I was rummaging around in the fridge, hunting for something palatable to put in my lunch. There was a soft POP sound … or maybe it was more of a POOF sound, with a sort-of mild crashy undertone.
Regardless of the actual sound, one of the lights at the bottom of my fridge was no longer lit.
I pulled out one of the vegetable drawers to see exactly what had happened. Yep, the light was out. In fact, part of the lightbulb was lying in pieces at the bottom of the fridge. It seemed to have exploded – quietly, but nonetheless, exploded.
I carefully picked up all the pieces and disposed of them. Then I looked more carefully at the light socket from whence those pieces had come. There was still about a third of the lightbulb still in there, all jaggedy and pointy-edged.
I gingerly reached in and tried to turn the remains of the lightbulb. I couldn’t turn it much, mostly because there wasn’t much to grab. It stayed put. I tried again, very carefully. Nothing moved. I gave up, put the vegetable drawer back in, and shut the fridge.
I tried again the next day. No success. I simply couldn’t get a good grip on that broken piece of lightbulb. I didn’t really want to take a chance at cutting my fingers to shreds, so again, I replaced the vegetable drawer and shut the fridge.
This went on for days. I was starting to get tired of being reminded, every time I opened the fridge that was now only partially lit, that I needed to get that piece of dead lightbulb out and a new lightbulb in. It was like it was laughing at me, whispering snide comments like “What kind of idiot can’t even take a broken lightbulb out of their fridge?!”
A careful idiot, that’s what kind. I didn’t want to slice a finger open, and apparently this lightbulb was screwed in quite tightly. I pondered other methods of removal, such as thick gloves, pliers, and begging PG to do it for me.
But I thought I’d give it one last try. Out came the vegetable drawer, in went my hand. Although I’m generally right-handed, I decided to try my left one. Maybe a slightly different grip would work?
You guessed it – I cut my index finger, right on the pad near my fingernail.
There was SO MUCH BLOOD! I couldn’t get it to stop gushing! I stood with my hand in the kitchen sink, water running over my hand, watching all that blood pour out. I learned that hot water makes blood flow faster, cold water makes it slow down. I learned that it’s really hard to apply pressure to a bleeding wound when it hurts like hell. I learned that it is very easy to forget to elevate a bleeding extremity when it hurts like hell. I learned that it takes about an hour for a cut finger to slow down its bleeding enough for the cut to be bandaged properly – and also that it’s very difficult to bandage said cut finger when you actually need that finger to manipulate the antiseptic wipe (which, again, hurts like hell) and the bandage. But I got it done.
My finger was throbbing hard by then and it was hard to sleep that night. I was also concerned about bleeding right through the bandages and waking up in a bloody bed.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen, and I was able to change the bandages that morning without incident. The cut was still oozing, so I had to change them again at work, about mid-morning. The finger continued to throb, and I started watching it for signs of infection. I mean, a cut shouldn’t bleed this much or hurt this long, should it?
That night, when changing the bandages yet again, I finally got a good look at the cut. It was a bit less than a centimetre long, less than the width of my index finger. It didn’t look like much – but it continued to hurt. I left the bandages off, smearing the area liberally and regularly with antiseptic ointment.
And now, almost a week later, the cut isn’t terribly visible unless you know what to look for. It’s healing very nicely and cleanly, no infection, no mess. It still hurts to touch, and naturally, since it’s at the tip of my index finger, it gets touched a lot! (Typing is just now getting easier.) There may be a slight scar, but I can live with that.
And the piece of broken lightbulb that caused all this is still firmly screwed into its socket in the fridge.
Apparently I can live with that, as well.