The Deepest Cut

Last weekend, I was supposed to do a live reading in another town. I get very stressed about things like this—not because of the reading, but because the venue was downtown with very little parking, and I have a lot of anxiety over parking. It’s always my first question: “Where will we park?” In fact, I will actively avoid doing things if the parking situation is unknown or sketchy. I know some people who are about to open a new store and my first reaction was “No one will ever go there. It’s right downtown and the parking is terrible.” By ‘no one’, I obviously meant me, because I know I’m the only weirdo who stresses about parking and most people are happy to just leave their cars literally anywhere:

Carefree Person 1: Oh my, we’re two miles from the venue. Stop the car. Right here.
Carefree Person 2: Excellent choice. I shall abandon the vehicle on this verge.
Carefree Person 1: It’s a lovely night for a trek to the concert and the weather continues charming. Well, it’s raining slightly, but no matter.
Carefree Person 2: Might we be late? Yes. Yet it matters not.

So anyway, I said to Ken, “We need to leave by 2:15 at the latest, so make sure you’re ready to go. I’m serious.” And Ken nodded and went back outside to ‘finish up the one thing he was doing’, which was using the table saw to make a small wooden box to house the transformer that runs our outdoor Christmas lights. I was preparing by silently reading and timing myself in the kitchen when he came back in, around a quarter to two. He looked weird.

Me: What’s wrong? Why are you cradling your hand…
Ken: I think I’ve really hurt myself.
Me (panic rising): What did you do?
Ken: I cut my finger. With the table saw.
Me: Let me see!…Oh god. We’re going to the hospital.
Ken (weakly): No, it’s okay. I’ll just tape it.
Me: You can’t tape THAT. You need stitches.

Then Kate came in:

Kate: What going on? Let me see. JESUS! Is that bone?
Ken: Can you stitch it up? You’re a vet tech.
Kate: NO! Go to the hospital.

In the meantime, I was calling to cancel my reading, and then calling the nearest Urgent Care to see if they did stitches, to which the nurse I spoke to cheerfully replied, “We sure do!” as if people almost dismembered themselves all the time. Which, in fact, people probably do, judging by the casual attitude when we arrived, Ken holding a wad of blood-soaked paper towels around his hand and me looking like I was about to faint, cry, or both. The nurse was like, “Go sit down in the waiting area, and someone will bring you some gauze.”

After about an hour, we finally saw the doctor (which was actually pretty quick, although I think we maybe got pushed to the head of the line due to ALL THE BLOOD), and his immediate and unsurprising reaction was, “Wow, that needs stitches. But it doesn’t look like you severed the ligament, which is a good thing, or you would have lost the use of the finger altogether.”

Ken: I hope you can fix it. It’s my favourite finger.
Me: It’s the one he uses for texting. The ONLY one. That’s why he texts so slowly. Will this heal quickly? Otherwise, I’ll never hear from him.

After he was all stitched up, we came home. Did we have a conversation that started with “How many times have I TOLD you to wait until the blade stops” and ended with “I love you and I’m so happy it wasn’t worse”? Of course. At any rate, I can’t show you the picture of his finger after it was stitched up because it looks pretty gross, but here’s a picture of a very cool wooden hand that he made once I’d given him his tools back.

60 thoughts on “The Deepest Cut

  1. I once cut my thumb knuckle doing DIY – it wasn’t very deep, didn’t hurt much and I wasn’t particularly bothered about it, but the constant oozing of blood was annoying & meant I had to stop working to get it patched up. While my wife was getting a plaster & I was rinsing my thumb under the cold tap my subconscious autopilot finally noticed that “I was losing blood”, freaked out & decided to turn off my blood pressure to save my precious vein juice. Unfortunately, I had no idea this was about to happen (subconscious not sending any message at all to conscious self) and I was standing up, requiring blood to be pumped up to my brain. The next thing I know I’m on my arse with my back against the kitchen cupboards & my wife is saying “oh, hang on, he’s coming round, you can cancel the ambulance”.

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  2. The worst cut I ever got was from a crock pot. Not the crock pot itself, but the box it came in. I was helping the lady who worked that area at the time (now it’s my area) put a bunch of the overstock appliances on the overhead shelf and when I set that one down, a razor sharp edge on the box slid across the top of my left thumb. I get cardboard cuts from boxes all the time, but just from the immediate pain I knew this one was gonna be bad. I practically jumped off the ladder and ran back to the break room to take care of it. It probably wasn’t quite as bloody as Ken’s, but I went through a lot of red soaked paper towels… and it took about a month for that cut to completely heal!

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  3. Well I glad that Ken’s finger and Ken are okay. But one thing I will say, men will NEVER listen to reason if it comes from women. Seriously my dad was like that, all my boys are like that…..sigh. As for the parking anxiety, well that’s a unique trait that you posses. I don’t think I know of anyone who stresses about parking like you do my friend, lol.

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  4. Hey, I’m back (remember me)? 😉

    As usual, your post has again brought up a lot of ideas in my mind, so here again are my thoughts. Your post has again shown your propensity for melding two completely unrelated topics into one post. In this case, you have managed to meld the difficulties of parking with soft tissue injuries.

    Let’s start with parking, which reminds me of being a little girl in New York City. At the time (and I’m reasonably certain it hasn’t changed), my father would have to allocate time to move the family car to a different location a few times a week to allow for street cleaning. Of course, it was New York City, so although the cleaning is necessary and scheduled, the street didn’t stay clean for very long afterwards.

    Whenever I visit New York City, my friends think I’m silly to arrive via train. In my defense, when was the last time they took their own car to New York City? I have. Many times. Finding a parking space anywhere in New York City is the same as trying to mine for unobtanium.

    In the words of Monty Python… “And now for something completely different.”

    In my younger days, I was reckless and wild, and arguably careless. I have scars all over my hands, along with some scar tissue from burns on my forearms, which came from my work as a firefighter.

    One of the worst cuts came from cutting potatoes with a sharp knife. I sliced through a potato, and unfortunately the knife wasn’t stopping, and it sliced right through my left index finger, right to the bone. Instead of going to the hospital, I wrapped my finger in gauze and instructed my girlfriend at the time to fetch my trauma bag from work.

    I was able to stop the bleeding, numb the wound, and finally treat the injury at home using my opposite hand. None of this is recommended, of course. Ideally, unless you have a ton of medical training and decades of experience, your best bet is to go to the hospital. You and Kate were right, by the way. I’m glad that Ken is okay, and that everything has worked out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Parking in New York?! And I thought Toronto was bad! Ken also had to have a tetanus shot and a week of antibiotics so I’m glad he didn’t try to take care of it himself 😊 We’re lucky that there’s a good small Urgent Care nearby so we didn’t have to trek to a big hospital!

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  5. Only the best woodworkers have missing fingers. They’re the ones pushing boundaries. Of course the lazy, careless ones also wave stubby farewells. These though, years after they’ve abandoned the practice, having found they lack the passion.

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  6. For MS reasons, my first thought before doing anything is, “Will I have access to a bathroom?”. I haven’t worried about parking for several years because I have needed and used a handicap placard for that long, but I’m sure I would have anxiety over that as well. Sorry to hear about Ken’s finger, I hope it heals quickly! Did he ever finish the box to house the transformer? Love the hand! It looks like the blocks are just stacked atm, but I would bet someone would buy it as a figurine, if he attaches it. I would love to see the ad you could come up with for “an extra hand”?!

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  7. I stress about parking too, Suzanne, so I totally get it. I’m glad Ken obliged you, but did he have to go to that extreme to get you out of the reading? My mom cut off the ends of two fingers with a table saw, my husband chain-sawed his knee, and my uncle blew off three fingers with his canon on the 4th of July. I can relate to your situation. 😀

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  8. Well that took a turn. Here I was nodding along with your parking concerns while also remembering the number of times my own personal birthday dinners have either been cut short or overshadowed by my wife’s concerns about the places I’ve picked having terrible parking. But all that went out the window when I read about Ken’s finger. I’m not concerned about the texting (although he might be) but he’s clearly a handy guy and I’d hate to think of him losing any finger, much less his favorite one.
    I’m just glad you didn’t have any trouble parking at the hospital. The one we go to the most has a valet service and it just adds to my concern that, medical issues aside, we have to let some stranger take our car away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your wife worries about parking too?! I’m so glad I’m not the only one 😊 The hospital parking was easy—handy $3 lot so I drove to the door, yelled at him to hurry so he could beat the old couple coming along to the door, and then parked. It might seem mercenary but they were walking in on their own steam and neither of them were bleeding!

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  9. That’s a great wooden hand but I think it would lack sufficient articulation for any operation more complex than, say, slapping one’s self upside the head. But come to think of it, don’t even do that. Because wood. Better to hang onto the real hand.
    Seriously, though, I once had a job using a bandsaw and it was fatiguing having to constantly and without letup for even the tiniest moment maintain awareness of where the blade was in relation to my hands. But I did it. When I went home after my last day there, I did in fact say to myself, I did it. I didn’t cut something off.
    In an unrelated remark, every time I comment on your posts I feel like I have to be erudite and funny, but I fall short every time. Anyway, thanks. I enjoy your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh yeah, before I had to look away, I am an excellent driver, having grown up in Florida–schooled in the best defensive driving environment in the world–but I hate parking. Like I will park at the absolute far end of the parking lot, and not just to get exercise. And parallel parking? Forget it! I don’t know why I have such a resistance to it. I mean, I know I could do it, no problem, but I’m still like “It’s too stressful and annoying and I’d rather not” After reading this, I know you know! Ha!

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  11. Weirdo #2 here (parking downtown in a sketchy area)…which I have to do today (ENT appointment). At least I know where the parking garage is. Typically, I do a test drive the day before with hubby driving. Hope Ken’s hand heals quickly! Keep chuckling that his first thought was to tape it!

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  12. I completely understand your fear of parking. I am actually the same way. I can drive anywhere, but if the parking situation is awful, then I’ll turn tail and go back home.

    As for the cut, I know my husband’s grandfather is missing part of a finger due to an accident with a table saw. Every time my husband uses one, he has to wear all of his gear. I can’t tolerate blood and will pass out, so if he cuts himself, he’s on his own!

    Thank you for sharing this post. I found it very entertaining (even though it sounds like a stressful situation). I really enjoy your style of writing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I worked at a deli as a kid and had an extremely close call with the slicer, lancing off the very tip of my index finger. There was no permanent damage, thank God, but all the customers said the coleslaw was extra-crispy that day!

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