Picture this: It was a beautiful, perfect day, not a cloud in the sky. There was no wind and Pandora was finally not playing Pootie and the Stinkfish every other song. I'd taken the day off from work, partly because it was my birthday, and mainly because I wanted to work on the studio.
I was using the table saw to make some window frames. For those of you who aren't familiar with this tool, lets just say it's the great white shark of power tools.
Don't let it's unimposing stature fool you. This little fella chews a mean cut. Oh, and that safety guard sitting on top... yeah, it wasn't in place. It's hard to see the cut with it on. That's my story and... well, you know the rest.
I'd cut my right thumb back in my early 20's so I was paying special attention to that hand as it's the one that feeds the wood towards the blade.
I actually heard the sound change in the motor before I'd felt the hard tug on my left index finger. It sounded a little like when I hit a nail in the wood, except without the sparks. My autonomic instincts pulled my hand away before too much damage was done...or so I thought.
I knew it was going to be bad. Pretty much any table saw accident is. So, without looking at it, I grabbed a nearby rag, wrapped it around my finger, turned the machine off and went in to ask Jill to take me to the ER. She thought I was kidding. I guess I've cried wolf one too many times. It didn't take long for her to see I was serious, and off we went.
It didn't really hurt as it was mostly numb. What hurt more was my pride as it was a really stupid mistake.
I might have been in slight shock because things kept shaking without my trying, but for the most part, the drive there, while slowed tremendously by an unbelievable amount of traffic, was uneventful.
I was at the ER for about 5 1/2 hours. There was no stitching to be done as the 1/8" blade kerf chewed more than it cut.
Here is a picture of the X-ray
I realize this isn't the best image. That faint part at the top is a residual image of the huge bandage necessary to soak up the blood. I promise, it's not a bunch of loosely hanging flesh. I was told that what the x-ray showed was that the blade nicked the bone. The good news was that the feeling on the rest of the pad of my finger was all intact, indicating minimal nerve damage so chances were good I'd recover well. There might be numbness on the tip from the eventual scar tissue.
The next day a trip to the plastic surgeon had a much better prognosis. He said that the bone chip was really about the size of a speck of dust. The nail bed would rebuild itself as well as the tip, and within in a year, I should be back to feeling normal.
He showed me how to clean and bandage it so that I could more easily type.
I took a picture of it last night after I'd let it soak in a peroxide water mix. I'll give you that link if you feel the need to see it in full color, but I don't think I'll post the image here.
Anyway, since then, I've gotten back to work and have even used the table saw without incident. I'll post some updates in a day or two.
For those of you with intestinal fortitude, here's the link to the graphic picture. Don't say I didn't warn you:
Ow... I mean ciao