SLOW DOWN: When a kitchen knife confuses a thumb for a piece of honeydew

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Photo by Caitlin Spitzer

THUMBS UP – Accidents happen and Gazette 2.0 Creative Director learned this the hard way when cutting fruit instead resulted in a lot of blood and a makeshift splint made out of half a chip clip. 

-HEALTH COLUMN-


By Caitlin Spitzer


It was an ordinary Wednesday evening – I decided to saute mushrooms for dinner while my “healthy banana brownies” were baking in the oven. The mushrooms had to sit for a couple of minutes and me – being the impatient person I am – decided to cut a honeydew while I was waiting for both to finish. This honeydew was unnaturally massive, so I had to pull out my largest kitchen knife to get the job done. So, at this point I was multitasking with three different things going on – this should have been the first red flag to slow down but I carried on.


I sliced it into halves and then quarters without a hitch. Then, as I go to cut the rind off – as I have dozens of times before, without a problem – the knife slips slightly and ends up cutting the tip of my ring finger. It caused a surprising amount of blood to pool out, but otherwise looked like a slightly longer paper cut. I cleaned and bandaged it up, checked the mushrooms and “brownies” and decided to continue cutting – the second red flag.


Barely 10-20 seconds later, I cut myself again. This time, the cut was larger. Much larger. And deeper. I was cutting between the melon and rind, rushing so that I could stir the mushrooms and as I was slicing upward with some force (that was the only way I could get the knife through), the knife slipped on the juicy fruit causing me to lose control of it. Instead of catching in the fruit, the knife confused my thumb for a piece of honeydew.


There was blood. A lot of it.


My initial thought was, “How the heck did that just happen AGAIN?”

As the minutes passed by and I was trying to staunch the flow of blood, I debated whether I should have someone look at it. Still bleeding profusely after 20 minutes isn’t a good thing, right? However, it was after 10 p.m., urgent care and doctor’s offices weren’t open and I didn’t want to go to the ER for a thumb – I mean, how embarrassing would that story be?


I cleaned and wrapped it in as much gauze as I could find and waited it out the night. If I needed stitches, I would just go in the morning.


To make a long story short, I decided not to get the stitches. Perhaps that was not the wisest decision, as it’s healing slower and will cause a more noticeable scar than it would've otherwise – but it’s fine.


Scars are pretty cool looking anyway.


I’m an accident-prone individual. Not a week goes by where I don’t have a bruise, cut or sore muscle somewhere on my body. Mind you, I’m only in my late 20s.


As I write this, I’m wearing an ankle brace and have a lovely massive bruise on my knee. The ankle is partially my fault – a mixture of overexercising and twisting it more than once. The bruise I blame on the weather. I took advantage of the beautiful 55 degrees temperature a couple weeks ago to take a stroll on Montour Trail, forgetting the fact that the sudden ice melt would cause a lot of mud. So, naturally, I slipped knees-first into the mud as I was side-stepping some ice. To make it even better, there were at least three people who witnessed my embarrassing tumble.


Some people think I’m just an incredibly clumsy individual, which is partially true. The other half of the equation is a result of me rushing through things and not taking the time to slow down and pay attention to my movements.


The cut could have been avoided if – after the first cut – I had waited until the other food was done so I wasn’t rushing the fruit cutting in-between.


But, it’s a lesson learned. Thumbs up for that, right? And for the record, I still ate the honeydew. Don’t worry though, I discarded the bloody pieces first.


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