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Seeing the pros after 24 hours


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This is a gross thread. I'm sorry.

I cut badly last night. I was out of it, and didn't realize how badly I'd hurt myself. It bled a lot, but once I got it stopped I just covered it with a dressing and went to bed. Today, it hurts to extend my thumb, there's pain all down my arm and hand, and the wound is nasty deep. I got a good look at structures that aren't meant to see the light of day, if you know what I mean. I was actually shocked and nauseous when I changed the dressing today. That's never happened before.

I have first aid training, so I know how to care for cuts, even bad ones. I've had bad cuts before, and never an infection since I got the training. Thing is, I've never had anything like this. I've cut through the dermis many times, but this is a whole other ballgame. I'm sorry to be gross. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging. I'm just scared. 

If I see a doctor, what can they do? It's been more than 24 hours. I slept much too late. I'm kind of worried, because I didn't even butterfly strip this. It's just hanging open. I put some salve on the skin around the wound, and covered it up with a sterile dressing, but I'm concerned that I'm going to f*ck this up and wind up with an infection or other bad consequences. 

If I do see a doctor, do I need to go to the ER? Can I just go to a walk-in clinic? I've never had any kind of medical attention before. I always solved the problem myself. 

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Go to a doctor. They might tell you that there isn't much they can do... or they might be able to help. It's possible that left to heal on it's own that you will always have trouble moving your thumb in the future. They might be able to prevent that from happening.

If you go to a walk-in they might be able to deal with it... or they might send you to the ER.

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You need to see a doctor, I'm sorry :( I know that's not what you want to hear.

Go to the ER. With damage like that, a walk-in will refer you to an ER anyway... save yourself the second copay. 

You'll probably see a surgeon to look at the tendons and stuff for your thumb and see what damage there is and how "fixable" it is. They may also make decisions about closing the cut, what's possible at this stage of the game, and so on.

If you're scared, print out your post and take it with you. You can hand it to anyone and have them read it if you can't say stuff. It can at least help get the conversation going, which is the hardest part. The doctors and nurses are going to be concerned, but they also know you're going through a hard time. Remember they just want to help you. 

Let us know how it goes.

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I agree with the others. This needs to be seen. Even though you're past the time window for stitches, a doctor can still assess any structural damage. A bad wound like you're describing might require minor surgery to fix veins and make other repairs. You may also end up with follow-up appointments, which would be good in case of complications. 

I've had some scary close calls over the years, too. I know that feeling of dismay. The sooner you get it seen, the more helpful the docs will be to you. It's painful and hard to admit to a doctor that you hurt yourself. But like Geek said, they'll help you. It'll be okay. 

Hope you will keep us posted. Welcome to CB. 

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Thanks for the advice. 

I went into the ER today. It was an embarrassing experience, and I never want to do it again, but I'm not sorry I went. The nurse I saw in triage gave me the third degree about my other scars, but she was nice after that. I don't think she believed me when I said I wasn't suicidal. I had to talk fast and convincingly to get the staff to let me go home. The ER visit was bad enough. A hospital stay would be unbearable.

Anyway, I feel better now that I went, because they said the damage wasn't as bad as I was afraid of. The doctor told me the tendons weren't damaged, and the pain I was feeling in my hand was just from the injury site. It should go away on its own. He had a name for it, but I don't remember what it was. :rolleyes: I have a follow up appointment to make sure it heals right. 

I'm relieved, but now I keep thinking I freaked out over nothing/they must have thought I was pathetic. So logical. 

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Way to go! I know it's so hard sometimes. You'd not pathetic to look after yourself. I really wish they could all be trained on how to be respectful with SI complications. 

Do you have a therapist? Maybe you can work with them on reducing the likelihood of this happening again. 

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Good job! It's so hard to ask for help like that. I have been there and it is scary. You did good :)

I'm glad the damage isn't as bad as you feared and that you have a doctor monitoring it anyway. These are good things. You're not pathetic, you're brave. The staff don't think you're pathetic, but they are often confused. They just don't understand why we hurt ourselves intentionally. Training about it is getting better, but as Rosie said... they need more.

Be proud of yourself. You did a hard thing - you took care of yourself. That's good. :)

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Thank you all for the reassurance. It's nice of you. :)

On 1/4/2016 at 7:10 AM, WinterRosie said:

Way to go! I know it's so hard sometimes. You'd not pathetic to look after yourself. I really wish they could all be trained on how to be respectful with SI complications. 

Do you have a therapist? Maybe you can work with them on reducing the likelihood of this happening again. 

I don't have a therapist right now. I'm not in treatment for anything. The nurse who assisted the doctor gave me a list of referrals for psychiatric treatment, though. I haven't called any of the numbers yet, but I kept the list. I told the nurse that I hadn't been seen because I didn't think I was bad off enough for it, but she told me that self harm alone is a reason to get treatment. That gave me something to think about. 

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It is, in fact, a very good reason to seek help, and for exactly the reason that I mentioned. It's helpful to have someone in your corner who can help work with you to keep you safer from this type of injury. 

Im glad that you kept the list. I take my it to mean that some part of you, however small, is thinking about change or what could go differently and how. 

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I definitely am. I always thought I wasn't really ill, just kind of messed up, but what she said stuck with me. I don't even know very much about mental illness. My friend has bad depression, and I've spent a few nights with him just so that he wouldn't hurt/kill himself, but that's really the only experience I have with it. I didn't research or anything, just...tried to be there. 

Thanks a lot for the support. :) It's appreciated. 

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I'm pretty sure that, when it comes to physical health, people who are feeling just kind of messed up are allowed and able to access services - it's not reserved for those who are really ill. Mental health is no different (it still falls under the classification of 'health care services') - if you have questions you're allowed to go to the doctor and just ask questions. And if something hurts (and hurts badly enough that you act it out in some way, such as through SI) then it definitely deserves compassion and support and education.

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When you put it that way, it makes sense. I guess I hadn't thought of it like that. Someone who goes to the clinic to get a piece of glass taken out deserves help just as much as someone who lost their leg in a motorcycle wreck. That...puts a different spin on it. 

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