|Amanda’s impersonation of a post-op Sissy Hankshaw-Gitche.|
No, that’s not a total price of gourmet ingredients, nor is it a prize amount won for my amazing culinary skills. It’s what we expect my doctor bill to be. (It’s the cost of carelessness, you could say).
I was making a pumpkin pie Tuesday, following my usual route of roasting and puréeing a pumpkin as the first step. I’m not sure why, but I decided to vent the first half I had gutted by stabbing the scraped shell from the outside in instead of the much safer inside out. My homegrown heirloom pumpkin was well seasoned and put up quite a bit of a fight. Rather than sliding evenly through, the massive (and recently sharpened) knife I was using broke suddenly through the shell and, thanks to the extra effort I was exerting to break through, the big knife sank to the hilt. In the process, it also slashed through the pad of my left thumb, making a wide, jaggedy smiley-face the width of my thumb – narrowly missing the nail on both sides.
All that CERT training flew out the window at the sight of spurting blood, and I pretty much panicked for the first few minutes. I reached for my phone before I reached for the paper towels; I started to dial Matt before I called my doctor; I never ran water over the cut to remove the pumpkin guts; I couldn’t find my bag of ice cubes in the freezer so I used a bag of rhubarb. Having watched the knife slide through my yielding flesh in slow-motion, I was convinced that it had very nearly touched bone and that I was going to bleed a pint and need stitches. A few minutes later, oven still set to 375ºF, blood still all over the kitchen, and the phone book lying open in the middle of the floor, I was on my way to the doctor (driving one-handed with the other fist wrapped in a wad of paper towels and a dripping gallon-size plastic bag). Yes, I did find ice before I left – I didn’t show up at the doctor’s office with my maimed digit wrapped in rhubarb.
It was determined that I “probably” didn’t need stitches – which, by the time I got into an exam room half an hour later I was in no mood for – and my holey thumb was cleaned, taped shut with
Steri-StripsTM, and bandaged up to mammoth size with layers of knit tubing to cushion it against bumps. I also got that tetanus shot I forgot to ask about at my physical last month. No one at the doctor’s office could understand how I cut myself making a pumpkin pie. “Did you cut yourself on the can?” I had to explain that I was making the pie from an actual pumpkin.
Matt took the pie and a tub of real whipped cream (with a touch of vanilla) to work yesterday. I was on tenterhooks waiting to hear how it went over. Consensus was that it was “OK”.