Well, I took a trip to the emergency room on Wednesday. I would have written about it sooner except I was a little worried about bleeding on the keyboard.
It all started with an avocado. I had merely wanted to slice it open and spread it on some toast for lunch. With salt. But, foolishly, I held the avocado while slicing it and ended up slicing my finger as well. The girls heard my gasp and knew something was up.
“What’s wrong, Mama?”
“Oh, dear, I seem to have cut my finger pretty badly.”
“Oh. I thought the avocado was spoiled.”
(The avocado was, in fact, overly ripe and beyond eating. I didn’t get my toast, but trying to stop my finger from bleeding all over the food was sort of killing my appetite anyway.)
Actually, the girls were champs through the whole thing. We sat down to lunch and ate while I applied direct pressure to my finger. I figured if all that hard work didn’t stop the bleeding in 30 minutes, we should go to the emergency room. It didn’t hurt very badly, but the bleeding was persistent, and I felt that I would appreciate some professional advice on the matter.
So, an hour later we arrived at the Swedish Covenant Hospital Emergency Room. Rosie and I had been there several years ago, and I directed the children to the cool fish tank I remembered from the waiting room. They hardly had time to look at it, though, as we were ushered in immediately, due to the excellent new InQuicker system they have at Swedish that essentially allows you to make an appointment at the ER for non-life-threatening problems. Also, it was really, really not busy there. Definitely a good time to visit the ER.
It turned out that, although my cut was bleeding copiously, it was a superficial wound that would not require stitches. (Yay!) “Fingers bleed a lot,” said the attending physician. Later, they told me that I had sliced my finger in a place where a bundle of tiny veins lived, so no wonder it was bleeding a lot. So what did they decide to do? They decided to superglue my finger. Cool!
I had heard that superglue was originally formulated to help with battle-wounds, and that this is why it sticks so completely to skin. They used a special, sterile superglue (so don’t try this at home) and globbed a whole bunch on there. The bleeding stopped. Awesome.
I really expected to be scolded at least once by one of the doctors. “Don’t you know that you should never hold something while you are cutting it?” But I was relieved that no one did. I was already berating myself enough. Lucy and Rosie have plans to post a sign in the kitchen: “Don’t hold the avocado while you are cutting it!” One doctor even said, “Everyone cuts themselves while cooking. If you never cut yourself, you don’t cook.” I found that strangely comforting.
The other strange phenomenon about the ER trip was how extremely pleasant it was. The atmosphere was very relaxed and peaceful. Everyone was so kind and gracious. Lucy and Rosie and I were able to be together, fully present in the moment. (What a homeschooling lesson, right?) We even had a few minutes to read our out-loud book while waiting for my discharge papers, and some of the nurses joked about knocking off their duties so they could listen in. You would think that a distressing thing like a trip to the emergency room would be a low point in one’s day, but it turned out to be my consolation .
I’m really grateful that my injury wasn’t more serious, and that I was able to get such immediate and careful medical attention. And I’m glad that Lucy and Rosie were so attentive and helpful through the process. As we say in our house, “We made a memory!”