Have you ever noticed that you really don’t appreciate certain parts of your body until they are out of commission? That especially goes for thumbs.
A week ago, I was slicing some cabbage for dinner when my left thumb got in the way of a very sharp knife and the tip of my thumb was sliced off. It didn’t hurt that much, but it bled a lot. It kept bleeding, and butterfly bandages were not going to help. So I packed tissues and paper towels around it and went to an urgent care facility. After waiting for about an hour, the physician’s assistant came in. It was decided to cauterize the wound. He was very generous with the lidocaine (the injection REALLY hurt), and when the thumb was numb (love those words that rhyme) he proceeded to cauterize the blood vessels that had been cut. I decided to close my eyes for that procedure. Thankfully I couldn’t feel it, but I could sure smell the burning flesh. He had to turn the machine up all the way because I had sliced a bigger blood vessel than he had thought at first.
Then I had to wait about 10 minutes to make sure it was not going to start bleeding again. While we were waiting a nurse walked by and commented that something smelled like it was burning. “Yes,” I wanted to say, “it was me.” I soon got a large bandage on my thumb.
While picking up a prescription for antibiotics (to guard against infection), I also picked up quart-sized Ziploc bags and waterproof tape. I was supposed to keep my thumb dry for at least 24 hours. So, my husband helped me put a Ziploc bag over my hand and seal it at the bottom with the waterproof tape in order for me to take a shower. It was very interesting to say the least. In order to wear my cotton gloves at night when I goop up my hands, I had to cut the thumb out of the left glove.
The past week without my left thumb has been challenging. Try opening a Ziploc bag or a bag of chips without both thumbs. I haven’t been able to cook or wash dishes because my thumb is too big to put in a rubber glove. Washing my face, putting on earrings, and tying my shoes are also difficult without both thumbs. Let’s not even talk about pulling up and fastening my jeans. Buttons have been a struggle.
Oh, well. It is healing nicely, and I will soon have no excuse for not cooking, doing dishes, or cleaning the house. And the knife? It is safely stowed away in the back of a cabinet. I don’t want the grandkids to use that knife. Before it sliced me, it had cut my husband in two places. He was able to get by with butterfly bandages for a few days. No such luck for me.
Lesson for the week: take care of those thumbs. You need them more than you think.