- Mar 20, 2018
Hey all! I notice that this community is divided (in a benevolent way) and it got me thinking. Some people here do plan on leaving very soon and have plans or are planning things out. However, there are people like me, who don't really have a plan for their own reasons but understand the sentiment. For those who don't plan on leaving soon, I noticed that there is some drug use, alcohol use and most commonly, self harm. I monitor my marijuana and alcohol intake but sometimes, cutting can become unpredictable. Here's a guide that I put together using my own personal experience and certification in first aid.
- It's OK to have a a cutting kit.
I'm not here to encourage cutting but if you make the decision to, it's best to be prepared beforehand. My "kit" is a small jewelry box with band-aids, gauze, anti-bacterial cream and medical tape in addition to a bottle of rubbing alcohol and paper towels. All of these things can be bought at your local pharmacy. Please don't use cotton on deep cuts because the fibers can lodge in there and irritate the wound.
- Create a routine.
I get it, sometimes, you do it on a whim and you need to just cut but when you can, follow a routine. The routine I recommend is to lay out your gauze and band-aids first. Uncap your tube of anti-bacterial cream and open your bottle of rubbing alcohol. Wet your paper towel with the rubbing alcohol so that as soon as you cut, you can immediately press it against the fresh cut. As you leave the paper towel on your wound to soak up the blood, put some of the anti-bacterial cream on your gauze/band-aids and then you can cover up your cut. Clean up/pack up everything into your kit after taking care of your cut.
- Too deep? Don't worry.
Sometimes, the cut is deeper than you intended and there's more blood than you expected. First thing you should do is stop the bleeding. A paper towel or a hand towel will work just fine. Press it against the wound firmly until the bleeding slows down. Here's the scary part but don't worry: pull apart the flesh around the cut ever so slightly to see how deep it is. Don't go digging in there. Just take a slight peek and try not to keep it open for too long. This time, don't put the anti-bacterial cream on the band aid; squeeze it directly into the cut after you wipe it down with rubbing alcohol. Put on the gauze/band-aid as usual but try not to move the wounded area too much.
- Still too deep? Keep calm.
Sometimes, your cut will not close because it is too deep and too long. Again, press a towel against it until the blood flow slows down. Directly apply the anti-bacterial cream and from here, when you apply the band aids, put them on sideways to keep the wound closed. Use as many as you need to cover the length of the cut. Since the adhesive won't hold it for too long, wrap the gauze around your arm/leg snugly. As it heals, it will do so as if it's not a a gaping wound.
- Checking the color of the scabs.
Every cut, intentional or not, will scab over. Once your cut scabs over, it doesn't mean your job to keep it clean is over. Check for any yellow pus oozing out. If this happens, it means that your cut is infected. In this case, wet a towel with warm water and lay it on the infected cut. Let it sit there for a while and the scab will soften. Take some clean tweezers (you can also use your fingers but I find that using tweezers are more effective) and peel away all the yellow pus. If the cut is completely infected, you will have to reopen your wound. Carefully peel away the soft scabs then clean it and bandage up as usual.