Friday, March 2, 2012

::Healing::


8 days of painful daily cleaning and rebandaging, and the fingertip looked moderately better. But the deepest--the cut that hit the bone and sliced halfway through the fingernail, wrapping halfway around the finger and held by four long stitches, including one through the nail itself--did not look like it was making progress.

I made an appointment with my regular doctor's office. The PA looked at it and told me that it looked like it was healing up all right and that I could take the stitches out in 10 days. Confused, I said, "but we're at day 8 now?" She looked at me, looked at the chart, and burst out, "OH! I thought this was from last night, not last week!" She called for a consult, and the doc told me to wait a few more days for those stitches to come out. The final consensus was that that cut was not only a cut, but that a strip of skin had been entirely pulled away and needed to regrow there.

For the record, a fingertip sensitive enough to tell the difference between suede and microfiber is also an incredibly annoying place to have stitches. 

They pull. They restrict movement. They hit funny nerve spots and feel hot or cold, even! Some days I get 'electric shock' sensations.

Anyone who has broken a bone knows the strange ache that persists while the bone reknits. (Especially Harry Potter)

Every time I went through the ritual cleaning/bandaging, I looked at the torn-up finger and couldn't believe it would ever look normal again. It's still difficult to believe, even though some of the cuts are half-healed and the swelling has gone down a bit. 

Only after 10 days was I at all convinced it would ever look like a normal finger again.

In some ways the body takes over at this point, regenerating skin, nerve, and bone tissue as if that were its usual business, accepting the assisting presence of the stitches, but also slightly resentful at their invasion.

Pain is still present even as healing overtakes brokenness. Sometimes you're more aware of the pain than the healing process happening beneath it.

And I almost forgot about the numbness. You know the numbness of a blister...it's something like that. The loss of sensitivity in the broken skin is probably a blessing, but at the same time it is wrong...and scary. Something sleeping that should be awake and alive, hibernating, but by the same token isolated from the connecting force of touch. Where pain illuminates, this blankness is more frightening in sense of loss.

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