07 December 2009

Applesauce Cake

Sunday morning Jessee volunteered to cover the "staff of the day" responsibilities for a member of staff who left early for the semester. Our cooks are off on Sundays, so part of the chore is preparing meals for the students. Jessee decided to get an early start and prepare an applesauce cake before the student kitchen crew was required to be there. It was a fateful decision.

Industrial Applesauce

About 20 minutes after leaving the room, she came back with an alarmed look on her face and blood-soaked paper towels wrapped around her hand. She'd had a bit of a mishap with an industrial sized can of applesauce. Our can opener is defective and always leaves the lids of cans partially attached. It usually takes some prying and pulling to get them completely open. In the process, her hand slipped, leaving a deep cut in the fleshy part of her hand nearest the pinky.

I had her keep pressure on the wound while I got supplies from the first aid cabinet. Once the bleeding stopped we called the Island's doctor and asked her to meet us at the clinic (they're closed on Sundays). The doctor had us contact the nurse on call and she met us at the clinic about 15 minutes later. She cleaned out the cut and told Jessee she'd need stitches. Reluctant, Jessee asked if it was possible to mend it without stitches. The nurse said it was a little too deep, but gave in to Jessee's request. That probably would have been the best time for me to intervene and encourage the stitches, but I didn't. The adhesive steri-strips that the nurse used aren't as durable and make it more difficult to keep the wound clean. Also because the adhesive closure makes it impossible to apply topical antibiotics, the nurse prescribed oral antibiotics, something both of us feel is excessive and only contributes to the rise of resistant strains of bacteria.

We talked about it that evening and decided to go back to the clinic this morning. It turns out, however, stitches must be put in during the first 24 hours or they can't be put in at all. So we spent nearly two hours in the waiting room to get done what we could have done on our own. In fact, when we got back, I cleaned it out a little more and reapplied adhesive closures. Unfortunately I don't have many pictures to post and none of the carnage (I thought it would have been insensitive to delay the run to clinic to get pictures for the blog).

In the end, she still made the cake.

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