The reports of my injury have been greatly exaggerated. By me. Contrary to what you may have heard, I did not have to have skin grafts. In fact, a few days later, I am pretty much back to normal. Although I can’t say the same for certain kitchen appliances.
Here’s what happened.
It was my youngest sister’s birthday and I decided to bake her a birthday cake. I bought a box of Betty Crocker cake mix, a tub of frosting, and some decorating do-dahs. Although my mother is no longer able to participate in these domestic activities, I put an apron on her and had her watch me from her wheelchair, telling her what I was doing and that she was “helping” me.
All went well until I put the bowl of ingredients under the stand mixer. It’s actually an Oster Kitchen Center from 1977 with a mixer attachment. The beaters started to mix the batter, but then they stalled. I turned the thing off and checked that the beaters were pushed in like they were supposed to be. After trying this and that, and receiving no cooperation from the contraption, I removed the bowl from its grasp and finished whipping up the cake batter by hand.
I told my dear husband that the mixer seemed to be having some sort of problem as I finished up the cake. It probably should have been more light and fluffy, but I’m sure it was all right.
After I showed John how to remove the mixer attachment from the kitchen center base, he took it apart and discovered a white plastic gear, maybe three inches in diameter, that had snapped in two. He said he would fix it later, after we bought some glue.
I bought Super Glue the next time I went to WalMart. John said he’d fix the mixer when he had time.
A week later, I wanted to make mashed potatoes and the mixer still wasn’t fixed. I decided that I’d rather do it myself than nag him about it. How hard could it be? I’d used Super Glue before.
The new tube of glue was sealed shut. You had to use the cap to pierce the top, then put the cap on the tube. I pushed the cap against the seal. It wouldn’t budge. I pushed harder. It was stubborn.
Then all of a sudden there was Super Glue everywhere. I quickly assembled the gear and put a rubber band around it to hold it until it dried.
Then suddenly, before I could wipe my hands off, I found myself stuck. My fingers were stuck together. Really stuck! And the Super Glue tube was now united with my right index finger. When I tried to pull it off, I realized that the bond was stronger than the surrounding skin. And it really hurts to try to pull your skin off. Both of my hands were bonded together.
Fortunately, my dear husband was home. After we both searched in vain for a bottle of nail polish remover, (Darn me and my natural look!) I asked him to please go up to the store and buy some.
He disappeared into the garage and returned with two aerosol cans. “Let’s try this first,” he said. “Hold your hands over the sink.”
I couldn’t believe it when he proceeded to spray black paint on my hands. “This has an acetone base”, he said. “Can you pull your fingers apart now?”
“Then how about now?” He added a coat of clear lacquer.
“John, PLEASE go to the store and get me some nail polish remover!”
He got me to sit down and relax and told me not to touch anything. My arms were getting tired from holding my hands in that position. I stared dazedly at the television while he did that errand for me. He was back pretty quickly.
John poured the polish remover into a bowl and I soaked my hands. It stung like the Dickens where I had been pulling at my skin. I managed to get a couple of the bonds broken. The tube was still firmly affixed to my fingertip and it REALLY HURT when I tried to pull it off.
I managed to move the bowl to the dining room table where I had been trying to glue the gear in the first place. I wanted to sit down. As I did so, I looked at the package from the Super Glue there on the table.
“Fingers glued together?”, it taunted.” Soak them in cooking oil.”
John poured some canola oil into another bowl. I rinsed my sticky paws with cool water and then plunged them into the oil. It was quite a relief. The nail polish remover had dried my skin out. It even felt good on the sore places. Soon I was able to peel chunks of glue/paint/lacquer off. Even then, it took quite a bit of soaking and tugging to get that tube off my finger. It took with it a small chunk of skin, leaving a sensitive spot.
I used Neosporin Plus Pain Relief on the sore spots and slathered my hands with thick lotion before putting on some latex gloves so I could fix dinner and take care of Momma. Later, I found some spray-on bandage (I don’t know how old it was, but it worked) in the medicine cabinet that protected my fingertip until it stopped being so sore.
That evening, I discovered two drops of Super Glue on the lens of my glasses. They were way over to one side, so I didn’t see them earlier. Good thing, too. I probably would have glued my hand to them. I went to two different eyeglass places the next day, and was told the same thing – if they tried to remove the glue, my glasses would be destroyed.
When the ordeal was finally over, I asked John to please put the mixer back together. I didn’t watch him take it apart and I didn’t know how it goes.
That’s when he explained to me what I’d done. There was an axle piece that had to go through the hole in the middle of the gear. Since I glued it back together without that piece, it couldn’t be reassembled.