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February 7, 2012

Nick in Time


It all happened so fast, one moment I knew what the plan was and the next it was all entirely different.  I was feeling healthy, ready to finish this project and move in and start that chapter, but paff! In the blink of an eye I'd chewed up my hand.

Now a month has passed, and I'm nervous about the eventual utility of one of my most for-granted tools, in time I imagine I will forget the incident, save for a new level of safety deep set into my bones, but I fear a long road between that day and this one, and I will forever have several nasty reminders of that January day in Bordeaux France.

I have three fingers free and two bandaged, one with a brosse, a temporary pin, sticking out of the end of my naked ring finger, and it's wanting wear.  My middle finger to its right has a healing ligament not quite ready for prime time. The pain is now a dull one which I can easily forget about. As the surviving nerves seek new connections there are occasional sparks of pain which depart as quickly as they arrive, but they do announce themselves upon arrival!

It's the nick in time that weighs on me now, impossibly, a month has passed, I feel like I have made only one meal in those days, painted one door (with one hand) and washed my hair only once!  None of that is true, but it feels like that.  I have been reading too much, and thinking too much, taking too much time....  I am ready for action and waiting for my left hand to catch up!  There has been an odd nick in time, where has it gone? Four fucking weeks!?    

I was so angry then, the first minutes passed where all I could do was curse my fate, mad at my measure of stupidity. I must have been doing something wrong, but what? it scarily confounds me to this day. I have worked on that type of machine for 30 years!  I was mad as hell, I thought I had just destroyed several fingers, luck is a lady and its not as bad as I feared then, what I remember is a lot of swearing, no pain somehow, the body is amazing, then fear!  I thought I was alone, I thought I might bleed out, the phone in my pocket needed two hands to operate, with no Siri to call, I did not know what to do. Then I remembered my guardian neighbors, and then the paramedics were there.  With my hand in theirs, I could call my unflapable wife and release all my earthly responsibilities onto her.  After a 20 minute tour over all the bumps Bordeaux has to offer, and 20 minutes waiting for the emergency room to accept me (it was probably only 5), I started to get shaky and cold and medicated, in that order. I was in a hospital which miraculously specialized exclusively in traumatic hand injuries!

I don't recall the moment of the accident, nor a few of the drug obscurred moments that followed, but some of the other bookmarks are there and seem impossibly long ago!  Is this the mental dopamine affect ? Is there some time-warppind anti-boredom enzyme that compresses the time following a trauma?  If you told me I was going to sit on this couch for 28 days, read 5 books, watch 4 movies, and take naps half the days, I'd say no, in fact I did say no, I said I'd give it two weeks and be back at it.  So is convalescence becoming laziness?, or was this injury so serious?? I think the truth is I was overly optimistic.... becoming realistic.... next stop pessimistic.  I must be careful here, avoid the pink elephants, get well soon and put this behind me.

I have spent a few hours over the last week in my chantier, our next home, and between the tools left where they fell, the splatters on the new sheetrock behind the saw, and the shear volume of the remaining work, it was a physically chilling tableau.  I need to get lost in my work again, too much reflection is bad for anything other than a mirror.  I have a week of one handed work, so time to move onto it, the left hand might just get bored and regenerate faster!

What have i learned? Work slower, wear protection, watch more movies!?

Link to knight with circular saw, 
Visit my NEXT saw here: Saw Stop



What else have I learned:
Its hard to type with 1 hand and a pinkie
Tremadol is a nice drug
I need to get help more often
I need to slow down and enjoy my days (not these days, but normal days)
Physical therapy isn't for pussies
Opposable thumbs are wonderful inventions, I'm so glad I have two!

Thumbs up


1 comment:

Meghan Adkins said...

Holy crap! I have no idea why I didn't the link to this blog, as I usually do when you post them, but I am SO GLAD YOU ARE OK! And I wanted to say that the thing about traumatic injuries is that they really take it out of you. I'm not sure the extent of your injury but I can tell you that the body uses all of its resources to repair traumatic damage and it can cause you to lose a lot of time to the couch, to books, to sleep. And I have heard the praises of tramadol! Your place looks great, so glad you are recovering. Say hi and give my love to Pat and Oscar.
Meghan