Emergency at Work

I dialed the school equivalent of 911 from my desk yesterday. Actually, I dialed 300, which linked me up to the main receptionist. I needed first aid, and calling my favourite redhead in the front office was my only hope.

If today’s post sounds overly dramatic, it’s probably because I am so relieved the diploma writing exam is over that my brain is zinging with joy. Excuse my melodramatic stylings until I recover from my nearly sleepless night.

Anyway, there I was, teaching LA 9 for two consecutive blocks like I do every Tuesday morning, when my hand started to sting. Considering I had surgery on that paw December 21, the burning in my palm was certainly cause for concern. Wait –isn’t a burning sensation in any body part generally a reason to investigate? When I checked my incision, I felt a little bit green. Actually, I felt more bed sheet white than any other colour.

My surgical incision, which was relieved of its horrid sutures just last Thursday, was yawning at me. I will clarify that the yawn was not the kind of first thing in the morning yawn that displays every filling in the mouth, as well as the uvula and most of the digestive tract. Thankfully (?) my boo-boo was yawning in the I hope the boss doesn’t notice how exhausted I am in this important work-type seminar manner: the subtle yawn. Either way, seeing the inside of a formerly closed up cut makes a gal feel a little bit unsettled.

First, I emailed the lady on staff who deals with all the blood, guts, and bruises. We rarely have guts, except in the biology lab, thankfully.

Hey, I’m wondering if you could stop in and have a look at my incision. It’s opening up and it hurts like crazy. I think we might need to steri-strip the sides together. Thanks! 


At this point, I was three minutes into my second block with my nines. This left me sixty-five minutes from the next five minute break between classes. My hand was positively sizzling with ouchies. Nothing was leaking out of it yet, since the yawn was only partway through the scar, but it felt like I’d landed on the business end of a hatchet during a ringing downpour of acid rain. (I warned you about the melodrama).

After ten minutes, with no email (sometimes the designated first aid specialist is away from her desk), I pressed “300” to dial the receptionist. She may not be the official “first aid” person, but she has keys to every door, including the room where we keep the gauze and amputation kit.

Four minutes later, there she was, patching me up while I continued with the lesson. Bless that redhead. She is truly a peach of a person. She’s also a whiz with steri-strips, apparently, and she quickly created some sort of “x” shape that managed to avoid actually sticking to the yawning part of my boo-boo. The whole arrangement reminded me of a jolly roger sans Roger himself (just his femurs) but I didn’t want to think about pirate symbols (also known as labels of toxicity) over an open wound on my person.

Once things were appropriately secured on my paw, the wild stinging settled down to a manageable gnawing, and my day went on as planned. Junior high kids also get pretty excited about painful injuries, so I had a bit of an advantage for the remainder of the class.

I’m down to only one steri-strip today, which I even applied myself.

Crisis averted. God bless the secretary.

I guess I was overly optimistic about my return to work. I haven’t been doing any heavy lifting or anything I considered strenuous lately with my battered paw, but it seems the zillion and six subtle movements a teacher’s hand makes in a day were too much for my rather fresh incision. We’ll see what the surgeon says next week.

It’s amazing how many kids offer to schlep my stuff for me when I’m injured. Maybe I should make steri-strips a permanent part of my wardrobe. Do they come in leopard print?

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s because you didn’t eat enough chocolate 😉

  2. FL LIz says:

    Ack – that IS alarming. I had the same thing happen the day I got the staples out of my franken-tummy from my hysterectomy. I’ve calmly bandaged and cleaned many of my kid’s gashes, but seeing my own flesh parting like the red sea……that ooked me out. I had my sister run me back to the doctor expecting sutures and was sorely disappointed when the nurse just taped it back up. I took the ‘take it easy’ instructions more seriously and my tummy healed up just fine. TAKE IT EASY Kay~~ 🙂

    1. Yikes! I was really lucky with my hysterectomy incision, although I was steri-stripped from the moment the staples came out.
      I’m trying to take it easy, work is just wacko busy this time of year.

  3. carolrood says:

    Poor Kay! I wondered about how fresh your wound looked when you posted about the suture removal. I would think they should have steristripped it when they removed the sutures. When we do minor surgery (minor compared to yours) we ALWAYS steristrip after suture removal. It keeps the wound together and reduced scarring. On a side note, I refer to my previous comment of high school boys thinking you are “hawt”, hence the many many offers to help. 😉

    1. Aww, you’re sweet Carol. I was wondering too when the sutures came out if the boo-boo would hold. My GP had to yank the sutures around a lot to lift up places to but, and I think the rough-housing didn’t help my cause. My other hand has very minimal scarring, six months after surgery, so I’m hoping for a similar outcome this time.

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