The day I almost lost... THE Finger.

3 years ago
It was just another day in the life of me trying to get shit done before picking my then 2-year-old up from preschool. As usual, I was multitasking and doing my best to get five more things done before heading out the door. One of those things was to eat lunch; and since our laundry room was upstairs, it only made sense that I take it with me. So I ran... 

With my salad... Up the stairs–to finish what I'd started. And then it happened... 


Somehow or another, I tripped going UP the stairs, which is a feat that only overachieving mothers with a poorly designed stairwell can do. "Dammit!" I cried–and bent down to start picking up the remains of my so-called lunch. As I reached out to grab the first chunk of my newly broken dish, I realized that my hand was actually bleeding. 
"What the hell?"
It took a minute to register; and even when it did, I was clueless as to how bad it really was. Then I took a closer look and saw a part of my finger that I never want to see again. *Shivers* I ran back down to the kitchen and grabbed some tea bags out of the cabinet, which was an old trick that I learned from a childhood neighbor who was also a nurse. I ran them under warm water for a minute as I had watched her do so many years ago and bound them tightly around my nearly severed finger. Then, without missing a beat, I took a dish towel, wrapped it over my hand and called the husband...

"You're going to have to come home and get me, I need to go to the Emergency Room. I think I'm going to lose a finger!"
As I waited for my surrogate ambulance to make its way back home, I decided to tidy up the rest of the mess from my near death experience–the last thing we needed was for our daughter to step on a shard piece of my lunch, covered in Italian dressing. By the time I finished, I could hear him huffing his way up the stairs with a mouthful of curiosity, "How the hell did you fall going UP the stairs?"

A few hours later I was sitting in an exam room, waiting for a doctor to come in and berate me for my self-induced hand job. "Hello!" he cheered upon entering the room, "I'm Doctor So-And-So...Let's have a look at that finger now, shall we?" He wheeled his chair over to where I was sitting and gently removed the dishtowel from my hand. Then he looked up at me with complete and utter disgust...

"What IS that?" 

Apparently, wet tea bags wrapped in a towel for three-hours don't always stand the test of time; and the second the dishtowel came off, the tea leaves hit the floor. I smiled back into his confused eyes and quickly educated him of the genius behind my tea infused finger. "Go ahead and laugh," I said, "but that shit really works and I probably would have bled to death in your lobby without it!"

And I was right.

Turns out, not only did I cut my finger, but an artery and the flexor tendon as well. There was blood everywhere and we were both a little caught off guard at exactly how much that skinny little digit could produce. As he began rinsing the dark grit from my wound, I asked what the likelihood was of amputation. "That's my favorite finger," I advised, "I use it all the time. What am I going to do if someone cuts me off in traffic? I'm right-handed for Christ's sake!" He laughed at my half-hearted jokes and quickly dismantled my biggest fear, "You'd be surprised what they can do these days... You'll be fine!" He stitched me up as best he could and gave me the business card for a hand surgeon in the area, "You're going to need surgery on that hand if you ever want to use that finger again. And he's one of the best!"

And he was.

I can't really feel that finger anymore, but it works just the same. Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like without that extra appendage... How would people have known if I was displeased with their driving abilities? Which finger would have taken on the responsibility of typing "k" and "i" on the keyboard? How ridiculous would I have looked wearing those fingerless gloves? I imagined a blank space in the middle of my hand where my finger used to be and the awkward silences that would ensue whenever I asked for a French manicure. Maybe it was luck, or maybe just a warning sign for me to slow down; but I've never run up a flight of stairs with a plate again, and I'm pretty sure I never will. 

It's all fun and games until someone loses a finger!

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