What Happens if you ignore a splinter. Very Important Information about Splinters.

My Surgery

Take Splinters Seriously
Take Splinters Seriously

Watch Out For Splinters

I am writing this to let everyone know they need to be aware of splinters. I for one never thought much about splinters. Because of the type of work I do, I am forever getting a splinter here or there. I usually just waited a bit then picked it out with no problem. I would get slpinter mostly on my hands, usually the fingers. The last splinter I got was on the heel part of my left hand. Again, I did not think too much of it. I knew it was there. I did not bother it for a few days, until, it started to bother me. I realized I needed to try to get it out. I started to pick at it one night. I could see it starting to come out. I was using a cheap pair of tweezers. I thought I had got it out. I looked and it was red and bleeding a bit but I could not see anything. I put a bandaid on it and forgot about it. Next day I was working, I took off the bandaid and the spot was healing up so I left the bandaid off and did not think about it anymore.

This is where everything gets interesting. After a few days I noticed the spot on my hand getting big, swollen, I should say. It was red and itched. I ignored it while at work, because I had so much to do and no time to do it. That night because my hand was tender, I just soaked it in the shower and let it go. The next day, same thing red itchy still swollen, and hard feeling like a knot. I still ignored it because it was not too bothersome and I just thought my body would take care of it. I was working a lot and I was under a lot of stress at work and not at liberty to miss any days, especially over a splinter. I still did not do anything to it. A week passed and it was starting to really bother me. Every time I pressed my hand flat on a surface or squeezed something that touched the spot it would send a tingle pain through my wrist. I realized I needed to do something about it. That night I tried to open up the area to see if I could get at the source of the problem. I guessed I had not removed all of the splinter. I took my time and tried picking at the spot to see what I could see. I was unsuccessful in my attempt. This was Wednesday. By Saturday I knew I needed to go to a doctor. I realized I should never have let it just go on like it did. I am such a procrastinator when it comes to going to see a doctor. I try to avoid it, if at all possible. I should have went to my family doctor during the week, now it was the weekend and I was going to have to use the Urgent Care Center. By the time I finally reached this point in my delima, my hand was not red or swollen anymore. It was just a hard tender spot that hurt at just about anything I did with a movement of my hand.

I ended up going to an Urgent Care Center on Sunday. The doctor there was very nice. She tried to numb the area and used a scalpel to slice open the heal part of my hand and look for the source of my trouble. She was unsuccessful at finding anything. She even took xrays to see if anything would show up. From here, It was recommended that I see a surgeon. The urgent care set up and appointment with a general surgeon for Monday. I missed work that day, because I had to go the the surgeon. Up to this point I had not missed any work for this splinter. However, it was going on three weeks since I originally got the splinter.

The surgeon was a general practice surgeon. He took one look at my hand and the location of the place and decided I needed to see a Hand Specialist. He offered to numb it and dig around some more as well, but I really had had enough of that by now. He was not comfortable with that idea anyhow because he explained that there are many important nerves that control the hand in the area where my splinter was located. He said that it was possible to cause damage by digging around. He thought the urgent care doctor had done a thorough job of searching for the splinter. The surgeon's office made an appointment for me with a Hand Specialist. I could not see the hand specialist until Friday. The surgeon decided that I should not use my hand at all until I could be seen by the Hand Specialist, so he gave me a note to be out of work until I saw the specialist. This did not go over so well with my employer. As I stated before, I was under a lot of stress. I held a very responsible position at work. I was the Service Manager of three apartment complexes. I answered to two managers. I had only two guys as assistants to take care of 204 units. We were busy. It was a busy time, there was much work to do, including two complete renovations form a fire at one of the complexes. This is partly why I ignored the splinter in the first place. I really did not have time, or so I thought, to deal with a stupid splinter while in the midst of running the maintenance at three apartment complexes. Both managers were slave drivers as well. You just did not take a sick day. Instead you took a dead day. At least that is what you needed to be if you were not going to come in.

Back to the splinter. I went to see the specialist on Friday. After inspecting my hand he decided I was going to need surgery. Before I could have surgery I had to wait a week to give the site a chance to heal completely from the previous digging around. I also had to monitor the place and make sure it was still hurting because something was in there, and not from all of the recent activity. My hand was hard like a callous. Every time something just wiped by the place where the splinter was it would tingle and a jabbing sensation would shoot through the heel of my hand. It was really getting to me by now. I was irritable. I could not use my hand very well. I could not hold a tool or even a glass. Work was rough. I had to go back to work the week before the surgery because there was so much to take care of. I had plenty of sick time but I really needed to be there. Finally the day for the surgery came. It was scheduled for a Friday. I had to be at the local hospital at 4:30 am, my surgery was at 7:00.

Success!! The surgery went very well. The doctor found the rest of the splinter. I was awake, through it all. They did give me a valium to relax me. I was so thankful for that. I was totally numbed up my left arm. Then they used a tight band and pushed all of the blood out of my hand up to my bicep. Let me just say OH MY! It was painful even with total numbness. It was uncomfortable. I was so grateful when I felt a flush of water in my hand and the surgeon said " I got it!" He then stiched it up and wrapped it in a tight bandage. Then they let the blood back into my arm and hand. I was out of it for the rest of the day. I was in some pain later, but it started to heal the right way. I could tell the foreign body was out of my hand finally. All of this for a simple splinter.

The moral I am trying to convey here is, Please do not ignor a splinter. No matter how tough you think you are. No matter if you think you are so busy and do not have time. You can not ignor a splinter. I was out of work for another week after the surgery because I could not use my hand. I had two stitches from the incision that had to be made to locate to splinter. I had to keep my hand bandaged completely for a week to prevent infection. I could have saved myself so much pain and suffering. I should have gone to my Doctor the next day after I tried and failed to get the splinter. It worked itself very deep into the tissue of the heal of my hand. I still have a scar from the event. I should mention too that instead of my regular 30.00 dollar copay at my family doctor I ended up spending 1500.00 dollars to get this splinter out of my hand.

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