Parenting – Seriously, not for the squeamish.*

*In which I turn a small injury into a 666 word post.

My Thursday didn’t begin well. I was pissed at traffic, pissed at ridiculous 9am shopping crowds, and pissed at myself for seemingly not being able to contain anything in my grasp (I mean that in the literal coffee-spilling, key-dropping sense).

Considering the preceding events, I did what any sensible person would do and continued to work on the makeshift cardboard grocery store I was in the process of making for Devin. Yes, that does sound reasonable enough, doesn’t it?
Let’s run through the tools required for what I had panned to do –

  • Stanley knife (AKA utility knife AKA boxcutter)

Now let’s consider the fact that, while I’m not inherently clumsy, I do have a tendency to forget to be careful…

Oh dear.

Lesson One:

Lesson Two: Cut away, not towards.

Lesson Three: Keep body parts well away from the cutting path.

Lesson Four: Forget lessons one through three, you’re just going to do it anyway, aren’t you?

When I realised the blade had gone too far, my first thought was, “Holy crap, I’ve severed my thumb”. My second thought, as I glanced down and saw the cut before clamping my right hand over the top, was, “Ok, not that bad, but I think I just saw something that wasn’t skin and blood”. My following train of thought went something like, “Ok. What do I do? That probably needs stitches. I need help. I’ll get Jene. Wait, where’s Devin? Still in the sand pit, ok, bring him inside…” “Dev-!” “No, he’s fine there. I’ll get Jene. He is not going to handle this well. I’d better cover this with a tissue… All right, several tissues… All right, some paper towel…
Jene, to his credit, handled it quite well, just like he handled Devin’s birth. Though he’s somewhat, erm, adverse to medical maladies and general bodily things, he does seem to cope remarkably better when he’s actually faced with an urgent issue, and I have to say I’m glad. After trying a bandaid (haha!), a piece of kitchen cloth wound around my thumb and bound with tape provided a temporary solution – and I’m pretty sure Jene managed to avoid seeing the wound at all during his ministrations.

Throughout all of this, though, my number one worry was, what do I do now? Where do I go? Is this bad enough for hospital? Is it even bad enough for the medical centre? It was a prime example of my absurd anxiety – I was ten times more worried about where I’d have to go and who I’d have to speak to than I was about the deep gash in my hand.

Let’s cut this shorter – I went to the hospital, waited for a triage nurse to evaluate me (“Ah, Stanley knives – our bread and butter”), waited even longer for a doctor to become available, crossed and uncrossed my legs because I needed to pee, hoped that there wouldn’t be any serious emergencies, and spent about five minutes in a treatment room with a doctor who told me that it probably didn’t need stitches, thanks in part to the clean cut made by the sharp blade. He seemed amused when I told him what I’d been doing, and kept asking if I wanted to lie down because I was shaking. Then he closed the wound with some tape, and put a bandaid over the top.

Yes. I left the emergency room with a bandaid.

What, you can’t see it?

My one instruction was to keep it dry for five days – the doctor even gave me a handful of disposable gloves. But, uh, remember what I said about forgetting to be careful? I had both of my hands in a tub of water and laundry powder for ten minutes the following night before I realised what I was doing. Goodness me.

So that’s how a bad day actually felt a lot better after I almost cut off a thumb while making a toy for my child.