A few nights after Christmas I almost cut my hand off. I took an avocado from the fridge, and it seemed quite firm. I cut it in half, and the meaty part was still hard, almost to the point where I thought it was not ready to use, but I needed guac for the turkey enchiladas I had made to accompany my dad’s ridiculous turkey fried rice. (We were having a cook-off to see who could make the best dish out of left-over turkey. I was in a rush to make the guac because his rice was already done, and my dish had just gone in the oven. Nevermind.)
I then proceeded to take my large chef’s knife and stab the pit so I could pull it out, thinking it too would be rock-hard. Instead I sliced clean through the thing and into my middle finger, and the blood actually sprayed out. Blood is a lot redder and runnier in real life than it is in my head. Like it is really bright and alarming. This was showcased by the Jackson Pollock-style work that was now being displayed across my parent’s white cabinets.
I knew it really hurt even though I couldn’t feel it yet, and apparently I made a little scream noise. My mom’s reaction did not disappoint: she instantaneously whipped around from what she was doing and assessed the situation as being far worse than it was, and then began to reassure me over and over again –in a tone that did not scream confidence- that I wasn’t going to die and that my finger was still attached to my hand (both points being very soothing to me, obviously, as I am her child).
My dad casually started to clean things up, placing things in their appropriate disposal container (His thoughts: Is a bloody cloth garbage or compost? The bloody avocado can definitely go in the compost… unless I can just cut the bloody part off and save the rest… hmm). He then in his own maddeningly calm, analytic, engineer-y way started to ask me “is it your hand? Or your finger? Which finger do you think it is?” At this point my mom and I had already done a little dance around the kitchen while yelling at each other, and she had wrapped my hand in several dishcloths, and my limp body was looking for somewhere to sit down somewhere so I could throw up from a sitting position. I was sure I was going to vomit, and was very focused on that. I was pretty sure it was irrelevant where the damage had been done, the plain fact of the matter being that I had stabbed myself worse than anyone had ever stabbed, full stop, and we had better hit the road don’t you think?
So we drove to the fancy new emergency clinic in Parksville (weird that the retirement capitol of the province has never had it’s own ER, right?), my dad driving uncharacteristically fast and my mom sitting in the back seat with me, still holding my arm up.
The triage nurse of course wanted to see what had happened, and so she unwrapped the bloody towels and then proceeded to pull the ring off of my finger right over THE GAPING WOUND. Which actually turned out to be about an inch long.
Anyone who knows me knows I have had my fair share of disgusting health problems, ranging in degrees of disgustingness and painfulness. People actually say things to me such as “you take everything in stride!” and “you always have your chin up!” or whatever. Those are people who know me. The people that I live with, that I am related to, will tell you that I am not a stoic person. And I did not appreciate this lady taking my ring off.
Apparently walking into the ER with a hand covered in blood doesn’t buy you any special privileges these days, either, since they made me wait TWO HOURS to see the doctor (to be fair, it is Parksville, and there was only one “doctor” in the house).
In that time these things happened:
-My dad played on his ipad
-A guy I worked with (and by worked with, I mean like had worked with within the past ten days) was also in the waiting room and pretended like he didn’t know me
-a baby got a cast on her arm, was braver than me
-a lady who may or may not have come to emergency to see a doctor to address her mental health issues asked me how old my baby was (pointing to my hand that was wrapped up in a bloody towel and still being held up in the air by my mom).
In the end, my “puncture wound” got glued back together by a very uppity man, I was given a tetanus shot and 8 days worth of antibiotics, and I still can’t feel the tip of the middle finger of my right hand. As soon as I cut my finger it had gone numb, and I told my parents this, and then the nurse, and then the doctor. I continued to tell everyone I met in the following days, because the feeling never came back and it was gross. I thought it was dying. My mom reassured me 495 times, saying “it will come back, don’t worry, the feeling will come back…ALEX IT WILL COME BACK.”
Until one day when we were shopping for makeup in Superstore and my finger was really sore, almost like I had burnt it. I told my mom I thought it was the nerves trying to regrow or start up again or something, and she said “oh good! I didn’t think the nerve would actually heal.” and then she laughed and laughed and put q-tips in her basket.