I Really Should Not Be Trusted With Knives

I have now well and truly earned my blog title

At Christmas, we got ourselves a very fancy set of very sharp Japanese knives. I watched videos on how to properly use these very, very sharp knives, but apparently last night I forgot the importance of using a claw grip to hold the food that you are cutting to keep your fingers out of the way of the very, very sharp knife and managed to slice off the tip of my left pinky finger while chopping an onion.

And off I went to the emergency room because it turns out that if you chop off the tip of your finger, that sucker is not going to stop bleeding on its own. Scott is visiting his mom in Alberta right now but fortunately, my friend Amy who lives up the street from me was home and was able to drive me to the hospital1

Fortunately, it wasn’t too busy at the ER and I managed to get in and out in less than 2 hours. I thought I was going to need stitches but the doctor told me that she couldn’t stitch it up because it was too big of a gap to stitch together. In case you are squeamish I will spare you the gory details. But if you like gory details, I will describe them at the end. Anyway, the best the doctor could do was to wrap it up in such a way that it would stop the bleeding and protect it while it clotted. Over the next few weeks, it will heal over on its own. The doctor put a little foam pad on top which apparently contains some sort of substance that promotes clotting, then wrapped it in some non-stick plastic stuff, and then put two fairly tight condom-shaped fabric bandages on top.  I’m supposed to leave this on for at least 3 or 4 days, trying to keep it from getting wet, and after that, it should have a good scab on top, and then I will just keep bandaging it up with regular bandages and a bunch of Polysporin. Over time the skin will grow back from either side and meet in the middle and then I guess I’ll just have a slightly shorter left pinky finger. My paternal grandfather was famous for having cut off a few of his fingers – though for him it was with saws rather than kitchen knives –  and Scott cut off part of one of his fingers in a farm accident, so I guess this runs in the family.

Photo of my left hand with my pinky finger covered with a large bandage.

Now I just have a really achy finger and typing is going to be a real hassle for the next few weeks. In fact, I typed this whole blog posting using voice-to-text in Google Docs2 and then copied and pasted that here.

Incidentally, the onion that I was chopping when this misfortune happened was for a new to me recipe for 2023. it’s from this Island Eats cookbook that Cath gave me:

Photo of the cover of a cookbook called Island Eatsby Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari.

Since I wasn’t at the ER for too long, I went home and managed to finish cooking my Kung Pao Tofu Bowl; fortunately, I had finished all the cutting I needed to do. I think it turned out okay but honestly my finger was throbbing too much for me to really enjoy it. I’ll have to try making it again another time without using fingertip as part of the recipe.

Photo of a bowl of Kung Pao tofu, with bright green cilantro and some cashews on top.

Gory Details:  

When I went into the hospital, I was putting pressure on the wound with a bunch of paper towel; the triage nurse gave me some gauze to replace the paper towel. I basically couldn’t let up on the pressure without it bleeding profusely, so I held the pressure the entire time that I was in the various ER waiting areas. I didn’t really get a good look at it until I took the gauze off when the doctor was ready to bandage it up. I wish I’d had the wherewithal to take a photo of what it looked like because it was pretty crazy. Basically, instead of a rounded fingertip, the end of my finger was just a straight line. Here’s a very inexpert drawing:

finger

I could even see two little squirts of blood pumping out of my finger every time my heart beat.

And since you’re here for gory, here is a photo of what the gauze looked like by the time the doctor saw me:

A photo of a piece of gauze that is almost totally saturated in bright red blood

  1. As an added bonus Amy’s boyfriend is a nurse and is now my wound care consultant. []
  2. WHich was surprisingly accurate. I only had to make a few fixes. I guess voice-to-text technology has come a long way since the last time I tried using it. []

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