All Thumbs


Summertime and the livin’ is easy.  So easy in fact, that most days have been spent lazing around in my jammies and playing with my grandkiddos. I drew the lucky straw and have a grandson who’s 2 and a granddaughter 3 months. Yup, I’m one of those grandmas.  Annoying, I know. But I couldn’t have known how fun it would be to have these little people in my life…and so I tend to yak/brag about them a lot!

grandmas house My daughter is a busy mom and I remember those days well, so I wanted her to get in some well-deserved girl time with her sister.  Off they went sans kiddos. It was my first opportunity to watch both kids all by myself. No worries, I had this in the bag. Two kids and fix dinner-no sweat. After all I’d raised 4 kids back in the day…albeit I was younger and much more spry-but how much trouble could two tiny people possibly be?  And they were being perfect little angels.  (Obviously they take after me).


Granny Puckett from Hoodwinked

If everything went according to plan, the chicken enchiladas would be coming out of the oven right about the time the girls got home. Piece of cake! But as best laid plans go, it didn’t turn out quite the way I expected.  As I opened a pull-top can the jagged lid somehow caught my thumb and sliced it wide open. Fudge-muffins!!! (and that’s exactly what I said…) I went to rinse it thinking it was just superficial, but no such luck. Blood and gore. So I rinsed some more. Gross. I didn’t want to scare the kiddos, so I took a ream of paper towels and bundled it up. Keep calm, carry on and all that. I attended to my wound as nonchalantly as I could. I’m a high strung girl and just the thought of blood makes me weak  (Elizabeth, I’m comin’ to join ya.) The initial”A” in my middle name actually stands for “Anxiety.”  The unsettling thought hit me that if I passed out my backups were a baby and a toddler. JUST BREATHE. Since I didn’t buy the quicker picker upper, I was going through my bargain paper towels like they were kleenex (darn my frugality!) OK… Push down the nerves and big girl panties on.

Suddenly, as often happens in these little emergencies of life, my little grandson was desperate for a drink, and the baby chose that particular moment to go off like a rocket. I heard my voice calmly responding (like a Disney princess, but no little  bluebirds fluttering around me). I was able to maneuver a drink box (straw and all)-all the while maintaining steady pressure on my thumb which was in full hemorrhage mode (real Macgyver stuff here…) My scrambled brain  was thinking I hope his mother’s not mad at me for giving him a Dory fruit punch drink box instead of a sippy of milk. (We women are so funny in how we think sometimes.) I turned the fussing baby in her seat so she could see cartoons and she settled right down. (Granny of the year-sugary drink box and Nick Jr. babysitter!)


I needed to call my daughters to come back home so I could go to the ER stat!  One hand was applying  pressure and the other was in full bleed, so I pressed the Siri button, with a mental pat on the back for my clever thinking. To top it all off,  I had a spankin’ new phone and Siri was not my friend. He kept instructing me the people I was trying to reach weren’t contacts in my phone.  I was fairly exasperated at that point.  These are my peeps!  Of course they’re in my phone! As much as I enjoyed his smooth Australian accent (new phone=new accent~don’t judge.) I was annoyed and somewhat verbal with Mr. Siri-insisting yes they are in there, even though I knew he wasn’t listening.  Finally, I had a “eureka” moment and realized they weren’t in there under their proper names but nicknames…arghh lesson learned. Two Siri-dialed nicknames later, I made contact. Thank heavens for technology that allows for hands-free communication. The girls arrived home in Indy-worthy time.


My oldest daughter just graduated nursing school and efficiently assessed my thumb.  Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, off to the emergency room we did go.  My other daughter was left to be Cinderella the clean-up girl. Hospital-bound it struck me…Oh why did I have to injure myself on a day when I was in grubby workout clothes, frizzy hair, no make up, and glasses??? (To be honest that could be a lot of days…) Lordy, I was a hot mess.  Maybe with all the blood they wouldn’t notice…
Miracle of miracles, the ER was for once a great experience. No one in the waiting room, top notch staff, and all stitched up, I was soon home again, home again jiggety-jig. No takeaway pain meds, but an edict of no dishes, diapers, or anything else gross-Dr.’s orders.  Oh snap! My summer was turning into a dream vacation.

Or   was   it??

Let’s just say easier said than done when it comes to hands-off chores. Frustration soon set in as I attempted to do simple tasks that were second nature, only to realize nope, I needed to ask for help-or worse, wait for someone else to notice and do it. I’m not so much a domestic diva as I am a control freak.


So between you and me?  That opposable thumb thing really is a big deal!  Try pulling up your leggings without thumbs… (it’s never a pretty proposition anyway, but without thumbs it’s a freaking nightmare!)



Washing my hair with a plastic bag on my hand was a feat. (see what I did there, hand/feat, anyone?)  Not to mention detangling my humidity-crazed curls, which is challenging on a normal day with tons of product, two hands, and a pick. Without the use of my thumb, carrying kiddos, managing groceries, vacuuming, even unlocking the door was a challenge. Of course the injured hand was my dominant hand just for giggles. My handwriting is no great shakes on a good day, but my bum thumb made paperwork and writing skills nearly impossible.

Patience is not a virtue that comes naturally to me, (spoiler alert), and so it seems I’m always being given opportunities to learn it.  This time my lesson in patience had an unexpected payoff. Gratitude. I was grateful the little kiddos didn’t have to witness the scary stuff. Grateful that I had somehow held it together and they were blissfully unaware. So thankful for my good doctor and nurses. I  have a full blown white-coat phobia. I can honestly say it went as well as it possibly could.  I was grateful for my daughters taking over, making meals, doing chores, and pampering me rotten! Suddenly I had a new appreciation for all the things that I could do, and for the blessing of not getting an infection, and a relatively quick recovery from the stitches. Bonus: My thumb injury took my mind off all my other aches, pains and daily complaints (well almost). Grateful for thumbs. Who knew?


Look at me all glamour & man hands in this pic…arghh…keepin’ it real my friends, keepin it real

As a reminder-(so I don’t take thumbs for granted)-I’m still left with some achiness and funky nerve issues, and it won’t be 100 % for quite a while-but that’s okay. This little life lesson has helped me learn to rely on others and better understand my shortcomings. Perspective. Gratitude was not the side effect I expected, but I have to say I give it a big thumbs-up!