Welcome to Blood Week. We put out the call last week for your tales of of blood, violence, gruesome injuries, near-death experiences, mayhem, and blood. Many of you came through with submissions, which we'll be posting throughout the week. If you have a story and/or photos to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with Blood Week in the subject line.
Keith did a dumb thing. The image is above, but the actual injury—in all its grisly glory—is here. This is Keith's story:
I often play with tools—hammers, nail guns, razor knives, circular saws, and other real-man implements. Being a righty, my left hand usually bears the brunt of any damage. Since chainsaws require two hands, I've had a good safety record with them. At least until this past fall.
I borrowed a friend's arborist chainsaw, with a handy-dandy top-handle and trigger so it can be used more easily with one hand when safely climbing trees. Well, it can be used-one handed, but obviously it shouldn't be. Anyway, one evening after work, and after dark, I threw on a headlamp and headed into the yard to buck a tree I had cut down the day before. Even though I wasn't climbing trees, I decided to try out my buddy's saw. I cut off a few small branches, reached in with my left hand to move them out of the way and ... open goes my hand.
Skillfully and carefully I missed all bones and tendons—merely a flesh wound. It was nothing 10 stitches, followed up by a prescription for vicodin and beers at the best pizza place in town couldn't fix.
Keith even had a bonus finger slice story. The full, disgusting brunt of that injury can be viewed right here. But this is how it happened:
A few years back while cutting cedar singles, my razor blade slipped and ran head on into my the tip of my left index finger, which was helping my left hand brace off the table for better leverage—leverage to fork itself open in what ended looking like a bizarre fingernail clipper accident.
IMNotHipp has a tale of getting cut pretty badly and not even knowing it. Away we go:
As a 12-year-old, my fellow suburban friends and I enjoyed your typical outdoor hijinks in the summer—fishing, blowing up things, building treehouses. There was one lot nearby that was pretty barren except for about three blades of grass and an evergreen tree with a really low hanging branch. The branch had a lot of spring to it so we would do a cross between a Tarzan and a sling shot, pulling the branch back, grabbing hold, jumping and letting the branch swing us about 20 feet. As we swing we'd often get a little bump off the ground or push off with our feet since we'd start high, swing low, and end high.
One time I had a real good swing but bumped my ass off the ground pretty hard and came up limping. I thought I'd hit one of the many tree roots crawling along the ground. It was getting late and that swing seemed like the right time to call it quits and head back home. My butt was feeling a bit warm but I figured it was just sweat and the lingering pain from the bump. I walked through the door and when I turned to close it my mother screamed—yelling something in her native tongue that I couldn't understand and making my dad come running, thinking I had shit my pants. Actually, I hadn't, but I was wearing shorts and there were trails of blood running from my shorts down the back of both my legs —and since the lot was pretty dusty/dirty, the blood and dirt had mixed into what looked like a loose deuce.
I quickly stuck my hand down the back of my shorts and when I pulled it back around I saw that my hand was bright red. Turns out that when I bumped my ass I had hit a broken piece of glass. We were off to the emergency room to remove a 2-inch piece of glass from my ass. I got a nice scar that I proudly show to my wife to this day, calling it my shrapnel wound.
Phil is over 35 and still playing lacrosse in a league with others of a similar age. This, unfortunately, is what can be the result:
I'm a defenseman, and I stepped in front of a shot because the goalie had left the cage and subsequently made a turnover that was on it's way back to the net at about 80mph.
When the ball first hit my leg, it just went numb. Someone else picked up the groundball and made the clear and I limped to the sidelines trying to ice my rapidly growing calf with a frozen Gatorade bottle. It actually didn't hurt that bad, it was just swelling to grotesque proportions. Given that I am an idiot and it wasn't hurting, I actually went back in and finished the game. The next day it looked like this. Note the round shape that looks like a ball. That's because that's what it is. By the time I made it to a doctor, there wasn't much to do other than alternate ice and heat as the blood had congealed too much to drain.
It's been almost 4 months and I still have a knot under the skin that feels weird when I run.
Kyle is in the running for father of the year. Here's why:
A few years back I was summoned rudely from working in my garage/parental neglect while 'watching' my young sons and baby daughter when my oldest boy screams in pain. He was maybe 7 at the time and still prone to playing injuries up, so when I went inside to see him clutching his hand and asked him what happened, giving him the 'You'd better not fuck with my time' eye, he weepily told me he'd shut his finger in the sliding glass door and he was fine. I stupidly take him at his word and get back to my business. End of story, right? Wrong. Later that night I run the bathwater and order the boys in while I ready my daughter for the bath. They finish suspiciously quickly and I overhear my 7 year old tell his 4 year old brother not to tell dad something. As I've got a screaming toddler in my hands, I decide to put that into the 'shit to deal with later' pile and get on with the business of washing a small child. The tub is filled with bubbles from bubble bath, so I can't see the water, but sit my kid down in it. I grab a sponge and absent-mindedly empty it on the baby's head, then look down in utter horror. Blood red water was dripping all over her head and face, and all I can think of is that scene from one of the Ghostbusters movie where the goop comes out of the faucet and tries to strangle the infant belonging to the lady Bill Murray was nailing. She seriously looked possessed, and the water was loaded with vein juice. I rip her out of the bath and proceed to check every inch of her for lacerations. Nothing visible, so I assume that it's coming from her nether-regions and I am the worst father ever for letting my child sustain some sort of internal injury. I quickly swaddled her in a few towels and yell to the boys "WE'RE GOING TO THE GODDAMN HOSPITAL!" At that point, my 7 year-old yells back "FOR ME!?" I do a stutter-step and wheel around. He trots out of his room and presents to me his right hand. His middle and ring fingers are white as sheets and dripping blood at the fingernails, in addition to being cockeyed and obviously broke. He'd broken them at least two hours before bath time, and was so worried I'd be mad that he didn't tell me and sucked up the pain in the interim, allowing me to bathe my baby in his bloodwater. We all went to the ER, got him splinted, and went back to face the fury of my wife after being called home from book club at her friend's house. Needless to say, I spent a good week on the couch, and I never doubted that kid's pain tolerance again. Ever.