Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emergency room, again

Yesterday just after noon I had to go to the emergency room of the nearby hospital. I had been grating carrots while preparing lunch, and managed to include my right thumb in that process that it needed two stitches. It was the third time in less than twelve months that I showed up there, always around the same time of day, always for the same reason. First time, on the day of New Year’s Eve it was the left thumb, two months ago my left index finger, and now the right thumb. The first two times the offender had been a knife, and the whole thing could be fixed with one or two of those long narrow band aids, this time it was the grater, and had to be stitched.
Shows you how dependent you are on your right hand, if you’re not lucky enough to be ambidextrous. First of all I realized how many things I do with my right hand, even though they could be done with either hand. For example, when I learned to type in High School during my year as an exhange student in the US, we were told we could use either thumb for the space bar. Now I am surprised to find out I am in fact only using the right thumb. When I try to use the left thumb it slows down the process considerably, because I keep hitting the shift button instead. Wrong wiring... Secondly it gives me the very personal and first-hand-experience of how fantastic that evolutionary step was, shifting the thumb to its current  position opposite of the index finger. If you’ve lost that thumb to a thick band aid there isn’t really much you can do comfortably any more, except for reading a book. Can’t write with a pen, can’t really button up your pants after going to the bathroom (not to mention any of the other steps just before), can’t really safely hold a glass when you want to drink.
And picking up pins or fabric is not exactly easy either, so working has been slowed down considerably.
I guess I will make the best of the time by figuring out what to do about my kitchen utensils so my fingers and thumbs are well removed from the danger zone, since I can’t really stop preparing lunch.


  1. I wish for you a fast recovery. It is so inconvenient, to say the least, to be without the use of that most important digit.

  2. Thanks, Mary. Stitches will be taken out on Friday, and yes, I am very much looking forward to it!