A Busted Finger

Some of you may be aware of my recent injury to my right hand’s ring finger. For those of you who do not know, please read on. For those of you who are faint at heart, skip this one.

In February, before the long Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, I was packing up my car at work, anxious to get home and see the Cali monster. As I slammed the passenger side door shut, I realized in a split second that I had caught my right hand’s ring finger in the door as it bounced open. The pain that went shooting from the tip of my finger through my entire body was more than I could bear and the tears started flowing. I had never, in all my life, felt such a horrible, unyielding pain.

I am sure giving birth will hurt way more than this, but for now, this tops the cake. I sat in my car sucking on my finger as if it would help ease the pain. Then when I pulled it out of my mouth, I saw blue blood pouring underneath my nail, trapped and causing so much pressure that the whole finger swelled. After about 15 minutes of whimpering and sucking on my finger, I thought I had myself under control so I started my car and drove out of the parking garage, but it continued to hurt the more I used my hand and was barely on the freeway when I started to cry again.

After I got home, I showed my husband and he suggested I ice it and if it continued to hurt the next day, that I should go to the emergency room for x-rays. Once I fell asleep, I did not feel the throbbing at all, until the next morning when Cali brushed it in her usual morning ritual to get underneath the covers and snuggle. That is when I knew I would have to go to the hospital to have this ridiculously horrid pain relieved.

While sitting in the emergency room, a lot more traumatic cases came in after me and I started to feel pretty silly about my finger. Certainly the 14 year old who was thrown from her horse in an equestrian meet and the 3 year old who fell head first off a 10 foot wall were in much more pain than me. But I stuck it out for 5 hours and then I was finally called in. The long wait was a pretty good indicator that there were just too many people there all at once, thus a shortage of rooms. Since my finger was nothing invasive where I needed a room, they put me in a chair in the hallway in front of the nurse’s station. But I did not mind, I had gotten all dolled up for the event so I thought nothing of it. After inspecting my finger, the doctor told me that I had a blablablabla and that he had to release the blood from underneath the nail and then the pain would go away.

I was a little worried because not only did this doc have horrible bed-side manner, but I thought he meant he was going to remove the nail completely. I feared having a nail-less stub!! Then he brought over this long, slender, medal tool that had a point on it with smoke rising from the tip. He laid some towels on my lap, took my finger in his hand and pressed the tip of what I quickly learned to be a nuclear hot item of torture. I screamed, “F***!!” Tears were gushing from my eyes as I pulled my hand away and clutched it to my chest. I looked up at the meanest doctor alive and said, “You didn’t tell me it was going to hurt like that!” And he looked at me like I was some kind of naive little girl and said, “I’m going to need to do it again and this time you can’t pull away.” I swallowed hard, looking at my black fingernail with a tiny hole in the center. He held my hand down, pressing it firmly on my legs to hold it still and when I looked away that is when he continued to burn a hold through my nail down to the skin.

Although I knew what it would feel like this second time around, I continued to cuss and scream and cry so loudly (and uncontrollably mind you) that the entire nurse’s station and every single person milling about in and out of rooms stopped to look at ME. I could feel all of their eyes fixed on my red face and mascara-tear-stained cheeks. I remember making eye contact with another woman who was a friend of a patient, and was also sitting in the hall a few feet from where I was being tormented. Our eyes met and her chin trembled in response to my cries as if she could feel my pain.

When the doc was done killing me slowly, he left me alone for about 30 minutes while I sniffled and stared at my shaking hands trying to squeeze out the rest of the blood. The more blood that came out the better it felt. But I did not tell the doctor that. He said that if it felt better, he would skip the x-rays, but I was determined to get my money’s worth (and my time’s worth!). So I told him it still hurt and then another 20 minutes passed before the x-ray guy gathered me up in my weakened state and led me to another room.

I had to wait a little while longer to see if the x-rays revealed a broken finger (which it did not) then a male nurse came over bandage me up and send me on my not-so-merry way. The best thing about walking out the doors of the emergency room that day was seeing Ryan and Cali waiting for me.

I later read online that what the torture-doctor did to me that day was a common procedure, however, he missed one important step—numbing the area!!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 at 9:19 am and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “A Busted Finger”

  1. Diane says:

    OMG, Nicki…even though I heard this story before, your written version had me laughing hysterically! I felt your pain and cried some tears for you. FYI, childbirth is a different sort of pain, and the best thing about childbirth is the beautiful little baby you get to hug later. Love, Momma

  2. Lisa says:

    Your painful incident is my laughing matter. So sorry for your pain, but thanks for my dose of the giggles today.
    Love (really),
    Aunt Lisa

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