The cast is OFF!

With my cast off and my occupational therapy underway, I am now to the point where I can type at a semi-swift speed.

To give you a brief explanation of how much of a dumbass I am, I cut my hand pretty bad at the beginning of October climbing over a fence. It wasn't the smartest decisions I've made, but I can say it was for good reason.

Some of the first and second years took a little field trip around Detroit on a Sunday morning. We hit a lot of the usual stuff, The Heidelberg Project, downtown, abandon auto plants, Matt and Thomas' site for their house, the People Mover(yes, it's really called that), among other things. One stop was the old Detroit train station. Seen here, pre-fence climbing. I'd heard that it was relatively easy to get inside, either holes are cut in the fence large enough for my trespassing ass to fit through, or sometimes the padlock on the front gate isn't even there. Well there wasn't a way to get in that I could see, so I decided to climb. There was a place on the fence where someone had placed a sheet to cover up the razor wire with a higher post on my left to allow for leverage once I got up there. Getting up was easy, but when I decided to jump down on the other side I let my left arm flail just enough to catch the razor wire on the higher part to my left. I landed and evaluated. I glanced at the visible cut at the end of my finger. Wow, that was close! It doesn't even look that bad, one of those hefty "finger" band aids should fix that right up. Just then I got a cold sensation that ran down my whole arm. I turned my hand over to see just the end of what I knew to be a pretty nasty cut. Sure enough when I pulled back my shirt a little bit more, I saw the extent of what my clumsy ass self is capable of. I could see clear down inside my hand. I glanced back at my classmates on the other side of the fence, their eyes as big as saucers. "Are you OK?" "No", I replied. "I'm going to have to go to the hospital." About that time another classmate, on my side of the fence came over. (I'll be honest, my first thought was, "how the hell did you get over here so fast?") He took one look at me and said "OH SHIT, JOHN!" We proceeded over to a nicely cut hole in the fence held together by a few zip-ties. There apparently was someone in the group who came prepare and brought a knife to cut enough of the zip-ties to provide enough room for someone to slide through. 5 or 6 other classmates were now wandering around the inside the building. Man am I an idiot I thought. Luckily we had someone in our group who is from the Detroit area so he was able to hop in the car and direct us to the closest hospital.

By the time we got to the there, not 5 or 10 minutes later, the whole front portion of my body was covered in blood. I was rushed to the front of the emergency room line and asked about a dozen or so questions which I barely recall answering. Before I knew, I was seated in a wheel chair and was zooming past people through the busy corridors of the hospital.

To make a long story short because I'll spare you all of the blood and gore details (but available upon request, cause I love telling a good war story - and I had enough sense to snap a few picture with my camera phone before they sewed me up). I ended up with about a four inch laceration on my left hand that went from about the first knuckle of my thumb to my wrist. I cut a small artery (I say small because I was not deemed a "pumper" when admitted to the ER, a question I got several times in the first 10 minutes of being there, "were you 'spurting' blood", they asked). I also cut my tendon. The tendon was the nasty part because later that week, I had to go to a hand specialist. Other than what the ER doctor wrote in his report, the new doc basically said that he couldn't tell if there was any more damage to my hand without opening it up again.. ala surgery. Well I didn't really have a choice now did I? It was my damn hand; I kinda need these guys, so I schedule a surgery date (two days later). Lucky for me the doctor was so persuasive (I say that very jokingly because he really wasn't very helpful... heh) because he had to repair a two inch cut to my tendon, a pretty substantial cut I'm finding out now.

I had to wear a full cast for about two weeks and then a half cast for another two. The first was a pain in the ass because I had to put a plastic bag over my whole lower arm when I wanted to take a shower. The second, I could take off.

I've gone through a couple of OT (Occupational Therapy) sessions so far and tendons are exceptionally nasty things to cut because the scar tissue bonds with the skin and the tendon making it next to impossible to move without major massaging of the scar and daily exercises. Boy do I feel like a big ole idiot.

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