Harriet Vane Posted July 7, 2012 Share Posted July 7, 2012 (edited) I was cleaning a narrow glass lighting fixture when the neck broke and sliced open a small but deep wound at the base of my second (longest) finger, extending from the top of the finger around and down towards the skin web between my fingers. I went to the ER for stitches. I had a very, very frustrating experience there. I have had stitches before, as have my children, so I have a decent frame of reference for how this is supposed to work. Unfortunately the ER doc took a real dislike to me despite the fact that I was calm, sweet, rational, and trying so hard to be sweet. I turned down what I considered to be an unnecessary xray, and an unnecessary tetanus shot. (I don't object to the tetanus vaccine, but don't think the risk of tentanus with this imjury is all that high and would prefer to check my records for when I had a tetanus shot last.) The icing on the cake was the fact that she did not do a good job with the stitches. I have never been in this situation before--other occasions that called for stitches looked different. I asked her about a part of the wound that looked like it was coming apart, and she was short with me. I was apologetic and syrupy sweet and ended up asking for surgical glue in addition because it was clear to me that the stitches were inadequate. (I think I needed one more, and think that one of the stitches is way too close to the edge of the skin and am concerned it will pull out. I didn't say all that to her though--I just apologetically asked about the part of the wound that was pulling apart.) When she was doing the stitching she was rough, with a lot of tugging and impatience, also totally unlike other occasions that I or my kids have had stitches. She did put the glue on. I then waited forty minutes for bandaging. When the guy came in he took a big band-aid from the cupboard and mashed it over the top of my fingers, pressing part of the adhesive ON TOP OF THE EDGE OF THE WOUND. At first I started to leave, but then realized that the bandaid adhesive was ON the wound and knew that I had to get it off immediately. There was enough bacitracin (petroleum jelly-based antibiotic gel) so that I could ease off the bandaid. I saw the same guy in the hall and told him I was unhappy because the adhesive had been ON the wound and I said gauze would be more appropriate and that I wanted it re-wrapped. I then had to argue with Mr. Incompetent about his wrapping of the wound. He put a large gauze pad on top of my fingers and started wrapping, which meant that the part of the wound in between my fingers did not have a pad on it. In the course of all this he told me in outraged tones not to be mad because they have a lot to do there, and asked me if I felt I should wrap it myself. I was not yelling, lecturing, or berating, though I am sure my unhappiness was written all over my face. Here are my questions: Is it okay to scrub the wound with alcohol AFTER the stitching and glue? Because a tech did so, and I am afraid she dissolved the glue. If so, I can go buy some bandaid glue and try again??? I was really unhappy with the wrapping. When I got home, I unrwrapped, found that most of the bacitracin at the hospital had gotten wiped off by all the adventures with Mr. Incompetent. I squirted on huge globs of bacitracin and put on a small, nonstick sterile pad over the wound and in between my fingers. (It has a cotton wadding core with a light plasticky kind of shell). I then wrapped the two fingers together, then wrapped a little more around my whole hand to keep it stable. Was this okay to do? Much of my hand was numb from the shot. However, I also experience light hand numbness due to spinal compression. How can I tell if I wrapped the gauze too tight? Do I really have to go to the dr in 2 days to check for infection? Can I just check myself? Do I really have to get a dr to snip the stitches or can I snip in 10 days? ETA: I should really get a round of applause for typing this with my left hand and right index finger. Just sayin.' Edited July 7, 2012 by strider Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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