Sunday, September 4, 2011

Filet o' Finger OR My Trip to the ER

Well ladies and gents, it has finally happened.   I have gotten my first stitches ever.  That's right- ever.  Now I know you may be surprised because I am the clumsiest person I know.  I guess you could call me lucky.  I wish I had an exciting story to tell you like "I saved my dogs from near death by jumping in front of a car" or "I was helping a senior citizen with her groceries and fell" or "I was running into a burning building" or just SOMETHING cooler than this:

"I was cutting an avacado."  Yep, that's it.  I was just trying to prepare a healthy lunch and I couldn't remove the pit of the avacado so I tried to stab it.  It rolled, and I stabbed/sliced my left pointer finger.  There was a lot of blood and I was pretty ticked...and home by myself.

As I examined my filet o' finger I decided I probably needed to go to the hospital so I made a compress and called a dear friend.  Emily answered the phone and I calmly start the conversation with,

"Hey!  What's up?  Are you at home?"

Emily says "I just got to Partners lunch" are you coming?

Me: "I don't think I'm going to make it.  I just cut myself and I'm bleeding a lot" (all in a conversational tone)

Emily:  "Hmm.  Do you think I should come now?"

Me: "Oh, you don't have to.  I can call someone else" (as my apartment begins to look like a murder scene)

Emily: "Do you think you need stitches?"

Me: "Yeah, I think so, but I'm not sure."

Emily: "Ok! I'm coming now"

After we hang up the phone, I call Russell.  Bless his soul, Russell doesn't always do well in emergencies.  Luckily he is on his lunch break so he answers his phone.  I try to stay calm while I hold the compress on my finger and tell him that I will be heading to the hospital.  He offers to come meet us at the hospital but I tell him I'll just keep him posted (I envision Russell puking when he sees my finger)  I expect him to ask me if he could bring me a beer (that's his solution for all ailments) but I can tell he's genuinely worried...looking back I think my voice was pretty shaky.

Now it's time to wait on Emily.  I'm starting to get nauseated and feel faint so I unlock the door as I am sure Emily will find me passed out in the floor.  I start trying to distract myself so as I hold my hand over my head still in a compress, I start reading the new Restoration Hardware look book.  It's pretty good- if you get one you should really take some time to read it.

Emily arrived and I ask her if she wants to see it.  She sees the massive amounts of blood in my kitchen says "could you see some whitish yellow in your finger?" I say "yes" and she says "nah, I trust you.  Let's just go to the hospital."

Off we went...with no idea where we were going!  Emily quickly realized that we weren't sure where we were going so she mapped the closest urgent care- note to all those living in Alexan: there aren't any close urgent care clinics.  We ended up going to Duke ER and I think that's the best decision we could've made.   I don't have much ER experience but I'm pretty sure Duke may have one of the best ER facilities around.

1) they have free valet parking

2) I was triaged within 3 minutes of walking in ( twice...once by a nice nurse and once by a humorless old guy who gave Emily a talk-to-the-hand gesture and told her to pick up our purses and get out of our way...he was the only negative to the whole experience.

3) after my 5 minutes (or less) in triage, I was sent back to the waiting room long enough for my bottom to touch my chair and then I was whisked back to meet my doctor.

4) My doctor rocked (and loves his dogs as much as I love mine)!  He was friendly, conversational and knew what he was doing!

In trying to keep my long story short-ish so I'll tell the rest of the story in pictures.  Be prepared, these are graphic:

This is me right after meeting the doctor and getting my finger cleaned up. Look how happy I am.   

This is my barf pail.  I told the doctor that needles make me nauseated and he wasn't taking any chances.

Here's the doc working his magic.

In the words of Rachel Ray "Yum-O"  This is finished product- 5 stitches later.

The sweet nurse who bandaged me up is a long lost best friend.  In the time we had to converse I learned of her love for J.Crew.  I know for sure we have matching barrettes, and two cardigans that are the same and we both use their personal shopper service.  She was awesome and SO NICE! She did a great job teaching me to bandage my finger and gave me the best tetanus shot I'd ever had.  That's right.  I didn't even know she had given it to me.  Ask my mom- I turn into an irrational baby when I get shots and I didn't even bat an eye when I got this one!

Now, I have to spend a little more time telling you about the awesomeness of Emily.  The only way I could've gotten through this incident in such good spirits (I didn't shed a single tear) was with Emily at my side.  Emily was with me every step of the way.  We started talking when Emily showed up at my apartment and we didn't stop talking until she walked me back inside of my apartment.  We talked future jobs, blogging, clothes, dogs- you name it we chatted about it.  I can't say it enough Em- you made my day!!!  It meant so much to me that you would sit through surgery, keep me comfortable, miss your lunch (poor thing was probably starving) AND take pictures of the whole ordeal.

Finally the real kicker- I accidentally let my health insurance lapse in the summer and my new health insurance plan activated on (drum roll please).......September 1.  The day I cut my finger.

...and that's all!


  1. Whew! But a beautiful job on the stitches. And YEA for Emily!

  2. I know! The stitches look great and I'm healing nicely...and Emily is the best!

  3. I am so sorry Katie!! I must say, you are lucky to have only gotten your first stitches now. I have had plenty in my day, and I actually got 7 stitches in my left pointer finger cutting... a stick with a kitchen knife to make an arrow as i was pretending i was robin hood. i think i was like 9. i don't think i admitted to anyone that was how i cut it for the longest time, like maybe until now... :) But so glad you are okay!

  4. So funny! I love that you had access to the kitchen knives when you were 9 :) I'm healing pretty well. I should get my stitches out Monday...if I'm lucky!