Friday, June 21, 2013

Turning S**t Into Sugar

A lot of people have been asking me how things are going, so I figured it was time for a new blog post.  As you may or may not know, I was in a bit of an accident last week.  I spent the night in the hospital, got out around 1PM the next day, and went back to work at 4:30PM that same day.  I started training the next day (I have the doctor's OK to do any lifting not involving the injured fingers).   I performed with my band twice that Saturday.  People keep praising me for this like I'm some kind of hero.  I'm not a hero.  I'm a woman who made a really dumb mistake that cost me some body parts, and  I am too stubborn to give up my passions.  So from adversity comes creativity.  I'm training hard and making do with what I have.  Today, for instance, would have been bench day.  Here's what I did:

One-arm KB bench press:  12kg x 10/10, 16kg x 5/5, 20kg x 1/1 x 4, 16kg x 5/5, 12kg x 10/10.
The kettlebell is perfect for pressing right now because I can keep my fingers out of the mix easily. 

Close-grip pushups:  isometric for 5 count in 3 positions x 5, followed with 5 full close-grip pushups.  I used pushup handles for these to keep my fingers free. 

Bodyweight pullups using straps, 5 x 3.  I found a strap I can fit my hand through so I don't have to grip.  I used a second strap for my other hand so I could keep the heights relatively even.  The strap over my wrist is scratching the hell out of my skin, so no weighted pullups till I figure out a solution. 

Pinky-and-ring finger holds with 10kg bell.  I do these throughout the day to try to strengthen my other fingers.  Sometimes I use 12kg, sometimes I use 8kg.  I just keep using them, and holding the bell as long as I can stand it. 

I'm pretty positive most of the time.  Honestly, I am so, so lucky that this is not any worse than it is.  I'm going to make a full recovery after the skin graft, and I will have 80% sensation and 100% functionality back after around 3 months.  That's awesome.  Seriously.  I am so, so grateful for it.  But I'd be lying if I said I was a bowl of sunshine 24/7.  I'm frustrated and more than a little mad at myself for being in this situation.  I'm left-handed (you know, only left-handed people are in their right minds! :) ), and it was my left hand that was affected.  This has thrown the way I write, eat, and generally go through life a major curveball.  I got a leash splitter, so I can walk my two dogs at once.  That's worked out well.  I love to cook, and I am very efficient at it.  Cooking one-handed is a whole new thing, and very frustrating.  Yesterday, I got sauce all over one of my bandages, and I just about lost it. 

I saw my fingers for the first time since the accident on Wednesday.  The surgeon cut the bandages off.  My middle finger is worse than I thought.  It's ground down more or less to the bottom of the nail.  The index finger is a little better than I thought.  On the bright side, I can give people the finger and REALLY MEAN IT now, with my ugly middle finger.  :)

Emotionally, it is difficult.  I welled up when I saw my fingers on Wednesday.  I have to change the bandages daily now, and today was the first day I didn't cry a little doing it.  It is really hard to look down at your hand and see part of it not there.

I bump my fingers a lot.  It hurts like crazy when I do.  My dog knocked my laptop into my hand the other day and I saw stars.   So far, no problems have come of these events, but it worries me.

I'm fighting with my insurance company over keeping the surgeon (who is out of network) who started my treatment so that all this does not bankrupt me (it's already going to cost me around $5,000 even with an in-network surgeon, which will pretty much kick my ass financially). 

But I am, and will be OK.  That is the important thing, and the main thing to focus on.  I will be getting new fingertips that will work just as well.  Maybe I can talk my surgeon into giving me bionic ones-- super fingertips!!!  How cool would that be!!!  I could shoot lasers from them!!!  Ooooh.  In any case, we'll see.  I'll keep on pluggin' however I can.  And I may just invest in an array of finger puppets to amuse myself in the meantime. 

Thanks to everyone who has shown support and concern for me through this time.  It's meant a lot.  I'll keep you updated.

Rock n Roll don't need no fingertips!


  1. Glad to hear you're healing!
    Having our daily routine removed somewhat is always frustrating to our mentality. Things could have been worse, things could have been better....either way, you're still able to do a lot of what you were. I'm also left-handed and it's never a doubt that when a injury comes, it's always to the dominant side!
    My Dad lost 2 and 1/2 fingers in a machine at a factory job a long time ago when I was in high school and I'll never forget seeing the bag of fingers that they weren't able to re-attach and then to see his hand on a daily basis as he changed the bandages was gut wrenching. How I ever managed to land a profession in health care boggles the mind!
    Continued prayers for healing to your fingers!