Giving the finger...

>> Dec 3, 2009

...just one of many things you can't do with a broken middle finger.

Three days ago I was piling the kids into the car, running backwards and forwards fetching almost forgotten juice cups and stuffed toys, the usual last five minutes of madness before making a car journey.  Satisfied that everything was at last in the car I jumped in and closed the door.  My seat belt got caught in the door so I opened the door again, pulled the belt out of the way and slammed it shut..


I tried to turn back around to face the steering wheel but I was stuck.  I looked around, confused.  My hand  was stuck in the door.  I pulled but nothing happened.  I fumbled for the handle and released my finger, the black suede glove was dented and oddly bent.

But that's just the glove, right?  My finger will be fine.  Of course it will.  Panic was rising in my chest.

I yanked the door open and shot out of the car.  I didn't want the children to see or hear when I pulled off the glove.  There was no blood, it was still attached, but it was starting to hurt.  Not a sharp pain but that deep pain you get when your hands have been too cold and they got warm too quickly.  I stuck it in my mouth and paced up and down.  It felt better.  My legs were shaking.  I took it out again.  It looked like this.

I couldn't straighten it, not because of the pain but because it didn't work.  My straightening facility was broken.  I decided to go to town anyway, if it felt bad I could always go to the emergency room whilst I was there. I was in denial.   Half way to town it felt bad.  I could feel it swelling, throbbing.  So to the emergency room I went with two kids in tow.  They were brilliant, the kids and the staff.  Twenty zippy minutes later I was x-rayed and sent on my way with the words 'we'll have a Doctor look at the x-ray, call us in the morning.'

I went shopping, drove home, fed the horses, fed the kids, went to sleep, got up, fed the horses, milked the goat, fed the kids, rang the hospital.  'You need to come in tomorrow for an operation, it's quite a bad break and you've severed the tendon.  Oh, and make sure you rest it.'  Maybe a little late for that warning.

The next day I sat in hospital feeling like a fraud.  It didn't even hurt, not really, not unless I moved it or banged it and even then it was a manageable pain.  They gave me some hospital PJ's, hooked me up to a drip and left me in a bed surrounded by genuine sick people.  I played on my laptop feeling foolish.  They gave me some drugs which made me feel relaxed and sleepy.  I had a nap.  I woke up being pushed down the corridor on the way to theater.  It was going to be an 'awake' operation with a local anesthetic.

They filled me full of more drugs which made me feel quite jolly and drunk.  They painted my hand orange and stabbed painful needles into it and then put up a big blue curtain so I couldn't see what was going on.  I could feel them moving around, tugging and pulling.  I could hear the sound of the drill as they drilled holes through my poor shattered bone.  The next time I saw my hand it looked like this.

Yes, that is a piece of metal wire sticking out of the end of my finger.  There's another one apparently under the bandages.  I know it's there, I can feel it.  And yes, it hurts.  A lot.  The painkillers they gave me take edge off but that's it.  In three weeks I have to go back and have the pins removed.

The moral to this story?  Slamming your hand in the car door is stupid, don't do it.

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