Saturday, October 4, 2008

yesterday was weird, but life is good

so yesterday morning I decide I want to make some breakfast and I need to clean out a small pot that my gf had fixed some rice noodles in the night before. Some of the noodles have dried out and stuck to the bottom of the pan. Anyone that has cooked these noodles will know that they are very thin and hard to get off the bottom of a pan if stuck. I tried scouring them off, but when that wasn't working I decided to try and scrape them off with my thumbnail. big mistake.

I proceed to get about 2/3rds of an inch of rice noodle jammed like a splinter under my thumbnail. When it happened it was extremely painful (and I have decent pain tolerance/not squeamish). I immediately tried to remove it with some tweezers, but the end of the noodle just broke off and it was stuck under my thumb. At this point my hand is literally shaking from the pain, and I can see the noodle under my thumb. I called Katy and she was on her way to work and suggested I google it and maybe go to the ER. After looking it up I found not much help online. I tried soaking my hand to see if the noodle would break up, but the hot water was really painful and after half an hour I'd had no luck. I tried trimming back the nail and trying to get ahold of something with the tweezers, but no luck with that. Finally I steralized a needle and tried to poke it into the opening just to see if I could scrape out some of the noodle. This was also painful and ineffective.

I decided to try and get some sleep (I had been up late watching baseball/playing poker) and then see how I felt in the afternoon. When I woke up about 4.5 later my hand was throbbing and I could tell this was something I couldn't just ignore. So I headed to the ER where they checked me in. When I finally got back I was lucky that my room had a TV so I was able to watch the phillies and the brewers. First the resident came in and told me that everyone was getting a good laugh at my expense (Katy and her med school friends had also found this pretty funny) because the board just said noodle and they were all guessing what that meant. The resident informed me that they plan was to block off the nerves in my thumb with anesthesia (sp?) and then to separate part of the nail and remove the noodle. The attending came in and confirmed this, and after another 45 minutes or so they started sticking me with the needles trying to numb my thumb. My thumb had been continuously throbbing and having shooting pain about every 5 minutes, so the anesthesia was a welcome relief.

After the first 4-5 injections my thumb was getting pretty numb and the attending attempted to dig into my nail with some scissor/tweezer things. It was extremely painful and while I was trying to suck it up, he could tell that it was really too painful to keep going. On a side note isn't it interesting that when you are in extreme pain your body reacts the way it does? I was sweating and my heart rate had gone way up and my hand was visibly shaking. So they injected me another 4-5 times and gave me a couple of percocet. After waiting for that to sink in my finger was pretty numb and they gave it another try.

The attending used the scissors to dig a trench between my nail and the quick around the noodle. It was probably the most painful thing I can remember. I didn't embarass Katy by cussing or anything, but I have a new understanding for how horrible the bamboo under the fingernail torture must be. At one point I looked over to see his progress, and it really wasn't a pretty site. There was some blood coming out of the end of my finger and he was pretty forcible jamming the instrument into my finger.

When they finally finished getting it out my thumb was racked with pain. My hand was shaking and bleeding a little, and I just kept laughing and telling Katy how surprisingly painful it was. I mean I figure it would hurt, and I was not looking forward to whatever solution they had, but I have to say I really didn't think after all of those injections and the percocet that it would hurt that much. Let me just say I really really don't recommend ever getting anything jammed under your thumbnail. It's not fun.

The thumb is healing up, but it hurt pretty bad last night and woke me up a couple of times during the night. It's been getting better today during the day, and its draining and some of the sweeling and redness is going away.

Despite that not fun story, life has been good. For one I've started the month off on a nice heater. Secondly the Red Sox are playing great and picked up their second win against the LAA Angels. It was especially sweet because they got the win against K-Rod who I'm not a fan of. I had just been explaining to Katy why I thought he was overrated and why I really didn't like his post game celebrations when the Red Sox rallied in the top of the 9th and got three hits off of him including Drew's 2R HR.

that's about all I've got. hope the tables are good to everyone.



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