Thursday, January 2, 2014

Injury Report

As if I needed something else to whine about, I have to go and injure my finger. Not just any injury, mind you, but a deep infection, I learned. It even has a name, paronychia. I’d never heard of it before, but I’m too familiar with injuring my fingers. In the winter time, and having worked in the lab, I’m all too familiar with dry cracked skin, especially on the tips of my fingers. JR can relate to my pain and suffering, we’re fellow cooks/dishwashers. Now most guys don’t make a big deal about a little cut or hang-nail, but the ones I get are amazing painful.

I try to avoid it by using lotion or Vaseline, or even Chapstick on the skin, but no matter how diligent you are, dry skin catches up to you. I’ve found what aggravates the situation is coaching youth hockey and having to tie the kids’ skates, which are wet, moldy and disgusting. In fact, I’m convinced that’s where I got this infection. Since I’m familiar with these cuts happening, I didn’t think much of it at first, I just applied the grease and waited for it to abate, but abate it did not. In fact, it really started to hurt. Not just some small stinging sensation, but at some point it really started to throb, so much so that it profoundly affected my quality of life. I couldn’t sleep, it hurt so bad.

A hematoma also formed, which made me think perhaps I’d injured it through trauma, but for the life of me, I couldn’t recall hitting it on anything. These sort of things happen all the time in hockey, but again, I couldn’t remember, even in light of the fact that I’m getting old and my brain is falling apart. The problem with this sort of injury is that it affects a part of your body that is used constantly, and usually without much thought. Normally when you open a door or pick something up, you lead with your fingers, and when they make contact, your hand goes into action. This becomes complicated when your finger is killing you, because even the slightest contact hurts like crazy. I know, I’m being a big baby, but you should be used to that by now.

At some point the bruise started to spread, and the pain wasn’t going away. R and the kids were fed up with my whining, so I went to see the doctor, who told me I had an infection and prescribed antibiotics. Same old song and dance. I didn’t want to take antibiotics, but I also wanted to preserve my finger, which I’ve grown quite fond of. I figured I’d wait a day and see what happened, but the pain was intolerable, so I went on them. I also tried to relieve some of the pressure (my finger was like a sausage) by lancing the tip with a needle, which was brutal. I failed because the pressure was deeper than I was man enough to bury the needle.

Within a day or so, my finger actually did start to drain. It was completely disgusting and the kids were totally grossed out, but it sure did feel better. My finger is ugly, no doubt, but I can move it, and best of all, there’s no pain, sort of. It still hurts on contact, but nothing like before.

Was it the antibiotics, or just the natural course of healing? Hard to say, but I guess I’m glad it’s over, because pain is not a fun thing, even if it’s something as little as a finger. Hopefully my Mentor isn’t judging me too harshly.

Happy new year and thanks for reading, and thanks to Vicious Bits for the pic.

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