Thursday, January 10, 2013


On December 30th, we had invited Jeff's family over for dinner, so around 4:30 I was getting the food prepped and house cleaned and such. I was cutting some flowers to use as a centerpiece for the dining table, and then... oops.

I cut a huge gash into my finger with the kitchen scissors I was using to cut the flowers. For a split second, I saw the insides of my finger... and the the whole thing started pulsing blood. There was so much blood coming out that it was actually coming out in waves (I guess it spurted every time my heart beat?). My mom is a nurse, so I grew up with a few medical maxims ingrained into me... this time it was "to stop bleeding, apply pressure and elevate!" So I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and squeezed them around my bleeding finger while holding it above my head. 

Jeff was at the hardware store, so I called him and informed him that I was 90% sure that I needed stitches, and he rushed home. The pain was pretty bad, so I took some Advil. I was feeling pretty queasy and light-headed (I don't think I had lost that much blood, but the sight of the inside of my finger had just really grossed me out), so I sat down in a chair and waited for Jeff.

I had only really seen the cut for a split second before throwing paper towels on it, so when Jeff got home I decided to take off the paper towels and get a good look before we went to the emergency room (I wanted to make sure it was actually bad enough to go). When I saw it, it was worse than I imagined... I had a V-shaped cut, about 1/2 an inch long on each side of the V and going at least 1/4 inch deep into the side of my finger. There was a whole chunk of finger not attached to my finger. So we went straight to the emergency room and called Jeff's family to push dinner back a bit. 

I ended up getting five stitches in the cut and a tetanus shot in my arm. SO not fun. But I did make it home in time to finish up dinner (by which I mean that I told Jeff what to do while he finished dinner), and we got to see Jeff's family anyway! 

For the first few days, I wasn't allowed to get it wet, so I had to shower with one hand, etc. Pretty annoying. It hurts to move it, so I've been typing with nine fingers and taking notes by hand at school. I'm still taking round-the-clock ibuprofen to keep the pain at bay, but it's doing better. A couple days ago I started to regain feeling in my fingertip and the bottom of my finger (I guess the cut severed some nerves and they're now repairing themselves). The swelling has decreased as well (at one point, my finger was so swollen that my knuckles had disappeared... you know the little wrinkles where your knuckles are? Mine were gone and my finger with thick and smooth like a hot dog. So weird!). 

They took the stitches out on Monday (which hurt like crazy because my finger is still swollen, so there was a lot of pulling and tugging to get the stitches cut), but the cut was still slightly open, so now I have something called steri-strips holding it together, and I can't get it wet for another 3 days. My range of motion is still really limited, but the doctor says it'll be back to normal eventually. I have a feeling I'll end up with a V-shaped scar on my finger forever. 

For those of you who are like my husband and are fascinated by medical stuff like this, I've included photos after the break. They're not super disgusting, but if you don't like blood I'd stay away. :) 

Here's the cut pre-stitches... it really doesn't look that bad here because at this point I'd been squeezing it super hard and holding it above my head for about an hour (that was the only way to make it hurt less). I had actually managed to more-or-less get the chunk back in the right place.

Here it is post-stitches. I told the doctor it looked worse when he was done than it did when I got there. In hindsight, that probably wasn't the nicest thing to say to the man who just stitched me up. But I was in PAIN. 

Here it is a couple hours later, when the swelling started. I couldn't get it wet for the first few days, so all the dried blood just sat there. Ick.

Here's a photo about five days after the stitches (after I was finally able to get most of the dried blood off). The side view shows just how deep into my finger it went. Again, ick. 

Yuck... so swollen and puffy! 

Here it is right before the stitches were removed. A lot of the skin decided to just dry up and die rather than close up and heal, so there's a weird combo of dead skin and scabs and gaping open wound. Ick ick ick. 

Now it's covered by the steri-strips, so at least I don't have to look at it for a while. The pain is still pretty bad though, and I can't move it as well as I'd like, and the numbness/tingling will probably still be there until the nerves completely heal. I still feel so mad at myself for doing it... I knew I was holding the scissors at a weird angle and I went ahead and snipped anyway. I SO wish I could go back and make myself get my left hand out of the way! 

Anyway, please learn from my mistake and be careful with the scissors. Just because you've been using them successfully your whole life does not mean you can snip away without a thought to the position of your left hand! 

1 comment:

  1. Same thing here. Its been 3 days and its still swollen a bit and hurs so bad. I thing i worried about is my fingertips is numb 😢