Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Very Unfortunate Rotary Cutter Accident


Oh.....where do I begin???? I should start with a warning. This post is a cautionary tale about a very unfortunate rotary cutter accident that I had yesterday. Soooo.....if you're squeamish and you don't like the b-word (that red, liquid stuff) don't say I didn't warn you!
I woke up this morning wishing really, really hard that what had happened yesterday was a dream. No such luck. I was in a hurry and cutting fabric really fast. I was holding my ruler with my left hand and going full force and full speed with the rotary cutter in my right hand. The rotary cutter "jumped" off the edge of the ruler and went right into my finger.

After much screaming and running around in hysterics I finally looked at my finger. Big mistake. That only led to more hysterics. I had a massive "U" shaped cut on the side of my finger that was down to the bone. Basically, I half-severed my finger. And I was home alone.

I tried to get in touch with John for about two hours. The bleeding wouldn't stop and I was obviously in a lot of pain. He finally saw all my frantic messages as he was about to go fly in the F-15 (he's a Fighter Pilot). Oops - bad timing. I told him to go fly anyway but being the dedicated sweetie that he is he came rushing home to help me.

He called his best friend (who's a doctor) and he got us an appointment with a specialist.....two hours away. I begged and pleaded with the doctor to not do stitches - I couldn't take anymore pain today! My obvious show of wimp-i-ness paid off and I got those tape strip stitches instead and a nice, big, cushy bandage and they sent me on my way.

John took me out to my favorite pizza place after and then I went to bed and slept for 12 hours.

Soooo.....obviously the moral of the story is be VERY careful when you're playing with sharp objects. I managed to cut an artery (that explains the bleeding for hours and hours) and go down to the bone in less than a second. Fortunately, I missed the major nerves and ligaments so I don't need surgery and should regain full function of my finger in about two weeks.

In Summary....

-Rotary Cutters are not your friend

-Tylenol with Codeine is your friend

-Please, please learn from my stupidity and clumsiness and be careful when you're playing with sharp objects!

Happy Sewing,
Jenny

P.S. One of my Facebook friends just told me about these amazing Klutz Gloves. They're cut resistant gloves that have some stainless steel in them and rubber grips. They're made to prevent this exact sort of thing. You will see them in the shop VERY soon!

31 comments:

Mommarock said...

Ok, I'm cringing.. but only because YOU are hurt.. I think?? OUCH!! Oh my gosh! Please heal quickly.. and your DH is a sweetie you give him a hug now.. mine is a sweetie too!!

Kwilt Noob said...

As soon as you have them, please post about it! I will order one, pronto! I have been thinking about it for a while, but I always say to myself, "oh, it won't happen to me......."

Q said...

ouch ouch ouch... keep taking the drugs as long as you need it, they really are your friend, hope it heals quickly :(

Sherri said...

Oh, my goodness I'm so sorry...I hope you are better soon. This is one of my biggest fears. I went to a quilt show once where someone had done the same thing the week before and lectured us all. I've never forgotten...maybe this is the post I needed to finally buy one of those gripper holders for cutting.

Briawna said...

I used to make fun of the "old" quilters who used those klutz gloves. I thought I was above that and more coordinated. I do use the creative grids rulers that have grippers, but I'm thinking the gloves might be a good idea. Take care. Get some rest!

jennifer said...

Oh me oh my that looks painful:(

robin said...

A couple of months ago I read on a blog about someone else doing the same thing! Who knew quilting was dangerous! Hope you're up-to-date with your tetanus shot...

karenfae said...

those gloves will be a good thing to have, I sure hope you are feeling better soon.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Ouch!! So sorry! I may never use my rotary cutter again.

Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

Billie in TX

ShirleyC said...

Oh gosh, that's scary! I sure hope you heal fast, and your pain meds keep working.

Peach Rainbow said...

I'm so sorry to read this. Hope it heals soon.

Candice @ Made With Love said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your accident! I did something similar last February, and had to get stitches. I know only cut using my Gypsy Gripper handle!

Sunnybec said...

Oh this is my worst fear!! I am new to quilting and therefore new to rotary cutters. Everytime I use it I look at my lefthand and think about that blade going so close....those gloves look really good. Get better soon. Linda

Deb said...

I've come close to a similar accident many times, but have been very lucky. Let us know when you get the gloves, obviously they should be a requirement for our hobby!

Ty and Zara Franklin said...

I am new to following you, but I am so sorry about your accident! Hope you get feeling better quick as a wink!

jlk said...

I did something similar two years ago, but ended up cutting off the side of my finger. Then, after being pumped full of painkillers for several days, I found out I was pregnant! I am so careful now when I use my cutter.

Regina said...

OMG that is so scary and I could easily see that happening to me! I could also see my husband not answering the phone. grrrr. Very sweet of him to skip flying and come help you. I'm sure I would have fainted. Hope you feel better soon.

Also I have to say that my son would be very impressed that your husband flies an F-15. He wants to grow up to be a Helicopter pilot but he loves the F18 Hornet. My husband is a private pilot and we own a Piper so my kids are definitely airport kids.

Stormy Days said...

OMG, I hate those stories. I've never considered a round rolling razor blade my friend, but I'm not picking up the scissors. You are a very lucky woman, or not, considering how you look at it, but cutting an artery sounds pretty bad. Be Careful!

Stormy Days said...

OMG, I hate those stories. I've never considered a round rolling razor blade my friend, but I'm not picking up the scissors. You are a very lucky woman, or not, considering how you look at it, but cutting an artery sounds pretty bad. Be Careful!

Elsa said...

Oh, I do hope your finger is feeling much better and that you aren't in so much pain today. Just thinking about it makes me feel for you. Your husband was very sweet to come home and take care of you.

Carol M said...

This is my nightmare!! I have the Klutz glove and use it religiously. Whenever I know I have a lot of cutting to do, I sometimes actually put it off for days so I can psych myself up to start! Fast healing to you!

SewCalGal said...

Jenny,

I'm so sorry your rotary cutter attacked you. Not very nice.

Great reminder for everyone to remember to be careful when using a rotary. Their bites can be very bad and it looks like you really were bitten badly. Hope you feel 100% better very soon.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

kate spain said...

Jenny!! How could i have missed this?! I hope you're doing better. It's really scary how quickly stuff like this can happen. When i was in art school, i was in a frenzy trying to get a final project completed, and i did pretty much the same thing. With a mat-cutter. Through the tip of my thumb, the nail..almost to the bone. I was in a darkroom (developing film), and alone. I got to the emergency room, explained what had happened and the nurse asked, "do you go to RISD?" (the art school), and when i said "yes" she all but rolled her eyes and called into the back, "we got another one". Apparently it happened a lot. And you're right, you can't be careful enough. Every time i cut anything with a ruler and sharp blade, i always (and i mean always) think of that time in art school, and take extra precaution to pay full attention when cutting anything. Not sure if you know about these, but they make safety rulers to help prevent this. Here's a site for you to check out (i order stuff from here all the time): http://www.dickblick.com/products/testrite-safety-edge/
I hope you're feeling better and healing quickly. Take good care. And i think you need some of these! http://www.perpetualkid.com/hello-kitty-bandages.aspx

hi to john :)
xxoo

Beth said...

I just found your blog, thanks to Stacy (Stacy Sews) and I'm so sorry about your accident! Another suggestion? Gypsy makes suction hand grips for rulers and using that would have had your hand higher than right by the blade.

Take your vitamin A and keep healing!

Aimee said...

Ouch! I've had a few rotary cutter accidents but nothing quite that bad. Goodness. Hope you're feeling better.

rosie/the fabric shopper said...

Good Golly Miss Molly!! I am so sorry about your accident. It sends chills up my spine.

I have never learned to use a rotary cutter even though I admire the neat edges and quick job of these amazing tools.

Now, I think I will stick with my seamstress shears.

Heal fast sweetie and have a great vacation!

SheilaC said...

Very scary!!! Feel better soon!

SheilaC

Quiltingranny said...

I am so sorry to hear about your accident. Rotary cutters are very unforgiving when we are in a hurry. I know!

ivy said...

I think as long as you concentrate while cutting.Once I was talking and cutting at the same time, i had my finger in front didn't realize till it had a deep cut.It cut very fast but injury happens very fast too. So heath and safety ladies and gentlemen!!

Anonymous said...

I just did exact same thing yesterday while cutting pictures.outch😭 I know the pain

Anonymous said...

I did almost exactly the same thing a few days ago. I had to have 9 stitches and had a big U shaped cut off my left index finger. While watching some videos on "how to use a rotary cutter", looking for safety tips, I cringed at how close these rolling razor blades get to the users fingers. Most videos show no safety measures other than closing the blade when not in use. I will use the guards and the gypsy gripper and a glove. And yes it could happen to you. Please take precautions.