Tuesday, June 26, 2012

That one time I shut my finger in the car door.

There are a few things I need to preface before sharing this story.

One: I have inherited clumsy genes. Most of the time it's just simple bumps, scrapes and yelps of desperation and pain that Steve has now learned to ignore.

Two: I have only had stitches 3 times in my life previous to this event. The first time I was 2-ish. I was chilling at home with my Dad taking a sick day from church. (my father is the person I have so delightfully inherited my clumsiness from) I, being the already destined clutz, stood up in my high chair fell out and bashed my forehead on the sharp edge of the counter. My poor queasy father braved the storm and rushed me to the hospital. There was some sort of fruit pie involved. I cannot confirm the whereabouts or involvement of said pie in relation to the accident, but it is always mentioned in the stories telling so I imagine it played some sort of role. You can imagine the terror witnessed by my family on their return home. The other two times were for my wisdom teeth and an unfortunate ingrown toenail back in my point shoe ballet days. Those two don't really count in my opinion, not to mention the stories are quite dull. Now that I think about it my father accompanied me to all three of these events... interesting...


The day had been a fine one... lovely but quite boring. I had slept in late and just enjoyed a saturday full of TV shows and lounging. Like I said lovely. Steve had been at work 9-4. He had plans to go "jam" with a bunch of guys from work and an old friend for a couple of hours that night. When he got home from work we ran to grab some food before he went. We jovially hopped out of the car, ready to stuff our faces. Not a care in the world... this is when lovely and boring turned bloody and tragic. It took me a minute to realize that my finger was stuck in the door. It was comparable to one of those moments in the movies where everything surrounding you begins to move in slow motion. I came out of my momentary shock/coma and started screaming. My finger was shut and LOCKED in the car door.

In the time it took Steve to run around the car and unlock the door I somehow had the time to think the following...

what if my finger isn't attached when the door opens?
why is Steve not getting around the car faster?
how on earth did this happen?
oh my gosh my finger is shut in the car door.
I'm going to need stitches...
I do not want stitches...
I wonder if I can get out of going to the hospital.
I hope that my finger is still there.
ow .....

Those are just a few that I can remember.

As the door opened the blood started flowing and the pain got worse. I crouched in the parking lot and let the blood drip. drip. drip. accumulating on the asphalt. Steve ran in to the restaurant and got napkins. Meanwhile a bunch of people were standing behind me... staring I think... I didn't dare turn around and see.. I was crying pretty bad at this point. We jumped back in the car. As I put pressure on my finger and Steve drove us to the hospital (less then a mile away). I had time to yell while spouts of tears flew down my cheeks....

What if my finger falls off?
What if I just have a stub for a finger?
It hurts so bad.
Don't get in a wreck I am not wearing a seatbelt!
What if I'm pushing too hard and my finger falls off?
It's bleeding so bad!
I'm ruining your band again!! (a joke made by a mission companion saying I was going to ruin their dreams of a band. This companion was the kid coming up to "jam" that night..)
I don't want to get stitches!
I really don't want to get stitches!!
I am such a baby.
owie owie owie!
I can't believe I'm crying so hard. followed by giggles
I'm scared...
Steve don't tail that mini van you are going to crash and kill us.

(Steve was so calm during this all. I am pretty sure he was doing his best to hold in fits of laughter...)


We got into the emergency room and I was shocked to find everything so calm. ERs are always so crazy and hectic. I have probably been watching too many medical shows. I guess I had anticipated people running to my rescue. No such rescue. We had to wait in line. Seriously? I was furious. We had to sit for half an hour behind a bunch of people with babies. They weren't even crying. What kind of emergency could they possibly be in? After the long ridiculous wait we finally were up. The lady that was helping us could not keep it together. She asked me for my birthday a billion times. Then couldn't find my info. Finally she found me and said, "oh i guess I got your birthday wrong, woops." I thought some pretty unkind things in my head... I don't feel bad. This lady was stupid. After all that she so kindly and apologetically informed us that we would have to wait for another 20 minutes. I am pretty sure she could see the annoyance and frustration on our faces. Yup. So we sat in the waiting area and I let the tears stream down my face.

When they finally got to me a doctor came in and looking surprised said he would have someone else come check it too. I guess it was surprising or something? The next doc came in and decided it was a good idea to x-ray it. I was pretty sure that it was broken. It hurt like mad. We got back to our room and waited for the doctor. As the third doctor came in he so kindly pointed out that I must have been in pain because it looked like I had been crying... No duh. Thank you for pointing out that you have noticed the mascara running down my face. Where are your people skills and common sense. I just shut my finger in the door causing it to break and split open of course I cried you fool. Thanks for reminding me of how good I look in the mean time.

They had to stick needles at the base of my finger to numb it. It was not pleasant. It felt like they were trying to stick the needle all the way through my finger. It did not feel very nice. My finger got all gross and swollen. However, Steve and I enjoyed watching them stitch my finger up. It was very gross. I will spare you the photos of my finger after they numbed it up.. It got pretty real there for a minute. The doctor explained that what we were seeing was "subconatneos fat," squeezing out of the wound.... ew. Finally it was finished. They put my finger in a splint. And told me I would have to see a specialist in a week and I could get the stitches out in 10 days....

Seven stitches and a fractured finger. yay.


A week after the catastrophe I had to go see a plastic surgeon about my finger to make sure that it was healing properly. It was a very... interesting visit. The doctor first admired my wedding ring.... and then at the end of the visit asked how much he could buy it from me for because his wife would really like it.  I laughed thinking it was a joke, he didn't understand. I think he was serious.. Creepy. Anyway so he put my finger in a bent splint and told me to come back in a month. He wanted to make sure that my tendon hadn't been severed or I would need surgery to fix it. He made my try and bend it. It felt like all of the stitches were going to pop out. It did not feel good. It was terribly painful actually. Luckily I did not need surgery and my finger has healed pretty well. I have a nice little scar but all in all it seems pretty good. They were surprised at how well it has healed. I guess I am lucky. 

There you have it, the story of how I shut my finger in the car door and survived.

See for yourself.

I guess I should be grateful, the doctor who stitched me up did a pretty good job. You can barely see the scar.


  1. Melissa, you are too funny! I love this post :) Sounds like its one of those experiences that was absolutely AWFUL at the time but then when you look back on it, it gives you a good laugh. I've had many of those, I am also pretty clumsy :) So you're not alone there! Glad everything healed ok :)

  2. I really like your commentary on reliving your ordeal. :) Just was wondering if your "after" picture was taken a month after your incident, or was taken later than that?