Friday, November 14, 2008

My disgusting finger: a scrapbooking injury

A few months ago I was at Jen K's taking a class on cardmaking (which ruled, by the way). I needed to set a brad or something so I got out the pokey stick to, well, poke a hole through the paper. Should be simple, it's the most basic of tools, right? Of course, I was totally not thinking about what I was doing because I rarely ever seem to have the focus to pay attention to one thing at a time, and without thinking, used my index finger to support the back of the paper and jammed the paper piercer well into the end of my finger. It was one of those things you just stare at, unbelieving, it's so far in there. It seemed like I was pulling the thing out forever, like magicians scarves--there can't possibly be *that* much in there.

Okay but that's not the gross part. A few weeks later, it's healed shut, but there's this weird bump that seems to be getting bigger. This doesn't sit well with me. I have ocd and this new development offends my sensibilities for two reasons: anything that doesn't feel "right" must be gouged, and I am terrified of warts, never had one, but that doesn't stop me from being petrified that it might be one.

Sidestory: When I was 7 or 8, I started piano lessons as many children do. I had a really sweet piano teacher, always caring, patient, gave her students gum or sourballs after our lessons. There were two things that filled me with dread, that I desperately tried not to notice, my stare burning holes in the sheet music to avoid acknowledging existed. One was her toenails, longer than Cruella de Ville's talons, carefully filed, impeccably polished. The worst were the pinky toes with their inhuman, unnatural little nails, curled into tiny tubes that nearly touched the floor when she walked (which she did rarely.)

The other thing that freaked me out (which is also more pertinent to the gross finger story) was this gigantuan wart on her right hand pinky. A pink, perfectly round balloon attached by a small spot of skin on the first (from the end) joint of the finger. Was it filled with air? Water? It couldn't be blood, it was too pale. This growth prevented her little finger from getting within 3/4 of an inch of the rest of her hand, something that had to be a great hinderance when playing the piano. Every time she'd slide next to me on the piano bench to play a new song for me, I was frozen in slack-jawed fear that today would be the day the bubble would finally close that tiny gap of skin completely, certain that when she got up to return to her knitting chair, the perfect sphere of flesh would remain on the keyboard, teetering perfectly balanced for a moment before falling onto the front of my uniform skirt.

So, anyway, fearing this is my karmic punishment for being unable to think of her without thinking of this fleshy superball, I find an edge and get to gouging. I'm surprised when it gives without a fight and...ugh...a hard, white sphere falls out of the wound, leaving a clean empty crater. Gross! Once I'm done being amazed (and deciding that, no, I won't save the sphere as sideshow style souvenier) I slap a band-aid on it and forget it.

Lo and behold, the bump forms again. I can't help messing with it. I'm completely petrified that it will be somehow contageous and I will end up with bumps everywhere it touches, so for the weeks since it has reappeared, I've had to wash anything it accidentally comes in contact with. You can likely imagine what a pain in the ass this is. So, last night, I'd had it with this thing, and again, it gives with surprising ease, guessed it...another hard marble falls out of it, leaving, again, a clean, bloodless cavern.

What the hell is this thing? Scott suggested that I am gestating spider eggs in there, but I have my doubts. How does one go about figuring out why this is happening without spending $50 at urgent care? I don't think it would be much help to google "Puncture wound healed with hard rubber ball inside. What does it mean?"

It is a mystery.

Just be thankful I decided not to post photos.