It's been a bit since I was on DA. I smushed my finger a couple weeks ago, and touching anything has been painful. I did, however learn a few things.
So...first off, I smushed my finger during my practical skills test for my lifeguard recertification class. We were doing spinal injury in deep water scenario, and my finger got caught between the backboard (and its 100+ pound load) and the edge of the pool. oooouch. Tore most of the nail and a good piece of fingerprint off. I told the instructor I was hurt, and she just said to ask one of the lifeguards on duty to get the first aid kit. Didn't even look at the blood dripping from my hand. So, Lesson #1: the stiff upper lip is good, and all, but every now and then screaming in pain is the better way to go. (and I'm really bad at screaming.) After finding the lifeguard, who looked rather irked at being interrupted while on break, I learned Lesson #2: not all "trained" personnel actually have a clue. He couldn't get the first aid kit open until I pointed out which side of the box the hinges were on. Then, after I asked for a gauze pad (because he was obviously not sure what to do) he offered me a band-aid. It turned out that, for some unfathomable reason, there were NO gauze pads in the first aid kit, and he figured that a band-aid was almost as good (nope). This was a 24x30" metal box - supposed to be a "professional grade" kit. You'd think gauze pads would be part of that, right? Granted, it was missing some other basic supplies, too, so it had probably been in use for a while, but those things are supposed to get checked and refilled on a regular basis. I had him get me a paper towel so I could at least keep from bleeding all over - since that is considered a biohazard around here - and then led him over to my bag and had him get out my little travel first aid kit, which actually has a gauze pad. Lesson #3: The Boy Scouts have it right: Be Prepared. What is "supposed to be" available might not be. I used a couple of band-aids to tape the gauze in place, bled through that, and used the paper towel to continue applying pressure (the lifeguard went back to his break) until the bleeding stopped. I talked to the instructor (who this time noticed the bandage), told her that their first aid kit needed restocking, and we discussed what I should do next to finish my recertification, since I still had 3 practicals to finish, rescheduling was not going to work, and getting that bandage wet in the pool would be a bad idea. Eventually she suggested that I put on an exam glove to keep it dry. The finger of the glove didn't fit over the bandage, so I cut the thumb off (which is bigger and did fit) and used a rubber band from my kit to hold it on. (recap Lesson #3) I bumped my finger a few times (and buried my face in the water so no one would hear my language - its hard to swear underwater, BTW), but finished my practicals. (yay!!) I was feeling really crappy by the time I got home. I added another layer of gauze, and crashed for a couple hours. My husband took care of feeding the kids, and got me a nice cuppa tea and a painkiller because I hurt so bad that food sounded awful. (That may sound odd to some people who have not been in great physical pain, but pain related nausea happens. Your body has priorities, and food is secondary to just dealing.) Lesson #4: support people are wonderful, and all too often taken for granted - until you really need them! It took me a while to figure out how to support my hand in such a way that my finger wouldn't touch ANYTHING (a rolled up hand towel worked), but I eventually was able to sleep... sort of. The next morning, I changed the bandage and disinfected everything (ooooouch again) and went back to class for the written test. I took an ice pack and a large bottle of tea with me (Ginger lemon is my happy juice) and passed my test. (I missed one, and wanted to smack myself when I saw why I'd missed it... I'd skipped a question and answered the next one twice. durrr....) So, bottom line: I got my recert! Lesson #5: If you want it badly enough, pain won't stop you. (Might slow you down a bit, though)
The whole experience just reinforced my long-held belief in self-reliance. Everyone should know basic first aid. And carry a small first aid kit (mine is an altoids mints tin).
So I've spent the last couple weeks figuring ways to do what needs to be done, and being grateful that most people will work around issues like this and work with you if you're doing the best you can. Whining is a waste of time. I'm finally able to start to use my finger somewhat normally again. Any sort of friction hurts, but just touching and holding things (carefully) is ok. And it doesn't hurt when my hand gets joggled, as long as the affected finger isn't bumped. ^_^ that was really the worst part. Which means that I can draw again! ^_^ huzzah!