March 3rd, 2006


Washing up is bad for you

A quiet night in? That's what I had planned for this evening. It would be amusing to blame The Grates for what follows, with their exhortation to do the washing up at last night's gig, but somehow I suspect it wasn't really their fault.

I got home a bit after 7, intending to eat dinner then settle down with my book for the evening and get an early night, but figured I should do the washing up first. I even got most of it done, but about 10 to 8 as I was washing one of the last few glasses a big piece snapped out of the rim as I pushed my hand inside to clean it, and my little finger followed through with the momentum of it and sliced itself open quite deeply.

My first instinct was to stick it in my mouth, but before it had even got there I knew that it was too bad for that. I stuck it under the running tap then grabbed a teatowel to wrap it in before remembering to turn off the tap. Using the towel to apply pressure, and keeping my hand a bit raised I wondered what to do next, and cursed the fact I'd left my mobile at work. You suddenly realise all the people you could contact if only you had their number, like Mike. I turned to irc for advice and help - but unfortunately the only people around weren't in Cambridge. Thankfully said advice was roughly what I was already doing though: keep pressure on it, and hopefully in 10-15 mins the bleeding should subside. And if it's deep go to A&E. It's hard to type when one hand bleeds if you let go of the pressure on it from the other, and I got a bit panicky and upset about being on my own and not sure what to do, but people on irc helped keep me a bit calmer. After 20 mins it was still bleeding lots whenever I took the pressure off and looked at it. I'd managed to get hold of Mike on MSN and he said he'd be right over, so I booked a taxi for 15 mins later, and we both went off to A&E.

By this time it's about quarter to nine. Nurse took a look at finger, once again said I was doing the right thing keeping pressure on it, and found me a piece of gauze to use instead of the grubby teatowel, and left me to wait for the doctor. So we waited. And actually it could have been a lot more unpleasant. It didn't really hurt too much, and Mike was good company and kept me talking which made the time pass much quicker. Which is just as well. Assorted emergencies meant there was only one doctor on duty dealing with the minor accidents, and it was three hours before my turn came. He turns out to be a nice chap, youngish, accent that I think was French, quick friendly manner. By this time the blood has finally clotted somewhat, and the gauze has stuck to my finger. We stick it under the tap, and he pulls it off, which makes it hurt lots for the first time properly. He has a quick look, takes the details again and then says he'll get the nurse to superglue and bandage it. He leaves me with instructions: see my GP if it gets infected, don't get it wet and don't cut it again. Seems fair. Consultation over in under 5 minutes. It takes the nurse a little longer to patch it up. Tugging the gauze off has set it bleeding freely again, and she's a bit concerned as she applies the superglue to it that it won't stick as well because of the blood. She adds a couple of steristrips, a layer to stop the dressing sticking and to soak up some of the blood, a sticky dressing, and then a cartoon style bandage wrapped round and fastened in tape, to help keep the pressure on. I'm finally sent home with a couple of spare sticky dressings, and told I can remove the bandage and dressings in the morning and replace with a new one, but to leave the glue and strips alone. The glue will apparently form something like a scab and I should leave it alone and not pick it.

We got another taxi home and finally I got some dinner at around 12:15. So much for an early quiet night in. And expensive too - nearly 25 quid on taxis. Sadly eating so soon before bed has left me somewhat indigestiony which woke me up and then my cough started playing up, so I figured I'd come and write this up while it calms down again. I'm not in any real pain, just a bit of discomfort and a bloody big bandage in the way. I'm not really looking forward to looking after it for the next week. Just glad I don't faint at the sight of blood! It would have been a bit of a nuisance given I was at home on my own. But hey at least not being able to get it wet will get me out of the washing up for a while.


The morning after

Removed the assorted dressings, and discovered there was still a little bleeding. Replaced the sticky dressing with one of the spares, they're basically rather snazzy plasters. Also reapplied the bandage: if it's still bleeding the pressure won't hurt, and it's really rather ugly and at least this way it's hidden. Rather late into work due to the time this took and having overslept anyway, but hey I'm here. One very cold hand because my glove wouldn't fit. Off to go be a talking point over coffee.