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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Living with a shortened finger

November 23rd, 2013 · 3 Comments · Dogs, Health

Yesterday marked nine weeks since the walk on the beach that unexpectedly left me with a shortened finger (“Not just another day at the beach“).

Since the incident, I’ve repeatedly told myself (and others) that it could have been much worse. That’s undoubtedly true.

But although the wound has healed, and even after nine weeks, my finger could still be months away from returning to the new normal. And this despite a month of physical therapy aimed at speeding up recovery.

The big problem, is seems, is the concentration of nerve endings in your hand and finger tips. When a part of the finger is torn away, the nerves take longer to heal than the wound itself.

The end of my finger is still hyper-sensitive, and after modest use it turns red and swells. I’m supposed to keep working at getting it used to feeling different textures, so for short periods I rub it on a variety of surfaces, from very smooth cotton (like a good t-shirt) up to rough jeans or a towel. Progress, so far, has been very slow, with modest improvement every few weeks.

If I concentrate and watch the keyboard, I can now type using all fingers, although typing with a shortened index finger is a bit like walking with a bad limp. You can do it, but it’s a bit awkward and it demands concentration. I don’t think it will be so bad once those nerve endings calm down, but we’ll just have to see.

In the meantime, I’ve stopped by several times to visit the big dog that initiated the incident on the beach. She’s a nice dog, despite all this, and I’ve brought her several dog biscuits to show she’s been forgiven. And the small dog victim seems to have recovered faster than my finger.

Aha. My injured finger participated in typing the last two paragraphs. That’s measurable progress.

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