The last few weeks have been crazy busy around our house as I’ve kicked it in to “high gear” preparing for the Midwest Homeschool Convention which I’ve been looking forward to for the past several months!! I’ve been a little overwhelmed as I research as much curriculum as I can here at home before I get to the Exhibit Hall and have every vendor booth calling my name, but this stuff gets my blood pumping, so I’ll be honest and admit it’s been a little fun too.
Well, as busy as life has been, its all come to screeching halt since Thursday afternoon.
I got a call from Tim at about 4:15, I was on the phone with my mom (I think) and didn’t pick up. He called me back right as I was about to call him back. When I picked up I heard it in his voice – something had happened.
Tim told me that he had cut his hand at work again. It was exactly 2 years, 4 days since the last phone call I received saying the same thing.
I told him I just had to get the kids in the car and I would be right there. I asked him “How bad?”
He said “Pretty bad, I need to go to the Emergency Room.”
“As bad as last time?”
“No, I don’t think so” He said.
“What fingers did you cut?”
“My pinky again, on the same hand, and my index finger.”
“Do you think you’ll lose the finger?”
“I don’t know.”
“I’ll be there in 10 minutes”
“No, don’t worry about it, I can drive myself”
“Um, no. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
~silence, then~ “Okay”
As soon as I hung up the phone I ran upstairs and told Treyton to pack a bag of books and toys for him and Alexa. He was watching “The Cat in the Hat”. He complained a little and I said “Daddy cut his hand at work, we need to go and pick him up and take him to the doctor, so can you please get a move on it.”
“How bad?” Treyton asked
“Not too bad, he’s going to be okay but he’s going to need stitches. I need your help here buddy, can you help me get everything we need?”
“Yup!” and Treyton ran off to start packing his bag.
20 minutes later I had a couple of bags packed, the kids dressed and in the van.
I got to the shop at about 4:35.
I left the kids in the van watching a movie and ran into the shop. Tim was in the office alone. He was finishing up some paperwork and had his hand all bandaged up.
I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him, I could tell his spirit was crushed. So I just stood with him for a little while.
We left the shop at 4:55 (after Tim finished up his stuff).
Tim had called his sister, who had cancelled her plans to watch the kids. She was at the house when we got there.
Tim asked if I would let him re-bandage his hand and look closer at it to see if he could fix it himself. I said “Sure, but I’m still taking you to the hospital.”
“Hmph” he said.
After Tim took the bandages off I (of course) snapped a few pictures. He cleaned it out and wrapped it better, but it didn’t take him but a few minutes before he was beginning to get light headed. As soon as he wrapped his finger back up we headed out.
Once we got to the ER, things moved pretty slowly. Lots of waiting. After the doctor got there, he said he wanted to get x-rays to see if Tim had hit the bone in his pinky. He said the pointer looked like it was a pretty “simple” cut and that he would be able to stitch it right up.
Tim’s x-rays showed what appeared to be a “knick” in the bone, so the ER doc said that he was going to stitch up the hand, but that he needed to make an appointment with a hand specialists. Because of our prior relationship with Dr. L they recommended that we work with his network again. They were not on call but the ER doctor did talk to one of the doctors in the network and they said that Tim should definitely come in the next morning.
Tim was unable to feel anything on the outer side of his pinky, so they knew that he had severed a nerve, they weren’t sure about the tendon. With both cuts, before the doc sewed them up he cleaned both cuts out really well with a “pressure wash” (using a special syringe), when he sprayed the water into the pinky a piece of metal came out. He realized that this was probably what he saw on the x-ray and that the bone was not actually knicked. He examined both cuts thoroughly to see if he could see any tendon damage, thankfully he didn’t.
During this time, Tim began to feel rather light-headed so they laid him back on the gurney. For a while, I thought that he might actually pass out. The doctor said that this was normal, that it wasn’t necessarily the sight of blood (which has never been a big deal to Tim) but that sometimes when people were getting worked on they reacted this way.
Tim’s pinky had 9 stitches, the cut was 3 1/2 cm (or 1 and 3/8 of an inch) long.
His pointer finger took 5 stitches and was 2 cm long.
Tim experienced fairly minimal pain (compared to last time) throughout the night and didn’t need any pain medication.
The next morning we went in to see Dr. D (an associate of Dr. L who performed Tim’s surgery 2 years ago). He gave us two options:
1. Leave the finger as it is, with the chance of nerve repair at nearly 0%.
2. Have surgery to repair the nerve, with a good chance of 80% sensation (or more). With the nerves it’s impossible to push the nerves together, you can only repair the “tubing” that encases the nerves to “direct” the nerve endings to each other. It’s up to the nerves to actually find their “mates” and reconnect. (Modern medicine truly is amazing!!)
Tim wasn’t sure that he wanted to have the surgery, in fact he leaned against it. I, on the other hand, was for the surgery, particularly because the nerve was severed on the outside of his hand, if he were to set his hand down on something there’s a chance that he would not even feel it!! And even to get as much function as he can from the pinky, nerves are important (at least I feel that way). As long as he has his fingers (and I pray that that’s forever) I want to do everything we can to get it to optimal function.
Tim really didn’t want to have his finger cut into (again) and by doing the surgery he was going from a simple “stitch job” to being in splint for weeks, limited hand function and physical therapy all over again. We went back and forth for a while, making our cases, but eventually he decided to do the surgery.
We had to wait for the hospital to order a nerve tube that would work. They found one at a local hospital and are able to get him in to surgery on Monday morning.
He will be going under general anesthesia – which I didn’t realize when we were discussing the idea of surgery and causes me to not be in favor (as much) of the surgery. Originally they had talked about keeping him awake and just numbing the arm, I guess they changed their minds :(
We have several of prayer requests:
1. No complications during surgery (period).
2. Complete nerve repair in the pinky.
3. Tim does not do well under general anesthesia and is known to throw up when waking up from surgery (ALOT!). Last time he had surgery they insisted that “the next time” he warn the surgeons before hand so that they could give him some medicine before the surgery to minimize the effects. They have prescribed him a patch that he will wear the day before the surgery which will hopefully help this. Pray that he wakes up from surgery with minimal nausea.
4. Pray for Tim’s spirit. I don’t want to go into too much, but I will say that accidents are not easy on anybody, but particularly men. And the fact that this is the second time Tim hurt his hand in 2 years….
5. Alexa seems to have picked up some type of stomach bug – so we are currently dealing with the mess (literally) of a two year old dealing with the stomach flu. I just pray this doesn’t sweep through the whole house and that the family sleeps through the night and that Lexie wakes up completely refreshed and no more vomit!
God is faithful, and I know that he has us in his hands. We value your prayers.
SIDE NOTE: Like last time :), I won’t publish the pictures here (to save the many gag reflexes I know that they would get), but I have pictures of his finger before we went to the hospital and will send them to you (via email) if you want to see them. Just let me know!!