Recovery has only begun, and it still involves pain. The first knuckle still doesn't flex both because of the swelling and bruising. The wound is still highly visible, very sensitive and highly subject to fiery-painful reinjury. The skin has turned purple, registering contusion damage late in the game. But I've graduated from bandage to Band-aid, and I can even buckle my own bra strap now. (Just like anything, I suppose, being injured makes being alone seem more complicated, but it would also complicate things for anyone who doesn't have a full-time entourage taking care of their every need already. Still there were a few moments and tasks that stunned me with their difficulty and my own fears mocking me behind the obstacle: "you should have someone to help you with this. See? You're alone. You'll never have someone to take care of you if you get sick or injured again. All those people who expressed sympathy on facebook wouldn't put their time or effort on the line, either.") The ugliness of these lies sometimes overwhelms. Hope is a choice.
I have more mobility navigating simple tasks that seemed so impossible and painful initially. I have almost full use of the rest of the left hand back, where it was initially hampered by babying the injured finger.
It's still the oddest, lightest tasks that bring an occasional gasp of pain. Stretching, grasping, reaching for something. At work, I'm actually coping quite well with my left middle finger working overtime on the keyboard. I dropped a good 30 WPM in typing speed.
In fact, I'm quite sure I could have lost the fingertip entirely and carried on relatively normally. Except for when those infrared hand-scanners from Back to the Future come around, i'll be too easily identifiable.
My sister's boyfriend, an RN, removed three stitches on Wednesday last week, after the prescribed 10 days. The other four I removed myself on Friday, per the second doctor's advice. Strange, electric sensations still buzz along occasionally, but you can see the skin reforming, mercifully covering the damage, protecting the vulnerable flesh, rewrapping it in its delicate armor. Most of the fingertip is still numb, including the cuticle, which is fine by me because now painful hangnails are one thing I don't have to worry about for a while.
Soon it will be presentable enough to be photographed without causing you, dear blog readers, excessive sympathy pain and wincing.