April 13, 2011 – Healing Takes Longer

I filled the sink with hot soapy water. Without paying attention, I threw in numerous dirty dishes that needed cleaning. I stared absently out the window, picked dishes out at random and scrubbed without looking. I was using my fingers as my eyes and landed on something I didn’t recognize. Immediately I was reminded that I had tossed in the santoku knife as my whole arm jerked back involuntarily and trickles of red swirled atop the soap suds.

The cut is small but in a most inconvenient place – the tip of my right index finger. It doesn’t want to close over and, I’ve come to recognize, the older I get, things that break on me do not heal with any kind of expediency. It throbs constantly and is tender when touched. Did I mention I am right-handed and work on a computer nearly all day long? Or that although I have a high tolerance for pain, I still like to whine about it? And that I turn almost anything into a metaphorically revealing rant about something curled up inside my backlog of emotional disturbances?

It is amazing to me how such a seemingly small wound could continue to constantly remind me of not only its existence but also my negligent role in the injury’s occurrence. Whenever I forget it is there, I invariably tap it too hard on the keyboard, whack it on an object where I’ve misjudged its proximity or grab a hold of something salty. I reopen the wound again and again without provocation or warning.

It’s been a while since the initial slicing, however, as much as I’ve tried, I cannot force the wound to heal by sheer will. I try to take care of the cut, protect it from infection and attempt to limit the usage of that particular finger.

But it is my index finger on my right hand! It’s my number one, lead-off hitter when anything remotely related to my sense of touch is concerned.

It simply takes the slightest amount of external pressure to fire up the pain signals.

And I have no way of knowing when the closure will be complete.

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