Last night I did a stupid thing. I was making dinner, it was getting late, and I was in a hurry and tried cutting a big tough radish with a little paring knife. The knife slipped and sliced into my left thumb. Stuart had just walked in the door and didn't realize what I'd done. "Should I grab you a beer?" he asked as I ran to the bathroom to clean up and find a bandaid and I said no, I think I'll go to urgent care instead for some stitches.
***WARNING: CONTENT THAT FOLLOWS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. IF YOU HAVE A TENDENCY TOWARDS SQUEAMISHNESS, SKIP RIGHT ON AHEAD. OR AT LEAST SIT DOWN.***
I wasn't sure if the cut was bad enough to warrant stitches, but it was in a bad spot right there at the base of my thumb. I talked to a nurse on call who asked some specific, rather graphic questions. Describe the cut to me. How big is it? Um, about 1/2" long. Can you see the bone? Geez, no. Can you move your index finger? Wow, yes, it's not that bad. If you spread the skin apart, does it keep bleeding? Yes. If you spread your fingers apart does the cut reopen? Yup. I think you'd better come in. Can you get here by 7? Yes.
Off I went to the urgent care center, clutching a bloody rag, to get stitches for the first time in my life (not counting childbirth...but I'll spare you those details). After all the cleaning and rinsing, I was afraid I'd get all woozy when they gave me the shot, but I didn't. I'm not sure if the worst part was driving there in subzero temperatures with no mittens on (because of the bleeding) or the fact that the numbing shot was misplaced; I could feel nothing at the tip of my thumb but the first stitch hurt like the dickens. It was like having someone embroider into my skin. The second stitch was better. When it was all over, the nurse wrapped my thumb in a bandage and covered it with some elastic mesh to put pressure on it overnight. It felt big and awkward and I still had to drive home mitten-less.
***OK YOU CAN START READING AGAIN NOW***
I have a doctoral audition to accompany this weekend, and I was afraid I'd have to take a day off practicing, but after running a few scales this morning, I decided it would be fine to play the piano. My left thumb is a little stiff, and I can't reach more than an octave (normally I span a tenth), but I found I wasn't compensating too much. Certainly, this could have been worse.
I'll be careful next time I try and cut up a radish, though. That's for darn sure.