October 19, 2013. David had recently completed a corporate commission in the Cummins Station building in Nashville. To get a jump on our big show in Dallas in April, he'd decided to spend a beautiful fall day making boxes. As he went to set up his tablesaw outside, I had this little nagging voice in the back of my head. Sometimes when you have anxiety issues, you ignore that little voice as just more worry. Plus, he was pretty determined to get this done so I didn't think anymore about it.
Late that afternoon, I was lying on the couch reading when the back door opened and he said, "Baby, we need to go to the hospital" but in this very calm voice. I thought we needed to VISIT someone in the hospital so I said, "Why?" And he said, "I messed up". He had a flannel shirt wrapped around his hand and I had no idea how bad it was.
We told our kids and jumped in the van. The city about 30 miles away has a much better hospital so I headed there going as fast as I comfortably could. When we got to the ER, I told David to sit down but he wanted to stand. The triage nurse unwrapped his hand and then suddenly, he knew he needed to sit. It was bad. He had run his right middle finger into the blade. They got us back pretty quickly and got him on morphine. I tried to get a picture of it before the doctor walked in and wasn't able to. I still regret that :)
The doctor on call said he would need surgery so they got him in pretty quick. They weren't sure what they would find or how extensive it would be. They were able to do the surgery without putting him all the way under, which he wasn't thrilled about. I spent the time making calls and texting, updating our kids and talking to his boss.
It turned out he had shaved off part of the bone. The surgeon put pins in and sewed everything up the best he could. It looked gruesome and he wasn't sure if the bone would knit back together or not. It was the beginning of a long involved process.
We left the hospital about 10pm, after getting there around 4:30pm. David hadn't eaten and had been given large amounts of morphine. We drove around trying to find a pharmacy that was open all night. We finally went to Walgreens, where we found lots of other people who all seemed to have stories about chain saws, tablesaws and other horrible injuries. There was also some puking in a Kroger parking lot. We still laugh about that part. He says he "threw up like a sorority girl".
About a week later, David tried to go back to work. He worked construction and thought he could do as much as possible and just baby that hand. After one day, he came home and we knew that he just needed to focus on getting better. He had weekly doctor appointments and it was a slow process. The question was if the bone would actually fuse together and the finger could be spared, or if it would end in amputation. There was bandaging and cleaning and waiting. We were very thankful for that corporate commission because we lived off that for a few months.
The doctor started talking about a bone fusion surgery, using cadaver bone. Then he switched to using live bone from David's hip. Then he said it would possibly heal fine on its own. In the end, we decided to give it some time. Three years later, it's a little crooked and super sensitive. The first knuckle bone is completely fused and the finger will never be the same. He had physical therapy at one point and luckily, it's on his non-dominant hand (or as he says, his "dumb" hand). It was a scary and stressful time. But it's now a dramatic story with some really gross photos. Of course there was a head to commemorate the occasion.
Thanks for reading-