Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Apples of Blood

In this life, danger lurks at every turn. You think you are safe, swinging that nine-iron, trying to get a few rounds in before the thunderstorm, and wham, catastrophe strikes. You can't let up, because that's when life will beat you down.

Sadly, I had forgotten that little truism. It was a lazy day last Thursday, a day when I decided to celebrate the end of my semester by spending the day on the couch, relaxing and getting ready for the weekend's climbing plans. I walked into the kitchen to cut an apple up for a snack. I love apples and peanut butter. I love scooping huge mounds of peanut butter onto my pre-cut apple pieces. Anyway, I went in to cut up an apple, and wham, lightning struck.

There, sitting next to my my tidy apple slices, was the end of my thumb. It took a while to register what had happened, that that lifeless piece of flesh had actually come from me and had not in some way been attached to the apple. The mind does funny things in that moment before the pain starts. It's like the mind knows that a cascade of searing pain is on the way, but it wants to amuse itself with a funny, irrational thought before all thought ceases. My thought, at that moment, was that I could have protein with my carb-heavy meal, which would thereby make the snack more "Zone." Then the wave hit.

The blood was astounding. You know how the doctor will prick your finger to get a little drop of blood for a test? Well, this was like my finger was pricked with a 12 gauge straw. The blood gushed. I held my hand over the sink as the blood poured out of the end of my thumb. It began to look as if the Manson Family had previously rented our apartment and had set up shop in the kitchen. Kayte came out of the office and began to tend the finger.

Her first concern, understandably, was to stanch the flow. She put a band-aid on the end and that just made the blood shoot out the sides of the fabric. She determined that despite my histrionics, I had not, in fact, "cut off my thumb." Yes, I did have a sizable flesh wound, but people have survived far worse. She made clear that you cannot, in fact, "bleed out from the tip of your thumb." She then wrapped a bit of gauze around it and went back to work.

It began to become clear to me that my weekend climbing plans were slowly dripping away, like blood from a...okay, I'll spare you the pun. Basically, my chances of climbing were shot. I still went out, though, with my thumb wrapped in a bee-hive of bandaging. I learned that doing a few easy routes was a bad idea, as blood began to seep through the bee hive making it look like the bees were experiencing some sort of horrendous genocide. I spent a lot of time belaying and telling the above story over and over and over.

So, you can never be too safe. Remember that when you think you are making yourself a nice, semi-healthy snack. Those apples could really be blood apples. Really.

11 comments:

fudd1980 said...

Yikes! Sorry to here about your de-thumbing. I hope it grows back dude!

rippin said...

Par for the course I say....

Jason Huston said...

Sucks, dude. Might I suggest switching to a no fruit and veggie diet, far safer.

Suzanne Knower said...

Please go to the doc and get some saline before you pass out.

Thank you,

The Management

(PS: Don't come crying to me when the other thumb hits the fan)

Suzanne Knower said...

Please go to the doc and get some saline before you pass out.

Thank you,

The Management

(PS: Don't come crying to me when the other thumb hits the fan)

Suzanne Knower said...

Sorry for the above post.

Suzanne Knower said...

Sorry for the above post.

Ryan J said...

Shit dude! Sorry to hear. How is the recovery coming??

Jay said...

The thumb's doing much better. As always, I guess I blew it out of proportion.

The Adventurist said...

Nice post. I cringed a bit reading about it. I recently took 6 stitches in my own thumb--I decided a butcher knife would look kind of cool if it was well placed in a vein--it didn't really hurt so much, but the blood sure freaked a lot of people out. Brought back some fond memmories. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Boy, apples and peanut butter will never look the same again. So much for my favorite snack. Just had to go and ruin it for me. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who looped off a piece his thumb. The 1st time was when I was making one of my world famous walking sticks, cutting the branches off, don't cha know. Sliced that puppie right down between the nail and the fleshy part. It hurt like hell and the blood, oh my god, all over the place...I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it.