31 October 2009

Serrated Steak Knife + Pumpkin + Sean = Fail

So if you've been keeping up with my Twitter stream, you probably were wondering what happened to me on Thursday night. Well, here's the story:
On our family outing to Bates Nut Farm's pumpkin patch, Ashley & I bought a pumpkin for each of us to carve and set out. Seeing how we wanted the pumpkin to last through Halloween, we decided to wait until Thursday to carve them.
Well, Thursday night came and we prepared to carve them, but realized that we didn't have the proper tools for carving. Seeing how I was exhausted from work and the very long drive back home, I didn't want to have to leave again to buy the proper cutting tools. Ashley assured me that the serrated steak knives we had would suffice.
Well, we began carving, but were both quite surprised on how thick the pumpkins were - much thicker than we were used to! Seeing how the sawing movements were effective in cutting through the pumpkins, I decided to try it despite the fact that the movements were jerky due to the thickness. Well, I moved my left hand into a position which would give me more control and allow me to use slightly more powerful strokes, but ran into a spot where the knife got stuck. I added more pulling strength, but it popped out and I immediately pushed down, unaware of the fact that the entire blade had separated from the pumpkin and came straight down into the side of my left thumb, serrated side facing my flesh. As it came down, it cleanly sliced into my thumb, and blood immediately flowed from the open wound.
I immediately pulled my hand away, gripping my hand trying to prevent my hand from dripping blood everywhere (seeing how I'd rather not have to try and clean the apartment's carpet, especially since we had just steam cleaned it a couple weeks prior). Running to the kitchen sink, I tried pouring some water on the wound to quickly rinse away the pumpkin guts from my hand, but blood freely flowed and I needed to stop the flow quickly. Ashley rushed to my side and helped get some paper towels to wrap it in & I gripped around my thumb to slow the flow.
After assessing the damage and asking my mother how late Urgent Care at the Kaiser Permanente around the corner was open till, Ashley & I left quickly to see them. After their brief entrance checks (blood pressure, temperature, etc.), I was admitted to the "Special Procedure Room", where they cleansed the wound with iodine. The doctor entered shortly afterward, assessed the situation and advised that stitches were necessary.
He promptly began his work, first injecting the wound with anesthetic (which was quite painful), then began stitching me up. In the end, he used 4 stitches and they dressed the area with antibiotic ointment and a medium-sized bandage and sent me on my merry way.
I ended up feeling quite ashamed and embarrassed that I wasn't even able to carve a pumpkin without injury, and Ashley ended up having to finish my pumpkin instead. But in the end, I learned 2 very important lessons: a) always use the proper tools for a job - if you don't have them, get them; and b) don't give me a knife to cut anything except the meat on my plate as I'm likely to hurt myself quite horribly.

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