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  • Writer's pictureLia Athena

That time I punched a glass door

Summer 2020

A true story

Warning: bloody images are included in this blog post.

What is that large foam thing on my hand? You're probably all wondering. Well, let's just say that was the result of one of the most stupidest things I have done in my life. . .

There's the term "cabin fever," and I never thought much about it until the first couple months of quarantine. My family and I were lucky to be safe and healthy. We were lucky to stick together through these hard times. And I don't want it to seem like I'm complaining or anything. This isn't a complaint, this isn't a plea for attention. It's facts. It's something that happened, and I am ashamed I became this type of person.

I became this person that punched a glass door out of anger, out of frustration. . .It was the culmination of my quarantine. I have learned in the past couple of years that I am a social butterfly. I may not be good at talking, at holding long conversations. . .But I do enjoy being around other people. I thrive on that. People inspire me to write. People stimulate my creativity.

But at that time I punched a glass door, I couldn't handle the lack of social interaction, I couldn't handle being ghosted by someone I thought I loved, I couldn't handle being around those I care about. In that moment of weakness, my mind blanked in rage and the next thing I knew was my hand being covered in blood.

It was a normal day. I woke up cuddled next to my cats. I was probably going to work on my puzzle and then run around while randomly matching with people on Hinge during my water breaks. Then I'll end it with a nice cocktail my brother would make. Okay. I can do another day. It was June 11, 2020. It had been several months since WHO declared the Covid-19 crisis a pandemic. My days were the same. I tried to have a positive attitude everyday because so many people are dying. But, I have flaws. I'm human and ashamed.

I headed to the kitchen to get some yogurt and granola, excited for the alcohol buzz I was going to have that night while binge watching a Netflix show. . .And then, around 10am, I got into an argument with a family member. A very small argument about a newspaper article. I ended up standing next to a door, made up of old glass squares, and I was mad. I was enraged. The argument was only the surface of what was really going on. In a fit of madness, I began to slam the door against the wall and the next thing I knew was my hand and the shards of glass and the blood. I hadn't even punched the glass the "right" way, I had punched it with an open palm. If you are going to punch something, you should make a fist to protect your fingers, but my mind didn't care of doing things right.

The glass door. Where there is the green cover used to be shards of glass glittered with my blood.

Hospital. That was where I ended up. Band-Aids would not work to heal this wound. I had to go to the hospital, get evaluated by nurses and doctors. . .in the middle of a pandemic. Stupid, stupid. How could I do this to myself? How could I end up in a hospital during a pandemic. And not because I have covid. But because I'm a brat that had a fit of madness.

And I'm a writer. My hands, my fingers. . .they are my tools. I could have caused permanent nerve damage. What is wrong with me? What is really wrong with me?

I sat in an Emergency room, cold, shivering in my bloodied pajamas, with my swollen eyes from crying non-stop, staring around at the hospital room. This is where people die. This wasn't a Covid ward, but it was a room with machines and shelves and tubes and beeping machines. A nice nurse placed my hand in saline solution.

In the middle of the chaos I ensued on myself, I decided to record what was happening. I never thought I would blog about it months after it happened.

Stitches are painful ya'll, especially near the fingers, where there are a lot of nerve endings. Luckily, I didn't get nerve damage. But instead, I had to wrap my hands in Gauze bandages, over the stitches. I had to come back to get them removed about a week later.

I had a right hand I couldn't use. When I got back home, I decided to do some writing. But it takes twice as long to write with one hand instead of two. It was frustrating, but luckily I had my family to rely on; to cut my sandwiches and take care of my wound.

I remember when I went back to the hospital on June 24, to get my stitches removed. I had to wait by the hospital entrance, as an ambulance parked in front of the sliding doors that went into the Covid ward, and people covered in white protection gear head to toe clambered out of the back with a gurney with them. An old man was on the gurney, he looked alive.

It was was like I was watching a movie. Some apocalyptic movie with a plague that ruined the world. but this was no movie. This was real. This is real. We are living in a pandemic. And thanks to the countless heroes such as doctors, EMT, nurses, etc. . .we can get through this. . .alive.

Eventually, I was let through to the regular emergency department, painfully got my stitches removed, and wrapped again in Gauze bandages. 

My hand, again, wrapped in gauze bandages.

I kept thinking to myself how stupid I am. How ungrateful I am. If I really was grateful for everything, why did I let this happen to me? Why did I do this to myself? To this day, I regret my actions as I look at my scars. Every time I flinch when something light hits against my scar, I remember what happened. And I hope next time I'm faced with my own mental crisis, I won't hold a destructive grudge with a wall or a piece of furniture.

And this. . .It didn't end with me leaving the hospital, relieved to have my stitches out. For the next couple of weeks or so, my wound didn't heal right. It was red and blotchy, my scar was stretched over my finger, like a permanent spiderweb.

Something was wrong. It was not infected. But something wasn't healing properly. I went to my primary doctor, and she told me to go to a doctor who specialized in hands.

I sat waiting, in a new doctor's room, hoping that I could be done with this. Hoping that I could put it behind me. But, unfortunately, the doctor told me I had to get Explorative Hand surgery. To make sure there wasn't any glass inside my wound, under the new, raw, skin that was my scar. To fix my scar, so it wasn't a spiderweb, but instead something that I could handle.

My hand was never going to be restored to the way it was. I'd have to live with scars for the rest of my life. But at least I could still use both of my hands.

On July 28, more than a month since I punched the glass door, I left my home early in the morning, with a grumbling stomach and a thirsty, dry mouth. Today's the surgery. Today I'm going to get anesthesia and do the whole process all over again. Reopen my wound, blood pouring, stitches, removal of the stitches, healing my already healed hand.

Breaking what was healed.

As the anesthesia worked its' magic on me, I remember one second I was crying under some warm blankets in a surgery room surrounded by experts in scrubs, listening to Dua Lipa's music. . .and then a millisecond later, I woke up in different bed, an hour or two later, and my mind muggy and my right hand wrapped in a weird foam box like cast thing.

When I woke up, I snapped a quick selfie before changing into my normal clothes.

After changing, I went down to the lobby of where the surgery took place, and I never felt so relieved as I did when I found my brother waiting for me. He picked me up and took me home. He cooked delicious pancakes and eggs for me, and it energized me.

In a car, heading home.

I remember feeling my mind clear up, and on the day of my hand surgery, I went to edit "Rainbow Plague." I wanted to be productive, and even though I couldn't use my right hand, I edited with my left hand.

Pain killers, staying productive and trying to be positive consumed my mind as my hand slowly healed.

Stitches after the surgery. (The purple is smudged ink. The doctor had written on my hand of where to cut with a marker).

Emotions can be beautiful. They can also be deadly. I learned the hard way how much they can get out of hand. (Sorry for the bad pun).

I'm still struggling to handle my emotions. But with therapy twice a month, journaling and telling others my story. . .I think I've gotten better at it. I mean, the only blood I see nowadays is from when my kitten playfully scratches me, from the combination of dry weather and hand sanitizer that cracks my skin, and my period blood, of course.

My right hand, today.

I hope everyone is staying safe and sane during these crazy times.

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