The aftermath

October 13, 2021 • 10:10 am

After 4 or so hours, I’m finally sutured up and discharged. There were two lacerations, one a flap on the ball of my thumb, the other a deep gash on the edge of my hand below the pinky. And of course I came straight back to work from the ER because I’m a tough guy, and my readers need posts. (Not really, I’d come back regardless.)

Here are the stitches: the nurse-practitioner who put them in said it’s an art to do stitching properly, and she did a great job. Kudos to her (I won’t name her) for her artistry.

They come out in 10 days. Otherwise, I wear a big bandage over my left hand for a few days and then little bandages over the gashes. Thank Ceiling Cat it was not my duck-food-throwing hand, but my left hand.

The flap: (11 stitches):

The gash 7 stitches, from underneath (the NP’s favorite kind of stitchng):


Now, back to business: a Hili post. First, though, I haven’t had my coffee yet. .  .

59 thoughts on “The aftermath

  1. Yikes! I just read your previous post to find out what happened. Glad you didn’t hit your head or have an even more severe injury to repair! You certainly were a bloody mess! I’m glad you’re ok.

    1. Also “yikes!”

      Did they ask you how you fell? After a “certain age” it seems nurses/doctors ask if you’ve had any recent falls no matter what you come in for.

    1. Me too! Yikes.

      You ARE tough. If that were me, I’d be home lying on the couch, in a swoon, sipping chicken soup.

  2. Welcome back! I hope you can type up the incident report one-handed. Here at Safety University, that much blood on a lab floor would lead to an investigation and a lot of hassle for the PI. Maybe UofC is more sensible about these things.

    1. I would think it appropriate to investigate and document an incident which left the injured party with 18 stitches. A culture in which such incidents are simply brushed under the carpet is one in which accidents tend to proliferate. Of course there is nothing that says the investigation and paperwork must be excessively burdensome so a proportionate approach should be possible.

  3. Well, I think you have been more than suitably macho about the whole bloody affair, and congrats on jump-starting the gruesome Halloween season. Glad you’re OK and it was not even worse. 18 stitches is plenty. 🙂

  4. Thank Ceiling Cat it was not my duck-food-throwing hand

    Well best of luck. Remember with some injuries the ‘wiped out’ feeling comes hours or a day later, so you may not want to make a late day at the office out of it.
    Best get the ducks fed before dinner time. 🙂

  5. Wow. That is ugly. I am glad you got quick medical attention and are on your way back to good health. Per Mike’s comment above, hopefully the UofC paperwork for this incident/accident will not be too demanding. Please go easy today and get well.

  6. And of course I came straight back to work from the ER because I’m a tough guy, and my readers need posts.

    Attaboy! The show must go on. A trouper through and through.

  7. Yikes, I hope that the injuries aren’t as painful as they look. For some reason I thought that stitches were self-dissolving nowadays.

  8. Oh my God I hope they totally numbed you up to give you those stitches. Yet another reason to get rid of plastic bags. Thank goodness you’re fine because I’m a reader in need of posts.

      1. I think it’s hard to get all the nerves with lidocaine sometimes. I have had the same happen during two minor in-office surgeries. Each had some extremely painful moments; and I asked for more lidocaine, which was given.

        Ouch! Getting your stitches out should be pretty much pain-free. 🙂

  9. Yup, there’s 11 stitches and 7 stitches – I counted. (I used to count the McNuggets in the box – though what I would have done if they’d shortchanged me, I don’t know). Glad you were able to get Emergency Room care these days. Be extra careful keeping those clean and covered since you work in a lab. (Nag, nag, nag – shutting up)

  10. That is quite a lot of stitches. I’m a fainter so I would have been out on the floor.
    Thanks for resuming posting.

    1. I got a laceration on the side of my right knee a few years ago that required about 8 stitches. After the lidocaine, I watched the doctor do up the stitches.

      This was after about 4 hours of helping my Mom unpack from a move. Which I did after the laceration — I just slapped betadine ointment, gauze, and tape over it, then off to help Mom.

      My wife made me go to the doctor (urgent walk-in clinic).

      I’m pretty imperturbable. My physician says I have a “high pain tolerance.”

  11. Ouch! I hope you heal quickly. Cats and evolution need you, but I would certainly understand if you need a real break.

  12. Hard core! I guess you’ll find out if chicks really do dig scars.

    (I’ll probably get cancelled for this comment.)

  13. Glad to hear you’re back in working fettle – even if you’re typing with a pen in the teeth.
    Looking at the post with the guilty cabinet – it’s clearly not made with toughened (tempered) glass panels. I don’t know US regulations, but for a long time (20+ years pre-Brexit ; current status uncertain) here, glass used in in domestic furniture was required to be tempered (“toughened”), so that such an incident would have resulted in thousands of cubic glass fragments, and a few sticking-plaster level wounds. There was a spate of horror stories about kids walking into glass furniture/ doorway panels until regulations were updated.
    (I was sourcing book cabinets for building an offshore lab, to work in UK and European waters in about 1990 and had to get familiar with the regulations then. We ended up using metal bars to secure the volumes in their cabinets against heavy weather – lighter on the paperwork!)
    Sourcing toughened sheeting in the right sizes for the remaining shelving units is likely to be a PITA. I suspect you’re going to get a good chance to review what you have on your shelves in a few months, as the safety paperwork grinds slowly, but finely. You might be able to get away with tough transparent self-adhesive film on the panels – if it doesn’t jam.

    Several of my rock-climbing friends have had similar injuries on a weekend – and been back at the office on the Monday. One of them used a pair of lightweight fabric fingerless mitts to keep the dressings in place while retaining enough flexibility at the fingertips to write, fiddle lab equipment, and climb the next weekend. He got them from a flatmate, who used them for some other sport. Might be worth looking at, once your dressings shrink to an appropriate size. While they’re expecting blood/ pus seepage, the dressings will probably be too bulky.

  14. BTW – the X-ray isn’t (primarily) about bone damage. They’re looking for shards of glass in the wound, In cases like this, very definitely “better out than in”!

    1. Yes, two years ago I tripped on a shag-pile rug while holding a large glass of red wine in my hand. I had to wait till the following morning for the X-ray for shards of glass, by which time the doctor decided just to leave the butterflies, rather than stitch. I now have a scar on my left hand in exactly the same place as Jerry, but curving the opposite way. Curiously, I felt no pain at the time or afterwards, and I still have a full pack of paracetamol that the doctor gave me. I’d add a photo but don’t know how.

      I hope you heal as easily and as well as I did, Jerry.

  15. Terrible. Poor paw. Glad will be OK and that no bones were broken. Take good care, Ceiling Cat. Glad to see you posting again.

  16. Fine looking suturing jobs! I am very pleased you are back on “your feet” so quickly. I don’t need to tell you; but keep an eye out for infection!

    Thank goodness no major nerves, tendons, or blood vessels were severed!

    Hang in there, boss! 🙂

  17. Looks like you barely missed the recurrent branch of your medial nerve on your hypothenar eminence. Yikes!

  18. Looks like one throbbing hand coming up this evening hope you can get comfortable for a good nights rest.
    We need you fighting fit. The Woke don’t sleep 😉

  19. I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate mishap Jerry. I hope that your wounds heal fast and there is little pain. Take care of yourself mate. All the best.

  20. Glad you’re ok and that you didn’t lacerate nerves/tendons. The hands can be so delicate if you hit the right places! I hope you have a smooth recovery.

  21. That flap looks nasty. A similar cut on the pad of my thumb left a permanent scar and a bit of a slope-change along the length of the skin. Treat it gently and get well soon.

  22. Dear Professor, I’m sorry about your accident, and I’m glad you are on the mend. After the stiches are removed and your care is finished, please post the total medical bill, regardless of who pays.

  23. I also wish to express my sympathy, and hope for a quick recovery. I have that sort of thing happen to me fairly regularly, but seeing your posed images was still sort of a shock.

  24. Just FYI you will be charged for a physician to sew you up so next time I would ask for a physician. That is corporate medicine trying to make money off you.

  25. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery. I have had several encounters with sharp objects over my seventy-odd years. The most recent with a box cutter I was using to remove the caulking around a bath tub. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The wound was in a similar location to yours, but recalling the suggestion of a contractor, I closed it up with a strip of electrician’s tape and finished the job. The ER doctor asked if the tape was new and unopened – which it was – and then glued the flap closed with cyanoacrylate adhesive (medical super glue). I don’t recommend the tape solution, but apparently unopened electrician’s – not the roll in the bottom of your tool box – is sterile enough (and sticky enough) for a temporary fix.

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