Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.
Seventeen years ago this month, I was recovering from a very painful decision that I made.
It was a Saturday morning (November 9, I believe) and, during that time of my life, I was not only a stay-at-home-mom with my two preschool aged children, but I was also an aspiring Pampered Chef consultant. Since my children were content watching The Lion King for the 1,759th time, I decided, as any dutiful Pampered Chef consultant would, to attempt a new recipe which involved a blender and paper bags (it was a paper bag ginger bread house….don’t worry, we did not eat paper bags).
I carefully gathered the necessary materials and proceeded to pulverizing the paper bags using the blender and water. Apparently I did not put enough water in the blender because, when I turned the blender ON, it whirred, but nothing was being pulverized and it seemed that the paper needed some “help” getting down to the rapidly rotating blades.
Then for no explanation known to mankind, I did the unthinkable. Yes, I put my hand down into the moving blender. Looking back, I believe a wooden spoon may have been a brighter idea….or, even better, simply turning the blender OFF and adding water; however, that was not the case on that day.
My first thought was: Oh crap! I cut my finger off!!
I grabbed the closest dishrag and held my finger on and began to process my thoughts: Lisa, you must stay calm. Your kids are in the other room. Mom cannot panic. Hold your finger on. Call for help and get to the ER.
Since this was the pre-cell phone era of 1998, I tried paging my husband-at-the-time, who was out on Saturday morning visitation, but could not reach him (he was 45 minutes away anyway). I called my friend, Kristen, down the street and told her that I thought I had cut my finger off and I might need a ride to the ER, and she immediately agreed. I told the kids, with a smile because I didn’t want them to panic(Hey kids…Miss Kristen is going to pick us up and you are going to go play at Miss Becky’s house) and hoped that they would not protest, which they, fortunately, did not.
Kristen picked us up, we dropped all of our children (she had three, I had two) at our friend Becky’s house and off we sped in Kristen’s Suburban, as I kept holding my finger in place with the dishrag. Since I was holding my finger on, I was unable to change out of my pajamas, which consisted of an old, ratty T-shirt and cut off sweat pants, although I did manage to put on an old pair of flip flops, so I’m sure I was quite a sight by the time I made it to the ER. At the sign-in desk, I told them: I think I cut off my finger and I’m holding it on with this dishrag. They whisked me right back to the X-ray and discovered that it wasn’t as bad as I thought (it was mostly attached), but it was going to need to be sewn back together.
By this time, the finger was pretty much hurting, but they gave me some neat drugs and left me behind a curtain before they came to sew the finger back together. I’ll never forget one of the nurses, who was taking my information: Let me get this straight: You sliced your finger…in a MOVING BLENDER?? You would have had to have stuck your whole arm in the blender to do that. How in the world….? WHY in the world…? I had no logical or sane answer because, well…would there really BE one?
As I lay waiting for the suture team, a parade of doctors, nurses and hospital personnel took turns peeking behind the curtain out of curiosity to see what kind of individual would actually be stupid enough to stick a hand inside of a moving blender. I just smiled and waved….and laughed (the pain meds were kicking in) and was happy to have provided the medical staff with some comedic entertainment that day.
However, I had a concern for my hand. This was the middle finger on my right hand. Not only am I right handed, but I play piano and that next day, I was scheduled to play for the children’s program at my church. When I expressed my concern to the doctors and nurses, I think they thought I was making a joke (patient: Doc, will I be able to play piano after this? Doc: yes. Patient: Good, because I couldn’t play before). I had to convince them that I REALLY played piano, so that added more comedy to the scene. And, yes. It was a comedy.
The skillful suture team in that Texas ER gave me some more way cool drugs, numbed my finger and sewed it back together, wrapping it up in a huge bandage and sent me home with prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers. By this time, my husband had arrived at the ER to take me home, stopping to fill my prescriptions.
The next day, even though I was a bit spaced out, I managed to play piano for the children’s program with my middle finger sticking straight up because it was wrapped in a huge bandage.
The story does not end there.
As the Lidocaine began to wear off, my finger began to throb like no one’s business, so I began taking the pain pills…but the pills did not put a DENT in the pain, so I kept taking them. After church that day, as my finger was totally hurting and I was feeling very ill, I began to take another pain pill but noticed, the words on this pain pill match the words of the antibiotic. I checked the pills v. the bottles and, lo and behold, the pharmacy had put the pain pills in the antibiotic bottle and the antibiotics in the pain pill bottle. So, instead of popping pain pills, I had been popping antibiotics for 24 hours. Needless to say, I did not get an infection….but my finger sure hurt.
To this day, the nerves in my finger still hurt so I am constantly reminded of my stupid decision to put my hand in a moving blender (as if I would ever need to be reminded to not do that again) and I have a fear of blenders (I immediately threw that blender OUT and did not own another one until about 2 years ago).
Much has changed in 17 years. A year later, my marriage fell apart and in 2000, I moved from my wonderful neighborhood in Texas to my parents’ home in Ohio. My children are now in college, I am remarried (12 years now), and I have a totally different career (I gave up being a Pampered Chef consultant, by the way).
Life changes. However, God never changes and He loves us in spite of our stupid, painful decisions. Nothing can separate us from His love.
As an aside, I Googled images for hand in a blender and found that I am not the only one who has ever done this. It doesn’t diminish the stupidity of putting one’s hand in a blender, but it makes me feel better knowing that I am not the only one who has ever done this.