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My little accident

August 8, 2009

I think I’m finally healed enough to blog about this. There are some mildly graphic references to the red stuff that flows through one’s veins below, so if you find that sort of thing bothersome you might want to read about something else…

Before I start with the story, I want to make a disclaimer. We had been to the gym that afternoon, so I wasn’t exactly looking my best in the picture right there. Normally I look better for my mild medical mishaps.

10 days ago, Kristine and I were preparing a dinner to take to friends of ours who just had a new addition to their family (um, a baby, in case that wasn’t clear). The menu was dry rubbed roast pork tenderloin, garlic mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli amandine, and chocolate chip cookies (because who doesn’t love CC cookies?). This was a Weds, and we were making our delivery on Thursday, so we were just prepping.

We got the loin rubbed down and in the fridge and I was cutting up the sweet potatoes. You know how hard and fibrous those things can be, right? Well, although I was being very focused on the task at hand, the just-sharpened knife slipped.

I was suddenly bleeding – more than I thought was justifiable. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to stick my finger in a glass of cool water that I had recently been drinking (sometimes under stress, we do odd things). It looked like fruit punch gatorade in less than two seconds.

I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop to see how bad things actually were, but I was under the impression that I had cut myself. You know, like a long narrow trench of suffering. At some point, though, we realized that I had actually cut off a piece of the pad of my finger. This was confirmed when we found the piece of my fingertip. Gross? Yes, very. It was a roundish piece about 3/8″ in diameter – still stuck to the knife. This was the point where Kristine took control.

Kristine in control is usually a good thing, but she was a little freaked. I was kinda laughing, which didn’t help things all that much.

The bleeding just wouldn’t stop. I eventually gave in at about 9:00pm (about 30 mins after the unfortunate incident). We headed to the Urgent Care at UMC, which turned out to be a bad choice since they no longer have an urgent care. I really didn’t want to pay the ER rates, so we headed off in search of an urgent care.

We were totally thwarted. We even had friends Brandon & Stacey looking online for evening urgent care centers while we drove half-heartedly towards St. Mary’s hospital. Even with all of S&B’s efforts, we ended up in the ER there. Who knew that there were no evening urgent care centers in a town of this size??

Our experience at St. Mary’s was great. The people were incredibly friendly and we were taken care of quickly. We were put on their FastTrack, which meant that we’d see a PA instead of an MD. I was fine with that. I was still bleeding through everything they gave me, but didn’t really think I was going to bleed out or that my very existence was in danger.

I think the kicker of the whole thing was when the PA came in, looked at it for maybe 5 seconds, and says, “I could *pause* put a band-aid on there if you want.”. A band-aid. I had those at home. Nonetheless, I requested said band-aid.

The nurse came in a few minutes later with something called gel-foam that she used to actually make the bleeding stop (wonders never cease!), then wrapped it up in gauze (you can see her handiwork above). She then gave me the requisite tetanus shot (it had been 11 years, in my estimation). We were out the door after a total of 90 minutes there.

The big remaining question: how much did that band-aid cost? I haven’t received the bill yet, but I’ll update when it comes in.

So what are the lessons learned?

  • If you’re going to cut off a small piece of your body, do it during normal business hours.
  • Band-aids can work wonders.
  • St. Mary’s can efficiently process patients.
  • Sweet potatoes are evil.

And I’ll leave you with that.

Oh, wait, one more funny thing: we took the small piece of my finger with us (wrapped and on-ice) in case they wanted to sew it back on. The PA: “It’ll just grow back.”. Silly us.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. Karyn Zoldan permalink
    August 8, 2009 4:40 pm

    Ouch.I sliced off part of a finger about 20 years ago when I wasn't paying attention while using the Cuisinart. I was making coleslaw for a party which I never went to because blood infiltrated the coleslaw and I was on pain pills. It seems medicine is more modern than it was 20 years ago. And yes, it does grow back but it might be more sensitive now.

  2. Kevin permalink
    August 8, 2009 8:00 pm

    Hi Karyn,I'm hearing from a few people that this is a pretty standard injury. "Battle Scars" is a term that's come up a couple of times.It's reassuring to hear that I'm not the only person to do this, and that it'll be back to (more-or-less) normal at some point!Kevin (TFD)

  3. Chris permalink
    August 8, 2009 10:01 pm

    I don't like chocolate chip cookies…Chris Davis

  4. Kevin permalink
    August 8, 2009 10:26 pm

    Chris,Thanks for pointing out the problem with sweeping generalities!Kevin

  5. Chris permalink
    August 14, 2009 9:21 pm

    Lol… any time… I mean, some of us do have food allergiesChris

  6. Boltgirl permalink
    August 22, 2009 4:56 pm

    Tucson used to have a few urgent care places that were actually open later than, say, 9 at night, but now you do have to be very careful to schedule your mid-range medical issues for daylight hours. It's fabulous, really.

  7. Kevin permalink
    August 24, 2009 4:22 am

    Hello, Boltgirl.Fabulous, indeed. This town used to have an urgent care center on every corner. Now, on the evening that I need them the most there are none to be found. Scattered to the winds, they are.I think that the next time I accidentally lop off a small piece of myself I'll try to make sure it's during the light of day. I hope you're able to do the same!Kevin (TFD)

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