Yesterday in the kitchen, carelessly opening a package of pork ribs with a very sharp paring knife because I couldn’t find the edge of the plastic wrapper, the knife slipped and I jabbed myself in my forearm right near my wrist.
The wound was not fatal because today I am writing about it, but at the time, as dark purple blood gushed out of the wound and down my arm, I thought I might have punctured something important. I was at the sink so I grabbed a hunk of paper towel, wet it with cold water, and pressed it as hard as I could against the cut.
I thought I might be about to bleed to death and there was no one at home except Dot, a friend’s cat who is staying with us for a few weeks and is useless in a crisis. I thought I better write a note before I passed away so Gillie and my family, friends, and neighbors would understand that this was not an intentional act.
By then, although the wound was still gushing whenever I checked, it was obvious that there was not an artery involved because there aren’t any arteries in that spot, so maybe it was just a vein in which case I might not actually die. I wasn’t feeling faint. In fact, I was feeling fine but a little nervous about blood loss and how much is too much. (I’m an O+ donor so I have some idea of what a pint of blood looks like but it’s hard to tell when it is mostly spreading into the wet paper towel.)
At that point, I thought the best next move was to go upstairs to get a Band-Aid. The cut now looked pretty small—a mere puncture wound. The gushing had just about stopped. I applied a little Bacitracin in case of lethal bacteria from country-style ribs-contamination and a large Band-Aid. Then I wrapped adhesive tape 3 or 4 times around my arm to maintain pressure.
I began to think about my friend, Janet Savage, who is an expert on reading hands (http://handtales.com/). She wrote a book about hand injuries with an occupational therapist at our local medical school, exploring the significance of different types of injuries to different parts of the hand. I doubted that forearm jabbing was referenced, but I thought I’d look it up because I have been nicking and jamming my fingers a lot lately.
Hand Wisdom, a Holistic Guide to Hand Injuries and Your Health, by Janet Savage, MHA, MPH, and Julie Sonack, MS, OT/L, is based on the combined wisdom of occupational therapy (Julie), life purpose hand analysis (Janet), and the insights of Louise Hay. Janet is a warm, insightful woman whom I’ve come to know over the past few years. I enjoy being in her gentle company. She enjoys a good laugh. I consider her a friend with solid goddess wisdom.
I looked up cuts and lacerations and what they might represent, other than being stupidly careless with a knife when there’s only a cat on hand to help. “A cut or break in the skin reflects a feeling of vulnerability, being exposed, a loss of safety or of being hurt by someone or some event…. It can be thought of as an opening of sorts, encouraging you to remind yourself that you are always loved and always safe from true harm of any kind no matter what your ego may be telling you! Let go of the fear!” Open up to change.
Today is good. The sun is shining. I am not dead. I’m not even that sore. And I am ready to move forward. I am standing in my strong woman stance, opening myself up to change in the new year, unafraid. I am also enjoying the company of a wonderful homesharer, Gillie, and a darn good cat.