Hey, fellow earthlings~
I hope everyone is having a good week so far because I am not. Sunday night, I spent two hours in a Patient First getting stitches in my hand. If you don’t want to read about that, skip this post! I’d hate to gross you out 🙂
Before you go assuming things, no, I didn’t cut myself while chopping vegetables.
One of my fabulous, beautiful housemates spent the week of spring break at my house in Richmond, VA. She’s from Long Island, so I think she had a good time. Richmond is known for its tattoos and its food, and we did a little of the former and a lot of the latter, so I hope she got a good taste of my hometown!
We were on our way back to school (4-4.5 hour drive, ordinarily) and we stopped after about 3 hours in Leesburg, VA to visit with one of my housemate’s good friends. I’d never met her before, so I was a little apprehensive.
After a little bit of awkwardness that was completely my fault because I had napped in the car and was grumpy upon waking up, the friend and I actually hit it off. We bonded quickly over a mutual love for Which Wich (if you haven’t been, go) and Diet Coke.
This is a good opportunity for me to mention my very serious love for Diet Coke. Diet Coke was there for me when no one else was. (I’m only 70% kidding.)
Anyway. So housemate + friend + me are all standing in the friend’s driveway, saying goodbye after a fun-filled couple of hours, and we’re ready to leave, and then I manage to wedge my foot into the corner where the driveway meets the sidewalk. My foot stayed in place, my entire body twisted, and I fell in very slow motion to the ground.
For a stunned moment, no one said anything.
“Are you okay?” asked the friend.
Of two things I was acutely aware: first, my ankle hurt like a motherfucker. Second, my hand was stinging because I had skinned it.
“Yeah,” I said distractedly, raising my palm so I could get a good look at it. What I saw wasn’t a lack of skin, or scrape marks from the cement, but a cut in my palm. I thought that was odd.
I was wearing my mala, which is a string of prayer beads. I, personally, use them with Buddhist meditation. They’re kind of like a Buddhist/Hindu version of a rosary. This is what they look like:
They’re so innocent and unassuming. They’re made of sandalwood and I really like them because they perfectly wrap around my wrist four times without cutting off circulation or being too loose.
So I was wearing those on my left wrist, and I noticed that the elastic of one of those two little tails was kind of stuck in the cut, and I was like, “Ew, gross.”
But then I looked more closely, and I realized that the elastic was pulled taut. With growing dread, I tugged on the string and was rather shocked to see the cut in my hand open wider to reveal one of the wooden beads embedded fully and deeply in my palm.
Somehow, the force of my fall had punched a perfectly round wooden bead through my skin and into the muscle. Gross. So, naturally, despite my EMT training, I pulled it out. Blood welled up to fill the hole where it had been.
This entire assessment had taken about five seconds. My housemate’s friend was saying that we ought to go inside her house and clean out my hand, which I was only kind of hearing over the buzzing in my ears.
“Can you give me a second?” I asked. “My ankle really hurts.”
They just kind of kept staring at me, so I took a breath and got slowly to my feet. As soon as I was standing straight, a wave of nausea punched me hard in the gut.
“Can you walk?” asked the friend.
I forced a smile. “Yeah, I’ll be okay.” See, I broke my ankle when I was sixteen, so I had been initially kind of concerned that it had happened again. I was relieved at this point that I could stand at all.
We got to the threshold of her front door and were about to enter when I knew, very suddenly, that I was going to be sick.
“You guys go inside,” I said weakly. “Take [my housemate] with you.” She’s a sympathetic puker.
“We need to clean out your hand–”
“I need to throw up now,” I told her as pleasantly as I could, before staggering into the side of her yard and vomiting violently into the bushes. Looking back on it, I guess it wasn’t the pain so much as the squick of having to pull a foreign object out of my own hand. It’s weird, because I’m not usually squeamish, but I guess it’s different when it’s your own body part. Like, I’m fairly confident I could have extracted the bead from a random stranger with no issue, but seeing it coming out of my own flesh was really, really gross.
So they go in the house and close the door, and some random cat comes over and tries to keep me company while I’m puking, so I have to shove it out of the way. I’m also trying my best not to get vomit on my clothes because when this is all over I still have a two-hour car ride to look forward to.
After like two minutes, I think I’m done, so I kind of wipe my mouth on the back of my hand and stumble toward the front door, just in time for the friend to come out with a wet paper towel.
I’m now extremely re-aware that this is still the first time we have ever met.
So anyway, long story short, we tried to clean out the cut before deciding that a hole 1 centimeter deep in my palm is probably a job for the professionals to handle (despite my assurances that I am 911). We (my entourage included housemate, friend of housemate, and a service dog in training) went to Patient First, a woman flushed the wound with iodine and I cried a single, manly tear, and then they x-rayed my hand to make sure there wasn’t still a bead inside.
It’s Tuesday and no one has actually talked to me about these x-rays, so I’m assuming that all was well.
Then the doctor came in after a few minutes and I told her what happened.
“So you pulled the bead out of your own hand?” she asked.
She made this face:
and then told me I needed stitches. That was kind of exciting because I’ve never had stitches before, but it was only exciting for like 2 minutes because then she got a needle full of Lidocaine ready.
She said, “This will be painful,” and then counted down from 3, and holy shit did it hurt. Like, I really respect her for straight-up telling me it was going to hurt, but I hadn’t expected it to hurt quite so badly.
The needle went into the meaty, veiny part of my wrist, which was pretty sensitive, and if that wasn’t enough, actually pushing the medicine in really hurt, too. I cried then too, and the tears were absolutely not manly.
She readjusted the needle (while it was inside me) and pushed some more, and then my torture was over and she left me lying there for about 45 minutes. By the time she came back, the Lidocaine had partially worn off and she had to inject even more of it.
I’m a little bit ashamed to say that I cried the second time, too. I promise, it really hurt.
So then she did the stitches, and they hurt while she was doing them but honestly, they hurt so much less than the numbing had that I just gritted my teeth and let her do the damn thing.
When she was done, she wrapped up my hand in gauze and tape, gave me some antibiotics, and sent me on my way.
My poor housemate had to drive us back to her friend’s house and I was told in no uncertain terms to leave my ass in the car.
We didn’t get back to school until 11:00 pm on Sunday night.
Moral of the story: ????? I really don’t know what it would be, except don’t fall? I have very little use of my left hand right now, and I’m in near-constant pain. Also, like, she kind of stitched my palm with my hand in a weird position so if I stretch my fingers wrong, the stitches pull? So that’s super great and exciting.
Anyway, enough about me. I’m working on the third chapter of Marked, so keep an eye out. As always, stay lovely ❤