Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Great Table Saw Episode

Mike has a lot of tools. They live in our basement (but only until we build a garage). Mike spends a lot of time down there creating things. It relaxes him & gives him a creative outlet. I think he is very good at what he does.

I like to tease him about a couple of things regarding his woodworking. For instance, there is always sawdust upstairs. I don't know if he sprinkles it around hoping that I will more frantically save money for the garage or if it rises up through the floor or if it just gets tracked around on the bottom of his shoes. It drives me crazy but I try to keep my sense of humor about it. I also like to tease him about escaping to the basement to get away from his obnoxious wife. He assures me that his obnoxious wife is not what drives him to his 'workshop'.
Up until August 6th, we also had another joke. That joke revolved around workshop accidents. I often used to remind Mike not to get hurt, not to cut off a finger or anything while I was home. You see, I'm not so good around blood. Not good at all. So I would tell him that he should wait to have an accident, to plan it for a time when there is someone else over visiting so they can be the hero & I can quietly shake in the corner. We don't joke like that anymore.

On Thursday, August 5th I headed out to PA to get together with some of my college friends. Mike decided to take a vacation day that Friday & stay home to work on his current project, a cabinet for the kitchen. I supported this decision wholeheartedly because I would not be home to make sure he woke up on time for work. That man can sleep, let me tell you! Anyway, he got up that morning, ate a bowl of cereal & immediately went down to his workshop. A little while later his left index finger got way too familiar with the table saw blade & got the smack down. I received news of his accident via this picture on my cell phone (warning: it's a little yucky):

At this point we were just thinking it was a bad cut. Mike had driven himself to the hospital & since both of his parents were tied up, I sent my Momma to take care of him. He sat in the Emergency Room for several hours thinking he was just going to get stitched up. He got some powerful pain meds & our phone conversations were hilarious. He said at one point, "See baby, you told me to wait until you weren't home to hurt myself! I waited until you were all the way in Pennsylvania!" The doctor decided that they needed to do an x-ray to make sure none of his bones were damaged. The x-ray yielded some unexpected results. Mike had de-boned his finger tip. The entire bone from the first knuckle up was gone. When they got this news they knew it wouldn't be a simple stitch up.

After several unsuccessful attempts to contact one of their hospital's hand surgeons they wrapped his hand up like this & sent him to the other hospital. The surgeon there was willing to add him on (his third add-on for a Friday evening). When it was confirmed that the bone was gone there was no other choice but to remove the tip of the finger. The surgeon amputated the finger from the first knuckle up.

It was a very *hard* day for everyone. I was sick that I was so far away. I had to field calls from the hospital regarding our insurance coverage, trying to find parents to be there since I couldn't be, & trying to encourage Mike & calm his fears a little bit. The poor guy - the only thing he was really worried about was whether or not they could do the surgery with local anesthetic. He really didn't want to be put "out". The Lord was really good to answer our prayers in that regard. And He provided an excellent surgeon who is also a Christian. My momma kept reminding me on the phone that we had so much to be grateful for - the accident could have been so much worse. She was right & we praise the Lord for the protection He gave.

So right now Mike is semi-enjoying some time off from work! He can't go back as long as he has any restrictions & the doctor doesn't want him to use his left hand. We go to see the doctor tomorrow & we will see how the healing is going. So far it has been progressing well. I still can't hardly look at it because it is covered with stitches. Silly squeamish stomach!


Megan (Best of Fates) said...

WOW - I'm so glad he's okay! And I can't believe you put those photos up, that's almost more than I can stand to even look at!

Steve n Vickie said...

Back in Minnesota I interpreted for a lady who lost the topsegment of her finger. Not a pretty site. Make sure he follows doctors orders. Hers got infected and she almost lost the next segment too. It makes me shutter just thinking about it. I hope it heals quickly for him.

Carrie said...

YIKES, how scary!!! I am so glad he's OK and that it wasn't any worse. Bad enough, though! Jim had a run-in with his planer a while back and gashed a couple of fingers pretty badly. Not enough to require stitches, though. Those power tools definitely make me nervous!!

About 7 years ago, Jim had an incident happen while he was clearing our land, where he was cutting down a tree and dropped a large limb on his head. It knocked him out for a few moments, and when he came to, he realized it was pretty bad and got himself to the ER as quick as possible. I knew nothing about it (this was before he had a cell phone) till the nurse called me from the ER to let me know what was going on. By that time they had him all stapled up and he was OK . . . but it took a while for his head to heal. The top of it looked pretty scary in the meantime!

Anyway, all that to say that I can relate a little bit to the injured husband scenario . . . and I'm very thankful for God's protection on our guys!! I hope Mike's finger heals well and quickly and that it's not too frustrating for him, getting used to life with a little bit of finger missing. It's good that he's able to take some time off work to recover. :)

Carrie said...

Oops, Jim just read my comment and informed me I got several things wrong, LOL. :) He said it was his JOINER, not the planer that he hurt his fingers in--he said that to get his fingers caught in a planer he would have to stick them inside it, which would equal great stupidity on his part. :D Also, apparently in the tree incident it was not a limb, but a small tree caught in the larger tree that fell on him--and it only knocked him DOWN, not OUT. (Funny, all these years and I always thought it knocked him out!) Anyway, just wanted to "edit" that! :)

Mary Ann said...

I know the pics were a little scary; that's why I posted the ones from my cell phone - they are always small :-)
Vickie, I know what you mean about following doctor's orders. So far I have been able to go to his appointments with him. I think it really helps b/c then we remember all of the questions we need to ask & we both hear the treatment instructions so we remember better what we are supposed to do.
Carrie, I had to laugh when you 'edited' your comment :-) I'm sure Jim didn't want anyone to think he was stupid enough to stick his fingers in a planer :-) Mike doesn't want anyone to think he is stupid or careless either. Accidents happen; that's all there is to it! I hope that both Jim & Mike can stay safe & that Jim has steady work for a long time! Thanks for sharing some of his experiences with me so that I can share them with Mike :-)