As a kid, you wonder how you'll know if a cut needs stitches--it turns out you just know. There was a lot of blood. Blood on the sink, blood on the vase, blood on the floor. I grabbed a paper towel and put pressure on it. Some very kind friends (including our G.P.) were willing to help us out so I went into my doctor's office instead of having to go to the E.R. I had to keep pressure on the cut and have it elevated. I did so for about an hour--but the bleeding still didn't stop!
|My Cut. You can see the hanging flap at the bottom. My doc cut away that flap and used scissors to even out the jagged edges so that my skin would close more smoothly.|
|Next, he washed it out with a lot of saline solution. It stung a little. Also there was a ton of blood running down the back of my hand--so much that I thought I maybe had another cut I didn't notice before.|
|All clean? It had been washed thoroughly--even rubbed down with alcohol--but it would NOT stop bleeding.|
|Even with three stitches in, I was still bleeding. Your finger has two little arteries that go up the sides and I swear it was like a teeny, oozing arterial spurt. I could see it coming out with my pulse.|
The bleeding finally stopped (it started again just a tiny bit when I hugged Greta too enthusiastically). In the hour or two after my stitches, the lidocaine wore off and it started to feel like my skin had been cut, washed, poked with needles, cut again and had four nylon threads tied through it, but I imagine that's only to be expected. I took some ibuprofen (I know, bleeding risk, but if I hadn't bled to death out of the cut by then, a few more drops couldn't hurt) and felt fine. Now it generally only hurts if I flex my finger too much.
Special thanks to my very kind, patient doctor and his sweet wife and as always, to my wonderful supporter/dynamite cameraman Brandon. And to med student Nick who tried to clean off my bloodstained hands with an alcohol wipe and was mostly unsuccessful. I mocked him until I tried to do it myself later--suddenly I understand where Lady Macbeth was coming from. BAM! Surgery and Shakespeare all in one day!