Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't Drop Your Drawers!

It all happened yesterday while I was making lunch. I had a brief break between my classes so I hurried home and pulled down my box of macaroni & cheese from the cupboard and started boiling a pot of water on the stovetop. I was intently reading a Harvard Business case for one of my classes and was periodically checking the macaroni noodles to make sure they didn't boil over or succumb to sogginess. When al dente arrived, I removed the noodles from the stove and strained out all the water. I then went to open up the drawer next to the stove to retrieve a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure the milk.

This is where things got nasty. It all happened in one motion. I pulled open the drawer and it came out very fast and tipped downward. I realized the drawer wasn't connected to the drawer track, so there was nothing to prevent it from falling onto the ground. Thinking that the drawer was going to fall onto the ground, I instinctively thrust my left hand down toward the ground to catch the dropping drawer and its contents before they spilled to the ground. The drawer, however, never quite came out far enough to fall to the ground–it barely stayed in the drawer socket. My hand grazed the abnormally sharp corner of the stationary drawer and the corner gouged a deep new lifeline into my palm.

As I inspected my hand, I was appalmed to see skin flapped mountains overhanging an epidermal valley that was beginning to fill with a river of blood.

Against my better judgment, I hurried and finished making my lunch, turned off the stove, and then went to care for my wound. I went into the bathroom and took some tiny scissors and started to cut the skin flaps with my right hand (keep in mind I'm left-handed). I realized that I could never be a doctor. A couple of snips into my self-surgery I started to feel extremely light-headed. I thought I was about to faint.

I barely made it to my bed and then laid down for a few minutes to try to recover. Then I went back and finished excising excess skin. I started feeling sick again, but made it through.

It was a traumatic experience for me at the time, but it all worked out in the end. My hand is good to go and is healing quickly. Actually, suspiciously quickly. "Doctor, what is more severe, a hand injury or a head injury?"


Danielle Love said...

Interesting intro... it happened to me too. Yesterday I took a tire iron and sledged it against bathroom tile; slivers of kilned clay sliced the air. One tiny piece pierced a vein in my right foot. I continued to break into the shower wall hoping to salvage a tub. My eyes graced the floor discovering an odd spill of red. Was it candy, I wondered. No, it looks like blood-was it? I punched the wall again. My yellow Ked's slipped across the linoleum. I had lost a unit or more. I squatted on the floor then leaned back. The blood flowed in pulse. I remembered the Omega 3 and Aspirin. An image of my health teacher crossed my mind. Adhere pressure, I heard her say. Elevate and adhere pressure. I wadded a handful of toilet paper and pressed it against my foot holding tight. In seconds my skin was clear and dry. My blood clotted. My friends laughed, my kids inspected the wound and wondered. I wondered too.

Bobby said...

That is so crazy! I'm glad you're okay! I'm usually a pretty calm person, but I tend to freak out a little bit when I see a lot of blood.

Once I was at a burrito restaurant and the lady standing in front of me in line had a seizure. She collapsed and smacked the back of her head on a big wooden corral that was put in place to guide traffic through the queue. Blood started to seep from the back of her head and puddled around her neck.

As we waited for paramedics, I was surprised at the apathy of onlookers in line behind us that said, "So, can we order our food or what?"

After the incident was cleared up I ordered my food--pork burrito, hold the red enchilada sauce.

Joseph said...

Bob, I had an incident similar to this at BYU. Not sure if I told you about it, but I was trying to open a can of green beans (...what? they're good!) and our can opener broke halfway through. "I bet I can pry it open from here with a knife" I thought to myself. So I tried it. I placed the tip of the knife under the metal lip and pressed inward. Instead of prying the lid up, it popped off the can and plunged straight into the meaty tender web of my palm between my thumb and forefinger. Imagine my surprise! It hurt like a mother. But I came out stronger. And now I think now I know what life would be like in a gang.