Last week I injured myself. I was fixing lunch and when I was cutting an avocado open with a newly sharpened knife I sliced the forefinger on my left hand. (I thought sharp knives were safer than dull ones!)
Since my finger was curled the cut was a deep U shape along the outside of the first knuckle.
I was supposed to have coffee with a friend. After I stopped the bleeding, got the rather ugly cut taped up, I sent a text telling my friend I was injured and asking if he would take me to urgent care. I then ate my lunch – and the avocado was perfect, because I was hungry and I figured it would take awhile to get this handled.
Four hours and five stitches later he brought me back home. Even though the whole experience went easily enough, and I was treated well and felt well cared for I was trashed when I got home.
The next morning I had no energy. I wasn’t in pain, but I felt like I should do very little but sleep. Another friend who has had several deep hand cuts over time assured me the injury was a real shock to the body and I should just take it easy. Turns out he was right and I appreciated his advice.
Self-care can mean a lot of things
We talk a lot about self-care. Often we mean things like eating well and getting enough rest and exercise. We may give a nod to sleeping more when we have a cold or taking time to deal with something like a migraine. If you’re at all like me I hadn’t given much thought to being injured. Nor had I known a cut that required five stitches could be such a shock. But it was.
The way I was injured and the result made me grateful I’m a freelancer. My hunch is it just doesn’t look like an injury that would require more than an hour or so off from a corporate schedule. I suppose I could have pushed through and I’m grateful I didn’t have to.
Plus as I got back to work I’ve had to learn how to type with nine fingers. Both hands got stiff at first and I still don’t feel like I’ve mastered the skill.
Not all roses and champagne
Fortunately my income is such that I can handle a week with mostly not working, and another week where I’m working slowly. It wasn’t always this way. When you realize we don’t get paid sick days or disability without costly insurance, you may want to think about increasing your savings.
I’ll have the stitches out next week and hopefully won’t need the finger brace beyond that. I suspect my finger will want some babying, but not for long.
Write well and often and take care of yourself.