July 27, 2018

Six Months Later: How Dan's Hand is Doing

It's been six months since Dan nearly cut his fingers off with the table saw. How is his hand?


That's the first picture I've ever taken of it. And even though it's not pretty, it looks a whole lot better than it did before.

He doesn't have much pain anymore, but the fingers are still pretty sensitive. The worst part is the stiffness. Most of the time those two fingers just won't bend. Now if he gets busy with a project and doesn't think about it, he can get some bending of the knuckles, but they tend to lock up again quickly which limits his dexterity and especially the ability to grasp. He massages it with healing oils and that helps some.

He's not one to let it get him down, however, and he's been able to compensate for most tasks and tools, except the chain saw. He needs to be able to grasp it properly to use it, which he can't do yet. He hates using the table saw (and probably always will!) but forces himself because, as he says, we've just got too much to do around here.

The trucking company he used to drive for said he could come back to work with doctor's permission. But because of his limitations, especially with grasping and holding, he doesn't think he could actually perform the tasks required for the job. So after a few lifestyle adjustments we're making do on Social Security retirement. We can pay our bills, buy necessities, and still have enough to slowly work on projects. Happily, my author's advance from Prepper's Livestock Handbook enabled us to buy most of what we need to finish the barn. Hopefully it will sell well and help us with tools and equipment we need to save up for.

So that's the Dan report. He sometimes feels like his hand is as good as it's going to get, but I say it's still healing and there's still hope. At least he's back to leading a relatively normal lifestyle.

27 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

I once stuck my left thumb in the sawmill, in a manner of speaking and took the top of the knuckle off. It looks ugly too, and doesn't work properly, but you learn to adjust.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the update!

Mama Pea said...

Hard to believe it's been six months already. But then, we find that's the way time passes when one is leading a busy life. Not that I know diddly-sqwat (!), but I feel there's still more improvement to come for Dan's hand. Thanks for the update, Leigh.

Kris said...

I'm glad that Dan's hand is healing along and that he's not in as much pain. You two are really keeping up with it.
This may be a touchy subject, Leigh, but what with Dan's hand not allowing him to return to a paying job, would he qualify for SSDisability? It might be worth looking into. He's paid into it, so it's not like a handout. Meanwhile, tell him we're still all here, all pulling for him and sending thoughts and prayers for recovery.

Kristina said...

Ouch! Glad it's healing up.

Leigh said...

Gorges, ouch! But it's amazing how well we can learn to compensate. I'm glad you did too.

Michelle, you're welcome!

Mama Pea, I think there is too, and wish he would continue with the intense herbal regimen we were doing before. But, at some point encouraging seems to turn into nagging and that never goes over well!

Kris, when the accident first happened he went in to the SS office to apply for SSD. They told him considering his age, applying for his retirement benefit would be faster and easier. And it was. Getting the disability is a long drawn-out process with doctor's having to sign off and the administration easily not convinced (went through that with my daughter). Not sure he can get both though.

Kristina, thanks!

Ed said...

Growing up in farming country, I grew up among many simply missing appendages all together. So it is nice to see that "health technology" has improved enough to where most can now keep them. I hope Dan's hand continues to improve with more time.

Susan said...

I'm so glad to see that Dan's hand is healing from such a serious wound. After reading your latest book, I think it will sell very well. It's a wonderful resource! All the best to you both.

Henny Penny said...

Oh my goodness, the pain he must have gone through. I'm so glad it is healing and I agree with you that it will probably keep getting better. Sure hope so.

Mike said...

Wow! At least it's healing and he didn't have to deal with a serious infection that could have led to an amputation. Hopefully, soon he will get a greater range of motion and a stronger grip. Just leave the chainsaw alone until you're sure you're ready for it.

Just finished your new book. Outstanding job Leigh! I'll put together a review this weekend.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Yikes! Glad he is doing better and coping. Here's hoping things continue to get better.

Leigh said...

Ed, I reckon that's a sad fact of working with big equipment. He's definitely glad to still have the finger.

Thanks Susan!

Henny Penny, a lot of pain at first, but fortunately it's under control now. Hopefully it will continue to get better!

Mike, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed my book. The surgeon did want to amputate the end of that finger, but Dan didn't want to give it up. I think he'd still have mobility problems if they did that. He is hoping to get back to chain sawing soon. It's time to start thinking about winter firewood!

TB, thanks! We're hoping for continued improvement too.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

It is amazing that it looks as good as it does and that he is doing all that he does. Nancy

Goatldi said...

Darn started a comment last night right after you posted it and got distracted 🙄
Very happy to see the progress on his hand. Hopefully by the time he is a year out there will be more.
Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

Quinn said...

I heal very, very slowly but often I continue to heal for a long time, and occasionally notice that some particular thing has gotten better only if something reminds me of how difficult it had been a year or two earlier. Your hopes for continued improvement may be proven true over time, and either way, I'm glad Dan's injury hasn't stopped him. It's sometimes hard adjusting to physical restrictions - I am a reluctant Master of that particular field - but it's so important to focus on what we CAN do, and then do it, even if it's in a way that is less efficient or slower or harder than it would have been previously. Cheers to you both!

Leigh said...

Nancy, I agree!

Goatldi, it's a blessing that people are still caring and rooting for him. :)

Quinn, he's definitely not a quitter! But there is a lot to do around here and we are committed to the lifestyle. He definitely likes it better than driving. I think the needs of the land and our projects really keep him going, and that's a good thing.

Lori said...

I was just wondering how he was doing the other day. Thanks for the update. Prayers for continued healing.

Susan said...

Thanks for the update. After only 6 months, healing is definitely not finished yet. It looks pretty good, all things considered, and I'm glad he is continuing to work on his flexibility and dexterity. We lose those as we age normally, so those will be ongoing issues. Good job, Dan!

Sharon in Surrey said...

Many moons ago when my Ex tore open his thumb & wrist - I still can't believe he missed all the major blood vessels & only nicked the tendon!!! - he spent a lot of time squeezing a rubber ball to keep it as mobile as possible. He was a welder & needed both hands. I can't remember all the details anymore but he did recover most of the mobility although it took it's own sweet time to heal completely. By the way, your hand is looking pretty darned good, Dan!!

deborah harvey said...

considering the description of the damage, it looks very good.
remember to massage, massage, massage with the oil.
massage and bending and stretching--not painless but necessary.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Thanks so much for the update Leigh and please give our best to Dan. Early retirement may not have been the plan but dang it...plans do change don't they? Keith working off the farm for the last 1.5 years while I'm home full time was a huge change for us but we're clicking right along. May your newest book sell gangbusters! Which reminds me, I need to do an Amazon review of it. Going to get that done right now!

Leigh said...

Lori, we appreciate that!

Susan, that's very true about what we lose as we grow older. That makes healing and progress slower, but not impossible!

Sharon, wow, that would be really hard. It's encouraging to hear that he was able to work toward recovery.

Deborah, I read your comment to him to encourage him along. I think we sometimes expect faster progress and tend to want to give up. Need to keep at it for results!

Donna, that's life isn't it? As is learning to adapt! Quite a different routine for you and Keith, but you've adapted too. Thanks for doing the Amazon review! Those help a lot!

Meredith said...

I’m sorry to hear he’s still having stiffness and some trouble with it, but so glad he’s doing better! Good luck to both of you!

Leigh said...

Thanks Meredith. Considering how badly the hand was injured it's not terribly surprising. Hopefully the stiffness will work itself out too.

Ruthlynn said...

Howdy, our vet had hand surgery last year from a car wreck. He could not do surgery as he lost muscle in his hand.We are musicians and we gave him Pro Hand Exerciser https://express.google.com/u/0/product/4330484949129918380_1570621705390873766_8175035
https://www.amazon.com/Resistance-MINIEBOOK-Exerciser-Rehabilitation-Relaxation/dp/B079MC2BWB?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&psc=1

They have some that are adjustable to work your hands and keep them limber.They are not easy to use but worth it. This along with bee venom helped reduce the swelling, he gained muscle tone and is back performing surgeries again. He was depressed until we gave him these to use. Hope this helps your man.

Leigh said...

Ruthlynn, thanks! Looks like an interesting product.

M.K. said...

Oh, Leigh, I can tell that was bad damage, and I'm so sorry. It does still LOOK rough, but I'm glad he gets some functionality from it. It reminds me of my husband's finger (also the middle one), except his damage was from the table saw :(
Keep pressing on!