Monday, December 3, 2012

Cleaning day is a very dangerous day

Did you know that super glue can be used to close a wound and is in some case considered better than a traditional suture? It was used in the Korean war to help stop bleeding and close wounds while in the field. It is especially useful when you are home alone and have just cut your wrist open in a freak cleaning accident.

What? That hasn't happened to you? Weird.

So this last weekend was the first weekend after faire ended. In my world that means a two day cleaning spree. My house never comes out of a faire season in any shape fit for human occupation, so I feel two days of deep cleaning the house is in order. It allows me to relax later guilt free.

I was lucky in the fact that the husbeast was out of town for a weekend long bachelor party. Him being gone allows me to clean as I like with no one getting in my way. Sure it meant I had to move furniture on my own, but it is a price I am willing to pay. Seriously  no one wants to be around me when I clean.

The day was going well. I had done most of the dishes the night before, a couple of loads of laundry had been finished, the front room had been cleaned, and the master bathroom had been scoured. I was in the midst of cleaning the master bedroom and it was only mid afternoon. I was on the path to finishing the cleaning much earlier than anticipated.

When my grandmother passed away earlier this year I was given a collection of small old glass bottles that used to be on her mantle piece. The bottles were from the barn on her parents property. Really they are something I remember very fondly from childhood, so I was eager to accept them. They now live on the red shelf in my bedroom.

I had begun to dust the shelf, carefully picking up each bottle and dusting it off before setting it aside. About halfway through the collection something happened that I can't really explain. I mean I know what happened, but I don't really know. You see I had a bottle in each hand, one freshly dusted and one needing to be dusted. I was in the process of setting down the clean bottle when the undusted bottle slipped out of my hand.

As I was watching the bottle fall towards the dresser where it would surely shatter into a million pieces, I had a knee jerk reaction to stop its descent. Both of my hands grabbed for the bottle but I still had a bottle in my left hand. The two bottles made contact, and it is possible that the falling bottle ricocheted off of the other bottle and into the edge of the shelf. I am really not sure as it happened very quickly.

What I do know is that I caught the bottle. Unfortunately in my effort the top of the falling bottle broke off. Now it didn't just break. Oh no, that would be too easy (and boring). No, instead of just breaking off, the broken chunk of glass shot away from the bottle and sliced cleanly across my right wrist before disappearing into the ether.*

At this moment time seemed to stop. You see it didn't hurt at all when I got cut. I sort of just watched as my wrist suddenly split open. It wasn't bleeding or anything. I was just staring at this open spot in my skin marveling at the fact that I was pretty sure I was looking at muscle. I had  never seen a wound like that.

At first I thought the glass had gouged out a chunk of flesh. I have seen wounds like that before and was prepared for that. Then I realized the edges were too smooth and uniform for that. Also there was the lack of a piece of flesh that had been removed. It was at this point I put the bottles down and squeezed the wound together and realized it was indeed a clean cut. I had just flayed part of my arm open.

That is also when it finally started to bleed. I ran and got some gauze and then realized that there was no way I was going to be able to take care of this wound on my own. I had none of the right first aid implements, and I am right handed. Closing a wound with your non dominate hand is very hard.

I quickly texted the kid and my best friend asking if they were around. I tried calling them as well but there was no answer. I was trying to avoid sending a text that said I had cut my wrist open, which is funny considering when I cut the tip of my finger off last year that is exactly what I texted the kid. Somehow though saying you lobbed off part of a digit and saying you slit your wrist open have very different reactions.

I couldn't get a hold of anyone in my area to come help me. Visions of having to duct tape my arm with the help of my teeth and driving to the ER were swimming in my head. It never once occurred to me to call my mother in law. My mother in law who is an RN. My mother in law the RN who lives five minutes away from me and could have driven over and fixed me up or driven me to go get stitches. What can I say, I wasn't thinking clearly.

As I am considering how I can get to the hospital I suddenly remembered that I had found a bottle of super glue earlier in the day. I have actually used super glue to close one of the husbeasts wounds before. This was a brilliant idea. I didn't need anyone to help me do this.

I did post something on Facebook to check with a paramedic friend before I got all glue happy. After that though I was all over it. Literally.

Ok so here is the problem with super gluing a wound together, especially when doing so with your non dominant hand; super glue sticks to everything. By everything I mean it not only stuck my wound together (completely without pain might I add) but also glued my thumb to the wound. Thankfully it was just my thumb and I was able to peel it free without ripping the wound open.

After that everything was fine. I texted the kid and my best friend to let them know I was fine and not to panic. Of course 45 minutes later when they saw the texts they both responded a little panicked. The kid started texting me that she would be over as soon as she found pants. I assured her she could stay pantless and I was fine.

I also texted the husbeast so he wouldn't read about my injury on Facebook. I discovered the quickest way to clear a craps table is to send someone a text saying you slit your wrist but are fine. All 8 of the guys stepped off the table to call and make sure I was indeed alright.

The super glue proved to be a decent solution until I had to shower. At that point the super glue came free from the wound. Apparently you can't get it wet. So I just super glued it again. This time I managed to actually glue both my fingers to the wound. Twice. On the third attempt to glue it together I made sure to keep my finger as far from the wound as I could because I was really tired of ripping the wound back open. I succeeded that time, though I did glue my entire thumb to my arm.

I found some butterflies the next day and removed the super glue altogether. Putting on butterflies with your non dominant hand is almost as difficult as the super glue. I think I went through five before I got two to stick and do what they were supposed to do.

I am now left to wonder how long I have to leave the butterflies on and at what point I can stop worrying about ripping the wound back open from putting strain on my wrist. The cut is a good one. It is about an inch long, and had it been about half an inch further toward the center of my wrist this post would have been about me making my neighbor drive me to the ER and then having to use my new steam cleaner to get blood out of my carpet.

From all of this I have learned that keeping super glue in the medicine cabinet is a good idea, especially for accident prone people like me. Also the husbeast has decided that I should have a sitter anytime he goes out with the guys considering this is the second time I have significantly injured myself in his absence. As I look at my wrist I think he might be right.

*Seriously I searched everywhere and found no trace of the glass. It is either behind the dresser or lost in the cat box. Yes I sifted through the cat box so as not to injure one of the cats but I found nothing at all. It is possible that after it attacked me it then exploded into tiny slivers which I managed to not step on and instead vacuum up. Or you know it disappeared into the ether. 


  1. First, and I know you will understand that I am worried about you, but first, which bottle? Secondly, you do need to change said butterflies until the wound heals so that it won't get infected. Next, you might add some kind of disinfectant or antibiotic to that wound. Also, super glue is much cheaper than the wound glue they sell in the first aid aisle, however, the one in the first aid section has a brush much like a nail polish brush so it makes it so much easier to apply, however, and I know from personal experience as well as applying it to others, it stings like a mofo, and I mean it really, really, really stings, worse than iodine or that other red stuff my mom used on us when we were kids, and I mean its a bad sting and lasts for a bit of time, but its worth it, keep it on hand. And lastly, dang it girl, I'm so happy you are okay! Had you not remembered your mother-in-law, the RN, you could have called your mother the doctor and she would have helped you at least over the phone! I hope it was only the lid of one bottle and not all the bottles that got broken, I'm assuming it was the purple one? But even that is not worth scarring you, so please take better care of yourself! I love you :)

  2. It was the small frosted clear bottle, and only part of the top broke. Considering the top is now a sharp jagged edge I am thinking I will need to get rid of the bottle lest it should attack again.

    I promise I am putting neosporin on the wound and keeping it clean and covered when I should but letting it breath still. It is healing up very well. There is no redness or swelling or pussing. It is all good.