Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Stitches

This is a pincushion.

The items in it are very useful for sewing projects and pushing tiny reset buttons. They also belong one hundred percent outside of the human body at all times.

I neglected that vital guideline in November and fell victim to the first knitting-related stab wound to hit Albuquerque emergency facilities in 2012. If you are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, this is not one that I would recommend.

My other recommendations include not leaving sharp things lying in the carpet. The whole adventure began with crouching over some knitting materials, soon followed by overbalancing into a nearby slurry of craft stuff that turned out not to be just yarn after all. Instead, it included a straight pin that promptly sunk so far into my shin that the head didn’t show.

As it happens, self-skewering is high on the list of Things That Can Make Me Faint Again. Since my established predisposition toward fainting is connected to a low heart rate, I spent a few minutes lying on my back doing arm calisthenics until the room stopped looking so white and floaty. Then I drove over to Urgent Care chanting energetic song lyrics very loudly in pursuit of continued consciousness.

After an x-ray, we found out that the pin had broken in half. Emergency was only able to remove the outer piece, which led to some disconcerting conversations with a specialist about the remaining one.

These discussions alternated with sheepish expository episodes every time I met someone new.

They sent me home with antibiotics and painkillers, and I spent several days waiting for further developments while feeling like a victim of the world’s most literal voodoo doll.

My parents, meanwhile, had a nifty time with the whole thing as well. They were driving cross-country during the Great Puncturing, and they did not receive the voicemail I left them from Urgent Care. Instead, they arrived in Indiana where my uncle, who had been following the saga on Facebook, greeted them at the door with, “Is Clara out of the hospital yet?”

Eventually, the doctor and I determined that it was best not to continue carrying the shrapnel from my hazardous life of yarn working. On December 27th they went in to retrieve the other piece—a process that involved many uncomfortable terms such as “anesthesia waiver” and “dissection,” but made up for it with pre-warmed blankets.

Hospital sanitary regulations wouldn’t let me keep the pin, which is too bad. I kind of wanted to make macabre jewelry now that it’s worth as much as several varieties of gemstone.

It’s not all bad, though. Primarily, I no longer have a sharp piece of metal lodged in a major moving part. As an added bonus, since stabbing myself via handicrafts, I’ve accomplished roughly five times as many needlework projects as in the entire preceding year. That means even more of my recovery time has been spent on the thing that attacked me than on NCIS reruns.

I’ve been trying to work out ways to harness this power of irony in my future injury planning. Maybe I can arrange for a concussion while doing sit-ups or something similarly productive.


  1. Can't beat those pre-warmed blankets! Glad you're better!

    1. Thanks! And extra thanks for the chocolate...