An African's Anecdotes and Accoutrements
Yesterday afternoon I put an end to my NaNoWriMo hopes for this year in the most brutal manner.
I’d been for my weekly grocery shopping, and included in my purchases was a fine metal knife - the one with the handle and the blade fashioned from a single piece of steel. After unloading the car I put away the shopping. After deciding to cook the beetroot for dinner I set about preparing the vegetable using the new knife.
While liberating the leaves from the fourth bulb I felt the knife touch my thumb. I glanced down... when I saw the knife had slid into the flesh at the top of my thumb as easily as a blunt knife would have delved into soft butter I let out an almighty shriek, and lifted the knife, dropping it on the table.
It was a nasty moment. There was no blood straight away, but I knew when it did come it would be like Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe’s equivalent of Niagara Falls. I grabbed a clean dishtowel, some ice from the freezer and crushed it in the towel. I should have shoved the thumb under the tap, but the gash was a slit, and it looked like a small mouth. I wrapped the finger in the towel, lifted the hand in the air and went to sit down. I didn’t want to phone my husband, so I waited.
The pain was pretty bad, but more from the ice than anything else. When it got really sore I carefully unwrapped the towel... there was blood pouring out of the slit, which lifted with the towel. Now I wanted to pass out, and felt like ing (where’s that wonderful Skype vomit emoticon when you need it???) so I went back to the chair and lay down.
Fifty minutes later the blood had slowed somewhat, and I stupidly went onto the Internet. No consolation there - all the suggestions involved getting to ER and having tetanus and stitches. I had a tetanus jab about seven years ago when I stood on a dog’s bone in my garden in Zimbabwe. I decided to phone my husband. Here’s the conversation:
Me: Good news or bad?
Husband: Good... I think
Me: The new Sky card for the satellite TV is now working.
Husband: And the bad?
Me: I’ve cut through my thumb and it’s still bleeding nearly an hour later.
Husband: Is it still on your hand or have you cut it off?
He rushed home, and we figured it wasn’t too bad, so we dosed with antiseptic and plastered it. Thankfully I bought dinner while shopping, because I couldn’t have cooked last night. After three neat scotches (which didn’t help) I ignored all rational medical advice and took a large 600 mg Brufen tablet before going to bed. Waking up a few hours later I’d found I’d been sleeping on my arm, which was full of pins and needles. I had to run my right hand don my shoulder to find my arm, pick it up and put it on my chest. I hate it when that happens.
And today has been hell. I have bumped this thumb while mopping the floor, vacuuming, putting away laundry and making tea. I managed to shower without too much hassle, but I was being extra careful, and trying not to wet the plaster. I suppose we’ll have to remove it tomorrow, but I’m afraid... I’m imagining the most horrible picture under the plaster.
The most annoying thing is that I am now very far behind in Nano, and I have accepted that I won’t be able to complete 50,000 words by November 30. I’ve been writing articles for Suite 101, and a international gemmologist from India picked up on a piece I wrote about rubies, and has linked it to his website - he gave me a second option, offering to pay me $20 for it, but as that site gets its revenue from advertising I chose the linking option. It's a confidence booster, and as I am contracted to produce nine more articles by 30 November and am starting to earn from my writing on that site I suppose I need to prioritise my writing.
And then there’s the thumb - it’s taken me around eight hours to write this because the bloody thing is so sore. But there is a bright side to the injury - the juice from the beetroot made the sliced thumb look even worse than it was! I couldn’t have picked a better vegetable to injure myself with than a beetroot!
On that cheery/painful note I wish you all a wonderful weekend!