Sunday, November 8, 2009


This morning I woke up feeling the effects of last night. There were the usual ones that come after a good dinner party. I was both still full and hungry again, thirsty, craving coffee. But there were other troubling signs: my wrist was stiff and achy, and there was a dull throbbing pain in my thumb.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it, the perilous holiday season starts. For many years I have been systematically attempting and failing to holiday-proof my life. Though I have been able to avoid the worst of it by not going home for Christmas, I still find myself listening to jingly tunes and baking cookies around mid to late December.

But Thanksgiving is much more dangerous, and it started last night with round one of turkey centric let’s gorge ourselves and celebrate gatherings. The danger is that after eating good food in large amounts, everyone is happy, and things can take a mushy turn. Last night, with two new babies in attendance, the risks were even greater.

Careful planning was on my side. I wore an outfit without a waist and I packed my plate in such a way that I successfully hit that sweet spot where you’ve eaten enough to make motion difficult, but not enough to make you feel sick in just one serving.

But even the best-laid plans can go wrong. I volunteered to do the dishes. They had already been soaking for a while and were easy to wash. I thought I’d do a dozen or so to make way for more soaking. The plates were stacked on the left. I grabbed the sponge and soaped them as I stacked to the right, planning on rinsing them all at once before moving them to the drying rack.

The sponge slid smoothly and I was enjoying making quick progress. I was holding a plate in left hand, scrubbing it with my right, when the unthinkable happened. The plate cracked as I was holding it, attacked my left thumb and killed it.

Rescue workers rushed to the scene trying to stop the blood that now flowed from my thumb and spilled on the plates. They assessed the situation and dashed in search of emergency supplies. After leaving blood on several paper towels, I was able to apply antibiotic ointment and make butterfly stitches to place on the flap of skin that was left on the cut.

I thought that was the end of that, but this morning when I woke up to the pain in my hand I realized it was just the beginning. The pain in my thumb, hand, and wrist were symptoms of something larger; something my mother had not prepared me for. My thumb had turned into a zombie.


  1. Oh no... I hope your zombie thumb is okay. eeek.

  2. Thanks Jessica! The thumb still has a zombie look to it, but it doesn't hurt anymore. It'll make it.

  3. Moxa! That's what I shoved into my thumb when I almost cut it off, much to my Manisha/Doctor's horror!

  4. Thanks Reiko and K, it's recovering nicely. Now it just looks surprised.

  5. PULL OUT THE STERISTRIPS!!! I do belong to Reiko....but I wanna belong to you too!!!! ;)