It's been over four weeks since I tried to chop off my finger. I realize I have a problem and am going to stop cutting. I promise.
I have never been more compliant. I have followed every order from my doctor, washed with antibacterial soap and non-cistern water, squirted with peroxide, applied Neosporin, not picked my nose. See? Totally compliant.
Now, all the stitches have fallen out. The swelling is down, but my left index finger is about as big around as a thumb. To say I don't have feeling in my finger would do a great disservice to the nerves at my knuckle that remind me when I try and bend it that it hurts. But I don't have any feeling in the tip of my finger.
This whole ordeal has been strangely good for Katie and I. I have had to ask for a lot of help: tying shoes, buttoning shirts, opening anything. Katie always helps. Patience is not her strongest virtue, but she has done a lot in the last month to strengthen that quality. And it is humbling for me. To select my clothes and then have my wife button my pants. Now with the stitches out there should be a return to normalcy. For examples, with my stitches out I now no longer need help bathing.
Luckily there is no pity here in Haiti, or I might have felt sorry for myself. My coworkers have been quick with jokes- one even referred to it as a paper cut. My Haitian friends have been very inquisitive about my finger. Machete and machine accidents are not uncommon; from their reactions I think it is almost certain that had this accident happened here in H I would have lost half of my finger.
With all of the stitches out my next step will be to start physical therapy exercises. I have a ball to squeeze, and I am trying to contact a physical therapist here in Haiti. More stories will come, and the moment I can make a closed fist or a flatten my hand I will post a picture here.