On April 7th, my husband was joyously celebrating his 45th birthday. And as we were all milling around the house doing our normal routine, I walked past my 13yo son Ryan as he sat at the computer, looking up info about the Rubiks cube and it’s various mysteries. He had his pocket knife out and was using the pliers to pry something apart on the cube, when I heard a quick cry and I turned to see him run into the kitchen. I knew immediately what he had done. I went in the kitchen, and he started apologizing, while he held his hand under running water. He had stabbed himself in the palm of his hand, right the base of his thumb. The knife went in about 3/4 of an inch, and the cut in the hand was about 1/2 inch across. It was bleeding profusely. It was flowing steadily, and Ryan was getting pretty nervous and pale. I pulled up a chair for him and he asked me to get the cayenne pepper out of the freezer. We started putting it directly on the wound. Within a minute or two the bleeding stopped. I washed his hand off and left a small amount of the cayenne directly on top of the wound, then I put a cotton pad over the wound and wrapped the hand with an ace bandage.
Well, off to urgent care we went…my husband, my son and myself. Ryan was much more relaxed and no longer pale. He said his hand was throbbing, but there was no blood showing through the bandage. When the doctor unwrapped the hand, it looked just as it had when I wrapped it. He asked me how long we waited before we put the cayenne on the wound. I said about 3-4 minutes. He said with wounds like that, you can let them bleed for up to 10 minutes, because the blood will clean out the cut. He examined the knife and said he was glad Ryan had not been using it to cut up game or chickens or something. The doctor poked around to make sure Ryan didn’t damage any nerves and he asked if the blood was flowing or spurting. Thankfully, there was no nerve damage and he hadn’t hit any major vessels. They cleaned and bandaged the wound and gave Ryan a prescription for antibiotics. That night, Ryan took his first and only pain reliever for his hand, so he could sleep. He kept the hand elevated, as it throbbed more when he held it down. There was some swelling, but it never got any larger and by the next day, the swelling was gone and so was the pain. A few days of antibiotics and yogurt to replace the good stuff and all was well.