Hello all - it's been awhile since I've signed in here!
But I'll be as quick as possible because I know there is someone out there who knows just what I'm talking about and will be able to give me some good advice
On May 14, I was handing a very sharp knife to hubby, he took it and I didn't let go in time (distracted trying to get dinner on the table, clean up, etc). The next thing I heard was "PUT YOUR FINGER UNDER THE WATER!" I was confused until I looked down and saw that my right index finger had a enormous cut from the base of the finger (palm side), wrapped around towards the knuckle and went up past both joints nearly to the fingernail (I have lots of photos if any ghouls like me are interested
Immediately the blood started spurting out with each heart beat, shooting up towards the ceiling (or about a meter out depending upon how I was flinging my hand), it was some heavy bleeding. Of course I was wearing a white shirt. I must have gone into shock because my first thought was to go upstairs and get a band-aid to cover it.
My husband grabbed a dishcloth and literally had to drag me out the door to the car and push me in. The kids, of course, were freaking out. Thankfully, our 17 year old was home and he took care of them while we drove to the closest ER (which turned out to be the WORST ER)
Arrive at ER - in the wrong door, it's locked. For ambulance only. A dr saw me and my now drenched with blood shirt, the puddle under my feet and opened the door and led me to a gurney. Long story short, 5 hours later, I walked out less 1 pint of blood, 24 temp stitches and instructions to call the hand surgeon in the morning. Yes, we live in a very large city with 2 Level I trauma centers and we chose the Level 2. It wasn't busy. There was just me, a guy who cut the tip of his thumb off and some drug seekers wanting percocet for back pain. But it took 5 hours because the TV was on, Facebook was on, etc. You get the picture.
The ER dr looked at my cut and said he couldn't fix it, it was way too big and deep, he paged the surgeon. But due to bad triaging (a sore throat got seen before me, the person spurting arterial blood out of my finger and not clotting for some reason if that gives you any idea), cut thumb guy saw the surgeon first and they took him up to surgery. They paged the surgeon, he sent his assistant surgeon down to the ER to see me. THANKFULLY, this guy had some sense and gave me a nerve block because by now, the pain was INTENSE!!! He said "Oh my G*d, why are we up there sewing on a piece of thumb, this woman has cut through her nerves, arteries and tendons! She should have been seen first!!! He could have waited" But, since they were the only available, he told them to stitch me up temporarily and come see him in the morning.
By Tuesday, I am recovering from 2 hour reconstructive surgery. He was able to sew the nerves together, repair the tendon (it turned out to be just a knick) but the arteries are gone forever.
Now for my concerns: He did not splint it, he said he doesn't believe in them. But now my finger can't straighten all the way. I have a giant lump on the deepest part (called the PIP joint, it's the crease just under the knuckle, palm side) I can't feel most of my finger on one side from the nerves, I hope that will come back with time. The sutures were removed 10 days later and the very next day (Saturday, of course), the wound fell apart. I bought some surgical grade super glue and glued it back together, that seems to have done the trick.
But I wasn't really given any instructions other than to wiggle my fingers. Isn't there some sort of therapy I should be doing to get that skin to loosen up again? What about that very tight spot of scar tissue that is keeping me from hold my finger straight? I was reading around and most people are splinted with special type splint that forces the finger back into a straight position with sort of a spring-action thingie. This is my right index finger and I am right handed. I play the violin and I am an artist so I sort of need that finger to be working correctly. It's not so much the cosemetics as it is the super tightness (that seems to get worse each day), the swelling (which is very obvious) and not knowing what to do to help it.
Any suggestions on breaking up scar tissue? How much pain is "good" pain? Any tips on what you've done to break up something that looks like hypertrophic scarring (from my google searches)? I've been rubbing vitamin E oil on it and sort of rubbing it back & forth like I did when I had PTTD surgery last year to keep it from sticking to the bone (in my mind, I don't know if that's what really happens.) I just feel like the surgeon is being very nonchalant about the entire thing. I'm not a freak-out person either, I'm pretty mellow, but my gut tells me I should be doing more. It's SO tight and dry feeling, when I get out of the shower, it's nice and loose and I can bend it freely. But as soon as it dries, bam - back to tight. The cut part isn't completely healed yet, it doesn't ooze or bleed, unless I do too much, so soaking it in stuff probably isn't a good idea. Help!!!