Ok. Several people have been asking me what’s been happening with my hand since I last posted. In fact, in my local town there has been some crazy rumours going around; no it’s not my pinkie it’s my index finger, now I didn’t saw my hand off, no I didn’t chop a finger off with my axe. So here is the time line thus far (more or less):

Aug 4th – stuck a hand gouge into my right index knuckle while whittling. It was a small incision but deep and went through a Kevlar glove.

Aug 5th – the wound started to swell and become painful and I started antibiotics.

Aug 6th – the whole hand becomes swollen and the wound starts leaking pus.

Aug 7th – I start a second antibiotic.

Aug 8th – I attend A&E and end up in the local Plastic Surgery department for two days with IV antibiotics and my first operation to clean out the room.

Aug 14th – things are not much better despite remaining on antibiotics and having pretty bad diarrhoea. By this point I’m no longer sleeping and I’m out my face on painkillers. I phone one of the previous surgeons and sees me the next morning and signs me off work and puts me round to theatre for a second operation. I get home later that night.

Aug 17th – I’m seen back in the clinic by a different consultant who considers admitting me again for a third operation. However, he decides that I should have a further week of antibiotics despite the diarrhoea (those bloody yogurt things don’t help at all). I’m booked in for further review in a week.

Aug 24th – I’m seen in clinic again and admitted back to the ward to have a third operation on my hand. By this stage I’ve been on a list of meds including co-amoxiclav, flucloxacillin, doxycycline, clindamycin, paracetamol, co-codamol, dihydrocodine, oramorph (liquid morphine) and ibuprofen. This time the operation is an arthrotomy and during consent the surgeon tells me I most likely will not regain full function in that finger. I’m kept in for a further two days for more IV antibiotics and finally I get home with a review appointment for a further week.

Aug 31th (today) – I’m seen back in clinic by the Consultant who is disappointed with the stiffness and pain in the joint. However, she feels there is no infection left and (at last) I can stop the antibiotics. My backside thanks her no end! She tells me to see the Physio and book in for a further three weeks if things have not improved. The Physio was lovely and horrible at the same time. She recreated some of my most painful experiences in the last few weeks by stretching and pulling and tugging on the joint. She gave me strict instructions to be doing reps every hour.

So that’s where I’m at. What have I learned in the last couple of weeks?

1. I get bored easily.

2. Although I’m a “lefty” I’m right hand dominant and I have been unable – photograph, play guitar, play the xbox, wipe my arse, bath the kids, change nappies, push the lawnmower, open bottles of fizzy juice, carry shopping bags, spend more than a few hours without elevating my hand, sleep without rolling over onto my hand. The list goes on and on. At least my typing is better and I’m not making as many mistakes.

3. Things in hospital take ages but once you are aware of that then you can prepare for it. Don’t underestimate the value of a big book.

4. Hands are bloody valuable and even a small problem with them can royally screw things up on a giant scale.

5. It’s amazing how difficult it is to find hobbies that don’t need both hands.

So, I think I’ll leave things there (mainly as my hand is starting to hurt). Unless there are any dramatic changes I hope this chapter is closed and that I can get back to Procrastinating soon (and wiping my backside with my right hand again).

That said, I’ve got quite good at drawing…