Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sliced finger gets in way of slicing on court

Today is a tennis day, but I couldn't go because I was being nice to the dog.

Specifically, when cleaning out the fridge for trash day, I decided to slice some chicken off the bone for Maddie.

The knife was in good shape because I had sharpened it for Passover. So it made a nice cut when I missed and sliced right into my index finger on my left hand. I bandaged it and wrapped tape around it but it continued to bleed. I thought briefly of walking down to the fire station – there is just one house between us – but thought better of it and called Fire District 2. I stressed that it wasn't an emergency.

The assistant fire chief, Todd Calkins, arrived in a jiff with an EMT. They went into their "boo-boo kit" (their word) and bandaged it and wrapped it tightly. They said it looked like it might need stitches. They also said I should look into whether my tetanus shot was up-to-date.

Todd recalled the day when I called the fire department in a panic when I came home from work and saw smoke pouring out of the nearly-completed addition. I was pregnant with Katie. I had just picked up Ben and Joe when I saw it. I ran in and got my dog-three-times-removed, our big black Lab, Winnie. I later learned that a carpenter had flicked an ash into a barrel. Apparently in a few minutes, the old house would have burst into flames.

Todd said he had two other houses in a similar state that same night.

They said they would take me to the ER. I said I would figure it out.

The bleeding stopped. It only hurt a little. Thus, I dilly-dallied.

I am still trying to get organized after the informative and productive but overwhelming writers' conference I went to earlier this month (May 5-6), presented by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. It was my first time as a member. I had gone last year as a non-member and found it so beneficial that I decided to apply for membership, got in, and got psyched for the full benefit of two days as opposed to the general public's one day.

Loaded down w/ bags at #ASJA2017NY
I realized that I didn't write a blog post about it. All I did was put a photo on FB. I was too busy BEING THERE NOW. Short version is that it offered the camaraderie that I miss from my newspaper days. I learned a lot from the many sessions, made connections with editors and got cards from editors with whom I didn't have a chance to speak, got story ideas, felt supported, enjoyed the conference-supplied Starbucks coffee, and even had a chance to sneak in a visit with Aunt Marge and (cousin) Jeanne.

Even before I left the conference, I took some time to send follow-up emails to editors. I did more of that when I came home and thought about stories I would like to write or pitch. I guess germinating is all part of working.

But I've been feeling a little like some of us tennis players feel after the Districts, the USTA tournament up a level from the local leagues.

You expend so much anticipatory energy – and so much energy there – that for a while afterwards you need a little break from tennis. Thought bubble: "Don't let me ever look at a tennis ball again! Well, maybe not never ever."

Back to that slightly sliced finger. Somewhere around 3 today, I called my internist’s office to see about the tetanus shot. Turns out I had one two years ago. They don’t do stitches, so the nurse suggested Urgent Care. When I got to the one on Memorial Drive in Chicopee, only a couple of people were before me, while earlier in the day it was busier. So by lingering at home, I had saved myself waiting room time.

A physician’s assistant took off the bandaid. It didn’t look bad enough to need stitches. Instead, she used skin glue. The application process made it hurt more than when I got there.

Since it’s the left hand, hopefully it will be better in the morning and I can play a little tennis. I have a lesson that I don’t want to miss.

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