Can Lid-1 Hand-0

We use our hands for so many things. It is very easy to take them for granted!!

I hurt my right hand in October 2011, and I’m right handed. Not only was it hard to do normal things like brush my teeth with my left hand, put my hair in a pony tail, put on a shirt, but I use my hand in massage daily…until…I changed my hand forever…

My family had been planning a trip to see my brother across the country for several months. Let me rephrase that…”I” had been planning for months for my family to see my brother and his family. In the past, it was like pulling teeth to get my husband to travel or communicate about it happily. So, I was extremely excited when we had decided on a time/date etc, to see the Zimmerman family.

I got everything squared away…a rental house, a car, plane tickets, etc. If you do any travel planning, you know how many hours this takes. Plus, we were taking the kids out of school for 4 days, and their teacher’s had spent extra time packing them their homework to do while we were away.

Here I am in my house, alone, all packed, dog ready for the dog sitters, the house is clean for the house sitter, it’s 11:30 am and we are leaving at 2:30, my husband is doing last minute errands and the kids are at school waiting to be picked up. I have gathered everything by the back door, ready for the car. All I need to do is take out the trash. All is moving smoothly.

I’m telling you all of this history to better defend and justify my next stubborn move… (and there is detail of the injury, to warn you if this might bother you…skip down a bit)

I’m moving fast organizing this and that, so with quite a bit of force, I push my hand as hard as I can into the trash…right into a metal lid which is still attached to it’s can.

“Sh@#$”, was my first reaction as I pull my hand back out of the trash with the lid stuck in my palm. There wasn’t very much pain at first, more of a absolute shock…and a tinge of kicking myself in the a@#. “Really?? Did I just thrust my hand into a can lid?? Really?? WE ARE NOT MISSING THIS TRIP!!”

As soon as I pulled the lid out, with it came lots of blood, which almost made me pass out. I immediately grabbed my wrist to put pressure on the blood supply and looked for a phone. When I find the phone, I can’t push the buttons because my hands are married in a weird tourniquet.

All I could think about was, “Great, I’m going to pass out and my wrist will bleed and bleed and I’m going to die here on the floor…”

I wasn’t panicky or rushing, but realized I needed help. I opened the garage door with my chin and checked to see if my neighbor, Chris, was home. He’s an EMT and a fireman, so I figured he could help. He was home, he bandaged my hand and I was able to call John.

John jumped right into action. He called our Doctor/surgeon friend to see if he could stitch me up right away. We knew that if we went to the ER that we would miss our flight.

So, Dr. Steve Gough, said to come right over. The halls were lined with his nurses, watching me pass with great curiosity of the retarded woman with blood on my shirt and the open hand wound.

I was hoping that Steve would look at the cut and say, “oh this is no big deal, here’s a band aide.” But…no. He warned John that this could get loud, and John quietly left the building.

Steve prepared three numbing shots and put them right into my palm. OOOUUUCCHH! Man! That was WAY worse than the can lid pain!! I screamed and screamed and cried and cried. John was right to leave.

Steve’s nurse, Mary, held my other hand, or I should say, I gripped her hand with my left hand. She was very encouraging and calming as Steve stitched it up the hole.

Some Tylenol, Percocet and a big bandage later, we drop off the dog, pick up the kids and head to the airport. We made it.  The security officers decided that I may have a knife in my huge hand bandage and proceeded to pat it down with much force…so fun.  My “I’m killing you with my eyes” glare didn’t work to lessen the pressure.  And then some more officers decided to join the party of the huge hand bandage.  I was perfectly willing to share, but we were almost about to miss the flight.  We were with the family for 9 days and had a wonderful time.

The stitches healed and I was able to massage a few days after we returned. There was a bit of pain, but nothing serious, and I didn’t think anything of it. I assumed that the pain would get better in time.

But, massage after massage it didn’t get better, and here I am, 6 months later with pain that doesn’t go away for days if I don’t rest. And, I mean REST…no use of the hand at ALL. No gardening, no arts and crafts, no golf. Total Bummer.

I don’t rest well. Maybe that is my lesson this time….to rest.

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