We passed a sign on the way home from the ER. “Focus on the good,” it said. I thought, That’s a good idea.

The evening started out normally enough. Jessica was a bit tired from the long day of school with Namine — not a difficult day, Namine just got caught up on a lot of schoolwork — so I made dinner. We had some leftover sloppy joe meat, so I mixed that with some elbow noodles that I had boiled. Jessica asked me to grate some cheddar cheese, so I got the block out of the fridge, then reached in the cupboard for the mandoline.

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Not to be confused with an instrument not dissimilar from a banjo (at least to my uneducated eyes), Jessica’s mandoline has very sharp edges, edges used for cutting. Please follow the directions on the box and cut fruit, vegetables, or (as was my intention) cheese. Don’t do what I did and slice your finger.

I thought I just pricked my finger; I felt a sharp pain and pulled my hand back. I did not expect to see blood, certainly not enough to cover my forearm. It must have been deep (it was) to cause the blood to flow the way it did.

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I ran my finger under cold water for several minutes, which did absolutely nothing to stem the flow. I held it tightly inside a paper towel for at least another ten or fifteen, and that too did nothing. It was then that Jessica said (to my objection) that she ought to drive me to Urgent Care. I would have preferred to drive myself, but she would have none of that. So I called my parents, and my dad came over to watch Namine and tuck her into bed — which was good, because we didn’t arrive home again until nearly midnight.

Jessica drove me to the Urgent Care, despite my objections. But lo and behold, the Urgent Care was closed — we had missed its closing time by half an hour. We sighed in unison and headed to the hospital. We knew what kind of wait lay in store at the ER, but what choice did we have?

Once we got to the hospital, we got checked in at the ER fairly quickly; blood pressure and other vitals, we know the routine well. After I was checked in, all we could do was wait. After about two hours of waiting, I was finally called back.

Back in the ER, I sat on the bed and the doctor unwrapped my finger. It didn’t look quite so menacing, now that it wasn’t pouring itself out. The doctor explained that he wanted to try using the sealant — called Dermabond, I think — and if that didn’t work, they’d stitch it shut.

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The doctor gave my finger a shot to numb it, and despite his warning that it would “sting like the dickens” (his words), it didn’t hurt much worse than my finger already had for the better part of the evening. A tech came in and cleaned it up, then the doctor came back and closed my finger with the sealant.

After giving it a few minutes to dry — and during that time, prove that it would hold — I was given a bandage to put over it and, after filling out the required paperwork, sent home. Even now, with the numbing stuff having worn off, the worst pain I’ve suffered is to my pride.

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Stupid Paul and his stupid finger.

It can often be difficult to see the good in life. Sometimes you have to actively look for it, and sometimes even then you can’t find it. But here’s my good for the evening: this cut on my finger was not nearly as bad as it could have been. Better, I have family upon which I can depend to look after my daughter in times of crisis. I have a loving wife who will take care of me in spite of myself.

I am blessed.

Husband. Daddy. Programmer. Artist. I’m not an expert, I just play one in real life.