Fast Finger Fix

Fast Finger Fix

Fast Finger Fix

It was a bright and early morning. The roosters were crowing, the sun just peeking over our mountain when I decided it was time to spring a gift that I'd bought Mrs. Strand. I had it stored up in our tool shed for safe keeping. I threw on my robe and sandals and coasted up the mountain to grab it. The shed has a two latch system for the door. The top latch releases without any issue. The bottom latch, however, can be a real frustration. When the weather is cold the bottom latch sits very tight. To make matters worse, the slight rusting opposes a smooth opening as well. I could not pull up the latch that morning with one hand, pulling with all my might. With my mind focused on getting "gardening much book" before Ashley got out of bed, I knew I would need to get through that latch. placing a second hand on the latch, I pulled up with all my force and... Freedom!

The latch popped free while simultaneously ripping a large chunk of the tip of my left index finger with it.

A moment later the burning sensation of millions of pain sensors in my index finger screamed at my brain for making such an Oofdah! of a mistake. Hot blood percolated through the surface of my fresh nickel-sized wound as I lamented my error while digging for the book.

A Lesson on Resistance and Brute Force

Whether you encounter a stubborn latch you are trying to open or a stubborn friend you are trying to share your point-of-view with, brute force is one of the worst ways to achieve resolution. Yes you can get the door open and yes you can get your friend to agree with your opinion, but at the end of the day, was it really a success? The cost of physical bodily injury and the cost of a friend resorting to lying just to get you off their back, both, can cause major long term damage which dwarf the short term gain. This article is not about convincing people of your opinion (read hostage negotiation for that) but the lesson from my finger does apply to that situation. The ole' adage of "work smarter, not harder" comes into play perfectly in these scenarios. While I did not work smarter on the door latch, I did for my finger healing and it most certainly paid off in the end.

This article in no way constitutes medical advice directed to you. This is my story on how I handled my recovery from an injury. Seek professional assistance for your own bodily harm.

Wounds Take Time to Heal, But Less Time If Properly Treated

Just like a rusted latch on a shed door, my bloody finger needed some TLC in order to get back into working order. Time taken for maintenance can prevent catastrophe. Everybody knows what happens to an engine if the oil doesn't get changed, right? A fresh wound is no exception at Strand Farm.

Immediately after sustaining the injury, I delivered the news and the gift to Mrs. Strand. After the smiling eye-roll amidst my whimpered cussings, Ashley set off to assess the damage I had done to myself. Since my wound was gently oozing blood instead of displaying pulsatile gushing, the determination was made to soak my finger in a tepid water bath mixed with a few drops of chlorhexidine (CHG). The oozing blood helped clear away debris while the chlorhexidine soak cleansed the wound area and immediately surrounding tissue of various pathogens.

Five minutes later, my finger had not stopped bleeding. I removed my finger from the soak and applied pressure with a sterile gauze. After five minutes of gentle pressure, hemostasis was achieved and I was no longer bleeding. I placed my finger back in the CHG soak for another 10 minutes.

The Dressing

After the soak, Ashley applied the dressing. The dressing we decided to use for my injury was telfa (non-stick gauze), a dab of Neosporin ointment and two band-aids. Click here to see a clip of the dressing change.

Signs and Symptoms of Infection

The things we looked for in regards to my finger included: redness at the site or increasing redness, swelling, yellow or green oozing liquid, discoloration of the wound bed or surrounding skin, changes in sensation or increasing tenderness. Mind you, normal inflammation will cause redness, swelling, tenderness. We were looking for changes over time. More specifically, signs that the wound was not improving.

The Fast

Knowing better, I ate lunch that day. Big mistake. Within 30 minutes of eating, the soreness, pain, swelling and inflammation had increased. I then remembered the results I had with my 7 day water fast [click here to see that video] and the tooth problem I had this past fall. It's something like 30% of a persons total energy bandwidth is spent on digesting consumed food. This means a 30% reduction in the bodies ability to heal injuries. I quickly jumped into a 24 hour fast which turned into a 48 hour fast, followed intermittently by two more 24 hour fasts. My dog doesn't eat when she is sick. Neither should I. This is why my body has fat reserves. Click here to read my article on my fasting research, experience, including helpful resources.

By the time I'd reached 3 days post wound, I knew that with cautious diet and continued proper dressing changes, my finger would recover.

Finger Fixed!

Now that I've got my finger back and fully functional, I guess I better go work on that shed latch, huh? Click here for the link to see the images of my finger injury and the progression of healing. Warning: There are graphic images of my bloody finger.