Monday, November 23, 2009

The Finger

I am not on speaking terms with my garage right now. On Saturday evening, I ran outside in my yoga capris, t-shirt, and "flop-flops" to move my car into the garage. It was in the driveway because I'd been out and about with the kids and had six gallons of paint in the trunk and didn't really want to haul them any further than necessary. It was about 45 degrees and, by the time I'd hustled to the garage to manually open the door, gotten into the car, started it, and parked it in said garage, my fingertips were more than a little cold and I had to pee. I hopped out of the car, locked it, and started to pull down the garage door.

It isn't a heavy door. It isn't an unusual door. It's your standard, run-of-the-mill garage door without an electric opener. I gave it a small tug with my right hand, my left one reached out to steady the door so that it didn't slam down.

And then it happened.

My fingers got stuck in between the panels of the door. Since they were cold, the intense burning as they were pinched between the door panels felt like fire. I yelped, tried to yank them out, then quickly reversed the direction of the door, sending it flying back up into the garage. Stunned, I pulled the door back down while looking at my throbbing fingers.

Like all pain, the throbbing was only a warning for the actual pain, which hit me as I scurried back towards the house, now crying. I get inside and look at the fingers. They are red, red, red and have what looks like peeled skin over the pads -- like I've tried to debride my fingerprints away. There is no blood yet, but I am certain that it will come.

I stumble through the house, past the kids. Milo tattles on his sister, saying, "Mom! Violet's eating Play-Doh!"

Gulping inbetween sobs, I manage to command, "V-v-v-violet! D-d-d-don't eat P-p-p-play-Doooooh!"

Bewildered, Milo looks at me. "Mom, it's just Play-Doh, don't cry over Play-Doh!"

"I'm not," I say. "Mommy, hurt her f-f-f-fingers very badly."

Both kids are stunned and silent. Violet stops eating the Play-Doh and I continue through the minefield of toys to my bathroom, where I turn the tap on hot and jam my fingers under the running water. I think, "If I can warm them up, maybe the nerves will stop jangling and I can figure out how injured I actually am..."

To my surprise, what I thought was layers of my scraped off skin washes away. Apparently, the joints in a garage door in the country get pretty dirty. If you get something stuck in there, the dirt comes away with whatever you've tried to smash.

The water trick is working and the pain goes from four-alarm to alarm clock. They still throb, but I'm no longer concerned that I'm going to pass out or need to drive to an ER to have my fingertips reattached. I sigh and relax. Actually, I was unaware that I needed to relax, but as I sighed, my shoulders stopped being my earmuffs and my back grew three inches. I'm going to make it.

I dry my hand and wipe my tears and rejoin the kids, where I confiscate the Play-Doh from Violet and ask her if she'd rather have some food, like string cheese. She decides that dairy will taste better than toy and agrees to a swap.

Two days later and my fingers are still sensitive, but I am able to use them. For all of that pain, they aren't even bruised under the nail, so I don't think I'm going to lose the fingernails, either. I have been extra careful while maneuvering the car into and out of the garage, lest the beast decide to try and take more than my fingertips.

I do think that the fleeting, yet consuming, pain I felt for those few minutes allowed me an emotional release that I've been needing -- it actually felt good to cry for a few minutes. The pain left me focused entirely on myself for a few minutes, activated some adrenaline and endorphins, and snapped me mostly out of the funk I've been in lately. It takes something like this for me to remember that my body will always find a way to get me back to me, even if the reason it jumps to my defense is caused by my own clumsiness and inattention.

OK. Enough for now, typing is one of the activities that makes my fingers hurt :) Oh, and I've flipped my garage off the last dozen or so times I've looked at it. So there :P

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I was wondering how you were typing this! Glad you didn't do any real damage to your hand. Ouch!