On (Not) Being Careful
I have a lot going for me...a weird and wonderful family, a loving and supportive husband, slightly more brains than the average bear, an ability to string words together into readable sentences, and a fantastic memory for conversations. But I have to take the rough with the smooth and admit that I have some less-than-admirable traits.
Patience is not one of my virtues and gracefulness is not one of my fortes. I am an overly eager bull in the china shop sort of girl, both literally and figuratively. I break glassware with alarming regularity, trip over my own feet, spill drinks, and all too often find myself saying to Peter, rather indiginantly, “But I WAS being careful!” (He says that will be carved on my tombstone.) I also have a terrier-like persistence and a stubborn streak that would make a burro seem co-operative
Recently, circumstances have forced me to acknowledge and manage the manifestations of these undesirable traits. It started innocently enough – I cooked the Sunday dinner for Peter, his parents, and me – chicken baked in foil with rosemary, cherry tomatoes, and asparagus; mashed potatoes; peas; and an onion gravy. The meal was very tasty and I was cleaning up afterwards. The dishwasher was fairly full and as I tried to find a spot for the serving dish that had recently held the buttery peas, the dish slipped from my hand.
I'm not exactly sure what happened. I tried to grab the dish to keep it from falling. I wasn't successful and it shattered on the tile floor. My first thought was “Crap. Look at the glass I have to clean up before someone cuts themselves.” Then I realised it was too late – I already had cut myself. My reaching hand was pretty close to the shattering dish and it seems like a nice piece of ceramic shrapnel put a long gash in the ring finger of my right hand.
Not wanting to freak out Peter's parents, I took a quick look at the cut. Because it was very near the first knuckle and a bit flappy, I decided that stitches were probably in order.
VHI SwiftCare Clinic to the rescue. Within 45 minutes, my cut was cleaned, taped together (to minimize scarring), and a doctor had answered all my questions and provided excellent care. Unfortunately, his instructions were not what I wanted to hear – no using the hand for heavy labour for at least 5 days. We were meant to move our stuff down to Cork on Tuesday. Either Peter was going to have a miserable time moving everything himself or a bit of rescheduling would be required. We agreed rescheduling was the better option and we're now moving down on Friday.
I am stuck here, typing with 8 fingers (6 fingers and 2 thumbs if you want to be pedantic about it) because I taped gimpy ring finger to its neighbouring pinky finger in an effort to minimize my usage of it. The doctor provided me with a tablecloth-like beige sling, which I refuse to wear because it's uncomfortable and makes me look like a WWII refugee.
Peter is giving me a bit of a difficult time regarding the sling. I told him I wasn't going to wear it. He told me not to come crying to him when I busted open the cut doing something stupid. I said I wouldn't because I wasn't going to do anything stupid.
As a minor concession, I did have a look through some of my stuff to try to find the sling from when I broke my arm.(Yes, I was being careful that time too. I thought I was going to get hit by a car – it's not my fault no one ever explained the physics of bicycle brakes to me.) Seems as though I threw it out before we moved.
I've no patience to sit around doing nothing for 5 days and I am stubborn enough to want to just blunder along with our original plan, doctors orders bedamned. It is taking every ounce of self-control I have not to tear off the bandage to look at the healing process. I found myself sitting there, looking at it last night, thinking to myself “Maybe it's healed now.” Even though I know that's ridiculous. I know it will take five days to heal. But I guess there's still the little kid in me who thinks a couple of hours is a long time and a stubborn adult in me who wants to get things done now.