you raise the injury above the heart, it reduces the flow of blood to the site. So that’s what I did; I spent the twenty minutes until Dana arrived walking around my apartment, crying loudly, finding my insurance papers, and holding my hand up in the air like a third grade teacher’s pet. And amazingly, it worked. By the time we got to Urgent Care, the bleeding had almost entirely ceased.
The diagnosis? “Laceration and open fracture.” Which means that damn blender blade went through my bone.
And if that doesn’t eek you out, the cut goes almost all the way–a good 270 degrees–around my finger. Eek!
No, my finger isn’t hanging on by a thread. I think the blade more went around the finger and nicked my bone on the way…but still.
I came home with five stitches, an antibiotic, a narcotic pain killer, lots of gauze and bandages and antibiotic ointment, and a bag of gummy bears. Dana was really kind that night: she took me to the 24-hour pharmacy, to Walgreens, and to Tokyo Joe’s to get myself a Boulder Bowl for supper. Her kindness was amazing–I’m so glad I called her by accident!
The rest of the week since has been mostly uphill. That night was tough; I could hardly get to sleep from the adrenaline and pain. But the next day the narcotic pain meds had started to kick in. I took a couple of days off from grading and had to tell my students that their papers would be late; I didn’t get them back until Sunday. But since then, I’ve been able to get to the point that I don’t have to take any pain meds except a half dose of ibuprofen a couple of times a day to help the swelling, which I think is pretty good for four days.
I’ve also had many phone calls with my mother and my sweetheart, who both skipped the part about reminding me that I was a complete idiot to get myself into such a predicament and went straight to the worrying-about-me bit, which is kind. (My pride is pretty damaged, too…maybe not as much as the finger, but still…no need to rub it in.) Mom even sent me a bouquet!And in other news (since this is a Week in Review, and what would a Week in Review be without a list?):
- It’s been cold–really cold!–in Ft. Collins, and we even got a good dose of snow on Tuesday night. I got a quick shot of the university humanities building in the snow for the English department Instagram, which is part of my internship responsibilities.Because it’s been so cold, I’ve been taking advantage of the opportunity to wear lots of stripey knee socks. I asked Santa to bring me more!
- My creative writing program is doing “secret buddies” for the end of the semester and holiday season. I got some teas in a cute coin purse, a pen, and a journal; my buddy got some dark chocolate, an inspiration magnet, and a box of dirty chai.
- I posted a new recipe for low-FODMAP ham and broccoli twice-baked potatoes to the blog on Wednesday, including a rant about people who think that potatoes aren’t “nutritious.”
- Plus, I posted something a little different for me: a list of holiday songs for folk music fans!
- I finished grading my students’ project 3, the major course project, which is accomplishment. Those things take me about 45 minutes a pop on average (some as much as an hour), and I’ve got 35 students. Forgive me if I’m not secretly a tiny bit glad that a couple of them never turned their papers in.
- Oh, and I guess I also finished my major course project for my literary translation class and turned it in, plus presented it to the class on Wednesday. Almost forgot about that in the craziness that has been this week.
- Plus, you know…the usual. Taught my usual three lessons, went to spin class (just one this week, because of the injury), went to workshop, did laundry, made food, went to the grocery store, and all that jazz.
Here’s hoping that all my lovely readers have a good week…and stay injury-free!
Have you ever gotten yourself injured doing something you should have known better?