The Great Splinter Drama

About 3 weeks ago after hopping out of the shower, I reached under my bathroom sink for my hairdryer. This is something that I do every single day with no problem whatsoever. That fateful day, however, things were not meant to be so easy. As I reached under the sink I felt a stabbing pain unlike any pain I had ever felt before. I immediately started screaming (and yes, swearing) at the top of my lungs (thank god Grandma had her hearing aid out!!). Chris ran to my rescue and watched while I chopped off half my fingernail and ripped out what I could get of the splinter. It was a huge splinter and as soon as I pulled it out from under my nail, I knew that there was more stuck under the skin.

Fast forward to my next shift at the hospital. I waited until two nurses who I trust to come at me with a needle were both working. I approached one of them and asked her to do a “bedside procedure”. She was more than happy to help, and set up a sterile field as soon as we both had a free minute. As luck would have it, she began surgery only for our boss, the burn attending, and a visiting ER doc to walk by. In about 5 minutes it went from her pulling out my splinter to an all out (no anesthesia) procedure. There were needles involved. I was a little nauseous. Even with all of that, no one was able to remove the splinter. She bandaged up my finger and back to work we all went.

About a week later I was poking my finger trying to figure out where the splinter was located exactly. All I knew was that it hurt on the side of my nail closest to my thumb, and man did it hurt! The covering doctor walked by and I jokingly asked if he was up for surgery. Before I could turn around to hear the answer he was there with tweezers and his crazy light/magnifying glass goggles. Ya know, the ones they use in real surgery? Yep, those. (he looked a little funny). About 10 minutes later he too, gave up. He had managed to get small pieces of the splinter out, but it was definitely still in there. Not only that, it was now purple and swollen – my finger, not the splinter.

I told (ok, complained to) just about everyone I saw. One of the women who has worked on our floor for a long time looked at me and said “Soak it in salt and water honey. It will work itself out eventually”. Me, being the ever so patient one (stop laughing! I have my moments!), kept picking and picking. My nail at this point was completely mishapen, my finger swollen 50% of the time, and it hurt ALL of the time.

2 manicures – where you spend a lot of time soaking your fingers- a trip to a pool, and a lot of showers due to how hot it was out later, and all of the sudden my finger hurt more. This time I realized it was becuase the splinter was closer to the surface! She had been right! Just soak it, and it will work it’s way out. Will wonders never cease??

So that brings us to today. I was typing up some paperwork at work and all the sudden I felt a weird pop in my finger. I looked down and saw it was bleeding. Gross. So I threw some bacitracin on it, stuck on a band-aid and finished up my day. When I finally got home I started doing what I do best. I picked at it. Low and behold, there it was! I could actually see the splinter! A few minutes later, it was FINALLY out. I immediately called Chris and told him to rejoice, which he did – however not with quite as much enthusiasm as I knew he could muster.

And here I am now, typing very happily with out any pain! Get ready for some more posts coming VERY soon!!


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