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.