It’s just a flesh wound

Sometimes I feel like I just can’t win. On Saturday I received my car back from the cleaners, and it looked pristine and didn’t have a hint of mold smell in it. And it ended up costing less than my deductible, so I don’t know why I even bothered with State Farm other than to find out they’re massive assholes. But kudos to Mr. Detail for being very helpful and saving my car. And thanks to everyone who randomly made donations during my car crisis! Your acts of kindness cut the cost way down and I really appreciate it :)

Then on Sunday I had a door slam on my finger. Yaaaay.

I was closing my boyfriend’s outside door when a huge gust of wind came by and slammed the door shut. It pinched my finger and I yanked my hand out as reflex. Which was a poor choice, since that only succeeded in ripping a large chunk of skin right off the end of my finger.

Thankfully my boyfriend is the son of two doctors, so he threw 394271 types of disinfectants and bandages at me as I was sobbing and bleeding into his sink. The only highlight of the situation was when he said “These will definitely make you feel better” and appeared with Jesus novelty bandaids.

There was really nothing to stitch back together, so I just kept it under ice for the night. Went to the student health center this morning where they wrapped me up better than bandaids and noted that yep, I pretty much ripped my epidermis clean off the tip of my finger. Hurray. I bet it’ll leave a scar, right? I wonder if I’ll have a fingerprint there.

Thankfully it’s my middle finger so I can type with only minor inconvenience. Especially since my first committee meeting is tomorrow, so I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon finishing my PowerPoint presentation. As long as I don’t accidentally flip off any of my committee members tomorrow…


  1. woodsong says

    As long as I don’t accidentally flip off any of my committee members tomorrow…

    Ohhh, the temptation!

    (pushes hair out of face) “What? Oh, sorry, Professor, I can’t bend that finger right now–see the bandage? No, it wasn’t intentional, do you really think I’d do that?” (All the while holding the other fingers bent in demonstration.)

    I can think of several people I’ve worked with that I’d like to pull that on!

    Anyway, sorry to hear about the injury, and I hope it heals quickly!

  2. Bean says

    Sorry about your lost epidermis. Tell the committee your finger has been censored due to overuse. Feel better, Jen!

  3. shouldbeworking says

    I tore the ligaments in my communication finger one day. It made life interesting. I can resist almost anything except temptation.

  4. leftwingfox says

    Yikes. You know there’s a medical term for that? It’s perhaps the most horrifying medical term I’ve ever heard. “Degloving”.

    Glad to hear about the car, and best wishes on a speedy recovery.

  5. meganwatson says

    As someone who sliced the tip off the same finger TWICE (not due to door slamming, but rather a result of poor cooking skills), I can tell you that you’ll definitely have a scar. Though probably not as big of a scar as you would think. Despite my squeamishness, I actually found the healing process fascinating…tried my damnedest to chop that finger off, but my body just kept bringing the heal. Hope it feels better soon!

  6. PDX_Greg says

    Well, look at it this way; you now have enhanced abilities to *purposely* flip committee members off. Oh, but I miss those grad student days …

  7. christophburschka says

    Ouch, that car really has it in for you, doesn’t it? :(
    Well, at least you got rid of the mould, and still have all ten fingers…

  8. dianne says

    I did this once, except that it wasn’t caused by the wind pushing the car door closed. Just didn’t move my hand out of the door before closing it. (Stupid move.) I’d also locked the door. (Not normally a stupid move, but under the circumstances…) Fortunately, I hadn’t locked my keys in the car. (Amazingly, given the way the rest of the day went.) Unfortunately, not thinking very clearly I decided (yes, decided-not moved reflexively due to the pain, actually thought about it and decided) to just try to pull my hand back out because it seemed like there was a gap there. (Really stupid move.) Didn’t work.

    So finally I opened the car door and got my hand out. Ouch, ouch, OUCH! Noticed that the nail was cracked horizontally and that there was only a tiny bit of living nail left on the distal nail tip. Decided that it would be less painful to just pull the rest of it off rather than have it catching on things until it grew out. (REALLY STUPID MOVE!) Spent the next few minutes jumping up and down and swearing and telling myself what a remarkably bad idea that was.

    But one more reason why I now ride a bike.

  9. jpeg says

    Back when I was in Boy Scouts, I cut my middle finger to the bone doing some art project of some sort. I have to say, I got much more pleasure than I should have flicking off all the adults who asked after said finger. *snicker*

    Use your powers while you can.

  10. AlanMac says

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I think I know the punch line!

    “…and then I let go of the rope!”

  11. Alexis says

    The b’jesus bandaids undoubtedly have been blessed with precious placebo so the healing should go doubly doubly fast.

  12. dianne says

    Actually, it’s worse than that. The punch line is “then I had a kid and downgraded having my fingernails ripped off from an 8 on the infamous pain scale to a 5.” Obstructed labor is far less fun than having your fingernails ripped off. It’s not hyperbole to call forced pregnancy torture.

  13. leftwingfox says

    The fundamental scientific impulse. We burn ourselves after the warning, because we have to know exactly how hot it actually is. :)

  14. left0ver1under says

    Here’s your song for this day in your life.

    The Police, “On Any Other Day”:

  15. Tim says

    And why the Jesus fuckballs, having seen you write “Jesus fuckballs why did I google that D:”, did I google it?

  16. says

    Rocking back and forth

    Its only Hollywood makeup effects, its only Hollywood makeup effects, its only Hollywood makeup effects.

    Damn my curiosity, what’s seen can’t be unseen; and I just ate Hamburger Helper for dinner too.

  17. says


    Please wrap the new bandage with the Jesus ones and flip anyone and everyone off. Or flip off a camera and show us the pic. :)

  18. says

    Thankfully it’s my middle finger so I can type with only minor inconvenience.

    How will you be able to drive properly without the ability to send that most critical of signals to other drivers?

    I think the worst finger-related injury I had was getting it caught caught between a door jamb and a door frame during college. It hurt like hell, but it looked even worse than it felt, with the nail split in two.

  19. Tamsen says

    Ouchies! D: I’m glad there wasn’t damage that required a trip to the hospital.

    My boyfriend managed to almost chop his thumb off with a hatchet some months ago. I was more upset about it than he was. I couldn’t look at his thumb while they stitched it up in the emergency room, partially because it was freaky looking and probably mostly because seeing him hurt was so upsetting. After it healed up a bit it was super fun to pick at! He’s almost completely grown the nail back in and you can’t tell the damage done unless you take a close look. Hopefully you’ll heal up nicely too.

  20. Tamsen says

    I made sure to only look at the pictures for 1.145 seconds. I got the jist without having the images burned into my memory with perfect clarity.

  21. annie says

    After reading the first few sentences, I thought for sure this ended with you getting blood all over your freshly detailed car. So glad I was wrong! What did they think of the Jesus bandages at the clinic? I’m sure they were jealous…

  22. Brian Westley says

    Don’t look up harlequin babies unless you want a really good counterexample to the old “loving god” trope.

  23. Stevarious says

    I wonder if I’ll have a fingerprint there.

    True story: I used to work at a warehouse chucking boxes all day. After a year I only had a fingerprint on my pinkies, all my other fingers were worn smooth.

  24. says

    Jen: Once you heal up, if you have any kind of scar that causes discomfort (due to keloid formation, mainly – IIRC), get some silicone “scar therapy” gel, and rub it into the scar tissue a couple of times a day. After a week or so, it will be better (had to do this after ripping three fingers nearly to the bone while working on my truck – yeah, there were stitches involved).

    I was once helping my brother-in-law install a new clutch into his truck; he was under the truck, I was in the cab helping to align things. Well, we got it all in-place and aligned, and he went to slide out underneath; his left hand was on the bottom sill of the passenger door, and as he was sliding out, for some reason he grabbed at the door with his right hand, and closed the door (partly – to the “first catch”) on his left hand thumb! He screamed for me to open it, but in order to do so, I had to pull it closed -more- so the catch would undo…

    /yeah, we’re still close, and we still work on cars together…

  25. Shaun says

    From the Wikipedia entry on degloving: “Many small mammals are able to induce degloving of their tails to escape capture; this is comparable to tail autotomy in reptiles.” The autotomy article contains video of detached salamander tails still wiggling.

    Whelp, I’m pretty much done eating, ever.

  26. Jett Perrobone says

    It’s good that you’re using the Jesus Brand™ Adhesive Bandages. Word is that that guy has some good healing powers. ;)

  27. says

    As a child I once accidentally almost cut-off the tip of my left pointing finger. Luckily for me, my father did not lost his cool and fixed it back with adhesive bandage really tight (hospital was not the option – we had no telephone and no car). Amazingly, it grew back, but it was numb for a few years. When I got the feel back in the higschool, it really excited me – for purely nerdy reasons. It was for me proof positive, that nerves can regrow and my teachers were WRONG.

    I hope you heal soon. Scar is to be expected, but I think you might have your fingerprint back if you did not loose too much skin.

  28. Svlad Cjelli says

    “Thankfully my boyfriend is the son of two doctors, so he threw 394271 types of disinfectants and bandages at me as I was sobbing and bleeding into his sink.”

    So your boyfriend is Brock?

    Remember that expensive potions aren’t cost-effective.

  29. lordshipmayhem says

    I don’t know which hurts worse: the sympathetic pain from imagining my own finger getting hurt in a slamming door, or the stitch in my side from laughing at the Jesus band-aides with the free toy inside…

  30. Sophie Lagacé says

    Congrats on the care cleanup! I’m really glad for you.

    And for more novelty bandages, and much much more, time for a visit to Archie McPhee in Wallingford…

  31. Georgia Sam says

    You could wear boxing gloves. No, wait, that might be taken the wrong way, too …

  32. Jamie Holt says

    As a teenager I accidentally sliced part of the tip of my forefinger off with a utility knife, and a small-yet-highly-alarming sized chunk of my fingerprint went with it. To my amazement the fingerprint eventually grew back, though you can still make out the full border of the original cut more than a decade later; not a lot of scar tissue though and it’s only noticeable when I ‘point’ it out.

  33. Mattir says

    My son slammed my finger in the minivan door a few years back when we were on vacation. I was maternally gracious and didn’t kill him for carelessness, but I did make sure to remind him of my self-restraint when I returned the favor and slammed his finger in a car door a few months back. I did get him some ice, though.

  34. Tracy says

    I feel like I should give you a heads up that year 3 of any PhD program (I can attest to living it now, and everyone past this point seems to agree) is like that just about every day. I really hope your day got better but you should mentally prepare for the fact that there will be many days of FML feeling headed your way! And maybe stock up on band-aids! Ugh…I will live through this, I will live through this, I will live through this…I hope.

  35. RealityEnforcer, Roaming Bear, terror of the Boy Scouts says

    I once cut my index finger fairly deep on a hunting knife(long story). Then no one could find any band-aids for about ten minutes Someone finally found gauze and tape and taped up my finger really well, I didn’t wind up needing stitches, everything was fine, etc. The punchline: I had a piano recital the next morning. To this day I think that I got sympathy points from those judges.

  36. pyrobryan says

    I was working for a project in an art class in college and using a ruler as a straight edge, I was cutting some poster board with an exacto knife. Apparently, you should really watch what you’re doing and not look away during this process. In doing so, I didn’t realize that the side of my finger tip was hanging over the edge of the ruler. It was a brand new, very sharp knife and my skin offered such little resistance that I was able to remove all of the flesh from the side of my finger from about half way up the fingernail all the way to the end of my finger. A relatively small wound, but the amount of blood that came out was impressive.

    I didn’t have any bandages so I wrapped a paper towel around my finger and walked down the hallway of the dorm, bloody appendage held high, knocking on door after door looking for bandages. It’s surprising how many college kids don’t keep bandages handy.

    It took quite a few years, but my finger seems to have re-shaped itself. I no longer have a flat space there. My fingertip is back to a nice round shape.

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