Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Right Thumb

As I am just starting this blog, and it is about stupid things I've done and survived, I am starting with the most salient.
Running across the tip of my right thumb is a scar a little over an eighth of an inch wide. I got it using a table saw. I had been working all day and was trying to finish up a piece of trim on a built-in shelving unit on one of my rentals. I was tired, and the cut required that I take off the guard, or buy a planer. I was trimming a 1"x4" down.
I got hurried and cranked the saw blade up all the way. You should only keep the saw blade a small amount higher than the surface of the wood you're cutting. I got the piece cut about 60% and then reached over to the outfeed side of the blade and put my fingers on the board to help guide it out. As I fed the piece with my left hand and pulled with my right, I rotated my thumb across the moving blade, then heard a click.
I felt it immediately afterwards. I removed my top shirt (I often where two) and wrapped my hand, all the while thinking "How could I do this, I don't have insurance." After calming down, I remembered my first aid training.
I removed the shirt and went to a water spigot on the back of the duplex. I washed the thumb and was relieved to discover that I hadn't hit the bone, hadn't cut the tip off and that the click I heard was just me nicking the thumbnail. I continued washing the wound out and letting the blood and water carry away any contaminants and I could see the last bone of my thumb.
I then went around to my renters asking for antibiotic ointment. None of them had any. One of my renters had peroxide, though. I used the peroxide to disinfect the area. Then I tore up my shirt into strips and wound them around the thumb.
It took three weeks for the cut to heal. I didn't want to spend the $600-1000 for a couple stitches, so I just got some antibiotic ointment with pain killers and kept changing the bandage and looking out for infection.
I'll post a picture of my thumb now (and hopefully I can find the pictures of the healing thumb) later. Remind me to tell the story of my road rash.

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