Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone

I'll start this story with an explanation.

You see, I love to cook.  And one of the must-have implements I have in my house is a food processor.  I use the thing pretty much every day.  One day, one of the parts fell and the brake popped off.  I was planning to replace the part, but my roommate sort of jerryrigged it so that it could still work in the mean time.  Only thing is, it did not have a brake any more, so when it was turned on, it would run whether or not the plunger was in it.  Yesterday, I was in a hurry to make dinner.  I had not planned to make dinner that day, but I wanted to use up some greens before they went bad, so I changed my mind at the last minute.  While I was pushing them in, I wasn't thinking and all of a sudden something felt very wrong.  What was wrong was that 1/3 of the index and middle fingertips of my left hand were now somewhere in the greens. 

I started yelling OMYGODOMYGODOMYGODOMYGOD, dripping blood profusely into a towel (and the floor, and the sofa...) while my roommate called 911.  I have never been in an ambulance before, and the whole thing was so surreal.  They wanted to inject morphine into me.  I said no.  I was strapped into a gurney (protocol, I guess?) and wheeled into the ER.  My roommate actually fished my fingertips out of the greens and packed them in ice and brought them to the hospital.  Yeah, he's pretty awesome. 

While I sat in the ER feeling sorry for myself, a woman in a black burqa came by my room and asked me why I was crying.  We got to talking and she told me her story.  She is a Muslim-American USA military vet.  She's been raped, attacked with knives and guns, and lost 17 of 18 children close to birth (the 18th is an addict and has disappeared).  People see her burqa and threaten her here.  She has severe PTSD and agoraphobia.  She looked around, lifted her burqa mask, and showed me the tattoos she has on her face. She got them to cover up knife wounds.  She has 4 degrees in aerospace, law, and more, and speaks several languages.  She had just gotten a biopsy.  And she was worried about me and my fingertips.  I thought she was one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Things like this really put your own crap in perspective.

I had my blood pressure checked a million times, peed in a cup twice, had my oxygen saturation checked over and over (100%, baby!).  They put me in a wheelchair against my protests and wheeled me up to another room.  Finally, around 10PM, I went into surgery.  It went well.  The surgeon said I would need two surgeries, the second being a skin graft in 3 weeks.  He said my fingers will look fairly close to normal, but would not be quite the same as before.  I will have full functionality but about 80% sensation. 

If you need a peace sign or bunny ears, I'm your girl.

For the next 3 months, I am not allowed to do much involving the injured fingers on my left hand.  I have to drop out of Powerlifting Nationals in July, which I have been training really hard for.  That was a big disappointment.  But I will come back stronger than ever.  My workout plan in the meantime is:
-Heavy sled pulls in my yard with the straps over my shoulders, waist, or ankles.
-Good mornings
-Squats, lunges, step-ups.
-Pushups and isomatric pushups on kettlebell handles so my fingers aren't involved
-One-arm swings
-Ab work

I will be doing my segment of the Steel, Stone and Sugar workshop one-handed.

And hey, maybe I will get really good at one-arm pullups.  You never know.

Oh-- and I'm getting a new food processor.  I will never, ever make this mistake again.

Love and appreciate your fingertips.  They're very nice to have.


  1. sounds like a good plan to get back into workout without bothering your fingers too much. good for you.

  2. Wow... I'm so glad you're okay. And that lady... what a story!

  3. I cut most of the way through two of the fingertips on my left hand (a small circle on my index finger and thumb) with a bread knife a few years ago. I pushed the flap back on the finger and bound it tightly and held it until they stopped bleeding. The skin re-attached, but I still don't have normal feeling on that index finger. I can't imagine what that would be like with the entire tip! I'm glad to hear the surgery was a success and that you're okay!!!

  4. Thanks, all. I'm very lucky. It could have been a lot worse. xo

  5. OMG! How horrifying! I'm glad you are going to be ok. I'm sure you are disappointed about nationals, but it does sound like you have a good plan during your recovery period. And what an amazing woman you met! Whenever I meet someone with a truly amazing and awe-inspiring story to tell, I always feel like we were supposed to meet for some purpose and wonder what I'm supposed to take away from the encounter with me.

  6. Great job on your friend fishing those fingers out and bringing them along! Scary experience for sure!
    Glad they were able to attach-80% function is better than not having them at all.

    Prayers for a full recovery!