Last week I decided I couldn’t hold off any longer in transferring the wife to what used to be my computer business workshop. I have scaled down the business to be mostly remote access and Linux installations and service, and she really needed the space for her school work and seamstress work.
Five days ago I was heavily into the tear-down of her office upstairs when I went for the paper cutter, on its side and wedged between a folding table leg and small cabinet. What I should have done was move the cabinet and then grab the unit by its front edge. Instead, being in a focused hurry, I grabbed the top edge where the blade is. On this model, and most that I have seen advertised or in office environments, the cutting bade is exposed even when parked in the completed-cut position. This is the most ridiculous design consideration ever. After I grabbed it I allowed my hand to slide on the pull. As soon as I did it I knew I was in trouble. The blade cut a deep, shallow-angled cut into the fleshy underside of my first finger.
I know you can cut a finger off and it won’t be life threatening if properly dealt with. I was still amazed at how much blood was coming out of the wound. I left some here and there as I searched for sterile bandages and gauze wrap. Trying to apply the dressing one-handed was almost comic to watch. I kept the dressing on for two days, hoping the wound had coagulated enough to allow removal of the dressing without tearing off the flap of skin laying over the cut. In retrospect, I wish I had applied cyanoacrylate and a non-stick pad over the wound before bandaging it up. That might have avoided the skin coming off with the pad. Oh well.
The wound was still oozing profusely when I applied the second dressing three days ago. This time I went with a NexCare water-proof bandage. This turned out to be a good choice.
Yesterday I removed the NexCare bandage. This is what the wound looked liked then:
It looks nasty, but what you are really seeing is the dried blood in and around the wound. The new skin is coming in nicely. No sign of infection. I wasn’t in any pain. Five hours later I was able to wash the finger with soap and water. Most of the dried blood washed off. There was still a crack within the wound running parallel to the knuckle that could bleed if I stretched it. I decided not to cover it back up, noting that it was healing much faster in the hours it had been left to air.
This picture was taken this morning. Quite an improvement over yesterday:
Looking at it now, you would never know what I had done. I am thankful that I am a quick healer. I am also thankful I will be getting back to work sooner over later. And to think, I didn’t even do this while woodworking. Who would have thought?
-- -- Paul Bucalo, Upstate NY USA