8/30/07

Potato Peelings


I was frantic, trying to get dinner somewhat done and get ready for work and clean up the apartment, all within 30 minutes. I pulled the potatoes from under the cupboard and began peeling like mad. Potato peelings were flying everywhere when suddenly I saw something that was not a potato peeling. How did I know this? Because potatoes don't bleed. I glanced down and saw that I had peeled half my finger off. I began to shriek and clawed at the paper towels. I pulled off half the roll and wrapped my finger in it, bouncing up and down with anxiety. Strangely enough, the only thing I could think of was, "Okay, just stay calm. It's only a little cut and you have to get these potatoes peeled."
Without even thinking I picked up the potato peeler again (without washing it) and began to peel the potato. Before I had done more than two swipes, I glanced down at the paper towels around my finger. They were soaked in my blood. Okay, not just a little cut anymore. I dashed all around the apartment looking for bandaids. David is going to be a doctor, for pity's sake, you would think that we would have bandaids. Nope. By this time I was growing hysterical. I ran over to my neighbors, blood dripping all the way, but she wasn't home. I ran back up into my apartment and searched through the ward directory for someone I could call. But I didn't need to. The phone rang. It was my other neighbor. "Julie," she said, "I was just thinking--" I cut her off, "Nancy! Do you have bandaids? I cut my finger."

I ran over to her apartment, this time with my finger wrapped in a drenched hand towel. She took one look at me and said, "I don't have a big enough bandaid." We wrapped it cotton swabs surrounded by six bandaids. My finger looked like it had a small grapefruit taped to the end of it.

When I got home from work, I threw the potato peeler in the garbage and we had pasta for dinner. David wanted to clean my finger to protect it from getting infected. I flat out refused. There was no way he was taking off my bandages. He threatened to take me to the hospital if I didn't. While he cleaned it, I cried like a seven year old. I yelled, and threatened, and pleaded. All the while David saying things like, "You're doing great sweetheart."

Yesterday, I found out I cut through multiple nerve endings and an artery, which is why it hurt so much. And my finger will always be slightly skinny--it won't ever be the same as it was.

I never thought of peeling potatoes as cruel. But it is really a thing of exposure. With a sharp ended knife, you are peeling away the skin of something to get to what is underneath. Since I have been out here in PA, I feeling like I have been peeled again and again and again. Each time, a new layer of exposure is unmasked and I am left to toughen and to heal. David is there to make sure there is no infection, but there isn't really a whole lot to do against the pain. I suppose it must be a good thing, but it the meantime, I think that I am going to eat pasta for dinner from now on.

5 comments:

Leanna said...

Wow thanks for showing me that my pain is nothing! You're the best! =D

Dan Sorensen said...

Sheesh! That sounds worse than getting a ticket.

Chan said...

Dan, your pain is real, my friend. Julie, I really liked the end para.

Kirsten said...

Julie, you never cease to amaze me. And I agree with Chandler- I really liked the end as well.

Sky Scatcher said...

Me also, Jewels (your new nickname) Nice analogy for life peeling away layers of masks but... don't toughen too much from the pain. If your days uncover who you really are, you'll be in awe of how much courage and strength you have. And somehow you breathe more easily and freely. (But, next time call the paremedics instead of insisting on cooking a Blood Potatoe casserole for David. Remind me not to come for dinner when I visit.)