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A Stitch in Mine

September 5, 2012

Alright…the apartment was cleaned and supper was in the crock pot. What else needed to be done? Oh, yeah, the mending. Yuck. But it had to be done…the hubby needed his jeans patched before work tomorrow.

I dug around in my sewing basket, searching for a hunk of denim large enough to cover the right knee of his jeans. This pair barely warranted another patch. But with the type of work he did in the iron mines, they were fine. That’s about the only thing they were good for. No sense in sending him to work in better jeans…they’d be ruined in no time.

With money so tight, we had to squeeze as many miles out of each pair as possible. Especially with the baby coming soon.

After pinning the patch in place, I sat down at the machine. This one would be difficult; I’d have to stitch over the heavy seam on the inside of the leg. The rip was right up to the edge of that seam, so I had no choice. I’d made it as easy as possible though, having ripped the opposite seam open so I could lay it flat instead of trying to bunch the fabric up and work on it that way.

So there I was, about half done, trying to push the heavy seam and denim patch under the pressure foot and get it sewn without breaking the needle. Finally it went under…but my reflexes weren’t so quick.

I’d sewn right through my finger. Just through the tip, near the base of the nail…and I was now effectively nailed to the machine. We were one. I was home alone and couldn’t reach the phone. A predicament, to be sure.

If Hubby came straight home from work, he’d be here soon. Trouble was, he rarely came straight home. He usually stopped for a quick beer with his co-workers, and staggered in the door about six hours later. Drunk and broke.

At that point, he walked in the door, and was surprisingly sober. A rare occurrence, indeed. So, Hubby put his thinking cap on, an even more rare occurrence. And I thought, there just might be a God, after all.

Hubby #1 comes up with what he thought was a reasonable idea. He wanted to wedge his dirty wire cutters into that tiny space between my finger, the pressure foot and the sewing machine, then clip the needle, grab it with his equally filthy needle nose pliers, and yank it out himself. After all, he reasoned, money was tight, and he didn’t see a need to go to the doctor if he could do the work himself. This man was barely qualified to put on a band-aid, let alone extract a needle. And I think he chose the needle nose pliers on purpose. He might have even thought they were specifically designed to remove needles.

‘I don’t think so!’ I hissed. To cover the co-pay, he’d have to give up a night of drinking…just so I could get a needle removed from my finger. Big deal. Not that he actually would. He’d rather skip paying the electric bill. Poor baby. You’d think I was asking him for a kidney.

I was working at removing the needle from my Singer…very carefully. With my left hand. Now, I write left-handed, but I do most everything else right-handed, so loosening the needle was a challenge, probably not as bad as it would have been for someone who was totally right-handed, but difficult enough. Soon, with some delicate maneuvering, I was free. ‘Let’s go to the clinic.’

‘But I can do it…’ he whined.

‘No. Let’s go.’ And if the car had been an automatic, I’d have driven myself. But my finger was starting to throb, so I needed him to drive.

And as luck would have it, I’d sewn the middle finger on my right hand. Keeping it elevated helped with the pain….so naturally, I held it up, and I kept it aimed at him, just for good measure. Naturally.

At the clinic, after removing the needle, with sterile equipment, the doctor suggested we x-ray my finger, ‘just to be sure‘. I wasn’t sure what we needed to be sure about…I already knew I’d sewn through my finger.

‘Don’t worry‘, he said, ‘we’ll wrap you in lead so the baby will be okay.’

Smart man, that doctor…turned out that the needle went right through the bone. The nail, the flesh and the bone…I got ‘em all with just one stitch. I’ll bet I couldn’t do that again if I tried…which I wouldn‘t.

So, armed with a prescription for an antibiotic, and a instructions to keep it dry for a week, we left. But not before I made sure the doctor told Hubby #1 that he should do the dishes until next Thursday.  I wasn’t holding my breath.

After we left, Hubby #1 began questioning the need for the antibiotic. Now I know he was in the room when the doctor explained it was to prevent an infection in the bone…and that the treatment for bone infection is to simply remove the affected portion of bone. Didn’t he get it?

As for me, I’d just as soon not go there. I was pretty sure I’d need that whole finger in the future. Especially if I stay married to him.

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One Comment
  1. Oh my gosh. I just bruised my left-hand middle finger sewing last week! I don’t know what I would have done if the needle had gone into it….ewwwwww. Hurt like the dickens for days. Can not imagine how painful that must have been (both the finger and the marriage!!!!)

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