Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Bubbles of the Night
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I noticed the splint was a little bloody, so it must have leaked a little at some point. I needed to change the Band-Aid. I tried to un-tape it but I couldn’t, so I got some scissors and started cutting from the back. This was a difficult process that took about 10 min. and a lot of pain. Now I had the Band-Aid off sort of. The sticky part was off, but my wound had fused to the gauze pad. There was no scab. It was just a sticky puss oozing from my finger attached like glue to the bandage. It wouldn’t come off short of ripping it off. Now that technique might work for some things, but if I did that this time it would be like cutting my finger again with all the blood and starting the healing over. Keep in mind this is my finger where hundreds of nerve endings are and a constant throbbing pulse pushing out ample amounts of blood. I didn’t know what to do. I started feeling queasy again from the pain of messing with it. I got a cold sweat and went to lie down. I’m pretty sure I’d pass out if I was ever tortured. Zach brought me a cup of water to soak it. It soaked for about 15 min while I listened to music. The status wasn’t changing. I got up and called dad. He said the same thing: soak it in warm soapy water. So I warmed the water a bit and continued to soak it for about 15 more min. Nothing. My finger looked like a white shriveled prune, but the bandage was still glued tight to my wound. Mom called me after hearing from dad. She said that if nothing had changed after that long I was going to have to pull it off. I’m still cringing thinking about hearing her say that. I knew it needed to come off, but I didn’t want to rip it off. She said if I pass out from the pain or throw up it would be better than having to deal with an infection. She was right, but I didn’t want her to be. She said to call back if I needed her. We hung up. I pulled up a chair to the kitchen sink. I sat there for about half an hour-trying to get the courage to pull it off. I wasn’t feeling very courageous tonight. I’d already been sick to my stomach earlier and I was feeling weak and tired. It is hard knowing you have the power to do something, but not being able to. It was like someone was telling me to basically cut off a part of my own body. That’s not easy. I got to the point where I built up tension in my right arm to perform the ripping motion, but at the last second I couldn’t do it. Trying to choke back tears, I felt helpless. I was never one to deal with pain well, but I’ve gotten much better over the years, this was just a little much. I could tell the missing part of skin was a little bigger than the eraser of a pencil. How deep, I had not a clue, but no bone, just meat. I finally put it back in the soapy water cup. Then I had an idea – change the way I removed. I got my other hand in the cup and started pinching and squeezing the Band-Aid off. This worked better because the water would stop initial bleeding and I couldn’t see it. I put my head on my arm and kept pulling. It worked. It hurt, but it worked. I pulled my hand out of the water and blood started running everywhere. I got it under the faucet and poured some antiseptique on it. I didn’t want to put a bandage back on it. My hope is that it would clot and dry. I held up high above the sink in a paper towel with blood dripping down. I put pressure at the knuckle of my finger. After about 10 min it seemed to work a little. The cut was at an angle so that if I held my palm up it pooled in the top of my finger. Strangely enough it kept building up like a drippy sandcastle. It added layer after layer of bloody plasma. It was about an 1/8 in high. I took a picture later it was so odd. It wasn’t dry, but it wasn’t liquid – more gelatinous. I could turn my finger 360 and it didn’t move. However, if I touched a paper towel to it, blood would drain into the white sheet. There was no way I could sleep with it like this. Zach had never seen anything like it. I called mom and she was just as puzzled, but she kept asking if I had cleaned it enough. I was messing with it and the bubble popped and squirted blood at me. It started bleeding again, but not bad this time. It built back another mound of blood.
I should note something else going on at this point. When I went into the kitchen to start getting the Band-Aid I noticed a strip on the wall. I looked like paint dripping down the kitchen wall, but it had not been there earlier. I touched it and it was moist, but not just a water trickle. It was puzzling, but my finger took precedent. Now that I had gotten my finger somewhat under control, I noticed the trickle had gotten bigger and the paint was bubbling like my finger. Somehow there was a water leak and it was going UNDER the paint causing it to bubble up. Zach got a paper towel to dry up the paint, but it had already created a look of wrinkled flabby skin. He called Kevin (it was about 11:30) and he came over to have a look. He saw my finger and asked if I needed a lift to the hospital. That idea scared me, but I honestly didn’t think it was necessary. He climbed in the attic (which I was unaware we had), but couldn’t see anything. He found a hoover (vacuum) while he was up there! He said he would have someone check it out in the morning. The leak had seemed to slow too, so that was good.
I manage to press the blood bubble down the firmer it got, and arrived at a height I could put a skin-like bandage I have over it. It’s that same stuff I used on my knee last summer. It seems to just peel off of open wounds, but protects it from dirt. I had been watching “Singing in the Rain”, so I finished the movie (a good one) and left my finger dry some more and put the splint over it before going to bed. Order seemed to be restored.