Friday, August 19, 2011


Thursday night I was working on one of my many concurrent projects. At the moment, I was taking n Xacto knife to a large (2-gal) plastic bin, trying to cut the top off. While scoring along the outside, a combination of the flimsy plastic wall, the flimsy narrow blade, and my own clumsiness resulted in the blade sliding off to one side...right across my left pinky. Cursing myself stupidity, I wrapped it tight with a heavy paper towel, and completed cutting the bottle before heading upstairs to survey the damage. A long, deep cut from along the top side of the digit, starting before the last knuckle and extending alongside the nail. It was doing a fair bit of bleeding, and was clearly deep enough to need stitches. This was the other shoe I was hoping wasn't about to drop, particularly right before a race weekend.

I turned to my doctor wife, wondering if she'd do the honors and stitch me up herself to spare me a trip to the ER. Alas, no. Even though we have some old sterile sutures kicking around, they were much too heavy gauge, and we didn't have any of the other necessities (needle driver, licocaine injection, etc.) to do a proper and clean job of it. So off I went.

Thankfully, it was a relatively quiet night, and I was seen relatively quickly. The nerve block to numb my finger took a few injections and 30 minutes to fully take effect, but after that it was pretty easy to get things cleaned up and stitched.

During my ample waiting time, I was already starting to conjure plans that would allow me to compete in Saturday's Timberman Sprint triathlon. The pinky finger is not generally needed for much of anything, but it's would not be a good idea to soak the wound and dressing in Lake Winnipesaukee. Gloves, tape, and creative sealing were in order.

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