Friday, January 23, 2009

Counting My Blessings

This week didn't really go as planned. I had intended to teach, come home and take care of Bobby, visit with some friends, and get some stuff done. Little of that happened, but I'm trying to be positive about what did happen and remember that in spite of the way things did go, I've still got it pretty good.

I did get some stuff done. The most important of which was the first of Bobby's books. It turned out quite nice, I think, and now I'm hooked on them. I have a Paddington Bear book ready to be sewn together, and then I went by Quilt Tree yesterday and bought a panel for another book. There are a few others out there I'm thinking about, but I might wait and see. He seems to like the book and I'm pretty happy with it, so we'll see if this will help his paper-based books survive his teething times.

I also played with Bobby at his newest pastimes and he is becoming more and more inventive at ways to crawl around the table and chairs to make sure that we can't quite catch him until he is ready to be tickled.

But, I didn't get a chance to visit with everyone I was hoping too because I have lost a notebook in the shuffle of rooms from the last two weeks that has phone numbers I need, and because of a series of other events I haven't gotten much done really since Tuesday.

And I did teach every day that we had school this week. Actually, today was quite inspiring in one class when several students got up in front of the entire class to recite poems they had memorized. It was quite exciting that not only did they volunteer (okay there was a small amount of extra credit involved) but the rest of the class actually listened in an interested way and cheered them when they finished! It was one of those I'm-so-glad-I'm-a-teacher moments.

But, other than that not much went as planned. I did have a dentist appointment planned and I knew they were going to be drilling and filling and such, but I did not plan on the numbing stuff to not really work all that well on the top. Give the guy credit though he got the bottom really numb and those went fast and easy, but my back was sweaty by the time he was done with the top. I hate going to the dentist and I'm just worried now about passing that irrational phobia on to Bobby through my attitude. So that was not the most exciting moment.

But, counting my blessings, I still have all the teeth I'm supposed to, I finally found a floss that fits into the tight spaces between my teeth and doesn't shred and leave little bits straggling around for a couple of hours, and that appointment is over and with a little luck it'll be the last of its sort for a good long while. Also, we can afford to go to the dentist and keep all of our teeth and use as much anesthetic as they have in the office. And, I have family that is willing to watch Bobby while all of this is going on. Really, in the grand scheme, not too bad!

After that appointment I didn't do much but stay home in my pajamas. (Pajamas really are a true blessing, aren't they?) I made some cinnamon muffins so Bob and I would have something to eat the next morning, watched the season opening of "Lost" and went to bed. Another blessing from that night, Bobby only woke up once. He's been teething and having a really hard time sleeping since his surgery anyway, so that almost full night of sleep was amazing!

Then Thursday rolled around. My mouth was still a bit tender and sensitive, but much better than the evening before. I went about my life as usual. I picked up the book for the hat knitting class I'm taking and the fabric panel for the newest book I want to make Bobby. And one of the coolest people I know happened to be in the store as well! That was fortuitous.

Then that night after Bobby was in bed and I was finished with grading and planning I started to cut out some stuff. One of the greatest parts of having that craft room is that I can leave things ready to go and so when I have spare 30 minutes or so I can do little bits of projects. It's been very helpful. So I decided to cut out Bobby's new book and the batting for it. Then I figured I would cut out the fabric for my Saturday Sampler block while I was at it.

That craft room is a blessing, having the money to buy fabric for books is a blessing, having the chance to make an entire quilt top for close to $35 if I do all of my homework is a blessing, having a rotary cutter that slices through fabric (and anything else I want cut) with ease is also a blessing... ... most of the time.

I sliced open the index finger on my left hand last night. I was happily cutting out my fabric and congratulating myself on using my time so well and being so efficient and apparently I got a little too enthusiastic and the cutter jumped up on the ruler and bam! Next thing I knew I was running up the stairs thinking, "What kind of an idiot am I?!"

Then I got to Bob at the sink and showed him the slightly floppy side of my finger. I was getting a little shaky and had a lightheaded sort of giddy feeling, and I was sort of vaguely saying something about needing stitches, being serious, going to the emergency room, and asking for him to get me something to put around it. My husband is also a blessing (first because he had been at the sink doing dishes). But mostly because in this situation he went into action mode and started digging through our medicine/first aid drawer. He asked if I wanted alcohol wipes and my mental reaction was, "Do you realize how much that would hurt?! Are you insane?!" but my actual response was, "No I just want this wrapped and to be at the hospital." (I told him this later and he said his response would have been, "It already hurts.") He found some gauze and helped me get my finger wrapped up and I clamped it with my other hand. I told him he would have to get Bobby and get him ready to go and I turned off the water from where Bob had been doing dishes after I rinsed the scary amount of blood off of my right hand and then promptly re-clamped my finger.

As we drove to the hospital I thought how strange it was that I had never considered how emotionally attached I was to that relatively small chunk of my left hand. I thought about how much I would miss it if I lost the tip of my finger. I wondered if I had bled onto my fabric and if I would be able to get more. I wondered how on earth I was going to finish that Aran hat this weekend. I thought (a little bitterly) that I was going to have to return to throwing while I knit for a while. I thought about how absurd it was to be concerned about those things when I might have blood poisoning. I remembered that my last tetanus shot had been April 11, 2008, the day we were discharged from the hospital after Bobby's birth. I thought I should have known how something like this might happen, I was too happy to be getting so much done. I thought that I was lucky I still had my finger attached given how excited and enthusiastic and carried away I get when I'm particularly pleased with something. I thought about the directions I read in a quilt pattern that urged caution in using a rotary cutter because of how embarrassing it can be to try to explain a "glorified pizza cutter" to nurses and doctors. I thought a lot of things.

When we pulled up to the emergency room I got out and walked in behind a woman carrying her seriously sick (as in death warmed over, coughing, split dry lips) granddaughter that looked to be about 18 months old at the most and suddenly my finger didn't seem to be hurting as much. We waited for about 45 minutes before being called into triage and there they were impressed with the fact that I knew the date of my last tetanus shot, but then when they found out why I knew they were all over Bobby and how cute he is. Now granted, I think he's just about the best there is and he looked adorable in his one-piece sleeper, hunting hat, boots and osh-kosh jacket, but come one people, I could be losing a finger here! She sent us back to the you-really-came-in-for-that section and I waited while Bob filled out the paper work. The nurse, as it turned out, was a quilter, so she understood.

She asked to see it and as I unwrapped it I started getting that same sweaty, giddy feeling. She kept asking if I was going to pass out, but I thought that would be too ridiculous of me so I said no. It was worse when I got to the bloody part of the gauze, but then I saw my actual finger and it looked more bruised than anything else. She put a new piece of gauze on it and then said the doctor would come in when he was done with the patient before me. Bob and I talked for a little while and he changed Bobby and walked around with him.

Then the doctor came in and looked at my finger. Again I got that crazy feeling, but tried to make myself calm down. He asked if I felt light-headed. I said no. Then he asked if I felt sweaty, and I gave the honest answer: yes. He called the nurse and asked her to lay me down because I was "getting a little 'vagal'." She laid the chair back and put a cool washcloth on my head and it helped a lot. He finished cleaning up my finger and said, "Oh yeah, right into it. Even into the nail a little bit. Well, I could pull it back, but it would just flop open and since it's lined up so nice I can just put some skin glue on it." He did just that and while he did he explained what he had meant by "vagal." I'm still frustrated by the reaction in general, but it's kind of funny. I thought he was saying "vague-al" as though I was starting to look zoned out or something along those lines (which probably wasn't far off). Instead he was turning the name of a nerve (I think he said it was a nerve) into an adjective. Fascinating the way our language works!

We headed home two hours after I cut myself with a very tired little boy and a weird sort of plastic coating over my finger. When we got home I checked to make sure I hadn't bled on my fabric. I hadn't: big blessing. And apparently I was so fast after I realized what I had done that the only blood I could find was the barest bit on the blade of the rotary cutter itself. And, to top it all off, the piece I was cutting was straight and still usable! So, I think I had cut all of the fabric before the blade went rogue. Other blessings, I still have all of my finger, Bobby fell back asleep pretty easily, and Bob let me just crawl into bed (after I checked my fabric).

I was able to get through the school day pretty well with it, though it hurts a good bit if I run it into something, and I tried knitting this afternoon and it's going to take a bit longer to get that hat done. But, I will get it done, and I have time, and it looks like it will be worth the time.

Earlier this afternoon Bobby added the sort of last insult to injury for the week. He has a sort of crazy poop cycle that results in rather large quantities in a single day. Today was my day. After his first poop he finally took a nap, but only for 30 minutes. Then he was up for a while playing around. I eventually had him in my lap while I caught up on the Yarn Harlot blog and that's when he let out his second installment. I waited to see if it was over when I noticed that my right leg was damp. After I got him changed into his third outfit and into his crib (the only safely untainted place in the house at the time) I realized that the only part of my clothing without some sort of contribution from him was my underwear and the sock on my left foot. I decided we would go see Bob at school early and get the weekend started before anything else crazy could happen.

2 comments:

Northern Lights Fiber Co. said...

Wow! Sounds like you have had quite the week! Hope your finger is feeling better! See ya Sunday :)

Sally said...

Leah, Leah, Leah... totally sucks about your finger. I'm still stunned I haven't done something like that. (Knock on wood) And that is good you didn't need stitches. I showed Weston the picture of your finger and he said you need to slow your roll and not be such an aggressive rotary cutter... Hope you have a better weekend!