FYI, I sort of messed up my hand over the weekend

I took this right after getting home. There are more bloodstains now.

I took this right after getting home. Nice and clean. There are more bloodstains now, on bandage and fingers.

This is to let y’all know I’ll be posting even less than usual, and probably not responding much to comments, either.

I had an accident over the weekend. I was working on my deck Saturday, and did something stupid. I’m going to try to attach a photo to let you know what happened. My son took this picture when we called him from the emergency room to ask him to put away my tools.

Note that one of the clamps is turned the wrong, pointing right where my was. I couldnt see that where i was standing.

Note that one of the clamps is turned the wrong way, the sharp part pointing right where my hand was. I couldn’t see that from where I was standing.

The reason that drill is just hanging there is that it’s attached to a half-inch spade bit that is stuck through two treated four by fours. The bit is more than a foot long. I was drilling a hole through the two thick pieces of wood to put a carriage bolt through. I was wedged between a bush and the deck, so I couldn’t see really what was going on on the other side of my hand that was holding the drill. I didn’t realize the sharp end of that clamp was pointed directly at my hand, as you can see in the picture.

Anyway, this was a pretty tough board, or the drill bit is getting dull. I was having a terrible time going through, and having to lean into it with all my weight. The sawdust was burning, and smoke was pouring out of the hole I was making. Then, of course, it suddenly broke through and I lost my balance in that direction, falling toward the deck. Anyway, that sharp thing sticking out from the clamp caught me between two fingers and basically tried to cut my hand in half.

It only went up an inch or two, though. Anyway, I let go of the drill and looked down and saw how It had plowed up my hand, with the skin all peeled away, and the white bone of my middle knuckle completely showing. So I called for a towel, wrapped it up, and my wife drove me to the emergency room.

I took off the towel and showed it to the people at the counter at the ER, so they let me right in. We would be there for four or five hours. The short version is, they gave me a shot of morphine, cleaned it up, sewed it up and wrapped it up with a splint to immobilize it.

Here’s a picture my wife took before they did all that. I’m not going to post it here, but you can click to see it, if you don’t mind that sort of thing. Gross, huh?

I didn’t ask for the morphine, and I don’t think it did much. It was just kind of a dull ache before the morphine, and it was a dull ache after. But then they were messing with the wound, so I guess the drug took the edge off.

They also x-rayed it, but there were no breaks. Also gave me a tetanus shot.

The doc left the stitches loose, so that I wouldn’t pull them out, skin being kind of tight over the knuckles. So it still kind of oozes, like a blood glacier. Occasionally, some fresh, wet blood breaks through the dried stuff. It’s a mess. My wife just had to strip the sheets off the bed to try to get the stains out. Maybe I’ll put a plastic glove over it tonight, if I can get it over the bandage.

They told me to call Monday for an appointment with an orthopedist to follow up. That’s done, and the appointment is for Wednesday.

In the meantime, I’m trying to learn to do things with my left hand. I can’t really type. So I dictate things. I’m dictating this into my iPad.

It’s a hassle. Anyway, I thought I’d let y’all know. That’s my excuse…

21 thoughts on “FYI, I sort of messed up my hand over the weekend

  1. James Edward Cross

    Sorry to hear about your accident. I hope your injury heals well and without any further problems. Take it easy and let yourself heal.

    Reply
  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Thanks, y’all.

    Yeah, I’m wondering what kind of functionality I’ll have with that hand, or at least those fingers, after it heals up. But I haven’t had much time to think about it. Too busy trying to figure out how to do things without it for now.

    Good news is, there’s no pain to speak of. I might take Tylenol once or twice in a 24-hour period. They prescribed an opiate, but I don’t need that. I am taking the antibiotic they gave me….

    Reply
  3. Bryan Caskey

    Ouch! Stay away from the laudanum.

    Looks like Maturin has you patched up. Just double your grog ration, stay in your hammock, and no playing the violin for awhile.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, when they told me they were going to give me the morphine in an IV, I almost said I would prefer laudanum. “Just a moderate amount, say 1,000 drops.“ But I decided they wouldn’t get the joke.

      Reply
  4. randle

    Get better soon! I think you will recover nicely. All that typing over the years has probably given you very fit hands. And you can go to physical therapy, if needed.

    Reply
  5. Barry

    Sorry that happened to you. A few thoughts.

    1) I tripped over a curb about 5 years ago breaking my elbow. Had surgery. Tore a ligament. Elbow injuries are AWFUL. It never really heals 100% because the stiffness remains. Can’t straighten it out fully. Took months and months to recover – probably close to a year to feel pretty close to normal.

    The point – things can happen in a quick second that change everything. Never thought that would happen to me. I’m pretty good keeping my balance. Really never fall. But I did that day.

    2) when I was about 12, my dad was helping a neighbor trim up a tree. The guy was pretty good at working with trees. My dad was on the ground helping him. For some reason, the guy slipped and fell straight down – must have been 10-12 feet or so (thankfully not more). My dad, I guess because of the sudden nature of it, tried to partially catch him to help break his fall. It worked. The guy was a little bruised but walked away fine. But one of his tools caught my dad in almost the same spot on his hand as your injury. Scared me badly because of all the blood. I had never seen my dad injured like that before. (I had been playing in the yard sort of watching them).

    Ended up at the ER- stitches. Recovered fine. No lingering damage.

    Things happen fast.

    I hope you recover quickly and fully.

    Reply
    1. Barry

      Speaking of morphine

      when I broke my elbow- they gave me morphine in the ER. Didn’t do a thing.

      Ended up giving me Dilaudid. (I hear it’s on a national backorder now).

      That worked real good.

      Reply
  6. Mark Stewart

    Medical advice from the untrained warning: That said, don’t put a plastic bag over your hand. Your wound needs the oxygen to heal.

    I have learned the hard way, too, that the saying “look twice, cut once” applies generally to most things with tools.

    Go easy and give yourself time to recover. Especially with that duzzy of an injury (and no, I won’t be clicking the trauma link).

    Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Good news is, I didn’t bleed last night. The last couple of days I’ve been skipping the blood thinners that they made me start taking after the stroke. i think that helped…

        Reply
  7. Barry

    Today

    Sen. Schumer: “Today is what you might call a very unofficial American holiday—4/20. It’s as appropriate a time as any to take a hard look at our laws that have over-criminalized the use of marijuana.”

    Reply
  8. Brad Warthen Post author

    I just realized that I haven’t kept y’all up with my hand. Here’s what it looked like when the orthopedic surgeon’s nurse took off the bandages for a few moments on Wednesday. Basically, I think the technical term for describing its condition is “fat.”

    You know that I’m still trying to be sensitive to the squeamish. You’ll have to click if you want to see it.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I’m very thoughtful that way. If I’m about to drop my pants in public, I always say, “Hey, everybody, I’m about to drop my pants! You’ll have to click if you want to see!”…

      Reply
      1. Bob Amundson

        Yes, and I had to look – click (bait). OUCH! I’m sending you an email about the Urban Assault Vehicle we own – fun story that may make you smile …

        Reply

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