There is great satisfaction from working with one’s hands. However, when one nearly amputates one’s finger, the satisfaction is greatly decreased.
Let me paint the scene, or in this case, mud it.
We had taken down all of the wooden paneling in our backroom and replaced it with drywall. This makes for a short sentence but took several long weekends to actually accomplish.
Generally speaking, once nailed to the walls and ceiling, the sheets of drywall are close but not perfectly flush with one another. Most especially this is true in an unevenly cobbled together house such as the one in which we live. So we use this special tape wherever two edges of drywall meet and cover it with this grey gunk, called mud, to fill in the cracks, seal the seams, and to make the walls nice and smooth.
Easy enough, right?
I had just finished the perfect seam. Smooth and evenly spread with light feathering out on each side; it was the kind of seam that I knew would make my dad proud. Then it occurred to me that my tongue was going numb and my hands were shaking.
“Blood sugar’s dropping,” I slurred out.
I’ve got this, I thought to myself since my usual mode of communication was temporarily disabled. I shook off the shakes with the determination to finish one more seam before collapsing or seeking out a cookie or scoop of peanut butter. In either case, I was not giving up just because of a little hypoglycemia.
Scraping the excess mud from one drywall knife onto the other, I wavered with the thought that I really should stop but continued on anyways. And then suddenly when my drywall knife should have been scooping, smoothing, or scraping, it took on the function of slicing. The edge of the blade cut through the skin on the top of my index finger and stopped just shy of the bone. This was the finger that I might use to point out something interesting, to scoop a sample of frosting from a cake or to squish an ant, a very important digit by all accounts.
As blood spurted from the top of my finger, I stared in shock. Then, I swore to never be helpful again and started screaming. Side note: I am not the best at dealing with situations that involve pressure, crisis, conflict, or blood which are not exactly strong talking points in a job interview or when making a few friend. Subjects such as these are better left to discussions with penpals and counselors.
Fast forward to a new day with a fresh bandage wrapped around my wounded finger.
I am still fervently wishing the walls will come together on their own, possibly through divine intervention, and waiting for my finger to heal. The fact remains clear that this terrible job is not meant for the impatient or weak of heart.
My utmost respect goes out to the DIY (do-it-yourself) nation.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”