My Poor Finger

Finger
From 2010 – Don’t worry

I’m not sure you know, or care to know how I handle my Saturday posts. Those conversations at the bar, they take a while to write. The more or less normal posts, like “Hand Crafted” are also planned pretty far in advance. When I don’t have something in the on-deck circle, I turn to Linda and her SoCS prompt. Before I get to Linda, I have to acknowledge my readers in other countries and my readers in this country that don’t follow baseball. I was reminded this week in some comments, that some of my phrases are uniquely American. I’ve used “on-deck circle” before, and I’ve received questions. In baseball, the batter in the on-deck circle is the next batter up. After the guy standing at the plate taking pitches.

So, why not just say “when I don’t have a post ready”? Well, I could do that, but Linda says that SoCS posts shouldn’t be edited. They should be, you know, a stream of consciousness, so you, the poor reader, have to follow the blabbering voices in my head, and they chose on-deck circle.

socs-badge-2015Back to Linda. So, here I was, comfortably working for a living, secure in the thought that at some point on Friday, Linda would deliver the Friday SoCS prompt. Then this happened:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “finger.”  Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Really? Finger? Linda, I just have to ask…On second thought, I’m not going to ask. This is one of those words that can go too many places, and not many of them are all that good.

Fortunately for me, I have a finger with a history and, if my finger could talk, it would say: “How about turning that spotlight on me?

The finger under the lamp? My left index finger. This poor guy has suffered mightily playing second fiddle to his counterpart on the right hand. It’s easy to understand, I’m right-handed. My left hand holds things. My right hand swings the hammer, pulls the knife and holds the torch. My left hand guides things. My right hand pushes the board through the tool. I’m not sure why this particular finger is my favorite target, but a brief history of left-index-finger incidents should suffice to convince you that it’s true.

Hammer-Tacker – A hammer-tacker is a stapler that you swing like a hammer. It’s great for tacking up those 10 foot tall continuous strips of Tyvek on a wall under construction. Left hand holds the Tyvek, right hand swings the hammer-tacker. Occasionally, the stapler mechanism doesn’t work properly and the staple is left half in and half out. The engineers who designed this tool knew this would happen. You simply turn the tool over and smack that staple again. I did this a few times every day while residing our house. One time, I missed the staple. I saw the hammer-end of the hammer-tacker covering my left index finger and I saw a circle of blood spurts all around the business end of that tool. I actually had enough time to think “whoa, that – is – gonna – hurt.”

Regular hammer – Yeah, just substitute “nail” for staple and “hammer” for hammer-tacker and you have the image of a series of smacks resulting in blood blisters, split finger nails and blood, always blood.

Utility knife – I am always, always, always, always, very careful with utility knives because they are very, very sharp. But, sometimes, you have to hold a very small thing while you try to make it just a little bit smaller. Sometimes, the thing you make a little smaller is your left-index-finger.

Speaking of smaller, my left-index-finger is smaller than its right-hand brother. That’s not a left-right thing. That’s not a malnutrition thing. No, it’s the result of running the left finger though the spinning blade of my table saw. A very talented young woman in the ER was able to stitch the pieces back together, but there was some material missing.

My poor finger still works. I can type with it, I can activate the button-thingies on my phone and if we still had a rotary-dial phone, I could dial a phone with it. OK, that’s not true. First, we actually do have a rotary dial phone. It’s a Princess phone and I bought it at an antique store for my wife for Mother’s Day. Yes, I am that romantic. Second, I cannot dial with this finger. Several years after having it reassembled, I can’t stand to apply pressure to the end of this finger. For those of you long-time followers, this is the finger that previously appeared in SoCS in the whipped-blood incident. ‘nuff said.

80 thoughts on “My Poor Finger

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  1. This is an instance where I can say “I feel your pain.” I love DIY but am definitely not the most skilled. I’ve hit my left index finger with a hammer a number of times and thought the pain was going to knock me out. Yours is from the volume of wood working projects you engage in because of your skills, mine is definitely from lack of skill but great interest. LOL :-)

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  2. Ouch.
    I guess it’s inevitable that when you play with tools, sooner or later you’re going to hurt yourself. Luckily all your body parts are still attached … even if your poor index finger is a battered victim of handy-man abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My neighbor lives a quarter mile away. One day when I was working on my deck, he slowed down while driving past my house, rolled down the passenger window of his truck and called out, “Hit your thumb didn’t ya? I heard ya cussing.”

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    1. Ha! That’s a big hit, or at least a loud cuss. I remember working inside when my daughter was young, and trying to limit myself to words like “ouch, dangit” – that was harder to deal with than the pain.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. My husband has had the hammer-smashes. And he cuts wood for some of our heat, so he’s always coming in with splinters, cuts, tears, abrasions, and other assorted damages. Me, I stick to the kitchen. And it’s true: you’re MUCH LESS likely to cut yourself in the kitchen with a sharp knife than a dull one. Ever since I got a set of good knives, I’ve saved a bundle on bandages. Just imagine how much hurt you’d sustain if you used poor tools! ~shudder~

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    1. Splinters…shudder…oooh I hate splinters. You’re so right about poor/dull tools. I’ve come close to doing damage with power circular saws when the blade was dull and I was forcing the tool. You know it’s wrong, you know you should stop and change the blade, but some dumb part of your brain takes over and says “you can make it to the end of this cut” – Thank God it’s only been the wood that Ive ruined.

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    1. I have scars from a few burns too. I think the hammer smash is the worst, but pain is pain and when you’re bleeding, it’s never good. I don’t cook much anymore (my wife is a much better cook) so I guess I’m spared some injury. At least it’s not your photo-finger :)

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          1. YES! I’ve been saying for years that I need the gloves the Astronauts wear while working out in Space. If they can work on the Space Station, Shuttle using tools, and not get frostbite or have cold fingers those gloves are for me!

            My friends and family keep sending links to gloves with battery operated heaters b/c hand-warmers don’t work.
            Aren’t there gloves that protect from getting cut? Probably won’t work for getting smashed though would they?

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            1. I have used the anti-cut gloves with chisels and carving tools. I’m scared to use them around moving things. I worry about the glove getting caught.

              I have a pair of very thin bicycle gloves. They have lightweight gripper pads on the palm and fingers. They aren’t very warm but they transmit enough feeling that I can feel the shutter release move. I use them in my shop when I’m using hand tools.

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  5. Dan, I can understand that your posts take time to write and it shows (in a good way.) I think “Finger” would be a tough prompt for me as well, although I can’t resist saying I have to hand it to you to come up with such a good batch of stories. :-) I do wish I’d invested in Tyvek years ago. I see it everywhere!

    Have a safe Saturday!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  6. John’s Saturday post made it to my inbox before yours. When I saw “finger” I immediately thought of your “whipped blood” incident. Then I saw the photo here, and I wondered if you had done it again! ;) I think your 2 index fingers have it in for one another. Have a satisfying Saturday, Dan. Hugs!

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  7. I don’t do construction, and I still mange to mangle my fingers. I lost the tip of the little finger of my left hand as a toddler when it got caught in a closing door. As a young adult, I broke the ring finger of my right hand playing softball, and lost the middle knuckle – now I can’t bend that finger. Later on, when my oldest was a babe in arms, hubby and I had a fight on the way home in the car. I got out and slammed the door as hard as I could – unfortunately, all four of my left fingers (but not the thumb) were still in the door. The pain was unbearable, but fortunately nothing was broken.

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    1. Ouch !!! Oh my. Four fingers at once. I’ve closed the door on one finger. I can’t imagine four.

      It took about a year before I could bend that finger. A physical therapist had me bending it around dowel rods and other round objects with the goal being a #2 pencil.

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  8. Wow, Dan, you are not very nice to that finger. I thought I was bad having to go to the ER when I sliced through the left index finger with a BREAD knife. Yup, a BREAD knife. Don’t laugh. Then there was the time when I wasn’t paying attention while operating a sewing machine. Luckily, the needle hole didn’t require stitches, just lots of antibacterial crea. So, I feel your pain, except I can still dial a rotary phone.

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    1. Ouch – the needle thing almost makes me queasy just thinking about it. I am reminded of that scene in the movie about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire – uuuugh. The bread knife? I can’t laugh, I’ve done that, but not to the extent of requiring a trip to the ER.

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      1. Surprisingly there was much less blood with the needle than the bread knife. After the bread knife incident, the then husband would always make this “can I trust you with that?” face when he saw bme wiekding a knife. Ha!

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  9. “Sometimes, the thing you make a little smaller is your left-index-finger.” That’s funny, and sad, but funny. I have five owies on my hands right now, but they’re all superficial :) Maybe you could take up cooking and sewing and stop losing chunks of yours? Haha :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. The sad part is that I was thinking: “this isn’t a good idea, I could easily get cut” but I tried anyway. – As for cooking and sewing, I just read Mary’s comment about sewing, and I almost lost my lunch thinking about it. I’ll stick to the workshop. I’m pretty sure the Mrs doesn’t want me getting blood on her pans

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  10. Dan, it’s a wonder you can still count 10 fingers! DIY Handyman perils! Wow…one reason I avoid sharp tools. Years ago did the left-hand index finger in cutting a tennis ball with a sharp knife. Son’s school project! 5 stitches! Nerve damage! The end of playing the guitar! Around knives remember that! A Big Ouch reading your post! But it was a good one! Glad you have safety measures in place! Happy Saturday! Elizabeth

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. That sounds like a pretty severe cut. I had a small amount of nerve damage, which is why I can’t press down with this finger, but I can still count to 10. I’m sorry that you lost the ability to play the guitar, that’s sad. Cuts happen so fast, and we don’t see them coming.

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  11. I am so proud. I remember the whipped blood story. I remember holding a nail in the cold (I was roughing in a spare room). I don’t know why but I was holding it like I was Mr. Spock, but I reared back with a 14-pound hammer and produced two broken fingers when I missed the nail. Man that hurt. So I feel for you.

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  12. Sorry for your poor finger, Dan, I can certainly relate. My mom just had to look at a knife and her finger would start bleeding. Pretty sure it’s hereditary because I’m ALWAYS cutting myself. Or burning my hands. Thankfully I’ve never had much of a problem with hammers — ouch! Though I did get my left hand index finger caught in the wood splitter two years ago. I watched it bend the wrong way and it was extremely painful, so I know it was ONLY by the grace of God that I didn’t break it. It still gives me a little trouble now and then, but I’m just grateful I didn’t cut it off, tbh!

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    1. Wow, a wood splitter. That’s serious business. That’s like 1,000 hammers Wendy. I don’t work much in the kitchen, so not too many cuts and burns. Although I do sometimes use a torch and I forget how long metal stays hot after having melted.

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  13. Dan, never poke a sleeping bear or a healing finger. even if it is still healing after many years. so far i have been mostly lucky. that mostly covers a lot of scars. mostly. scars are tattoos with better stories. hold onto those fingers. we need them for having a beer. straws will just never do… ever.

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      1. Oh I did not know that! Well do u recall the clear phones – and the clear ones taut had colored lights!? Well I had one of those – lol – but before that I paid my brother five bucks to install this old maroon phone in my room so I could call by boyfriend late at night- five bucks!!! Ha!

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  14. I can understand your pain, but I do admire how you soldiered on, Dan. I once broke my right arm in two places, but it didn’t stop me trying to use the fingers of my right hand to hit certain keys on the keyboard so I could carry on writing. If you’ve a passion for it then you’ll do all you can to carry on.

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    1. That’s true Hugh. I haven’t lost anything yet. I’m trying to pay more attention to safety as I get older, since things don’t seem to heal as fast or as completely. I’m trying to picture your right arm near the edge of the keyboard. If you have reasonably long fingers, you could cover 7-u-j-n and east :)

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      1. True, but I had to stand up and lean slightly forward so I could hit the shift key so that I could get a Capital letter. I was so glad when my arm finally came out of the sling. Took three months in all, and all because I tried saving an umbrella that was blown out of my my hand while I tripped over a kerb. I’ve never trusted an umbrella since!

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        1. Yikes. I didn’t realize it was in a sling. That’s true dedication. They always taught us in shop classes that when you see a tool or an object falling, to just get out of the way and let it fall. IT’s so hard to do, but lots of people get hurt trying to save something.

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  15. You could wear a steel glove on your left hand. I always hate thinking about machine saw accidents. But I thought they are supposed to have some kind of safety stop. If not you need to get a saw that has a safety stop. Thank You.

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        1. The guy that invented that saw is trying to force government to require that technology on all saws (so he can license it). That tactic. Left a bad taste with me. I bought what is probably the last table saw I will ever own, about three years ago. I wanted to get one ahead of time, in case he was successful.

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  16. The finger and the saw……….. brought back memories, Dan. My son lost the tip of his index finger while feeding some wood into a machine (he was an apprentice wood machinist and didn’t realize the guard was missing). Fortunately for him he was wearing a steel glove. He pulled his hand back as soon as he felt the blade, so he can still play guitar, but it was looking dodgy for a while. I think carpenters and butchers (his grandfather was a butcher) bear the same scars on their hands, ;) Glad you still have all ten digits.

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  17. Ah, yes. Our poor digits take all the abuse, don’t they? From fish hooks to hedge trimmers, they just keep getting in the way. And then they take longer to heal because, well, we still have to use our hands. As for the baseball terms, Dan, I say keep sending them over the plate!

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