A warning in advance: this may be too much information for some people. It is also long. Not sure why it is long, though.
For those of you who do not know, I had a little accident about ten days ago – eleven days to be precise. Previously, my oldest and I had gone apple picking. I had 37 pounds of apples in my house so when I saw a cinnamon apple chip recipe somewhere, I tried it. The first time, the chips were not only extremely delicious but there were no incidents. So, on a particular Wed, after a 5:45 am swim, a run to kick boxing and 8 am kick boxing, I decided to haul out the mandolin slicer and make some more apple chips. Truthfully, no one was home and I actually wanted to get some this time. I didn’t much chance to test taste the first batch.
I should have really thought through using something like a mandolin without anyone else at home. I had used it before and had no troubles so figured I was good. I started out slicing apples. The first indication that this was not going to go like the first time was that my apple slices were thicker. I did not know why at the time. I finally figured it out but that was part of the problem in the end. I looked down and had cut the heel of my hand. The cut was clean and not too deep. I washed my hand off and kept cutting. I know – a slightly more pragmatic person would have stopped right there. I didn’t have a full cookie sheet of apple slices yet. No stopping me.
Then, I sliced into two fingers. These did not stop bleeding as easily as the heel of my hand did. I washed my hand with soap and water. I could not tell if the cuts were deep or not. I wrapped my hand up in a dish towel, hoping the pressure would stop the bleeding. I used my left hand to put the cinnamon on the apple slices and put them in the oven. The bleeding had yet to stop so I wrapped the fingers in gauze and decided to jump in the shower. If I was going to need stitches, I had yet to shower from all my exercising so I should be slightly less smelly. I held my right hand – have I ever told you I am right handed? – above my head as I showered quickly. Still, the bleeding had not stopped.
I decided then and there that I was going to need at least a stitch or two. I did not have a car at home so I started calling friends I know that either do not work during the day or work retail and may have been home. I could call a cab but figured it would be easier if I got a ride to the walk-in. My friend Jen came through and picked me up for the just over four mile – yes, it is a route I have run in the past – trip to the walk-in. I had to spend a good part of the four mile trip convincing Jen she didn’t need to stay with me at the walk-in. She agreed finally if I promised to call if my daughter was not done working when I finished. She did not want me walking home from the walk in.
Well, let me tell you cold and flu season must be in full swing early this year. First, the walk-in was short-handed due to illness. Second, the walk-in was packed with sick people. This is one of my biggest reasons for not going to the doctor’s office in the winter/cold-flu season. I don’t like being around all those germs.
Second thing to tell you is that tetanus shots hurt. I could not come close to telling the walk-in doctor the last time I had a tetanus shot. Most likely, it was some time near the birth of my last child who is now 16. Anyway you look at it, I was due for a tetanus shot. My arm, over the course of the next few days, actually hurt more than my hand did at times.
Anyway, I need more than a stitch or two. I had two stitches in a knuckle on my middle/third finger. I had four stitches in the knuckle on my pinky/fifth finger. There is also a spot near the nail on my middle finger that had had the top layer of skin taken off by the mandolin that could not be stitched.
I am amazed at the things I use my pinky finger for in life. Typing became painful. I actually use all ten digits on my hands for typing. I was forced to hunt and peck with my right hand and that was a problem for me. Also, hitting the shift key or the enter key with my right hand pinky hurt. There was also the joy of not being able to get my right hand totally wet. You see, the stitches I had were the old kind that would have to be taken out after ten days. They were not to get wet – as best as possible.
The hand hurt for a while. The antibiotic I was given – just in case – was ugly in side effects. The bigger issue is all the things that I do with my right hand that I don’t realize. Did the injury stop me? Yes, in some ways. I did not run the half marathon I wanted to run last Sunday. I ran a 5K instead. I had to stop swimming mornings for ten days but am headed back to the pool tomorrow morning.
The moral of my story – Use the guard on your mandolin. See a doctor when necessary. Don’t let something small – a little pain or an injury – stop you from living life.