Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tablesaw vs Fingers

After 20+ years I finally let my table saw bite me. Yep! I let my guard down for just a second and the three middle fingers of my left hand suddenly had divots taken out. No, I've still got all of them but they still look like they were in a battle and lost, even after four weeks.

Unlike a knife, a table saw makes an 1/8" wide cut. Fortunately I had set it up to only cut 1/8" above the board so my cuts were only 1/8" deep. Even so, it was deep enough to reach the bone and take a nick out of them too.

I marked my "WHATDOIDONOW" path in the garage with 294 drops of blood before I got it under control by wrapping my hand in Bounty towels. Then I drove to the emergency room where I was promptly treated, mostly because I take blood thinners that tend to make me bleed a lot. They didn't want me to mess up their new floor.

29 stitches, Xrays, a few bandages and some really good pain killer and I was done, at least until the next day when I had to see a hand specialist. He started out by saying I was one of the few lucky ones. Most of his patients lost fingers and even hands. But he was pleased with the stitches as well as the appearance of the wounds and scheduled me for hand therapy a couple of days a week. I go back to him next week. I think he will be impressed with my progress.

Surprisingly, for three weeks my whole hand didn't want to function properly, and the three fingers tended to hurt quite a bit although the tips were bone dead. I'm told that feeling will likely return in time as I finish the healing process. Also, scar tissue will be minimal if I continue my therapy.

So instead of thinking "woe is me" I'm thinking of just how fortunate I am. It could have very easily been worse.

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