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Treating Cuts With Care

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Many years ago, I was a young, single girl living alone in a small but comfortable apartment. I was just cleaning up from the dinner that I had made for myself, a new chicken recipe.

I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the knife that I had used to cut the raw chicken with. I vigorously scrubbed the knife with a handled scrub brush. I moved it up and down the blade, up and down quickly and carelessly until on one of the down strokes, I stabbed the knife straight into the pointer finger on my right hand.

I don’t remember the pain being immediate but the blood came pouring out. I held my hand under the running water of the faucet in order to see into the cut. The water hitting my skin washed away the blood so quickly from the cut that I could see into it but the blood continued to splash onto the base of the sink.

I started to feel sick. My knees began to shake. I have never had a strong stomach for the sight of blood. My legs buckled and I passed out in the small kitchen of my apartment.

When I came to, I forgot where I was. Then I saw the blood and became aware of the pain in my finger. I grabbed a clean kitchen towel from a nearby drawer, wrapped it tightly around my hand, and crawled to my bedroom. I stayed on the floor, leaning against my bed, and cried as I decided what I should do next.

I did what I always did when I found myself needing guidance. I reached over to my phone and called my mom.

She lived in another state, she couldn’t come right over. Still, I felt relief just hearing her voice. When she picked up the phone and I said hello, she picked up on the stuffiness of my voice from the crying and said, “Oh honey, you have a terrible cold.”

“Hey Mom, guess what? I cut my finger. Then I passed out. Now I have it wrapped and I am trying to get it to stop bleeding.”

She began to ask me questions and finally said, “Do you think you need stitches? Can you see the bone?” Then I was overwhelmed by nausea and the feeling of lightheadedness again.

“Mom, I have to go. It’s making me sick to think about. I’m going to go to bed. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

I pulled myself together.

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