Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We Interrupt The Cruise...

Life still goes on while I'm blogging, and I still want to blog about my life!  Like, this past weekend!  Here in Ontario, it was the Family Day long weekend.  This usually corresponds with the week of my mom's birthday, so we usually try to get up there to visit.  This year, we headed up on Saturday after Meg's skating, but took a different route...through Belleville, where we bought a new truck, LOL.  As soon as we got to Bancroft, we went out to dinner with family.   Great place, Cafe BC, in Birds Creek.

Sunday, we had plans to go skating on the pond, my dad had plowed a nice track that we walked on Saturday evening in the light of the big full moon.  We were starting lunch, and I was slicing potatoes on a mandolin slicer.  Yup.  Took off a gook junk of skin and flesh!  It was bleeding pretty bad and my dad found the missing chunk, cleaned it off, and placed it back on.  I've never had stitches (due to injury), so I was unsure if I should go to the hospital, but there was so much blood!  It was less painful than I thought it should be, but it was throbbing so much.

Rob took me to the small Bancroft hospital.  There was one man waiting for the triage nurse to come, but he said to call them again since I seemed serious (there seems to be only two nurses so you have to use the phone to call them to triage!).   She came down, saw that I wasn't really bleeding anymore, and triaged the man that was waiting.  Eventually it was my turn, but that first nurse went on lunch and I got this older nurse.  Did all the admitting stuff, then we had to go back to the front to get a chart made up, then sit and wait.  Then get taken back, and sit and wait.  Then get a tetanus shot.  And wait.

The bleeding stopped and I was ready to just head home.  The cut off wedge seemed to be sticking well, it was only moderately painful.  I just wanted to get cleaned up and maybe get some Crazy Glue on it, and go!  Then, an ambulance came in with a woman with a cardiac concern. Ugh, there goes my place in the triage list!

Fortunately, the doctor appeared in just a few minutes.  At first, he said the flap would be unsaveable.  Usually there isn't enough flesh to re-establish blood flow.  I described to him what it was and the size, and it seemed like it might work.  He started freezing the base of my thumb, and I commented that when I get dental freezing, I always need extra.  He said not to worry, he was putting in plenty.  I barely felt  My thumb was swelling up from all fluid.  He poked a bit and I said I could feel that, so he out a bit more in.

Then he ripped off the wedge.  OMG.  That hurt more than anything!  He was really surprised!  He said he'd use a different med and put it right around the wound.  Oh man, that hurt too!  I had to deep breathe through that!  He said he'd be back in 15 minutes so that it has time to take effect.

During this 15 minutes, it started bleeding quite a bit.  Like, a constant dripping.
 It didn't seem to be getting very numb.  I was worried he'd just have to do the stitching up without it being numb.  Finally, by the time the doctor came back and poked it, it did seem numb.  He looked closely at the cut off piece, showing to Rob how the thicker part would be suitable for reattachment, but then it thins out.  If he sewed on the lower, thicker part, he wouldn't be able to pull the upper portion together and have it all lay smooth and nice.
He started stitching, but it was bleeding so much he decided to use a tourniquet!  I could feel that!  Apparently it could be left on for up to an hour and a half!  The stitching wasn't working as the wound was wide but shallow and he couldn't pull it tight together.
He decided he would deepen the wound, make it all the same depth.  I looked briefly as he was complaining about the crappy scalpel.  Looks like my thumb will be about 1/4" narrower LOL. He even trimmed out some fat.  There's fat in my thumb?!
 Four stitches.  Look how pale my thumb is!  The doctor left and said the nurse would come clean it and dress it.  He told her to leave the tourniquet on till the dressing was on.
 The nurse had a hard time doing that, but got it done.  Then the ambulance phone started going crazy and she didn't clean it up at all, not much after care instruction, just keep it dry and stitches out in 7-10 days.

It's been very painful, hurting much more than the initial pain from the wound.  Even just walking up the stairs made it throb and hurt.  Rob helped me have a shower on Monday morning, but it's the little things that are tricky.  Scissors?  Nope.  Starting the truck today was really tricky.  I made it through lunch time supervision today with a few modifications and the help of my student helpers.  Once I can get some of the dressing off, life will be easier.

Update:  I have a friend who's an EMT and he said I could undress it for bits at a time.  I can't find the same tubular mesh but what I've done is cut off the outer layer , (dirty!and used a toilet paper tube to re-apply the tubular gauze, but I cut a hole so I could put it around my wrist instead d of trying to tape it down.  My thumb is looking odd....misshapen!  I took dome pictures, but google hasn't backed them up yet.  Really annoying how that works

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