Years ago I got a splinter at the base of the terminal tarsal of my right index finger. I pulled it out of course. No problem eh?
No so fast, buster. A few months ago a small lump in that place started to grow; I had sort of got the idea that I had a small bone spur there but suddenly it was getting bigger. It got to the point where I couldn’t bend the finger properly and trying to grasp things like jars to open them was uncomfortable enough to cause avoidance tactics. Finally I went to see my GP to see about getting a better diagnosis. He took a look, ordered an xray and ultrasound and off I toddled.
The ultrasound made it fairly obvious that something was growing on top of the tendon, which in itself was a relief since that ruled out a cancerous growth on the bone. We could even make out what looked like a possible fragment of splinter. Next stop, the duty surgeon to see about removing it.
That’s what I got up to this evening. Dr F. hummed and Arrred a bit whilst examining the the lump but decided to open up the finger to see what was in there. Time for a tray full of shiny hand tools to appear, including of course a hypodermic with long sharp needle, always a favourite toy. Now, sticking that in hurt but fortunately the anaesthetc started to work pretty quickly – apparently a close relative fo the stuff dentists give you. A minute or so later out comes the #15 bladed knife and slash, slash, slash, the top of my finger peels open and we can see the .38 caliber finger gun I had implanted during my time as a government assassin. Er, no, not that, not at all. Anyway that’s in the other index finger. Actually it was quite fascinating to be seeing the internals of my own digit. Not much blood to start with but a definitely odd looking lump of…. something. I was surprised since I had been assuming that we would discover a pocket of some nasty smelling pus and perhaps a tiny sliver of wood. Dr. F had to use a nasty looking pair of pliers and root around quite vigourously to work it out of the finger. It turned out to be a lump about, say small pea sized, of something that looked like chewed gum! Oh, we found the splinter fragment as well – I’d say it looked like a tiny bit of maple.
After all the rooting around the blood was starting to flow and it was time to stick a couple of stitches in and wrap up. For some time it was painless but we all know what happens after a well done filling at the dentist, right? Ouchy-ouchy as the drug wears off. Then the real pain can start… which is where I am now and why I’m typing this to try to keep my mind off it!
My advice – be very careful about those splinters.