I have four stitches on my baby finger

I have four stitches on my baby finger



Todd has 4 stitches in his pinkie finger after paddling tonight – photo Deb Martin

It was a freak accident.  I was paddling lead stroke on the left side of the
dragon boat.  Since I was also coaching, I looked over my shoulder, and
lost my paddling focus. I must have lost my bottom hand grip on the paddle, because I have a very strong top arm drive… and as my top hand came down,
I smashed my little finger between the paddle handle and the boat. I have never
known anybody to have an injury like this. 

Julie… thank you for suggesting Mt. Saint Joseph's. It is the perfect
hospital for a dragon boat injury. After the stitches were done and
cleaned up – we walked out the door, and noticed a mural with dragon
boaters and the name Saints Preserve Us – which is the name of the
dragon boat team of hospital workers of Providence Health Care.

I always emphasize
paddlers to keep their top arms out of the boat… and bring it down –
outside the boat. Maybe this will serve as a lesson to what happens if
you bring your hand down inside the boat… or take your eyes off the
lead stroke. I should have kept my eyes on Wendy – my bench mate!

Deb has been great – driving me to the hospital and everything… 
There were no line-ups and a very short wait at the emergency room.   Mt. Saint Joseph's. It is the perfect
hospital for a dragon boat injury. After the stitches were done and
cleaned up – we walked out the door, and noticed a mural with dragon
boaters and the name Saints Preserve Us – which is the name of the
dragon boat team of hospital workers of Providence Health Care.  I have been friends with organizer of the team Susan Hyde for several years, and bumped into her at St. Paul's Hospital last week when I went to see leukemia patient James Erlandsen (we taped a City TV interview to help publicize James' need for a Eurasian bone marrow donor).  The “Saints” often practice at the same time on the water as Gung Haggis.

I even had my finger sewn up by a famous doctor.  Dr. Daniel Kalla is author of  Pandemic.  Even then, Deb still wouldn't go get the camera…even after I told her I wanted before and after photos of my finger. Deb is a big fan of television shows such as Gray's Anatomy, House and ER  Upon arrival, I kidded with her asking where were all the great looking doctors and nurses?  She begrudginly agreed that Dr. Kalla fit the bill, in an ER Goran Visnjic kind of way.

I
have to keep the bandage on for at least a day.  But I think I will be
very careful with it.  We shall see how it feels for race day on
Saturday.  Maybe I will steer or drum, or do lead stroke with a rubber
glove on it.

Thank you everybody for your support.  I know Jim thought I should go to the hospital right away… even though the accident happened 2/3 of the way through practice.  My bag was passed up, and I wrapped up my finger in one of my stretchy paddling shirts to keep the tension on my finger, prohibiting the bleeding.  We did some more races pieces, and a cool down – then our regular practice debriefing – before going to the hospital.  Unfortunately, I had to miss Tuesday Night Food Club with the gang.

But I now have a Hello Kitty band-aid on my right shoulder for the tetnus shot…. thank you for the band-aid Julie!

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