Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thumb Woes

Awhile back, I posted on facebook that it looks like I may end up needing to have my left thumb nail removed.  Random, I know.

Last year, I was attacked by a dog.  It didn't end up being that bad because of some training I had that taught me how to react if a person bit me.  I, somehow in the middle of it all, remembered this little tidbit and got my hand away from the dog fast.  

The dog mainly got my thumb and the inside of my hand.   Here's a low quality picture of part of my thumb:

I ended up going to University Health Services (I was still working on my MSW at the time) and having them look at it. I didn't need stitches for either side or down farther on my hand so it was basically keep it clean, change the bandages, etc.  No sweat.

Well, the thumb nail bed must have been destroyed in the process because this is what my thumb looks like now:


Kinda weird, gross, and cool all at the same time, right??

It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't hurt ALL the time.  Hot water, cold water, pressure, nail polish (which is pretty much a must because of how messed up and flimsy the nail is), hand holding, etc. all suck.

So, I saw my family dr. a couple weeks ago and she said she thought my two options were most likely:  1. take it off so it never comes back  and 2. take it off so it might come back and see what happens!

She offered to "numb it up" and take it off right then and there, I politely declined and asked, "Doesn't one NEED their thumb nail?!" and she replied that eventually the skin would get hard and leathery and it would most likely be okay. Ick.  

I'm seeing a specialist on the 13th to make a game plan.  

Initially, I was a little freaked out by my dr.'s  gung-oh nature with just taking it off then and there.. and then I was reminded..

In undergrad, my right thumb nail somehow got a flesh eating bacteria in it.  Gross right?  It was also the same time I discovered I was allergic to Neosporin.  Random, right?  Anyway, the Dr.s there thought they'd take my thumb off at the knuckle so that it would demolish the bacteria, etc.  I ended up *begging* for more time and the bacteria was obliterated by medicines and my thumb nail, which I was told would never grow back, has come back in just fine and looks amazingly normal.

So, I guess, if I came to grips and accepted that I might lose my whole thumb, I think I can come to grips with losing just a nail.  

I'll let you know what ends up happening, and you KNOW there will be pictures.

Like the popular Kuntz family saying goes, "It is what it is".  

*special thanks to the husband for teaching me how to use digital macro on his neat camera. 


  1. only offensive in a "that's really gross" kinda way :)

  2. I think it can be difficult to be okay with the idea of losing any body part, big or small. So, that's pretty normal! You always take challenges in stride. I appreciate you for that.