Tuesday, February 07, 2012

more on hand wounds

Thanks for the input, guys, though I wish now that I had solicited your advice on how to more easily peel ginger (with a spoon?  Really?  And it doesn't just turn it into a mush?) BEFORE slicing a sliver of my damn finger off, not from the arguably more bloody world of the retrospective.  This is why I can't have nice things.  Like, you know,  fingernails.

Also, one commenter noted: "Wasn't there some big debate over bagel slicers at one point and now this? Is that irony I smell?"  (Click on the link to read the debate itself, but for the lazies, briefly: Joe had this bad habit of holding his bagels in his palm while cutting them in lengthwise directly into his hand, and I had a problem with that, especially given that he's in a profession where hand tendon injury could be catastrophic.  For instance, a minor to moderate hand injury would not necessarily end my career as I know it, but it could almost certainly end his.  However, you will be gratified to know that after that last discussion more than a year ago, Joe doesn't cut his bagels employing the "hand taco" method anymore--or at least he doesn't do it in front of me.)

Well, here's the difference as I see it.  I slice a lot of vegetables with a vegetable peeler.  This most recent event I would classify as an accident.  Accidents happen.  For example, I try to be cautious at work, but sometimes accidents still happen, like, say, needle sticks in the OR.  But accidents happening despite best precautions is different than habitually unsafe practice--like recapping non-blunt needles by hand, or sloppy sterile technique. (This is no one in specific, by the way, just a few easy everyday examples I can think of).  Or, to bring it out of the hospital setting and back into the kitchen where it started, let's say slicing bagels using your palm as the cutting board, or rubbing raw chicken all over your countertops.  My point being, I would say it's the difference between cutting yourself in the kitchen (it happens to everyone) versus setting up a situation where cutting yourself is much, much more likely to happen.

So no, that's not irony you smell.  Just the smell of human flesh and ginger cooking in a delectable 

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Oh, and by the way, not that I wish you pain, but if you happen to have cut your hand and if you also happen to work in some kind of germ zone (or at least in a job where you have to wash your hands a lot), here's a great and truly occlusive bandage that will hold up for, I kid you not, a good couple of days.  

I got a six pack of these for the winter season (A.K.A. the "I'm washing my hands so much and the weather is so dry that my hands be cracking everywhere" season) and between me and Mack (Mack is a great believer in the curative power of Band-Aids, even without any actual visible injury--he prefers to prophylactically laminate himself) we are putting them to good use.  They're a little more expensive but seriously, they are worth it for high-mobility areas--as mentioned before, they are truly occlusive, they really stick well, and don't tend to get all sodden and ooze off like the more traditional model.  

Now everyone go get injured!


  1. Are those the hydrocoloid one? I LOVE that stuff!

  2. Ooh. "Occlusive" may just be my new favorite word.

  3. Ann Nonymouse1:08 PM

    By truly occlusive, do you mean to say that you can wash your hands lots without *any* moisture passing through? Could it be???

  4. Thanks for the tip on the bandaids. I just sliced my thumb and thumbnail while chopping apples for a parfait. I cut my thumbnail almost in the middle and I don't want it ripping off on anything but normal bandaids are USELESS if they come in contact with water. I do enjoy getting rid of microbes by washing my hands.

    Good luck with cooking.

  5. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Michelle, I am on my psych rotation right now and I think of your cartoon often. Hope all is well!

  6. I don't know about ZERO moisture passing through, but I can submerge my hand without the wound stinging at all (as opposed to a regular Band-Aid, which was the equivalent of wrapping in fully porous cheesecloth), and the stickiness of these new bandages is all over the entire surface--there is no absorbant gauze pad to muck up the works. So I'd say functionally, yeah, pretty well occlusive.

    (My old method for wound isolation was wrapping the injured finger in a Tegaderm, but this created an unsettling Fruit Roll Up quality to the digit, and all the loose edges were gross lint traps.)

  7. Are these latex free? (Latex allergy sufferer here...)

  8. After working as a Home Health Aide for six years, I found that the only treatment for cracked, bleeding knuckles is Bag Baum. Every Winter I would suffer from painful cracking knuckles. This was a result of washing my hands about 30 to 40 times per day and using an alcohol hand product the agency gave us to use between patients. I had tried numerous hand creams and lotions and nothing helped until I read about Bag Balm in a quilting magazine. It works !

    1. Anonymous8:59 AM

      Just wondering - do you find that it affects the strength you have for jaw lift and bag mask ventilation with the handwound? What's your tip around that?

  9. Anonymous5:06 AM

    those fancy bandages make me want to cut myself...

  10. Outre5:35 PM

    Last time I cut myself in the kitchen I KNEW what I was doing was stupid and cut myself badly. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cut that bled that profusely. That bandaid would have been so helpful to prevent wet soggy bandaid causing my barely scabs to fall off and restart the bleeding/clotting process.

  11. I think the cracking thing just happens in Atlanta. I start with the Bag Baum as soon as the geese start flocking and have to keep it up all winter.