Thursday, May 10, 2012

Horse versus hand

I haven't blogged in a while again, and unfortunately my new news is going to be bad: I ended up in the ER last night.  The title of this post comes from what one of the ER guys at the desk put as the description of the incident -- horse vs. left hand -- and unfortunately, the horse won.

The short version (besides "horse vs. hand") is that I did something really, really, really stupid last night.  The long version is that Rondo stepped on my finger, resulting in my nail coming off, 3 stitches in a split in the nail bed, and a broken tip.

It is really unfortunate, as I was having a good evening and was planning on working with at least one of the horses.  We had both in the cross ties, and Michael was grooming Panama while I groomed Rondo.  After picking his feet, I was working with him on drawing his feet forward like the farrier needs to be able to do -- Rondo hasn't really been letting my farrier do that, and I think that's when he was rearing with my mother-in-law and her farrier.  He's doing much better with it with me now, but he fussed a little on the last foot last night -- a rear one -- and as a result my grip shifted.

I only realized as I was lowering his foot to the ground that my fingers were underneath the edge of his hoof, and I was thinking about how to get myself out of that predicament when he set his foot the rest of the way down.  Actually, I think I'd started to fix my hand position, since only my middle finger (i.e., the longest finger) got stepped on, and only the tip of it.

In any case, I started screaming "Off!" over and over again, and naturally, poor Rondo had no idea what I wanted.  Then he shifted all his weight onto that foot before figuring out to pick it up.  (He is a bit slow usually on figuring out how to shift his weight to give me a foot.)  I stumbled over to the step near his head and pulled off my glove.

I sat there for quite a while, fighting nausea and dizziness while Rondo tried to get closer to me, sniff my hair, nuzzle my face.  My finger went numb for a while early on, which was a blessing, but I couldn't stand up without nearly passing out.  After trying several times, hubby (thank heavens he was there) reluctantly tried to put Rondo away for me, despite the fact that he is not at all comfortable handling him.  Unfortunately there are no lights near Rondo's corral and there was no moon, so he came back.  I managed to get up and lead Rondo out there mostly just by focusing on putting one foot in front of the other, but all I could see was the skyline, a few general outlines of things to show where I was, and lots of pretty sparkles.  Luckily Rondo is usually very calm when he is being led.  He was surprised when I stopped almost at his corral to get my bearings, but after turning to look at me questioningly, he stopped too.  Michael opened the gate then and I was able to lead Rondo in, but Michael had to remove the halter for me.  Then he put Panama away (he's much more comfortable with Pan), cleaned up, and we were off to the ER.

By the time we got there, my finger was really starting to hurt, and had been for most of the drive.  My blood pressure and pulse wee also very low, and I felt very dazed.  The ER people said it was just the body's response to pain.  Although it took far longer to do than it is taking now to type (even typing with only 9 fingers), they took x-rays, numbed the finger (the local might actually have hurt more than the horse stepping on it), and cleaned and stitched it (3 stitches).  The doctor also sewed the nail back on and said a new nail should grow back, though it will be a little deformed, and there's a chance it won't grow back at all.

It was after midnight when we left the ER, and after 1am when we finally got home from finding a 24-hour pharmacy.  I have a week's worth of antibiotics, a bottle of Percocet, a cage on my finger wrapped in gauze (the dressing has to be changed in 2 days, the cage worn for 3 weeks), and the number for a hand specialist whom I am supposed to follow up with on Monday.  I also have some microwave meals -- comfort food -- that we picked up last night.  I'm taking today off, mainly staying in bed, sleeping off the Percocet, and reading (and learning to type with 9 fingers).  Tomorrow I'll probably try to start taking ibuprofen instead of the Percocet, since the latter has a tendency to knock me on my butt.  But once I start feeling better, I'm already planning out how I'm going to manage at the barn with this cage on my finger (though I don't think I'll last 3 weeks with it on)!



At May 12, 2012 at 7:41 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Getting caught up on some blogs. That sounds like a nasty accident to your hand. Your body's reaction to the pain was completely different from mine when I broke my arm. I actually didn't even know that I was hurt. My body told me that I skinned my knee, but completely skipped past the part that two bones in my arm were broken and one was sticking out the back of my skin. Yuck. I had a similar quandary with putting the horse away. My husband couldn't figure out how to remove the tack, so I was yelling instructions to him while digging through the wood pile for something to use as a splint.

Out of all the places for a freelance writer to get injured, why did it have to be your fingers? I guess you are due for some rest.

At May 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM, Anonymous Erin said...

YIKES! I'm so sorry to hear about your finger. I have never broken a bone, but can't even imagine how painful that must be...and how debilitating as well! Good luck with using the other 9 fingers!

At July 5, 2012 at 11:29 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

NM, isn't it funny how everyone's reaction to pain is different? My finger was completely numb, so I couldn't feel the pain myself until we were well on our way to the ER, but my body sure knew I was in pain!

As for writing... My biggest fear is something happening to either my eyes or my hands, for exactly that reason. I am just grateful that my finger was only broken, that I didn't lose part of it, and that I am now able to type on it just fine!

Erin, sorry for the late response, but I just tonight found out about these comments from Blogger -- they weren't showing last time I checked on my blog! Weird, huh, considering they are nearly two months old now?! Anyway, this was my first broken bone, and it's not an experience I care to repeat, that's for sure!!!


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