This is what I get for trying to impress someone special on Valentine’s Day!!

Who knew that an innocent trip to Bed,
Bath and Beyond on Saturday would lead to such carnage, and a trip to
the emergency room on Sunday?? There we were, browsing the aisles when
we we spied the kitchenware. Needing a new knife for chopping duties,
Leah started comparing the various features of the shiny, sharp cutlery
arrayed before us. Finally, settling on the so called workhorse knife,
she added it to the shopping basket, unaware of the lethal intentions
it held.


Fast forward to the next day. Various veggies and spices were arranged
on the counter, awaiting their turn on the chopping board. I was in
charge of most of the prep for the sumptuous meal that we researched on
the internet. First course was to be a chickpea salad, followed up by
the coconut and curry eggplant main dish. Let me just tell you, dear
reader, that I am not known for my cooking skills. I do make a mean
grilled cheese, and my mac and cheese skills are nothing to sneeze at.
But, the level of complexity was upped significantly in what I was
attempting. This was supposed to be learning experience for me, and
hopefully a nice treat for Leah!

I started off well. Armed with the new knife, I felt like a burgeoning
Iron Chef. Cut up the eggplant to the specified size. The onion caused
some minor eye irritation, but was no match for such a keen blade. Red
peppers were quickly seeded and chopped. Had a bit of a scare when I
slightly nicked myself, but it was barely a scrape. That new knife
really was sharp. This whole time, Leah was washing vegetables, mixing
liquids and setting up pans. We were quite the team! Settling into my
new role, I felt that I had a handle on this whole cooking deal. All
that was left to chop were the tomatoes for both courses. Easy, right?


Chop chop chop… the knife was smoothly cutting them into bite sized
chunks. We were in the home stretch, and I was thinking ahead to what I
needed to do next. Maybe the knife sensed my distraction and decided
act on my foolish woolgathering. All I know is that my ears heard it
first. Instead of the usual crisp sound of a fresh veggie being cut, I
heard something out of the ordinary. My mind was quick to catch up once
the pain registered. This time it was to be no mere scrape. Looking
down, I witnessed something I had hoped to never see. At first, it
looked like nothing so much as a hot dog that had the end sliced into.
Huh, no, that wasn’t right, it was actually my left thumb.


Yep, that’s right, I had managed to slice the top of my thumb almost
all the way off. Obviously, I spent the next few minutes swearing up a
storm while Leah led me over to the sink as not to spill my blood all
over the kitchen. Thinking fast, she wrapped up my mangled digit with
some paper towels and told me to keep pressure on it. Hooray for
Bounty, the quicker picker upper!


Things are a little hazy for me after that. I remember flipping out
because of course I have no insurance. Luckily, I had someone with a
very calm demeanor who could do all my thinking for me. She kept me
talking so I would be distracted from my injury. She looked up the
closest ER and got us out onto the street and into a cab.

On the ride up, I started to calm down significantly. Enough so that I
was able to talk and joke with Leah about the whole situation. Humor
and self deprecation have always been the way I deal with stressful
situations such as this. Plus, I always try to make sure that the
people around me are calm, even while my thumb tip is hanging on by a
thread!


One quick trip, and we find ourselves standing at the front desk of the
Mount Sinai ER. Telling them the reason for out visit, they ask if I
had been attempting to cook. Hardy har har! We barely had time to sit
down before I was called in. Such service in the emergency room was new
to me. The nurse taking my blood pressure also joked about me cooking
and trying to impress on Valentine’s Day. Ah, I was sensing a pattern
here! I felt like I was living a cliched sitcom existence. Oh my life!

Now, since we had acted so calm cool and collected thus far, we may
have actually led everyone to feel that my injury was not as severe as
it really was. The attending arrived in the room and got ready to
remove my Bounty Bandage. She was surprised when I let out a hiss of
pain. The towel had stuck to my thumb, and was pulling the flap off as
it was being unwrapped. She decided to have me soak my thumb so she
could have a look and decide if I needed sutures. Obviously, we had
greatly undersold the severity of my wound. While she was gone, a nurse
came in to give me my tetanus shot. Yes, I really have no idea when my
last one was, so I was required to get one last night. He poked me
right in the middle of the forehead of my Japanese demon tattoo.


Ha, let’s just say that the attending was pretty surprised by my thumb
when she finally got a good look at it. Sutures needed indeed! Leah
wisely had me look away as she lifted up and poked and prodded my FLAP,
as I started labeling it in my head. I am a curious man by nature, but
that may have been a bit much for me to handle. Ah, but first, the
Lidocaine to numb me up. Umm… ouch… wait, let me rephrase that…
F*$%@#! OUCH! She jabbed me in the wound a couple of times, and in the
FLAP itself. Actually, I have to take Leah’s word for this, as I was
swearing loudly and profusely, practically crushing her hand in mine,
all the while trying not to leap out of my seat. The attending was so
sweet, and kept telling me she was sorry, but it felt like liquid fire
was being shot into my thumb. At one point, she tried to jab me one
time without warning, my whole hand jerked and I am told I bent the
needle, ha! Thankfully, the drugs were quick, and I was feeling no pain
shortly after. My whole hand felt like a lump of baked ham. Bending to
her work, she realized that she needed to leave and go get a bigger
gauge needle to sew me up. Well, when I injure
myself, I go BIG people!



We passed a few pleasant moments in conversation with the attending
while she toiled away. She made the obligatory jokes about me just
trying to get out of cooking. We told her about the recipe I was
attempting to prepare, which she said she was going to actually try for
herself. By this point, I was finally able to look at my thumb as she
did her thing. Six big stitches and we were done! FRANKENTHUMB was
born!!!