Want part 1? click here.
I haven't mentioned much about the surgeon. Dr. Hands was apparently the best in the business, but had little to NO bedside manner. Remember the migraine? And the 3 needles they stabbed in my hand trying to get the IV in? And the nearly 24 hours I'd gone without eating? I'm in tears as the nurse (who felt like she had the experience of a janitor as she stabbed my hand over and over) tried to get the needle in my hand and my mom wasn't there and I was totally alone, and Dr. Hands walked in and said "What's the problem? Why are you crying?"
I refused to talk to him. And by the way....signing papers that say that there is a possibility you might die in surgery is completely frightening.
I obviously don't remember the surgery, and I'm pretty sure that's a good thing, but when I came out I had a giant cast on my arm up to my elbow. Basically my left hand was in a fist, with my finger sewn into the soft part of my hand at the base of my thumb. You read that right, it was SEWN INTO MY HAND. They cut a slit open and tucked my finger inside to get the blood vessels to regrow in the fingertip.
A friend came to pick me up and after picking up a prescription for Vicodin, I made it home, where my mom was waiting for me and my giant cast. I spent the next three weeks sleeping on the couch, with my arm propped up on two pillows. The first few days I was completely out of it, barely getting up for the bathroom, and watching a LOT of reruns. My arm started to itch pretty soon...especially my palm, and there was some swelling all up and down my arm. It was almost impossible to take a shower, and sewing was out of the question.
Meanwhile, remember, I was out of a job and was using valuable summer job-hunting time on the couch, but I had fortunately gotten most of the general stuff out of the way. I had a lot of recommendation letters photocopied, and spent a lot of time filling out job applications, stuffing envelopes and sending application packets off. After 2.5 weeks on the couch, I went back in for a second surgery where the surgeon disconnected my hand and my finger and put me in a finger cast. My fingers were so stiff after 3 weeks without moving that I couldn't open my hand all the way and all the creases of my hand were dark red and cracked almost through all the layers of skin. I put lotion on about 48 times a day for the next two weeks.
My stitches were removed about a week after the second surgery but the scabs stayed on for several more weeks. I had to go to physical therapy, although I only went three times and then decided I could rub lotion in and move my fingers by myself without help.
It took about 6 months to get all the movement back in my fingers and over a year for most of the scars to be pain free. My finger looks totally normal to most people, although I can definitely tell the difference. My left index fingernail is quite a bit smaller than the right hand one and the tip is still kind of slanted. I have feeling in most of the finger, except for just a small area at the side of my fingertip.
What is the moral of this story? Be careful, even when doing something that's not dangerous. Sewers and crafters use sharp implements and it only takes a second to totally change your life. I was lucky. I cut as much of my finger off as I could without hitting bone. If I had hit bone, I would have been in serious trouble. So...be careful, pay attention to what you are doing, and always, ALWAYS check where your fingers are.
I'm at the coast with my family, so I will be going into computer withdrawal until Thursday....I'll see you then!