Mandolin – noun – musical instrument with a pear-shaped wooden body and a fretted neck, not to be confused with

Mandoline – noun – A utensil consisting of a base into which adjustable blades are set, used to slice or cut fruits and vegetables – i.e. an instrument of torture which, when not in the proper hands, can be used to slice fingers or parts thereof from the body. **updated to add – any pain or harm inflicted by the mandoline was completely my fault and in no way should reflect on the cutting tool or its manufacturers. If I had been using the handle as I was instructed to, this would have never happened.**

In our ongoing attempt to get to know everyone in the ER at Riverview hospital, Helen and I spent part of our evening there last night. While making a beautiful salad full of tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers, I managed to slice off the side of my pinky while slicing said cukes. This weekend, in our cleaning efforts, we found a mandoline that we had purchased from one Pampered Chef party or another which had never been used. I thought slicing cukes was the perfect opportunity to christen the instrument. I really never planned to bathe it in blood, but that’s what happened when the tip of my pinky got between the veggie and the blade. Of course, I’d already added everything else to the salad so there was no saving any of it, especially since the bit of finger was still somewhere in the bowl.

We got the bloody finger bandaged in paper towels and, after conversing with sister #3, the nurse, wrapped in ice (note: a frozen bag of corn works wonderfully for this kind of emergency), and Helen whisked me off to the hospital. They decided that stitching was out of the question, thank god!, and gave me a special glue gel to hold to the finger until it set. This took about half an hour because the damn thing would not stop bleeding. Then they wrapped it in gauze, gave me a tetanus shot, and sent me on my way. I have to keep the bandage dry and in place for a week, and then soak the finger for 3 hours in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide to get the glue off. If I try to rip it off the finger, it will re-damage what has just healed.

All in all, I think we spent two hours at the hospital which is not bad at all. It’s amazing how quickly they will see you when you’re dripping blood everywhere. The really amazing thing is both of us made it through the maiming, the trip to the hospital, and the waiting there without passing out once, although I came pretty close a few times. Neither of us does well with blood, especially when it’s our own.

The upside to this little adventure is I get out of cleaning the cat boxes and washing dishes for about a week. The downside is it’s inconvenient doing things with my left hand when my prominent hand is my right. Showering was interesting with my hand encased in a latex glove secured with a hair band at the wrist so no water could get near the bandage. Bathing necessarily had to be very quick since I tend to lose circulation to the right hand after a while. Typing is also difficult as I’m reteaching myself to hunt and peck with the right hand. However, my misadventures over the past few years have taught me that I am resilient and flexible in my thinking – I can usually work around bandages/broken wrists/bum ankles/etc. when the desire is strong enough. For example, not showering is just NOT AN OPTION for me so coming up with alternative to my daily routine was a glitch in the system – nothing insurmountable, just damn uncomfortable.

And to give you an idea of what my family is really like, when reporting all this to brother #3, he had us all laughing by putting in his order for finger sandwiches, ladyfingers for dessert, and discussing the fact that our team for a scavenger hunt this weekend will be a digit short. Yeah, we’re warped:)


  1. painted maypole Says:

    glad you’re ultimately OKand I’m ALWAYS thinking about taking over the world, thank you very much

  2. Linda G. Says:

    Ee has always wanted to buy me a mandolin. I’ve always said it would be just one more thing to wash. I’m glad now that I never had one as I would undoubtedly cut myself! I hate a hand makes everything so darn hard! Hope it heals fast:)I love Sandford. Have you read Night Crew? I had hoped he’d do a series featuring that protagonist..but alas..he didn’t.

  3. ewe are here Says:

    Ouch!so, uh, how long did it take you to peck out this post then?

  4. noble pig Says:

    Oh geez…blog in all lowercase until heeled…just forget the shift key! Get better.

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