Thursday, November 19, 2015

A moment of injury and a reflection...

I have this theory that we injure ourselves accidentally when we encounter a 'moment of emotional trauma' in our memories, feelings, emotions. When I am momentarily 'caught' (with painful memory or realization), I might nick a toe passing a corner in my apartment or trip over a step I cross every day.

So I was cutting 1cm wide strips of foam core, to tape into frames to hold drawings I did of my doggy, Keesha, hours before she passed away. The foam core a cheapy way to keep the glass off the drawings. Cutting, with x-acto knife, metal ruler and clamps, I accidentally sliced the corner of my index finger off. Yeah, yeah, I know.

It bled like crazy. Couldn't stop it. I wrapped it up in gauze and went back to the frames where I saw this little oval and thought, hmnnn. Now I have watched all of Grey's Anatomy and know if you can keep what you've lost, it's best. So I carefully picked up the little white bit and went to the bathroom and put it back on the bleeding wound, quickly wrapped it in gauze and taped it with a big cloth band-aid. Then I put a large latex glove on that hand.

I finished cutting eight 1cm strips of foam core, used double-sided tape to attach them to the edges of the frames, cleaned the glass and drawings of dust, etc, and put everything together. I finished my 2nd cup of coffee with a delicious sugarless apple, carrot and raisin homemade muffin while working on the frames. After, I cooked a small meal, made tea, and phoned a walk-in clinic but they said only one of their doctors does 'simple sutures' and he wasn't in. I cleaned up and made a thermos of tea and headed off to Emerg at Toronto Western Hospital on foot. I had cut the edge of my finger off around 9am and got to Emerg at 2:30pm. I didn't know stitches had to be done within 8 hours or you can't do them.

Anyway, the wound bled like crazy when the nurse had me take the bandage off - I held my hand over a sink (I do have an iPhone photo of that, but it's a bit much for my blog). The cut had not coagulated at all. She wrapped it in gauze and told me to keep my hand above my head. I had brought a small bag on wheels with some work, the tea, etc, and was able to prop my elbow on the handle of that to keep the hand elevated. I sat in the waiting room for 2 hours with my hand in the air.

When I finally saw a doctor, she said they see a lot of this type of accident. She froze my finger - I thought, for stitches. But she said no stitches because the cut was basically a 'hole' that has to heal - she cleaned the wound and left the skin that was cut off and that I put back on because it helped to staunch the bleeding. She put a special bandage on the cut - about 2 weeks to regrow new skin (the bit there will drop off) - and then bandaged it up in a lot of gauze. A nurse gave me a tetanus shot. I am to remove the gauze tonight (it's almost 48 hrs since she dressed it). If the cut bleeds, I am to apply pressure for 20 min, and if it still won't stop bleeding, then it's back to Emerg.

My point in this rather gruesome little tale is what emotion/mind/body state are we in when injury occurs? I've been grieving the loss of a 15 year companion, my dog Keesha, who died mid-Sep last year (2014), a lot recently. And while framing drawings I did of her hours before she died, I cut myself stupidly. And that's my theory - accidental injury to ourselves occurs when we are in a moment of 'emotional trauma' - for me, obviously grief, missing my baby.

When we are most fragile is when we need most to take care of ourselves.



My other baby, Aria, checking the bandage out. Art can be dangerous!
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