What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Actually, it was during all of our Covid lockdown last April 2020. My wife Nancy and her friend, who is an art teacher, had found four large, wooden, carved Princess Anne legs in a thrift store. Since her friend was looking for a table for her new art studio, Nancy volunteered me to build a work table using those legs. No prob!

I do build a lot of furniture with the tools in my garage, so it actually was fun building the table “around” the legs. And it turned out really well. That is until I was cutting a few small cleats to attach the table frame to the underneath side of the table top.

It had been about 37 years since my last table saw “incident,” so I guess I was due. I accidentally (do I really need to say that?) ran the end of my left hand’s middle finger into the table saw blade, cutting about a half-inch of skin and bone off the end. Ouch!! After a few choice words that I will not repeat here, I turned off the table saw, grabbed a handful of Kleenex, compressed it against my finger tip, elevated my hand to my chest and fairly calmly called into the house to Nancy, asking her to drive me to the hospital emergency room.

After her initial shock, she remained calm and we jumped in the car and she drove us quickly to the hospital. I guess I had a surge of adrenalin going because it hurt a lot, but I was able to withstand it ok, as long as kept my hand elevated to my chest.

When we got to the hospital emergency room, we realized that because of Covid protocols, I had to wait outside and Nancy wouldn’t be able to go in with me. So, she went back to wait in the car while I stood outside the emergency room door, leaning against the wall, waiting my turn while they helped the older man ahead of me.

Again, thank goodness for my adrenalin because it was 20 minutes of me standing there, pressing blood-soaked Kleenex against my elevated finger before they got to me. I asked what was wrong with the man ahead of me and they said he had hemorrhoids. Well, pain or no pain, I cracked up right there. It made me think that God really does have a sense of humor!

Fortunately, there was a great surgeon on call and he was able to stretch my skin over the cut off fingertip and bone, and sew it up. I still don’t have any feeling in the end of that finger, but I am now able to use the hand and the finger is at about 90% bending, so it is working well. Although I have had to relearn how to type without using the middle finger on my left hand! But it could have been so much worse, so all in all, I’m good.

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