I've been making jewelry a relatively short while-since 2006. As a
matter of practice and for the sake of avoiding injury, I've always
been mindful of my work habits in my shop. Despite being careful
though, every now and then schtuff happens. This time, fairly big
schtuff happened. -Interestingly enough, this particular schtuff
happened outside of the shop, with a tool no less.
In a Bugs Bunny-esque food/mind-tricks moment, my finger looked like
a potato, and I tried to chop it up for a soup I was making. (Bad
humor aside,) we're planning on replacing our cooking knife set and
decided to buy/test the Cook's Illustrated recommendation for "Best
8-Inch Chef's Knife." We've had our horrible Henckel's set for about
15 years, and while we've always honed them before use, we've never
had them professionally sharpened. As a result, I became used to
having to apply extra force while cutting with the dull things, and
thereby tended to take them for granted.
Enter shiny new super-sharp knife that will cut you if you look at
it the wrong way.
I took a cooking class years ago, and was trained to properly handle
a knife and cut while cooking. Before the new blade ever arrived, I
made a very specific mental note to go slowly while re-acclimating to
handling a sharp blade. I started out being hyper-mindful, but I was
making a really big soup, and over the course of dicing and slicing I
slipped up-figuratively and literally. I took a big chunk out of my
left-hand index finger.
Non-dominant, but important enough.
Long story wrapping, I was reminded of one of my favorite (and
incredibly funny) Ganoksin posts from several years ago, "Shop
I looked back through it hoping to remember whether or not someone
else cut off/out a chunk of a finger flesh-and if so, did the chunk
*really* grow back? Of all the awful injuries in that thread (cutting
into fingers/fingernails with saw blades, drilling fingers with cup
burs, etc.), nobody seems to have removed body parts-or parts of body
I was told in the ER that my finger flesh will grow back and fill
in. [ER 3 wasted hours of my life that I will never get back-I could
have doused it with saline solution & slapped a bandage on it
myself-my husband tried to tell me, but I was having none of that-it
hurt like hell and because of that I thought I was going to die,
hence my insistence on going to the ER.] However, now that I am again
rational, I really believe they told me it would grow back just to
shut me up-and perhaps to not have to deal with my nonmedical
insistence on doing a graft/reattachment, etc. During my mishap, I
surprisingly had the wherewithal to find/grab the plug, bag it, and
bring it (forgot the ice, tho). Of course I'm now wishing, with
regret, that I'd just stuck it back on myself to see what would
happen-the super glue solution.
Here's what it looks like. Warning: Squeamish? This is not for you.
The negative space is a pretty ugly divet, and it measures roughly
6mm x 6mm x 3-4mm. The nerves appear to be just fine as per the
application of Lanacane (oh. my. gohd.); however, I'm worried that
this is slightly more than a superficial top-layer removal. At a
minimum it is a big, incredibly awkward missing piece.
So, has this ever happened to any of your fingers? Did your
epidermis/flesh-combo (as opposed to just epidermis) grow back?
[::lightbulb it heals, the divet may be of better use than a ring
[FWIW--In case any of you are in search of the elusive "perfect"
chef's knife, here's the Cook's Illustrated review.]
Tamra M. Gentry