Thumbs Down

Man Down

This week got off to a rough start when I accidentally sliced off the tip of my left thumb while using a rotary cutter on an old and probably-needs-changing-out cutting mat. 

It all started because I was taking apart a shirt that I thrifted to better study how the shirt was made. I wanted to make something based off that design and got to cutting up some fabric.

In a spur of the moment, I thought to myself, ‘Why not use the rotary cutter? It has been a while since I used it, and the blade was starting to corrode.’

After cutting through some pieces of fabric with some difficulty, I went into autopilot as the next thing I knew was a sharp pain originating from my thumb followed by a red stream exiting my hand. I quickly lifted my hand up to stop the bleeding and grabbed the nearest napkin to exert pressure on the now exposed flesh. The tip of my thumb was now cut at an angle as I thought about what to do next.

The droplets of blood started dripping on the table and one found its way to the floor below. 

After some panicking, my mom helped me to change and we headed down to the doctor nearby. En route, I was looking at the wound and I was wondering how the doctors were going to suture the wound shut: the wound was just below the finger nail and it was in an awkward shape and position.

At the docs, I was told that I could visit the A&E to seek a second opinion with an orthopaedic surgeon to stitch the wound close. Alternatively, she said that the cut was thankfully relatively superficial and it could heal on its own too given that I was still young. 

I ended up settling for the latter, not without a tetanus booster and some cleaning and dressing of the wound. 

Also, to add fuel to the fire, I did stubbornly slow down my route to recovery: I left the dressing on throughout the second and third day. While I took out the dressing to clean the wound and check on the condition, I was greeted with a scab that had formed between my thumb and the dressing. With bated breath, I struggled to remove the fused dressing and watched another round of bleeding occur. The pain was dull but came in waves. The throbbing felt akin to having another heart on my thumb.

It’s now almost a week since then and the wound has made daily activities a cumbersome chore (let alone sewing). And while I await my recovery, I am already looking forward to jumping back on the new shirt. It will be one of the larger pieces I would have made in recent times.

Note to self: replace the damn cutting mat and do not force my way if I encounter some resistance. And also, safety first. 

– The Kind Oddball, 優しく個性的な人

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