Finger Update

Remember that time that I amputated my finger? That was a month ago, so I figured it is a good time to write an update on it.

Note: I’ll leave the graphic photos to the end, so if you don’t want to see those, don’t scroll down. The descriptions will be slightly graphic, so if you don’t even want to read slightly graphic depictions of finger amputation, then probably best to skip this post altogether!

The healing is going pretty well – the end of my finger now has a layer of new skin that has grown over it. It’s that thin, pink skin that you can tell is quite fresh and you can see how much thicker the old skin is than this new skin at the place where the cut happened. This is much improved from the initial condition of my finger, where it was basically just exposed flesh, and then after that, it scabbed over. The scab fell off and now it’s just this fresh new delicate skin. It’s still sensitive and delicate, so I’m still wearing a bandage on it to keep it protected. I’ve been able to play hockey with it – I just wrapped it up extra good to provide it with lots of padding and also the keep out the disgusting germs that live in my hockey gloves1

Now that the scab is gone, you can also see that I sliced off the end of my finger on an angle. It’s particularly noticeable on my nail, which still has the remnants of the nail polish I was wearing the night. I’m too afraid to take the nail polish off because I think the nail polish remover will sting the fresh new skin if I accidentally touch it.

Once I got to the point that I could just wear a simple band-aid on my finger, instead of having it wrapped up thick in a thick pile of gauze, I could finally use the safety glove that Scott bought (as I couldn’t fit my thumb into the glove with the larger bandage on it). Scott had been talking about buying this safety glove since he’d bought a mandolin (another very sharp kitchen object that is known for chopping off fingers) shortly after we got the Japanese knives, but hadn’t gotten around to it. On the night I injured my finger, he literally ordered this as I was sitting in the emergency department waiting room after I called him and told him what happened. 

Safety glove for use with my very sharp Shun knives!
Safety glove so I won’t chop off any more fingers. Look how beautiful that knife is!

OK, here are the graphic photos. You have been warned.

Day 4

Day 4 was the day I removed the bandage that was put on at the hospital. It hurt a fair bit to get the bandage off, and to clean the wound, and to bandage it back up. This photo makes it look far more drastic than it is – my pinky finger was already significantly shorter than my ring finger, even before I sliced the end off.

The dark red stuff around the edges is the remnants of the foam pad that the doctor put on top of the wound, which got soaked in blood, and then hardened. I was able to get some of it off, but couldn’t get all of it off without it hurting too much, so I decided to leave it and just wait until it fell off of its own accord.

Finger amputation recovery - day 4

Day 7

The emergency doctor said that I shouldn’t play hockey for “at least a week”, but the wound looked pretty gooey a week later. so I decided to play it safe and skip my hockey game on this day.

Finger amputation recovery - day 7

Day 12

By day 12 is wasn’t hurting so much, and it wasn’t as gooey. Wasn’t quite a solid scab yet, but more of a soft, flaky pre-scab. Still didn’t feel confident that it would be safe to play hockey (I was worried about falling on my hand or getting hit and having the wound get re-opened), so I skipped another game.

Finger amputation recovery - day 12
Finger amputation recovery - day 12

Day 15

More of a proper scab, so decided it was OK to get back on the ice! With it heavily bandaged up, of course.

Finger amputation recovery - day 15

Day 21

Still has some scab on it, but some of the scab has fallen off to reveal new skin is growing.

Finger amputation - day 21

Day 27

Notice the angle at which I sliced my finger:

Finger amputation - day 27

Here you can see how pink the new skin is and if you zoom in, you can see how much thicker the old skin was.

Finger amputation - day 27

  1. In the first hockey game that I played after my injury, near the end of the game I blocked a shot, fully expecting just to block it with my body, but instead it hit me directly on my left thumb. As the pain shot through my hand, my brain panicked and all I could think was “omg, is that my injured finger?” And then I realized it was my thumb and then I was like “Is this even the same hand as my injured finger??” It was, but it took me a few seconds to remember. It’s usually pretty easy to remember which finger is injured because it’s bandaged up, but with my hand in my bulky hockey glove, every finger feels like it’s bandaged up. []

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