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Medical History

Week One: How I lost half of my thumb nail phalanx

It was in winter. I just came to a resort some 3 hours from the city. It was supposed to be a pleasure getaway.
The day before
Well, it turned out a nightmare.

The very next day, the sports equipment I used numerous times before failed me. Well, I wish to say it was an equipment failure but it was just me. The session was over, we were starting to get back to the warm and cozy apartment. Why did I take it? To show off? Don’t know. Not really matters now.

I gripped it the wrong way, not even thinking about safety. The next moment it sliced half of my nail, flesh and bone from left thumb.

All I was thinking at the moment was that my stupidity ruined that vacation. I kept repeating that.

Strangely, I didn’t pass out. It was not even that painful. Later doctors would tell me that it’s not possible to bleed out of a lost finger. The blood vessels there are just too narrow to lose that much blood.

Well it didn’t feel like I had all the time in the world to get to the hospital. I phoned my insurance company. They advised against the local hospital and suggested an endorsed hospital close to the city. They could call an ambulance for me, but it would come only in about 2-3 hours due to heavy traffic.

Leaving all the things at the resort, we left to hitchhike. I covered my injured arm in scarf not to scare drivers off. Not that I think bad of people, but I didn’t want to take any more risk.

Finally, we got into a car. The driver was a local one so I had to show him directions on my cellphone map app. Getting to the hospital, I paid the driver and he left.

Well, the hospital turned out to be a polyclinics. And the surgeon was a traumatologist. They managed to call in a surgeon but the trauma was beyond his capabilities.

The X-Ray showed I had a piece of bone missing
First X-Ray
They said that even if we brought the missing part, they could not sew it back.

Then I heard the traumatologist saying to the nurse: “Get me bone scissors.”
Are they going to cut even more of my thumb?
It turned out the sharp edge of the damaged bone could tear through the skin so it should be cut off.
I said no. Get me to a proper hospital. Now I know there are only two decent microsurgery hospitals in my region.

After much telephoning and checking out, I got the address. The ambulance was still stuck in the traffic.
So they cleansed my wound and bandaged it. I refused the painkillers because I wanted a clear head, so they shot the thumb with local anesthesia.

And so we left to hitchhike again.
No one was stopping this time.

It was evening, around 7 pm. The road that connects the political and business center with suburban residences of politicians and businessmen.

Some minutes later the police started to pull over everyone. That meant only one thing: the President cortege is coming from the center to the residence. The cars zoomed very fast (of course, there’s no traffic at all), but the whole process took at least twenty minutes.

And there was I, bleeding, waiting on the sidewalk for the power people to get home in style. The feeling inside me was a very strong one.

Finally I got on a public bus, got to the nearest subway station, travelled a couple stops, then walked about a mile to the hospital.
They gave my belongings to my fiance and told her to leave.

About an hour later, I was told to walk to the surgery. The nurse told me to strip down to my underware.It was embarrassing since I still had my sports thermoleggins on. They are worn with no underwear.
They let me be. A lucky decision, as it was freezing cold in the operating room.
I had the surgery. Thankfully, the surgeon left all that was left of my bones intact.

Before and after trauma

It was more than 5 hours between the injury and the surgery. Most of this time I was up and very active. Calm, decisive, determined and strong. At the face of trauma, you have to Be Strong.

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