Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I almost forgot to write about how my co-worker, Kevin, saved my thumb from infection, gangrene and almost certain amputation (well, maybe not gangrene or amputation, but definitely a nasty infection). Monday night after dinner I was reaching into my purse for my phone and managed to jab the tip of my mechanical pencil under the cuticle of my right thumb. Naturally, the lead broke off and stayed trapped under the skin. I was too tired to deal with it Monday, so I poked at it a bit Tuesday morning. By then, the skin was red and irritated, and it was easy to feel the lump where the lead was wedged. Being right handed (and really tired), I couldn't get to the lead very easily, so I gave up. I showed my thumb to Kevin when he got to the office (he was with me when the injury occurred), and he promptly pulled out his pocketknife to try and remove the lead. He seemed rather surprised that I gave him my thumb – I think he muttered something about me being too trusting... He couldn’t remove the lead with his knife, so we checked the first aid box and found splinter removers (yes, that’s what they’re called). We took one of those and an antiseptic wipe and went into the lab to use the magnifying lamp. Within a minute, Kevin had pulled the piece of lead out from under my cuticle. Now, a day and a half later, the skin is still a bit red and sore, but definitely much better than it would have been if I’d just waited for the lead to just work itself out.