New Civilization News: Finny's Finger    
 Finny's Finger8 comments
8 May 2002 @ 18:40, by John Finn

A Lament for Finny's Finger....

It happened so fast.... I hadn't concidered that my good friend Warwick would miss with a ten pound sledge hammer by so much (ten inches). There was a shearing pain, then by the time I laid eyes on it nothing, numbness, shock. It was a sight, the end of my left hand index finger was a salad of bone, nail, skin tissue and flesh. What was also a sight was me after looking at the mess holding my hand and staggering over Warwick's front lawn swearing. Warwick in the meantime had both his hands afixed to the sides of his head and was apoligising profusely as he wandered trance-like around the lawn. What a Monty Pythonesque scene.

In a blur of controlled panic and shock induced serenity, I was within 30 minutes at the A&E of Middlemore Hospital. Middlemore serves South Auckland which contains the lowest social economic grouping of people in Auckland and the largest population of Polonesians anywhere. Pushed out by the Yuppie developments in the inner city. Over the next fourty hours I had the wound washed and was given pain killers but nothing else. For eight hours I was in a gown awaiting surgery. At the last moment the surgeon was called away and I was told to come back the next day. Hardly anybody was interested in my analysis of the current health system in New Zealand. A lone fourth year medical student politely heard me out and agreed on every point I made and that I should write to the Minister of Health. He lamely offered that they do what they can. I felt sad, knowing that what he said was right. With private heath taking the cream, leaving Public Health under staffed and under resoursed. Christ, Finny it's only a finger and not even all of it!

I didn't return the next day instead that night, I drove to Hamilton (120klms away), waited five hours and was seen. By then the swelling was so much that nothing could be done. Come back in three days and we'll operate. Three days, a haze of pain killers, anti-inflamatorys, Australian red wine, and medicinal herb later, a small operation put the end of my finger back together again. It has been an insight to me just how much a finger can hurt. It was like a very bad tooth ache throbbing and telling the rest of my body how much it could take charge. Pathetic, I know! People are getting the shit bombed out of them all over the world and I have a sore finger.

I had thought that I would have at the most three weeks where I wouldn't be able to do the building work that I had lined up. It was my turn to take over the primary income. My partner had quit her five and a half year job as Jeanette Fitzsimmons electorate agent. (Jeanette is the only Green Member of Parliament in the world to win an electorate, rather than get in on a proportional or list seat.) Anyway my darling Rosalie has quit and was looking to me to keep the income flowing in.

Meanwhile my finger has other ideas. Last week the initial signs of infection started to show. Off to the local doc to get antibiotics. Which didn't make the slightest difference. Yesterday I spent several hours at Waikato Hospital (Hamiliton). They informed me that the antibiotics prescribed were the wrong ones as they needed to be broad spectrum rather than the narrow ones prescribed by the GP. The other news was that the infection could have got into the fractured bone and if so they will admit me on Monday and put me on a drip. If that doesn't work it's amputation.

Perhaps I making a song and dance over this and I guess I am. Its not my finger so much as the well paid work that I wouldn't be able to do. And that this happens just as my partner leaves her reasonably well paid job. What is the meaning of this?

Today I visited the local Wins office, which is Work and Income, the 'dole office' for most of the locals and in the US it would be where you go for welfare. I didn't go to get the dole, I went to register (just in case) and to see about getting some non manual work to tide me over. I lined up with the rest of the local depressed humanity. I had dressed up in tie and jacket knowing that I would get better treatment. Its true! I have an appointment tomorrow for an interview. I will be seeing Destiny at 8:30am.


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8 comments

8 May 2002 @ 23:49 by shawa : How, by the grace of your finger...
...are you typing this ? :-)  


9 May 2002 @ 00:38 by jazzolog : Mr. Finny Sir,
I have been an active member here a scant few months, and only recently began writing back and forth with you here and at other logs. In fact, I see I carelessly have allowed our interaction to move ahead of the vital Contact Settings at your Profile (just fixed that). Now I wince and mourn at this tragedy, as though you were my own brother. An index finger is a significant tool (and plaything too) for humans, and I shan't belittle the potential loss---or certainly the effect on the rest of your life and that of your partner. You are in my prayers, sir, and I await further news.
Your friend, Richard  



9 May 2002 @ 01:47 by scottj : I can only wish you the very
best and hope that some good fortune will come of this in unexpected ways.

You must have a case for sueing the medical authorities here and even if you never go down that road you may be able to get better treatment if you make it clear to all and sundry just how *displeased* you are at what has happened.

I know from experience this is very difficult because you are at your most vulnerable when at the mercy of the medics but my father in law who was a first class family doctor and a real hero had an expression he quoted again and again. "Difficult patients do best."

This of course means the ones who complain the most, demand detailed explanation of all treatments, threaten to sue if things go wrong and so on and so on.

The measure of the effectivness of this power is that last year my father in law (Dagfinn) died and a few months after his wife developed a very serious infection in and arm. She was hospitalised and managed to survive that experiene by being one of the most difficult patients they have ever had. The story goes on but the point is Dagfinn probably saved her life with his advice, that is doctoring.

Good luck and maybe you can even have some fun at their expense by being a difficult patient.

Will be thinking of you.

Scott

(The other nr1 thing of course is positive visualisation especially when you begin to lose faith in the medics, but I am sure you know that already.)  



13 May 2002 @ 00:49 by jazzolog : We Are Worried, You Know
Please Finny, could we have more news of what is happening?  


13 May 2002 @ 01:20 by tdeane : Finny, my friend...
I share your pain, and not just the pain in your finger. Unfortunately, I have not been around much so I was unaware of this until now, but I will still light a candle for you and send healing energy your way. Much love ~ Tricia  


13 May 2002 @ 10:36 by mmmark : Instant Healing
Dear Finny - I hope that you and your finger acquire greater strength and health than ever before. Soory about the marginal care, it seems to happen often to many of us. I had a finger smashing that crumbled the end bone into 7 small splinters and the doctor said there was nothing to do, that they were all in surgical limits for healing, that surgery would be more invasive than leaving it alone. So now I can't play my keyboard very well - every time I try to play inbetween the black keys - it gets stuck.  


13 May 2002 @ 16:10 by finny : Finny's Finger Has Turned Around
Last night the fever broke, the one caused by the infection in the bone. I sweated, tossed and turned, cursed, got worried, thought of taking an axe to it, you know quasi delirious. This morning it is apparent that I have turned the corner and the (dear) digit is definately on the final lap of healing.

I thank you all for being outragiously caring. I also thank you for understanding that even though there are far worse things that can happen to people that you have related to my plight. Which more than anything has been feeling useless as I cannot earn. To be bushwacked by such a small portion of my anatomy has been an insight. As has you all responding to my story.

So sorry about you not being able to play mmmark, well that is.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, all!  



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