“It’s only your little finger”
Over the past few weeks alarms have been raised on my whereabouts. Staff have been bombarded with your questions and I’m humbled by all of your concern. So here’s where I’ve been, what’s happened and what’s going to happen…
Back in July during a cricket game, the ball struck my hand resulting in dislocating and breaking the joint of my little finger. I was back to work the very next day without a care in the world. I told myself “It’s only a little finger” and had reassurance from everyone around me that “You’ll be fine, it’s only your little finger!” But what we didn’t know, was that this was going to dominate my life mentally and physically for the next nine weeks.
Where have I been?
Two weeks in, I knew things weren’t improving and to my dismay I was told an operation was needed. I continued to tell myself “It’s only a little finger” and assumed surgery would be my best bet for a speedy recovery. The following Monday I had my operation and expected to be back to work on Wednesday. Unfortunately I had no idea what I was in for and never imagined to be off work for the next six weeks!
My one hour operation turned into a four hour complicated procedure. My finger was opened up and operated on both sides. I was rushed back in the next day as the consultants were concerned my finger was dead! This resulted in having to endure the most pain I’ve ever been in in my entire life. It was safe to say I wasn’t going back to work anytime soon and my mind set of “It’s only a little finger” was out of the window! It was time to eat my words and learn the hard way.
What was the pain like?
The best way to explain the pain is, if you imagine taking a threading needle and slowly sticking it deep in the tip of your finger. Then sticking two other needles sharply in the base of your finger either side of the bone. Then to top that off, having the feeling of somebody constantly stamping on your hand with football boots on (so yeah, not the best!). I had this feeling every five minutes of every hour of everyday for the next week and a half. It was just as hard mentally as it was physically.
How’s the recovery gone?
As you can imagine, the first week was hell! I couldn’t sleep or find a place to rest my hand. The whole thing was a nightmare and I had a holiday booked! I didn’t feel at all comfortable going so far away when I was in so much pain, but the consultant insisted that it would do me good and speed up the recovery. I was sceptical at first but took her advice and accepted her fit to fly letter and off I went. No drinking, no getting my hand wet and staying to my medication times were the rules. I’m so glad I went as I felt the sun, good food and plenty of rest made me feel so much better mentally and physically. Unfortunately this feeling was short lived as on my return I was told the operation didn’t go so well, in fact it had gone catastrophically bad!
Amputation was the call. I felt sick and very emotional! Within two weeks I went from “It’s only a little finger” to “My finger means everything to me”. With my family by my side, we decided that losing my finger was the last resort and we would try to do everything we can to keep it! The past four weeks I’ve seen the best consultants in the country travelling from Bradford to Wigan and I’ve been given great news! I will not be losing my finger and they can help me. One more operation to go and then fingers crossed (excuse the pun) I’ll be all done!
What’s next for me?
I don’t think I’ll be lifting any weights anytime soon! But I like the idea of getting super fit and setting myself a challenge. Recently, I have been inspired by the Brownlee brothers and how great their triathlon is, I think that’s the path I’m going to take for now (If my hand allows me).
What have I Learnt?
I’ve learnt how important the little finger is. Surprisingly it’s responsible for 50% of hand strength and when linked with the thumb, it is the key finger in gripping objects. Believe it or not the least important finger to have is the index finger and excluding the thumb the most important finger is the pinkie! It’s definitely gained my respect that’s for sure! I will not be saying “It’s only a little finger” ever again! This journey has also taught me to not take things for granted and has made me extremely thankful for my health and limbs. I have gained the upmost respect for the Paralympians, Soldiers and members of the public who have sadly lost limbs.
A special thank you to my Girlfriend and family for their support. I really couldn’t have got through this without them. Also a huge thank you to Pure Fitness for their understanding and constant support. Thank you to all the help I’ve had from the NHS. Lastly a massive thank you to all the members who have sent me supportive messages over the past month, it really means a lot.