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Thanksgiving injury


The splint for my hand (North Carolina November 2011)

It wouldn't be a holiday without someone getting hurt. This year, it was me. While cutting a roll to make a delicious turkey sandwich with the Thanksgiving leftovers, I stabbed the palm of my hand with a steak knife. The wound is classified as a puncture wound, so they didn't give me stitches. In the ER, I got an antibiotic shot in my thigh and a tetanus shot in my arm. The orthopedist confirmed that I cut my flexor tendon and a nerve. My pinky and ring finger on my left hand are numb and I can't move my ring finger above the second knuckle. Next week I'm getting surgery to repair the tendon and nerve. Post-op, I will have my hand in a cast or splint for at least 10 days. Then I will have to do rehab for the tendon and won't be able to heavy lift with that hand (i.e. babies) until the tendon is healed. If I don't let it fully heal, the tendon will snap and I will be back in surgery. I explained my home situation (a three-year old and 7-month old twins) and the orthopedist told me I could take the splint off when necessary. However, I should be careful not to injure it more. Regardless, he explained, it will be operated on next week. I quickly found out that it hurts pretty bad outside of the safety of the splint.

The reality of it all hasn't really set in, thinking about scheduling rehab for my hand with the kids or how it will be after the surgery. Luckily, my grandmother already had a trip planned to come visit us this Saturday. W and I are just counting down the days until she gets here (three more days).

The whole situation is laughable. The actual wound is so small... and I just was cutting a roll (yes, the wrong way)... and now surgery? I'm home with the kids this week. One of my girlfriends keeps coming by periodically to wash my dishes and spoon feed the babies. Two other friends are bringing me dinner before Granny gets here Saturday. Another friend may take D for a couple afternoons. Next week, two of our friends agreed to baby-sit during the surgery so Granny doesn't have to take care of all the boys by herself all day (a daunting task for anyone). It really doesn't matter how many friends I have here; the few I have are good ones I have found out. Thank you all for, well, lending a hand. I had to say it.

My wound the day after I cut it (North Carolina November 2011)
I know it is silly to be so bothered by something as insignificant as this, but I had a moment of panic Sunday night when we were getting ready for bed. W got the house ready for me (bottles washed, diaper caddy stocked, clothes out, etc) and it just hit me that I would be home with two babies, a three year old, and one hand... all day. I was so focused on when my family would come that the offers of help from my friends hadn't sunk in. Monday morning, my girlfriend showed up bright and early and started changing and feeding babies. I had text messages with offers to watch my dog, make me dinner, baby-sit, emails and messages asking if they could bring dinner over, could they pick D up for me this day? My handful of local friends have big hearts and I am so grateful for them because this whole ordeal would be much harder without their support. Sometimes it is so easy for me to think, "If I still lived in Hawaii, I would have help from such and such..." or "If only I lived closer to so and so..." or "Why did I have to do this now? It would have been much better after finals." It is so easy to fall in to self pity instead of embracing the blessings right in front of me because--truly-- I am very blessed in these friendships.

So, for now, I'm not letting reality settle in. Between friends and family, I will have help until January. We'll see how my hand is doing after that. Honestly though, I look down at my fiberglass splint and I just cannot believe I did that.

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