It is time for confessing… for acknowledging another bout of klutziness, of mindlessly doing things that required my full attention. I’m not showing you my battle wound, but believe me, it was probably not even half as bad as I will make it sound.
Two months ago, we were over our friends’ house for an afternoon-long Sunday dinner, the kind where the conversations flow easily, the kitchen duties are seamlessly shared between hosts and overeager guests. Most of the meal was ready – all we needed was to plate some avocado slices.
Gooey, slippery Haas avocado + unfamiliar knife that looked far more benign that what it actually was… you can tell where this story is going. The knife did not make contact with the pit I was trying to remove. It found the palm of my left hand. I looked at the pooling blood in disbelief and looked helplessly at my hostess.
“Coming right up.”
I washed my hand and applied pressure to it with a clean paper towel, trying desperately not to draw attention to myself. The bandage was applied and I went about for the rest of the evening, numbing the dull ache with a glass of wine or two. When we got back home, I washed my hand again, braved the sting of an alcohol swab, and stuck a fresh bandage over the wound. The next morning, I doused the wound in some iodine cleanser and went straight to the infirmary to see the nurse. It wasn’t the first time I had shown up with a kitchen-related injury.
I removed the bandage tentatively, hoping not to hear an affirmative reply to my question.
“I’m not going to need stitches for this, right?”
No stitches. After another round of antiseptic, the nurse affixed a butterfly bandage across the wound and sealed it with another adhesive bandage on top. I sighed in relief and added butterfly closures to my shopping list. After a couple of days, the wound closed without any issues.
Butterfly bandages are little adhesive strips designed to keep a wound closed to speed up the healing process. They are usually effective enough to tray puncture wounds less than a quarter inch deep. Any injuries deeper than that quarter-inch of dermis require a visit to the emergency room for stitches.
So… if you stab your hand accidentally… don’t panic. Wash your hands compulsively, assess the wound’s depth, and if it less than a quarter inch deep, sigh in relief because you probably won’t need stitches. Also, buy a box of butterfly bandages and a bottle of iodine antiseptic for your first aid kit. I hope you never have to use them.
** The contents of this blog post are not medical advice, but rather an anecdotical account of how I managed a kitchen injury. If you are not sure how to treat a serious kitchen related injury call a medical emergencies hotline or your physician.