*Caution Graphic images* Dodgy fingers update! – ***Caution do not read or open if squeamish***

Hopefully the right pic now!

Amputation of fingertips

As it looks now As it looks now

It’s 4 months now since I chopped off the ends of two of my fingers with a hedgecutter.  The hedges are coming down in my garden and I am replacing with fencing! :), I still have a recurring nightmare where I look down and see the end of my finger hanging off, and have a strong aversion to hedgecutters now!  Lots of people have been asking for an update on how my fingers are doing, so here it is.  See below for a current picture and what it was like before.

As it looks now As it looks now

Warning do not look at if squeamish Warning do not look at if squeamish

The less badly hurt finger is almost normal now, with just a little bit of scar tissue and a lump on the end, and a tiny bit of numbness.  The worst finger which had virtually no nail left and an inch missing from the…

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*Caution Graphic images* Dodgy fingers update! – ***Caution do not read or open if squeamish***

As it looks now
As it looks now

It’s 4 months now since I chopped off the ends of two of my fingers with a hedgecutter.  The hedges are coming down in my garden and I am replacing with fencing! :), I still have a recurring nightmare where I look down and see the end of my finger hanging off, and have a strong aversion to hedgecutters now!  Lots of people have been asking for an update on how my fingers are doing, so here it is.  See below for a current picture and what it was like before.

As it looks now
As it looks now
Warning do not look at if squeamish
Warning do not look at if squeamish

The less badly hurt finger is almost normal now, with just a little bit of scar tissue and a lump on the end, and a tiny bit of numbness.  The worst finger which had virtually no nail left and an inch missing from the end also looks pretty amazing considering!  It does still hurt quite a bit, and its shorter than it was before, and straight across rather than having a nice rounded tip, but its “really quite impressive” as the hand surgeon said.  Even more impressive he said is that my fingerprint is also coming back, which doesn’t often happen.  He informed me I should not commit any murders as “you won’t get away with it now!”  Not that I was planning to do any!   It is still painful and numb on the end, with a raised lump of scar tissue and swollen nerve tissue on the side of my finger. Sometimes I forget that if I even slightly touch it it really hurts, and last week I ended up jumping around in the supermarket when i accidently used that finger to select the banana picture on the weighing scale in the supermarket!  Resulting in a bit of jumping around and some funny looks!  If I compare it to the same finger on the other hand it is shorter than that one, but still no one would notice unless they looked closely, and the nail has completely grown back so looking at the finger from that side you wouldn’t really know.  I still type with that finger stuck up in the air at the moment!  I have to gently tap the end of the finger daily and massage it to help desensitize it.  Apparently nerve damage can take up to a year to get better.

So I can only emphasise again the benefits of moist wound healing and hydrocolloid dressings for a pretty quick recovery.  Whilst a bit expensive, it was worth it as the nail grew back 40% quicker giving protection to the injured finger underneath.

I count myself very lucky to have had such a good hand surgeon, and lucky that I didn’t need a skin graft as was first thought.  Having done several food and nutrition courses in the past alongside my reflexology training, I am sure that eating a really good diet with lots of protein, vitamin e, and healthy fats also helped the skin to regrow.  As soon as the skin had grown over the wound, I searched on the internet about healing of scars.  I found that many extolled the virtues of rosehip oil. Even scars that were over 20 years old showed marked improvement after using Rosehip oil.  Rosehip oil was found to regenerate the skin, and reduce scars.   I found that Neals Yard, Wild Rose organic Beauty Balm, described as a one pot multi use wonder balm, really helped to keep it moisturised and helped the healing process, and I am sure has helped with skin formation as it is high in vitamins and fatty acids.  I have been massaging my finger as instructed daily with the balm.  So I am now definitely  encouraging others to buy it to help with wound healing as well.  https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/deborahallan   In addition I took Gingko which helps to give good circulation to the extremeties. I hope all this info helps someone else who injures themselves, or had some old scars.

I would also like to say thanks to all my friends who have been amazing helping me when I couldn’t do anything, and for everyone that has asked how I am doing.  Thanks to all of you 🙂

Chop your fingers off and get a date?!

The first night and my fingers throbbed all night, the antibiotics and strong painkillers made me feel sick, and delight of delights I had to look forward to the task of changing my own dressings twice a day, just to make myself feel even worse by looking at it!  If I didn’t feel sick before I certainly did after!  I wasn’t given any dressings at the hospital (NHS cuts no doubt!), so thought I had better make a trip out to get some. Of course now I can’t drive so its walking everywhere. It’s amazing how difficult it is to get dressed, sticking your arm through your sleeves without actually touching your fingers is a work of art, and as for pulling up your knickers! Well!  With the use of only my right hand, they have to go up in stages, you pull up one side with the right hand, you lean across to the left and with the same hand, whilst trying not to bash the dodgy hand, you try and pull up the opposite side.  Its not easy, and those pants just don’t feel right all day!  I realise it will now take hours to get ready!  I can’t do my hair so just stick it up in a clip!  Glamour has gone out of the window. Even doing that with one hand is difficult.

Eventually I go out with my arm in my sling.  A guy cycles past me, turns round and comes back and says “what have you done to yourself?”  I explain I chopped the top of my fingers off whilst trying to cut the hedge.  After a sharp intake of breath, and a facial grimace which could out do gurning, he says “I think you should get your partner to do that for you”. Now if I had fancied him, I might have said I don’t have a partner, but I don’t say anything!  He then says “well if you need any help cutting your hedge I’m your man”.   To which I reply “my dad is going to sort it for me”!  He then tells me the story of his father in law who chopped off the end of his little finger whilst working at a saw mill, apparently only half of his nail now grows back.  Little do I realise that this is the start of the never ending stories about chopped off fingers, and the extreme facial expressions!

The A&E experience

So A&E was an experience, how can it take so many hours?!  I got looked at and given painkillers, then the waiting starts. They had a look at my fingers, and decided I had taken the tops off the bones as well, so I needed an x-ray.  1.5 hours later the x-ray was done. Then I had to wait another hour for the results. Meanwhile the bit of finger was still hanging on by a thread!  Surely if they had put it back on straight away it might have survived!.  So you are stuck in a cubicle with only a curtain between you and other poor people suffering in different ways, and can hear all the conversations.  No privacy! There just don’t seem to be enough staff.  Eventually I am told yes the tops of the bones have been fractured so I need antibiotics.  Then they start putting my fingers back together.  The trainee (very nice but not the time you want to be practiced on!)  discusses what she is going to do with the Dr.  She says she is going to give two injections of local anaesthetic into my worst finger.  “Have you ever had injections in your fingers?” the Dr. says to the trainee.  “they are unbelievably painful, and ten times worse than dental injections”!   Well I am not exactly reassured by those facts, strangely enough! and wondering why I ever started gardening that day!

The lost fingertips diary!

Saturday 11th April 2015 started like any other day.  It was a lovely sunny day, and I decided to go out and cut my hedges in my garden. Big mistake! Less than 30 minutes later I cut the top off of two fingers with a hedgecutter.  I spent 5 and a half hours at A&E, had bits of nail removed, local anaesthetic in my fingers which hurts unbelievably, tetanus injection and antibiotics. I had chopped the top of the bones off my fingers too.  The bits were sewn back on, but two days later they had gone black and died, and had to be chopped off again!  There is something about fingers being injured that makes everyone squirm!  Not to mention the copious amount they bleed.  For all those who have badly injured your fingers, there is hope! Fingertips the hand surgeon told me can grow back as they have such a good blood supply.  They also hurt massively as they have so many nerve endings!

So I will share with you my tips on how to grow them back, and the strange things that fingertip injuries lead to!