Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It was just a matter of time...

I always think the few people who read this don't like hearing about my teaching stories all the time.  A few of you have told me that you enjoy them, so you get to hear them.  I'm bad at journaling, so this and emails to friends are my forms of journaling.

With that being said, let me tell you about the first finger-sewing incident of the 2011-2012 school year.  It's a pretty common occurrence that students sew their fingers.  Some aren't too bad.  Maybe it just gets a little layer of skin.  Sometimes it hits the bone and breaks the needle.  You may remember the winner of 2010 where the little piece of needle broke off in her finger, and I had to pull it out.  That was easily the most disgusting needle-in-finger incident I had faced...until today.

It was first period.  There were 6 minutes left in class.  I see a girl with her hand casually in the air, waiting for me to come answer a question for her.  I walk over and she calmly says, "The needle is in my finger." I look down, and sure enough, the needle is in her finger.  Her hand is still attached to the machine.  It's sick. Blood is coming out.  I calmly ask if she's okay.  I don't want her to freak out.  I don't want to freak out.  And I don't want the rest of the class to know because she's already embarrassed.

So in order to get her detached from the machine, I have to remove the presser foot.  Then I had to loosen the needle clamp to get the needle out of the machine.  Once it was out, I could get a better look.  Her finger was centered on the needle.  There was an equal 1/2" sticking out of both sides of her finger.  This wasn't a little skimming of the skin.  This needle was IN her finger!  I brought her over to my desk, away from the other students.  I warned her that I was going to try to pull on it.  I pulled it about 1/4".  Sick.  It was sick.  I asked if she was still okay.  Then I tried pulling again.  She pulled her hand back and let out a little scream of pain.  That thing was stuck.  Blood dripping away.

I called the office.  "Umm...I have a sweet girl here who has a needle really stuck in her finger.  What can you do to help me?"  Miracle of all miracles occurred...the school nurse was actually there!  I think she's only at our school one day a week.  So I sent her on her way and tended to the blood path that was left...my pretty new machines had their first blood incident.  I went to the office between class periods.  I saw her walk out of the nurse's office.  No needle!  Just a traumatized 14 year old with tears in her eyes and a handful of bandaids.

Happy 11th day of school.

8 comments:

Alycia said...

Shannon, I tend to enjoy your teaching stories just so you know. ;)

That poor girl. I'm glad she was okay... My mom works at Beehive Clothing and uses some pretty industrial strength sewing machines there. She had a needle go through her thumb and get stuck in part of the bone. She had to have surgery to get it removed. Hopefully that doesn't happen to any of your students. You work in a pretty dangerous profession if you ask me. ;)

Cristi said...

Poor girl...and poor you! :)

Katie said...

That is so sad!! I love your teaching stories too. Especially ones that have to do with Justin Bieber.

Mel said...

Man Shannon, you kill me. I had to stop myself from laughing aloud during the middle of this exciting conference I'm at. I LOVE your stories :)

...Laura... said...

I love your teacher stories! I've only had two needle-finger contact moments in my life. The first was definitely the worst and just as you described... only it was so stuck, I couldn't take the machine apart. Dirk had to get a tool and cut the needle out of the machine (which hurt like heck pushing down on me), then I had to pull it out of my finger which was squirting blood. Now that I think about it, I probably should have had it looked at. It made my fingernail split and looked so weird for the longest time so people would always ask why and I had to retell the story all the time!

Kristy said...

Oh my! I sure hope for your sake & the sake of all your students that this ends up being the winner for 2011/2012 school year. Keep the stories rolling in though...so entertaining!

RL Lacey Family said...

Okay, that song was eirie. I swear I had never heard it until last night.
About the finger story, perhaps they should offer First Aid 101 specifically for sewing teachers.
I love reading your stories. Keep them coming.
OK, now for one of my own: We were playing a little song/game in class yesterday with my kindergarteners: "The Old Grey Cat Is Sleeping." One child is the cat who falls asleep while the other children (rats) scatter to find a place to hide. I went to choose a new cat, but he was still hiding under the piano. I said, "Scott, it's your turn to be the cat now." He didn't answer. I repeated my request. He stood up with a sheepish look on his face and looked down at his very wet pants. I said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to show you kids where the bathroom is." He replied, "Oh, I know where it is, I just didn't want to give up my good hiding place."

Joseph & Julianna said...

I love hearing your stories and miss Timberline!