Monday, July 5, 2010

Don't play with knives

Had a bit of an accident the other day involving a very sharp knife, my hand, and a trip to the medic in a mining village ten minutes down the river. Oh well -- I wasn't using that thumb, anyway.

Just kidding! Well, sort of. I still have my whole, complete thumb (thank goodness!), but as you can see in the above picture, I did give myself a nasty, deep cut on the index finger. Scott, if he's reading this, already knows exactly how this happened; for the rest of you, I was trying to pry open a tree branch to find a Cephalotes colony using my very sharp pocket knife. Predictably, the knife slipped, and I was vividly reminded why I really ought to wear the leather gloves that I brought with me.

I did get to go to the mining village downriver, where I was treated to some fantastic field medicine. The doc gave me a good, deep scrubbing, a shot of Lidocaine, and a couple gnarly stitches to seal everything up. Total cost, including a week's worth of preventive antibiotics: about $8. Good thing I have health insurance, eh?

So this has put a bit of a crimp in my tree-climbing, at least for the time being, and I probably won't be taking another dip in the Amazon. But there's still plenty to do, and I'm not about to let a little thing like almost cutting my finger off spoil a good time! It's really amazing here -- yesterday, a herd of peccaries tromped through the field station; I saw these enormous black, white, and red vultures; and I caught a huge, iridescent green click-beetle. This is truly an incredible place.


Scott said...

Ouch! At least you kept all digits where they should be, even if they were a little dinged up. Hope the Cephalotes in that stick were worth it. On a different note, I'd always be happy to give an opinion on species dets. via image or ant, once you are back.

Marcelita said...

Ei, meu amigo, cuidado heim. Quase me matou de susto com isto. Você acha que não estou lendo.....éh!?

Mary said...

Puxa! How many stitches? It's hard to keep wounds dry & clean in the jungle, I bet. Hope you heal well and fast.