Due to the surge of hand pictures littered throughout Reddit recently, my wife talked me into doing this AMA! I never thought these pictures would see the light of internet.

A little back story: I worked with my father(who is the floor manager) at a pallet shop. We built skids and pallets for the surrounding steel companies and such to ship their products out on. It was first thing on the morning of Monday, October 11, 2010(Of all days, my Mother's birthday) that I had my accident with a pop-up saw. During my stay at the hospital I received leech therapy to try and keep my fingers alive.

The pictures are kinda rough to look at(for me atleast), but feel free to ask any questions. Regrettably, I have no pictures of the leeches themselves, but I do have picture proof via itemized statements of my stay. I have far more medical knowledge now than I should! I learned a ton on the way.

http://imgur.com/a/zqv1z/

EDIT - Since some interest in the leeches has popped up, here is an album with proof of that. It's an itemized summary of everything I received in my initial stay at the ICU. The last picture shows how much the insurance company gets charged for leeches http://imgur.com/a/ohe4y

EDIT 2 - Here's a picture showing the total for my 15 day stay in the ICU http://imgur.com/MTZGC

Final Edit* - I'm back to answering questions! There still seems to be some continued interest so I'll just keep answering as long as they keep coming. I'll try to dig up some more pictures as well. I know I have some littered about on SD cards.

Comments: 412 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

CPTNBob46113 karma

Damn, I was hoping your hand would look back to normal while going through the pictures, that sucks, sorry about your accident man, I can't even imagine, but at least you still have a hand, even if you're not happy with it.

Do you have feeling in your other fingers still or was there severe nerve damage?

HT35756 karma

The sincerity of your post got me in the feels man. It was a rollercoaster of a ride. I had about 7 follow up surgeries with skin grafts and amputations(had all my fingers after the re-attachment surgery. Slowly died off).

As far as feeling goes, I feel very little. More so pressure against it than if something was to just brush against lightly. My main thing is temperature. I don't feel hot and cold through that hand at all. I can burn or freeze it easily without even realizing. Had a few close calls

ppbur12 karma

Don't want to be a dick here, but is there a part that they reattached that didn't fall off ?

HT35718 karma

My thumb! It actually stayed basically perfect. Other than losing mass and not being able to move, that's my original thumb. I wouldn't call it a fail on their part though. I just had a bad accident that was virtually non-repairable. The initial surgery lasted over 12 hours

ppbur9 karma

How come can I only see 3 fingers plus the thumb on the pictures ?

HT35710 karma

I only have 3 fingers total now. My thumb, index and little finger. The saw blade ripped through my index knuckle and wasn't repairable. My index knuckles were completely removed and all fingers shifted over one spot. So technically, my index is where my middle finger should have been.

iamaredditer106 karma

Are you able to fap as good with the opposite hand?

HT357164 karma

Was waiting on the old fapping question too! All I have is but one upvote to give you for your prize I'm afraid. But the answer is absolutely not. Left handed fapping just doesn't feel right after all those years batting righty. Thankfully my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, has two perfectly good hands and is more than willing to give me a helping hand. Or two!

mumpen106 karma

So we should all switch from time to time. It could come in handy someday.

HT35799 karma

Advice of the year right here. If you guys learn one thing this year, let this be it

sargent61011 karma

but the year is so young. Also I'm glad that morphine was on that bill.

HT3576 karma

That was my point! You need not learn anything else this year now, you're welcome!

a1gern0n2 karma

They do say learning to perform everyday tasks with one's non-dominant hand helps improve brain plasticity...

HT3573 karma

Exercising your non-dominant hand could potentially save your life one day. What if you are fighting for your life and it comes down to you doing something with your non-dominant hand. That extra training would be very useful.

revjeremyduncan21 karma

As a right handed guy [35], who grew up fapping with it, in the last couple years I have switched exclusively to lefty. My theory is that it will help me gain some coordination in my left hand. Not sure if it's working. I better try some more right now.

HT35757 karma

Stay at it, it'll come!

nappiestapparatus23 karma

[35] damn... i'm only at a [4]

HT35712 karma

I think I laughed entirely too hard at his!

gabriot16 karma

Really? I still have both hands and switched to the left on a whim one day and found it to be way better. I mean... the right hand can be on the mouse.

HT35712 karma

If it felt better, then you're a natural lefty. You've been doing it wrong your whole life brother!

thrilldigger5 karma

You mean you didn't learn how to use a mouse with your left hand? I thought all of us righties figured that one out early on.

gabriot5 karma

Takes more dexterity to use a mouse in my opinion

HT3575 karma

I could use a mouse well enough left-handed to locate the part of the video I was wanting to use! Gaming and such...not so well. First world problems right?

waffler136 karma

Thankfully my girlfriend at the time

Wow what a bitch, she probably broke up with him because of his hand....

now my wife

I should probably read more before calling some random woman a bitch on the internet

HT3574 karma

My wife is a good woman. I'd be lost without her help. I thought for sure she was going to leave me at the time. Who wants to help a 21 year old man do basically everything? She's my saving angel

BallisticBacon7 karma

I'm a lefty in the first place. :D

HT35715 karma

Your dominant hand will be the one to go most likely! Get that switch hitter status up

NothingMatters121 karma

Looking at the first few pictures it looks like they reattached your fingers, but judging by the last few pictures it doesn't look like it worked completely. Did something go wrong? If so, what exactly?

HT35733 karma

Not necessarily wrong just took a turn for the worse. When there is that much trauma to a body part(especially if it was severed), not all of it will necessarily heal. Over the course of about 7 months after my fingers were re-attached, a natural demarcation(in the form of gangrene) occurred and told the doctors what would live and what would die. I had multiple(I believe 3 exactly but all these surgeries blend together in my mind at this point) surgeries for amputating parts of fingers.

Naturally the parts that died were the furthest away from the blood source. The tips of my fingers got shorter with every surgery. Skin grafts had to be taken to cover up bone which had busted out of the tips after amputating pieces on several occasions.

Very observant question, I liked it. Thanks for actually asking me something!

danceswithshelves9 karma

I have to say that I am amazed at technology nowadays... the fact you have ANY hand at all is a medical marvel. I am so sorry this happened to you and I can't even fathom the pain you've gone through but I think your hand looks really cool and maybe that isn't the right thing to say but I am just so impressed with what they were able to do.

HT35715 karma

No offense taken! The doctor said my case was unique and some medical news journal wanted to do a story about me but I said no. I regret not saying yes but I was still in the ICU at the time and didn't want to deal with it. Had they waited a bit and then asked, not only would I have said yes but I would've had a far more interesting story to tell to boot.

Technology is amazing. I would be dead without it. I mean seriously, my thumb about died the 2nd day, so they cut a chunk of vein out of my upper arm and grafted it into my thumb. That's a real miracle if you ask me

meow1113 karma

sorry about your accident! :( have you experienced phantom limb?

HT35719 karma

I was wondering if anybody would ask this(I didn't keep up with comments on all the hand pictures). For me, phantom pains play a daily role in my life. From what I've read, if they don't disappear withing 6 months - 1 year, you're probably stuck with them. Which sucks because I can't stand the feeling. It's hard to explain the sensation other than it's like my fingers are still there but they aren't. By far more mentally painful than physically but physical pain is definitely present when the sensation comes about.

Thanks for your question! Have an upvote! If you don't mind my asking, where did you hear about phantom feelings/pain? In my experience, only those who know somebody without a limb has heard of it. Although I only know a small percentage of the population obviously!

eelassirak13 karma

I heard of it on an episode of House.

From what I remember: His neighbor(?) is missing his forearm, and Dr. House builds a small, long box with mirrors for the guy to insert his intact arm, so that when he makes a fist and releases it, the mirror tricks his brain into thinking he relaxed the missing limb.

HT35712 karma

No shit? I'll have to look for that episode. I wonder if that works because when I get the feelings they're followed with severe muscle spasms and such. Maybe a little mind-fuckery is needed!

eelassirak12 karma

HT35712 karma

I almost cried just hoping it does what he was saying it does. I need to find one of these things

Vampyroteuthidae21 karma

Here is a site selling a portable folding version of the mirror box.

HT3579 karma

I wish I had more than one upvote to give you!

eelassirak5 karma

I wish you all the best luck in the world!

HT3575 karma

Much appreciated! Good luck on your future endeavors aswell!

StreetDwellerBoards4 karma

You should update us if you find one of these mirror boxes and try it out. Hope everything works out man!

HT3577 karma

Will do man! With all the research I have done, I've never came across this until today. I'm intrigued myself

Ebmoclas6 karma

If in doubt, give your nearest teaching hospital a call. They are pretty good at trying out these kinds of things. Good luck dude!

HT3574 karma

I'll look into that. Thanks for the suggestion!

ak_hepcat3 karma

There's an interesting therapy for PLD/BIID involving the use of mirrors. Can't remember where I read about it, but i'm sure google remembers.

Might be an interesting experiment for you to undertake, especially if it helps calm some of the phantom discomfort.

HT3572 karma

Ramachandran's mirror box is what you're referring to I think. That's what the video was about. Amazing stuff really

ak_hepcat2 karma

Yes. didn't click the link, just remembered about it. But you're aware, so good!

HT3573 karma

Didn't click the link?! Fuck it, have an upvote

cpt_grasshopper10 karma

Does leech therapy really work for you? In other word, is your hand healing properly?

HT35716 karma

In my case, I don't think that it really helped that much honestly. I'm fairly certain the crew at that hospital had never used leeches before. I hope they have developed better techniques for anybody who had it after me. It was a very unpleasant experience. However, with some research, you can find tons of successful cases. The leeches did what was intended(keep blood circulating through my hand into my fingers) but I think my fingers were just too damaged to recover from it.

joepadophile11 karma

Do you still keep in touch with your leech buddies?

HT35718 karma

I have not! Those blood suckers are mooching off somebody else now I'm sure. I need to get in contact with them. Apparently medical leech farming is a hell of a lucrative business

precordial_thump15 karma

Apparently medical leech farming is a hell of a lucrative business

It must be at $42.75/leech

HT35715 karma

The nurse who actually had the task of ordering them told me they were shipped straight from a farm in Tennessee(I live in Ohio). He said they pay $10 apiece for them. They make 30 bucks a leech after charging insurance

HasFuckedYourMom11 karma

Fucking leeches...

HT3578 karma

better yet! Fucking leeches leeching off leeches. Think about it!

thrilldigger4 karma

Just go down to the local bait and tackle shop and buy a bunch at $2/dozen, I'm sure it'll work just as well!

/s

HT3573 karma

Probably would in all honesty! Other than the increased chance of infection due to them not being sterile

markfl123 karma

I should imagine the leeches are in fact a one use item and are probably incinerated as medical waste once they're done...

HT3575 karma

I'm not sure if they incinerated them or not. However, they always dropped them into a jar that had alcohol in it. The nurse said it was to kill them immediately. Which I assume it did because they immediately released all inner fluids into the jar. Where they went from there I'm not sure

rabidstoat8 karma

To a big farm in the country, to play with all the other puppies.

HT3572 karma

I remember when I learned that there wasn't an actual farm. Sad day that was

captmorgan503 karma

We tossed ours in 70% IP Alcohol. Not a pretty site....

HT3572 karma

Not at all man. I probably won't ever forget that one

TauRho9 karma

I'm very sorry for your accident. I can't imagine how hard it must be. From your title I thought you were left with a stump, then I thought they had managed to get it back, turns out only kind of (still better than a stump, I guess?). I'm sorry if any of this question make you uneasy:

  • Does your tumb still work? Can you do anything with your right hand like hold things, kind of like a Lego hand? Or is too shaky and incapable?

  • Why they did not amputate the little finger too? It looks odd and unpratical... Or is it actually normal and it is just the pictures that don't give a good idea?

  • Have you ever considered procuring surgery to enhance/restore some eventual functionanility left on the right hand? Or there is nothing left to do/the risk isn't worth it/you're tired of the "surgery/post-surgery dance"?

  • Have you ever considered doing some sort of awareness capaign on the danger of certain equipment in order to prevent similar accidents?

  • Has it affected your professional life and how are you dealing with it at that level?

Keep up and best luck.

HT3577 karma

Great questions! My thumb moves ever so slightly. I can open it about a half inch and that's it. On a good day it can bear a decent amount of weight. Maybe 50 pounds or so. More than that and I get very shaky.

The little finger was actually the only one that didn't get cut off. It was perfectly normal at first. After one of my follow-up surgeries, it was wrapped up while it was fully bent. That was the last time it was ever straight. Scar tissue built up in my knuckles and the pinky is now flexed at almost a perfect 90 degrees at all times

I'm beyond tired of the whole surgery procedure. As of right now, the advances in a prosthetic over what I have isn't all that great. Other than cosmetically that is. By the time the prosthetic on my right hand would finish it's task, my left hand already accomplished for me. If they nail down the mechanics better to where a prosthetic hand behaves more like a natural one, sign me up.

I've never considered an awareness campaign. That is a great idea actually. I wanted to be a blood donor after my accident(If you're reading this and donate THANK YOU!!!! Your blood truly saves lives, mine included) but I guess if you have received a transfusion you are ineligible after that. I want to give back some how though. Equipment safety is widely neglected

I have no professional life at this point. I haven't worked since my accident and have just been coasting on savings. That has to change soon though. I gotta get my shit together.

Thanks for your questions. I enjoyed answering them. Upvotes on me

TauRho2 karma

Sorry for only repplying now and thank you for your answers.

I'm not elegible for blood donation but stories like yours make me want to (my blood type is pretty average though. I guess they always more, nevertheless).

I'm so sorry about your professional life. Hope you find some sort of knowledge job or something that doesn't involve much handwork. There is a woman who works at place I buy my glasses (don't know whether to call it a clinic or shop) who has no hand (don't remember which one) and does everything efficiently, so I guess with some pratice you could get a job at a small business (or bigger) as long as it doesn't involve excessive body effort.

edit: grammar

HT3572 karma

No need to apologize! Thank you for taking time to ask questions and reply back. I was hoping to get some real questions and not just hand jokes. Thanks for making this worth my time

notathr0waway18 karma

What exactly happened? Were you not paying attention? Did you follow all relevant safety procedures? Was there an equipment malfunction? Do you have any advice to people that work with saws and other heavy/dangerous equipment?

Also, props to your wife.

HT35712 karma

I was sliding a piece of wood onto the saw and trying to get it lined up in the proper spot(It was a hefty board about 16 ft in length). I followed all safety procedures to a tee. I blamed myself for it for so long but in the end the problem was that the brand of saw had foot pedal activation. I firmly believe these should be done away with on the market. Or at least have the 2-button method where you have to hit two buttons with your hands and then the foot pedal. In the frantic environment of workplaces these days, too much can be lost with just a simple misplaced foot step.

My advice is to always respect power equipment. It doesn't matter the size of the tool, it can always do damage(That's what she said!). All it takes is one simple thing and you could be dead.

notathr0waway110 karma

So you were maneuvering a piece of wood with the saw off, and inadvertently stepped on the pedal that turns it on when you weren't ready and your hand was right next to the blade?

HT35718 karma

Precisely. I didn't even think my foot was near the pedal. No cutting machinery should be solely activated by your foot

thrilldigger9 karma

I was thinking as I entered the thread "a pop-up saw? That better fucking not be foot-operated..." Man, I'm with you on getting those off the market, it's ridiculously stupid. Is there a particular reason for using a pop-up saw over a miter saw or a typical table saw (not the pop-up variation - and ideally the type that retracts on contact, though that can be pricy)?

HT3575 karma

No reason whatsoever other than to shorten production time. With the rolling tables attached to the side, you could put extra long pieces on and cut more in a shorter amount of time. Pop-up saws are the fastest one man saw to use pretty much. The two button method is much safer. Lose 10 seconds production time or one of your best employee's hands? Companies choose production every time

Kibbles936 karma

So uhh...I'll go ahead and be that guy. How many blunts do you smoke a day?

HT35713 karma

Well the Snoop in me wants to say 81! However, I can't even act like I have the cash to support that much. So the answer to that question, as a strictly medical patientcough, is about 2. Helps with the phantom pains. For real, no joke

canucks965 karma

Are you familliar with the Leech Lord from ASOIAF?

HT3573 karma

I am not familiar. Who is this imposter? There can be only one Leech Lord

Smmatt5 karma

[deleted]

HT35710 karma

You aren't going to hell man! Just grab my strong hand and i'll pull you out!

Maeby794 karma

Sorry if I'm slow. Do you still have your hand now? Is it functional or will it be eventually?

HT3576 karma

I have about half of my right hand. The pictures in the album I linked(hopefully you guys can see them?) are rather bleak in description. The pictures with the black background and hand I took this morning. That is what I currently have as a right hand. I have no real movement in it and workers comp deemed it as loss of use in my right hand. It will never get any better from here on out

eelassirak3 karma

vdk134 karma

If it can grab an egg without it bursting, you can fap with it..

This still very much looks like a very expensive piece of r&d work for now, but maybe in a few years time!

HT3575 karma

I doubt that it is readily available to the public. Watching closely, there's definitely some pressure sensing in that thing. When he grabs the egg you see it kinda back off and stabilize pressure. Maybe one day they'll master the art of prosthetic limbs

HT3572 karma

I was more so referring to my hand improving without a prosthetic. However, if they can speed that model in the video up so the fingers move faster, I might consider taking the leap

eelassirak6 karma

Yeah, fast-moving fingers would be pretty important to the wife. ;)

HT3576 karma

This upvote is from my wife. She said you deserve it!

BobFiggins3 karma

Can you describe the moment of the accident? How much blood was there, did you panic, scream, cry, have a moment of clarity and get help immediately?

How did you immediately treat the wound, ice, alcohol, bandages? Did you lose a lot of blood?

I always see these horrible posts, but if something were to happen to me, I'd like to know what could potentially happen right after this happens.

HT3572 karma

I think I handled it better than most people would have. I always had a high pain tolerance and not to mention I severed all nerve endings. The pain wasn't bad at all. More of a burning sensation than anything.

It sounds cliche but it happened in slow motion for me. The process of hitting the pedal to the saw being finished cutting takes about a second tops. When the clamp came smashed my hand down, it took an eternity for the process to complete. It felt like I tried pulling my hand out forever before the saw clamp let go.

The blood loss was massive. Right after, I looked at my hand and saw the white meat inside all mangled. A little bone was visible through the copious amounts of blood flowing out. I still have the jeans i wore that day with a few blood stains left. I panicked a little but tried my best to stay calm and keep a low heart rate. I told a co-worker to call 911 and he immediately rushed for the office to call. Another co-worker(who was a former marine) ripped his sweater off and made a tourniquet for me. He quite possibly saved my life with that move.

Immediate treatment was very meager. Other than a tourniquet and my co-workers keeping me level-headed, there was none. The paramedics put my fingers on ice once they arrived. Through the whole thing, I don't think I was in shock. I remained fairly calm the entire time. I know getting worked up would only increase the blood flow.

The worst part was my father asking me how much I lost. Never seen him cry that much in my life. Hope I never do again.

BobFiggins2 karma

Thanks for the detailed answer!

I guess on the last part I'm unsure; your father asked how much blood you lost?

HT3572 karma

Not blood. How much I had lost of my hand. It was already wrapped in a co-workers sweater by the time he got to the office. He only knew I had cut it but not how severe it was.

[deleted]3 karma

[deleted]

HT3575 karma

They were able to reattach them, they just died off over the course of a few months. It really comes down to how extensive the trauma is. Your shop teacher might have got lucky and got a clean cut across his fingers.

In my case, the blade cut at an uncommon angle. Spread your fingers apart and draw an imaginary line down your ring finger. It ends up at the base of your wrist below your thumb. That's my cut line. Blade split my ring finger down the middle. My little finger was the only one left

jimzord3 karma

What job do you do now, and does your injury affect how well you do your job?

HT3576 karma

I am currently unemployed. I have a 7 month old son that is a handful to take care of. However, savings is dwindling awfully fast, so I have to start doing something shortly. I'm completely stumped for what to do though. I've always worked with my hands and enjoyed being the craftsman. I don't have passion for anything like I did that. So I'm kind of at a major crossroad in my life right now and I'm hoping I can choose the right path. As far as affecting my job, some days I can't put any pressure at all on my hand from the pain. so I'm rather limited in options. It sucks

humanmichael12 karma

I'm completely stumped

i see what you did there

HT35712 karma

Upvote for catching that! That's the first joke on my own expense i've made since the accident

iLoveBirthmas4 karma

I have a 7 month old son that is a handful

ಠ_ಠ

In all seriousness I've had a family member with a somewhat similar experience. It's already hard enough as it is to get a job. I truly do wish you and your family the best of luck!

HT3572 karma

I appreciate your well wishes! It's hard for a lot of people out there right now

BobSacramanto3 karma

Sorry for your accident. I did industrial work for about 6 yrs and had a few close calls but nothing like that. I have a couple of questions if you don't mind:

Do you wish now that the doctors would have removed it cleanly at the wrist? Why or why not?

Also, are you in any kind of therapy or support group currently or since the accident?

Good luck Broseph!

HT3576 karma

You know, that question kept me up so many nights. I'm still unsure of the answer I want to settle on. At first, I was adamantly against going clean to the wrist. After each additional surgery where they just kept amputating further down my fingers, I completely changed my mind. I kept telling my wife I was just going to have them take it off because I can't deal with it anymore. It was rough. Things would seem to be getting better and then regress to only get worse and need amputated. Today, I'm still conflicted. Would i like to have a full hand that operates in form of prosthetic, sure! But this is my fucking hand damnit and I don't want to say goodbye yet!

As for your second question, no I am not in therapy or support group. Should I be? Probably! My wife tells me I need to find something or somebody who can relate and talk to me. I'm a bottle up my emotions type of guy though so I'm stubborn on that front. She'll probably win that war though eventually. She has mean drive

slight_anxiety2 karma

If it were me, I have to say I'd sever the whole hand. Get some kind of detachable hook set that can do badass shit -- like, make a handgun that attaches to the stump or something. Then you're just cool hook dude. That's not that bad a gig.

HT3572 karma

There really isn't a market for hooks that do badass shit. I wish there was!

BobSacramanto2 karma

Have you been told by your doctor that if you decide later to get it removed you can? Or do they say once it has healed they won't cut it off?

I have always felt that if I had something happen to me that made one of my limbs mangled or useless I would prefer it be completely removed. Of course it is easy to say that if you don't have to actually DO it, but anyways... plus, I have a bit of a weird sense of humor so I would be pranking people with my stump all the time.

There is a guy who I work with that had polio as a kid so his entire right arm just dangles uselessly and I can't help but think "Why didn't you just get it cut off and out of the way".

BTW, thanks for the AMA!

HT3573 karma

Yes, my doctor said I can have it removed if I so choose. I don't know if that is just because it was deemed loss of use or not though. If you still have movement in it they might not be allowed to remove it by law, i'm not sure.

Before my accident, I felt the same way as far as going ahead and chopping off a mangled limb. But after it actually happens to you, something changes. You don't want to let go of what you have. Maybe it's just because I had so many ups and downs with things getting better and then worse. I feel like I owe it to the parts that survived to keep them around. They're some battle tested bastards.

Thanks for contributing to my AMA! I totally thought I wouldn't have any questions to answer. It has been a pleasant surprise actually. This is why I love Reddit

iamaredditer2 karma

So do you have a permanent free pass cards on doing dishes, changing diapers, yard work?

HT3574 karma

You aren't married are you? Men don't get free passes! The wife is a little lenient on me watching our son. He's a wiggle worm and sometimes can be hard for me to hold. So she handles a lot of the fussy stuff(which is a blessing). But household chores? Bitch, get back to work

ILiveInFantasyLand4 karma

Damn right!!!! ;)

HT3578 karma

And in enters the Wife!

seal_raider2 karma

Wow, my heart goes to you. That is some rough stuff to see right there and I am glad that you lived to tell the tale. All too often I see patients (hospital chaplain) get taken down by infections we can't control or defeat.

I like to see the happy stories...

HT3572 karma

I'm surprised I never got any infections honestly. There were open wounds for the longest time. I had a few good talks with the chaplain who visited me and I'm not a very religious person. He was a good man

seal_raider2 karma

That's the deal...we exist to help folks no matter their faith or lack thereof.

HT3572 karma

Well keep up the work! He could tell I wasn't all that religious. He didn't try to force Jesus down my throat or anything. Talked to me like I was an old friend. You guys do good things

Kataclysm2 karma

Obviously that isn't your original thumb. Where did they get it?

HT3572 karma

Actually, that is my original thumb. Doesn't look like it though does it? Your thumb is quite beefy because all the action it gets. If you stop using it, it will lose muscle mass like any other part of your body.

iamaredditer2 karma

What activities other than work do you miss? I love to hunt and fish and the thought of not being able to load my own ammo and stuff would terrify me.

HT3572 karma

I am a big outdoors guy myself. Hunting and fishing run very deep in my blood. I'm still able to do both of those thankfully. Although I haven't had much time to do either lately, I very much look forward to getting back to my roots.

Loading a gun is a slow process for me but i'm actually still a decent shot. Not as good as I once was. I was an avid shooter before my accident. I'm still good enough that I wouldn't want to be an intruder in my house

vdk132 karma

Did you experience/feel anything when the leeches were attached to your hand, or was the damage to severe to feel anything?

Also, did you have leeches on your hand 24/7? And if so, how did other people react to that? (other than zomfg your hand is broken)

HT3572 karma

I didn't feel anything on my hand at all from the leeches. When they get full the just drop off and crawl away about their own business. It's impossible to sleep when you feel the slimey bastards crawling up your arms or down your legs in the middle of the night.

The leech therapy occurred while I spent my 15 days in the ICU after my accident. So nobody from the general public really got to see it other than hospital staff. My treatment was to have a leech on each finger.They had to be changed every hour, 24/7. Sleeping? Too bad, have some leeches! It's hard enough to sleep in those beds, let alone with leeches crawling over you.

iamaredditer2 karma

Did you have disability insurance? Have you looked into social security disability. If approved they will back pay to the time of your injury

HT3572 karma

I didn't have any insurance. Luckily Workers Compensation picked up the bill. I'd be a million dollars plus in debt without them.

I'm looking into SSD now. I'm afraid I'll get rejected because I'm so young. And i really don't want to have to deal with a lawyer. But I'll do what I have to I suppose

iamaredditer2 karma

I don't think that you will have an issue. Pretty tough to find a job with one functional hand. Not even telemarketing. too much typing involved. Good Luck in your future bro.

HT3572 karma

That was my thinking. Especially since every job I've ever had entailed working mostly with my hands doing physical labor. It's the rejection rates these days that scare me. Thanks for the optimism man!

heyhihellogabi2 karma

My dad had an accident involving a conveyor belt at a sawmill (I think) a few years ago. He lost his pointer and second finger, and his third finger is soldered together so none of the joints move. It is a rough journey for all involved. If I can find pictures of his hand I'll put them in this thread. Cheers.

HT3572 karma

Give your old man a hug and thank him for being the man he is! It's a hard road for sure

heyhihellogabi3 karma

Thanks! It's his birthday today too haha. He got lots of money from a settlement so a lot more of his medical costs were covered than was originally anticipated so I suppose that made it less difficult. Is there going to be a settlement involved in your case at all? (It turns out that a friend of a friend was the other person involved in the accident so that made it easier.)

HT3572 karma

I got a payout from Workers Compensation. Not nearly enough to cover medical costs if I had to though. The mental pain far outprices what I received as well.

heyhihellogabi2 karma

I might just be not reading very well but are you in the US? IIRC there is a payout amount literally per bodypart so you should make sure you were done right. But, you had leech therapy and my father did not, the surgeons just "smoothed out" I guess, his hand, because his fingers were mangled. And yes, that was a traumatic experience to have nightmares about, I can imagine.

HT3572 karma

Yes I am located in the US. I received a small payout(large to some I'm sure but not enough to pay for that) from workers comp. It was broken down by each finger and I received extra once they deemed it loss of use

iamaredditer2 karma

Do you still receive workers comp. I think benefits can last 84 months.

HT3572 karma

The regular payments for missed work, no. The payout for it being deemed loss of use, yes. That goes for 3 years from the day instated

mlarson292 karma

how much did the hospital stay cost you?

HT3572 karma

My initial stay was around a quarter of a million dollars. I've passed a million by now with all the follow up surgeries and physical therapy.

http://imgur.com/MTZGC

iamaredditer2 karma

I broke my right hand last yr and am right handed. It was a bitch to wipe my ass with my left. Just never seemed right. I'm sure you experienced the same thing bro.

HT3576 karma

Wiping left handed was so awkward at first man. Eating was too. The first day I was allowed to eat some food the woman wheeled my cart in and left it. I just sat there staring at it. I couldn't eat anything. I had so many wires in and on my left arm that I couldn't even raise it to try and eat. I cried, won't lie. This one nurse, not even from the ICU who just happened to be visiting another nurse, noticed me just sitting and came in to help. She seriously sat there and fed me like I was a baby.

But to cut to the chase, using silverware left handed was a pain in the ass for awhile also. Always dropping your fork and whatnot

iamaredditer2 karma

How bad is your handwriting?

HT3574 karma

Like a damn toddler! Writing lefty is ridiculously hard. How do you space the letters when you cover up what you write as you go? My right handed writing was okay, nothing great.

jhenryf6262 karma

What now is the hardest thing to do that you took for granted doing before your accident? I guess what I'm asking is what did you say, "Oh shit! I can't do that anymore!" to?

HT3573 karma

Just the use of your hands in general man. You don't realize how special we are as humans to have them. They are a precious thing, take care of your hands. My mental mindfuck lately is what to do when my boy is old enough to play catch. Worries and frustrations come and go daily. If there's a will to do it, there's a way around any obstacle

Hero_Of_Sandwich2 karma

I noticed it specifies the leeches are medicinal. What other kinds do they offer? Pets?

HT3572 karma

Not pets. I tried to keep one in the jar they killed them in. They said no :(

vjarnot2 karma

Didja sue that motherfucker?

HT3572 karma

No I didn't. My family has personally known the company owner for a long time. If I had sued, not only would the business probably have went bankrupt and closed, but my father would've been out of a job as well.

Also, companies purchase Workers Compensation insurance as sort of a fail safe. Workers comp agrees to pay all medical charges and compensate you, as long as you don't sue the liable company. If I had sued, everything I won would have went right back out the door to pay for the medical bills that workers comp no longer took credit for.

This way, my medical bills were paid(I've eclipsed the $1 Million dollar mark in bills) and I got a little money myself.

OfficiallyNotALurker2 karma

How has your life changed since your accident?

HT35715 karma

Just about every aspect of my life has changed since this accident. I would say that the biggest impact is that I'm just seriously not happy with myself anymore. I've always been rather humble and not one to boast but I was the type of kid who was just naturally good at anything I tried to do. Going from that to not being able to do simple tasks without help(god bless my wife and my bullshit she deals with) has killed me inside. The best comparison I have is the lion at the zoo who lost the fire in his eyes. I have zero determination these days.

stealer05172 karma

If you severed both of you're hands, how do you think you would masturbate?

HT3572 karma

Same thing I do now! Ask my wife to lend a hand!

[deleted]2 karma

[deleted]

HT3573 karma

I don't have a picture of the exact one I was using. It looks very similar to this one.

http://www.lps-inc.com/DSC00172.JPG

The one I was using was about twice that size. It had large tables attached to each side so it could be used for longer pieces of wood. The clamp that falls down was quite a bit heftier too. Notice the foot pedal also.