Monday, March 7, 2011

The Cutting Edge

I cut myself on the face while shaving.

And no, smart-alecks, I wasn’t shaving my face.

I was shaving the hair on the back of my neck—sometimes it gets a little scruffy between haircuts and I have to clean it up. I do it while in the shower so the hairs don’t stick to my neck and itch. Got it?

So, as I was transferring the razor from my left hand to my right, somehow my chin got in the way (?), and slash! Splashes of blood hit the shower floor and spattered like a horror movie. I rushed, worried that I might run out of blood and faint, naked. in the shower, and EMS would be called. That’s my idea of a horror story. Probably the EMS squad’s, too.

I stuck toilet paper to the cut and tried to get dressed, but one wad of toilet paper didn’t begin to staunch the flow. I had to press toilet paper against my chin for, oh, fifteen minutes before the flow slowed to a trickle. 

I've had other bad experiences with sharp objects. Last year when the whole family gathered, I dressed the three granddaughters in pillowcase dresses (handmade by yours truly, thank you very much) and took pictures out front on the wicker rockers. I’d cut my hand with a paring knife just prior to the photo session and stuck several bandages over the cut. A few minutes into the photo session I guided one of the girls into position and a bright red stain showed up on the dress’ shoulder. Oops. Son-in-law Jeremy did some quick first aid, taping and binding my hand into immobility, and I lived.

On Thanksgiving Day I was chopping up turkey thighs to roast (makes a gravy to die for—literally) and wham, another slip of the knife. John wanted to take me to Emergency for stitches but I refused—the work-intensive gravy would never get done, and I didn’t have a Plan B. He cleaned and bound the nasty cut, making dire predictions about poultry diseases, and took over the gravy preparations. The following Tuesday at the dermatologist’s I was told, “Your husband was right. You needed stitches. Too late now.” It hurt until February.

So when I cut my chin recently, five-year-old granddaughter Ella asked, “What did you do to your face?” 

“I accidentally cut it. I have a little trouble with sharp things.”

“Yeah, because you always cut yourself with them!”

The next time she saw me she greeted me with, “So, did you cut yourself again?”

What about you? Are you known for something as stupid as impaired knife-handling? And if you ever want a blood-brother (or sister), I always stand ready.


  1. My advice is get a styptic pencil for those smaller cuts. Stings like a b (the flying kind and the other kind)but works well unless the wound is really nasty.

  2. Bob--Smaller cuts? What are those?

  3. I think you should consider a) get a trim at the hairdresser between cut, and b) let that chef again into your house. He might be a pain, but you won't be cut...

  4. You made me laugh out loud, Valerie, from your delightful prose, not your flesh wounds. Oh, I've sliced my legs every which way with shavers, put my hand through a window, and had a glass drop out of the cupboard, break and slice my thigh on its way to the floor.
    Be safe!