Urgent Care

Well, it is has happened.  After all of these years of reviewing knives, I have finally had a knife accident that sent me to urgent care. 

First, let me say this--it was entirely my fault.  My weekly, Sunday PKL was a little crazier than normal as my one son is potty training.  That adds a whole new level of chaos to the normal hubbub of raising kids.  I was contending with two boys and I just didn't track the path of the knife correctly and it sliced the tip of my left thumb nearly completely off. 

Second, it was with the Cold Steel Golden Eye.  The doctor specifically told me, and given my heightened attention to knives I was sure to remember: "Boy that must have been one sharp knife.  If it was even a little jagged we'd have to use stitches."  As it was a little glue, some steristrips, and tube gauze and I was on my way.  Good job Cold Steel, out of box sharpeness was excellent. 

Now the story:

I sliced the tip of my thumb cutting an apple.  What an inglorious way to maim myself.  I have tested hundreds of knives, handled a thousand more, and in the end my worst wound (yet) comes from cutting apples.  I am a moron.  And unlike a whole group of people out there, I am not going to demonize a thing.  It was my fault, not the knife's. 

After the cut I go to the bathroom and look.  I clean out the wound and for second I don't see it bleeding.  I lift up the little flap of skin and see it was clean cut.  Only a tiny sliver of tissue attached the tip (basically everything north of my thumb nail) to my thumb.  Then, after about ten second it started bleeding.  It wasn't a drip, it was a gush of blood.  So much so that the bathroom sink looked like a murder scene.  I took and held a paper towel to the thumb and hoped it would stop.  After about ten minutes it was worse.  I tried gauze and it went through that pretty quickly.  Then I tried a giant band aid and it was saturated in about fifteen seconds.   

"This is bad," I thought.  Then my wife came in and saw it, because, you know, I was telling her I was fine.  She immediately told me I had to go to urgent care.  I asked if she thought it was okay to do that and she said: "That or the ER."  I don't want to go to the ER.  I don't want to take a bed away from a true emergency.  So I hop in my car and get on the phone (Blutooth, BTW, no need to compound things).  I call my health network. Here is what happened: 

Operator: Hello HEALTH NETWORK how can I help you?

ME (in a slightly panicked voice): I sliced the tip of my finger off.  I need to know which urgent cares are open (this happened on a Sunday).   

Operator: Can I place you on hold? 

ME: NO.  Didn't you hear me?  I sliced the tip of my finger off. 

Operator: Thank you, sir. It will be only a minute. 

ME: What?! I said NO. 

[Elevator Music] 


[Your call may be recorded for customer service and response training purposes...] 


[Elevator Music] 

ME: ARGH!!!! 

Operator: Thank for waiting, sir.  Can you give me your name and address? 


Operator: I need to know the nature of your injury and your medical history before I tell you which facility to go to.   

ME: I....CUT...OFF....THE....TIP....OF....MY....FINGER! 

Operator: Can I place you on hold again, sir? 


Operator: Thank you, sir.  I'll be right with you. 

[Elevator Music] 

At this point I was seriously considering just driving to the ER.  I had no hope that this lady on the other end was going to give me actionable information.  I was fairly certain I was going to either be on hold for a half hour or have to go through a menu of some sort.  I knew there was no chance a doctor would answer. 

Operator: Our facility on X Street is open today.  I will inform them you are on your way.  Thank you for your patience.  Would you be willing to take a customer service survey after this call ends? 

ME: For your sake, I think it would be best if I didn't. 

Operator: Thank you, sir and if you have any further issues, please don't hesitate to call. 

ME: Only because I have to. 

With the information in hand, I hit the gas pedal.  I was basically going as fast as I could.  I knew if I got pulled over and showed the officer my gushing thumb he wouldn't give me a ticket.  Plus, I was starting to have a bit of a panic attack and so I wanted to just get off the street.

I made it to the urgent care facility and I was feeling a bit queasy.  I staggered through the door, holding my finger up and the gauze wad tight to the thumb.  I walked to the counter and got the attention of one of the secretaries. 

Secretary: Hello and welcome to HEALTH NETWORK Urgent Care facility on X Street. How can I help you today?"

ME: I cut the tip of my thumb off. 

Secretary: Well, do you have an appointment?