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The Week From Hell August 14, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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Last week was straight from the Devil.  Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just don’t want to get out of bed because you just know that something awful is going to happen to you?  If you haven’t, then you’re obviously living better than I am.

The week started out with my truck in the shop.  My starter had begun to go out, and rather than risk not being able to start my vehicle in some random parking lot, John and I decided to just take it in.  So, not only was I dependent on John/The Red Bus, I was also scrambling to write a poetry paper.  Now, this might not sound like much to you, but when all you do for a living is mess with prose, writing five pages about one poem is excruciatingly painful.  Every paragraph was like an exercise in pulling teeth, and by the time the paper was done 12 straight hours after I’d started it, I wanted to cry at a) its completion and b) its total suckiness.  That dovetailed right into finishing the grading for my advanced composition class, which took forever.  By Thursday morning I was running on little to no sleep, and I was practically dragging myself from place to place.

Instead of taking it easy and being extra careful, I decided it would be an excellent idea to make my lunch right after getting out of bed.  Now, I’m not particularly grumpy in the morning–unlike a particular Lindsey I know–but I am slow.  Ergo, I should have forgone the large bread knife, but I didn’t.  The result?  Slicing the tip of my thumb off in the process of halving a hogie roll.

The minute I sliced my finger I knew it was bad, sort of in the instinctual way you know something is too high to safely jump off of.  I had already begun to drip blood all over the floor, so I called John in from the bedroom.  He ran in with his face half-shaved, which made me giggle, and then together we proceeded to try and get the bleeding to stop.  At that point I was shaking and a little nauseous and wasn’t able to apply enough pressure to the fingertip to even begin to help clotting, so John had to hold my hand above my head and squeeze for me.  Let me tell you–it was painful.  There was one point where I actually cried a little, and I couldn’t stop shaking long enough to really get myself in order.  After twenty minutes the bleeding still hadn’t stopped; it was at that point that we both decided that I needed to go to the doctor.  We packed enough gauze into the wound to staunch the bleeding, and I rode the bus to the heath center.

When I got there, I was sent back to the RN on duty, Rhonda.  She seemed nice enough, and I figured that she’d just be able to fix me right up.  My thumb was throbbing but not hurting at that point, so I was feeling a lot more confident in my ability to get in and get out before I had to teach my class at 11:00.  When I explained what happened, Rhonda took the gauze off and the bleeding started just as strongly as before.  She and I spent 15 painful minutes trying to staunch the bleeding, wherein she explained to me that the cut hurt so badly because I’d managed to expose all of the nerve endings.  Lovely thought.

She explained to me that since I was a “bleeder,” she was going to have to cauterize the wound.

“You have two options,” she said.  “You can get a numbing shot of Lanacane in your thumb, but its going to hurt pretty badly.  I’ll have to give you two of them: one in the cut itself and one in the joint.  The other option is to just cauterize it, which will sting a little.”  Keep in mind that she said that it would only “sting a little.”  That is frickin’ verbatim right there.  So of course, I agree to the latter.  Heck, what’s a little stinging compared to having people touch all over my exposed nerve endings for twenty minutes.

What Rhonda didn’t tell me is that it was going to sting SO MUCH that I would almost pass out TWICE.  It felt like she had poured liquid metal straight on the tip of my finger, and the pain shot all the way up my arm and into my jaw.  The whole process probably took two minutes, but it was two minutes of the worst pain I’d ever felt in my whole entire life (and that’s saying a lot, especially if you’ve seen that nasty scar on my right knee or felt the chipped bone in my right shin).  Even after she’d cauterized the stupid thing, it kept bleeding a little, which she was a little concerned about but was fairly sure would clot on its own.  By the time she came to dress my thumb, it was shaking so badly that I had to hold it with my good hand in order to keep it still.  Even the tetanus shot she gave me afterwards didn’t hurt because my whole arm was aching.

This is what I ended up with:

To add insult to injury, I had to then go teach class.  If you want to see what my thumb looks like now, you can visit a special, carnage-filled flickr set.

I think we can all agree that Thursday was rough.  You would think I would be okay at that point, but noooo.  John lets me use the Vibe to get to work on Friday so I won’t have to stay on campus until late afternoon.  On the way home, one of the tires goes flat.  Of course, with my bum thumb, I’m able to do everything but lift the spare tire up and hold it in place while I screw the bolts back on.  I have to call my friend, Brad, to come and help me with the tire-changing, and then when I take the tire to a shop to get patched, they can’t to it (admittedly, I knew they wouldn’t be able to, but I thought I’d try anyway).  So, of course, I spend my afternoon looking for a place that carries John’s tires, then wait to get the tire replaced.  Ugh.

I’m telling you!  Week. From. Hell.