What did I do yesterday?

I’m glad you asked. I trephinated my own thumbnail.

Which would have been terrific, if that was what I was trying to do. What I was trying to do was drive a screw with a drill.

I did little hops, and used a couple of my sailor words.

I’ll be fine, and no permanent damage was done, but right now my thumb throbs, just a little, to remind me I’m fully mortal.

And a little stupid.


  1. Steve Lucas says:

    You should really leave this type of thing to professionals!! sl

  2. CardioNP says:

    Sounds like that thumb needs to be wrapped around a nice cold adult beverage.

  3. AuntSusie says:

    Well, weren’t you smart to treat yourself for hitting a thumb with a hammer – BEFORE doing so! Would you like me to send you a batman Band-aid?

  4. Ouch! Bet that will make your job easier, too … *cough* … 0.o

  5. What is challenging is to therapeutically do this to yourself when you have a subungual hematoma. I did this one time when the pain was really severe, and being a doctor, I didn’t want to go to the ER for treatment.
    What I ended up doing was to shave the nail with a single-edged razor blade until I made a small hole to relieve the pressure. I think I partially “numbed” the thumb in ice water first.

  6. Ouch. I did that with a sewing machine once. Now I keep my hands a little farther from the needle.

  7. Note to Greg P: here’s how you drain a subungual hematoma: unbend part of a paper clip, so you have a long segment, with still a bit of the bent part to hold easily. Heat the straight tip in a flame (ok, the flame part is tricky — depends where you are. There aren’t a lot of bunsen burners in ERs any more. You could use a stove, also) and then in a controlled fashion touch the tip to the nail over the hematoma. It burns through very nicely and quickly, and unless you are brutish, the hematoma, as it sizzles through the hole, will stop the clip from getting to where it would hurt. It’s quite impressive, actually.

    Note to Gruntdoc: Yikes!

  8. I watched my father do that once and was aware of the technique. I found that the razor blade shaving concept worked well and did not involve finding a sufficient heat source. To each his own.

  9. At least you weren’t using a nail gun. I stapled my jeans to my thigh once. That sure smarted and made me much more conscientious about power tools.

    And how about the guy who lost the top of his skull?


    Hundreds of people are thronging a hospital in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata to see a patient holding a piece of his own skull that fell off.

    Doctors say a large, dead section of 25-year-old electrician Sambhu Roy’s skull came away Sunday after severe burns starved it of blood.

    “When he came to us late last year, his scalp was completely burned and within months it came off exposing the skull,” Ratan Lal Bandyopadhyay, the surgeon who treated Roy told Reuters Wednesday.

    “Later, we noticed that the part of his skull was loosening due to lack of blood supply to the affected area, which can happen in such extensive burn cases.”

    The piece came off Sunday and hundreds of people and dozens of doctors now crowd around his bed, where he lies holding the bone.