So, to set this up, my commute is about twenty-something miles away, and I drove home in rainy blechiness. I call my husband to assure him that I'm home in one piece, start to put away some dishes that were in the drainboard, and did the most astonishingly awkward thing--
(TW--Blood and stuff.) I was reaching across the drainboard to pick up something completely not noticing the butchers' knife that was drying, pointy-bit up, in the utensils rack. For which reason I completely grazed my elbow over the top of a wicked sharp knife, parting about 3/4 inch of my elbow skin.
My immediate reaction was--this can't be bad. I felt hardly anything. A knife puncturing and slicing a bit of one's skin should feel terribly painful--I thought, but I reached for a paper towel off the rack and clamped it very tight out of instinct. I knew it was a bit deep. I saw blood blossoming on the towel, but the cut itself was on a bit of the elbow you can't really see clearly, so while I knew it was mildly ugly, I couldn't be sure how ugly. So began the pondering--do I go to the emergency room? The nearest hospital was about seven blocks away. It was a dark and rainy night. My cut wasn't the worst---
I slapped a large band-aid over the thing and considered for the two minutes it took for the bandage to become sodden and useless. Clamping more towels on myself, I held them to my arm propping my leg up on my bed, where I dumped the box of band-aids, and fished out another, fastening this one a bit more centrally over the cut, and loped to the garage, grabbing my purse, checking for my wallets and keys, and made my way to the Emergency room. I hated the traffic, the weather, the way my arm didn't quite have the pain I was expecting, that I might not even need stitches at all, that I wasn't sure exactly where the emergency room entrance was or whether I'd find parking, and the way the wind wanted to blow my umbrella about.
Somehow, I managed to negotiate traffic, entrance, and locate the actual registration desk, all of which I found by way of a heightened state of awareness to which I am prone in bad situations. I become Vixen, Warrior Princess. I shrug off my situation with jokes. I joshed with the registration nurse over how my signature had gone to pot as I signed myself in (left elbow wound--left-handed writer). And handed over my Drivers License and insurance card saying "This is proof I'm me, and this is proof I can afford to be me." I explained that I seldom even went to emergency rooms. I sat stoically as I waited to be triage-checked to determine how rapidly I would receive care. It wasn't long, it being a week-night. They found my blood-pressure was something like a billionty-over-shamillions, I was gently asked whether I ever considered self-harm, or if I resided with someone who might harm me, which I was advised were regular questions they were obliged to ask. I responded in the negative, and was advised that I could go back to wait for cleaning up and some stitches.
It wasn't as long as I expected. I've waited in emergency rooms with other people (boyfriends, my spouse) and yet it seems that when I've actually needed care (as I've done twice before, once for a cracked rib, and once for a broken nose) I've gotten quick service. Sometimes one waits forever. This was not at all bad.
I got called into a room, and had a nurse practitioner numb me up, give me a tetanus shot because I couldn't remember ever having one, and them give me what I think she said were vertical mattress sutures, because I was cut at exactly the bendy part of my elbow, where the skin got a lot of tension and movement, and needed more reinforcement. Lucky things: the knife was one of my husband's good meat-cutting knives, so it cut clean and gave her nice edges to work with. Also, my husband cleans his working utensils very well, so I knew I shouldn't fear germs. Also, my elbow having the sort of skin it does, there was enough "give" that my sutures don't feel tight at all, even though I was advised to use an Ace bandage and sling to keep my mobility limited so I don't pop a stitch.
(I have my Ace bandage and sling off right know, because--so hot and confining! I don't do anything exceptionally mobile with my arm, so--I dunno. They said I didn't need to wear it for driving home, which I didn't and really couldn't. And I won't for bathing. So....it's complicated. I'll wear my sling during the day whenever I don't need both arms except I use both all the time. And of course take the bandage and sling off at night so I am not uncomfortable or strangled.
I was checked again re: my blood pressure, and it had gone down to, "merely a little high over boring". So I was okay.
Anyway, I told the nurse practitioner and the other nurse there I wasn't sure if I could convincingly front that I was attacked by a shark. Maybe a baby one, they allowed. But I decided, since my small, three-sutures worth of clumsy self-cutting looks like a knife-cut, it was bar-fight all the way. So shhh! You didn't hear that I grazed my stupid elbow on a knife left pointy-bits up in the drainboard. I was totally knife-fighted by pirates. Angry pirates. And if I look bad, you should see those pirates. Stupid pirates. And I have a note for work to--type less hard and not lift a big thing. And I will not do those things if I can help them. So...ow. Am wounded. Needz : "Awws".
This is a weird thing for me--so I thought I would share it with my readers.