We all have things we do when our spouses are out of town. Personally, I like to make myself dinner, preferably trying a new recipe. (I know, I really go nuts). This is because my husband tends to think when I try to cook, it becomes a “production”, plus we have widely different food tastes. We eat out a lot.
When I cook, I tend to find shortcuts. So on Monday, instead of using a food processor (I couldn't find a part, which reflects how little I am actually in the kitchen), I used a handheld blender for my basil pesto. I had spent time researching the pesto, texting with a friend about how best to make it and picking fresh basil leaves from the garden.
The basil and walnuts kept getting stuck in the blender, and I'd stop the blade to sweep out the pesto. I thought, “I've read about how people can really hurt themselves with these things.” That was when I got my left index finger swiped by the blade.
I'm not going to lie to you. There was a lot of blood. Many dish towels went to their early death in an attempt to staunch the bleeding. I used Dr. Google to figure out whether I needed stitches. I was about ready to head for a Target or Northwestern after-hours clinic when I realized the after hours no longer applied to me - they were closed. The ER seemed like an overreaction. So I bandaged up my hand, threw out the blood pesto, made myself a frozen dinner and drank beer, just like my forebearers used to do.
The point of this story is I KNEW I WAS DOING SOMETHING DUMB. I was literally thinking about this New York Times article when I mangled my finger. Which makes one reflect on the stupid things we do every day in long-term care. I'm not talking about putting one's foot in his or her mouth, as that's both normal and something I do on a regular basis. I'm talking about lifting a resident when you know you need to call for an assist, or using your work email to send a suggestive note to your mistress. In one case, you could end up in the emergency room because of a back injury, and in the other case you could also end up in the emergency room after your wife finds the email and takes a golf club to your back. The end result is the same, plus or minus a divorce, and the cause is the same: Knowingly doing something where you know better.
The good news is we can learn from our mistakes. I still have all my digits, the better to type to you, faithful readers. I will use the blender for soup, someday, maybe, and keep my fingers far away from the blade. And allow me to publicly say: Justin, you may have a point about dinner being a production. Let's go out.
Elizabeth Newman is the Senior Editor at McKnight's Long-Term Care News. Follow her @TigerELN.