I looked at my impaled finger in disbelief and then said 'Oh Shit!' in a rather calm voice. There was a guy in our house installing some new cabinets and I really didn't want to freak out in front of a total stranger. I pulled out the needle and could have sworn the tip was still attached. There was string coming out of my nail and it wouldn't budge! I actually had to cut myself loose from the machine!
I then ran outside to call my husband and totally broke down. He said he had to do a couple things and then would be home. "It's going to be fine, put some ice on it," he said, thinking I was just over reacting. My hands were shaking, my arms felt all tingly and cramped up as I was in a bit of shock. I called my doctor and drove myself to the office (just a minute away) only to have her tell me it was pretty serious and I needed to go to the ER. I drove home just in time to meet my husband there.
My finger was throbbing and I could feel that something was in there, but I just thought it was the thread. The kids were going to be coming home in about an hour so I made arrangements with my neighbor to watch them, thankfully. The ER was not busy at 2:30 Friday afternoon, so I got in pretty quickly. They x-rayed my hand, and the expression of the PA and my husband looking at it in the hallway suggested the situation was not great. It's never good to see a grimace on a medical professional when viewing an x-ray!
As it turned out, the tip of the needle broke off in my finger. I measured later and it was about 1/4 inch long!! Thankfully it didn't hit or damage my bone at all. But, they had to pull off my nail (the shots for numbing my finger were the worst!) then pull out the needle which did a fair amount of damage to my nail bed.
I visited a plastic surgeon on Monday to look at the nail bed (not really how I thought I might ever be visiting a plastic surgeon . . .). He said if I hadn't visited him my nail definitely would not have grown back! I had no idea it was so bad! He put a little piece of metal like tin foil under my cuticle and stitched it in place. It will prevent my cuticle from healing so my nail can grow back. If the cuticle heals, the nail would never be able to grow back! It looks pretty wild and he'll take it off after 2 weeks or so.
Of course my husband was going out of town this week so my Mom came to help me, which turned out to be something I really needed. I can't really use my hand for anything substantial because it pulls on the stitches. What a pain!! So, I've been hanging with my laundry fairy/chef all week.
The positives of this whole situation is that I'm right handed and it happened to my left hand, it didn't happen to my kids, and I now know a lot about fingernail injuries and nailbeds. It is so annoying and I just can't believe I sewed my finger. I guess I've just got another interesting story to tell, kind of like the time I stabbed myself in the leg with grass clippers when I was 8 or the time I severely sprained my ankle on a stupid pinecone!!
If you never make any mistakes it means you've never tried anything new, right?