My left hand

Any squeamish readers out there in Blogland need not read further.

This story begins with my dear brother who, for the purposes of this story, we’ll call Terry. It was a sunny Mother’s Day and Terry was cutting the front lawn with a push mower. It was the early 50’s, I was three and a half years old. I remember it like it was yesterday; no, I remember it better than yesterday. I was a precocious child and I’d decided that the stick I was playing with was too long by half so I reached over toward the spinning blades of the mower thinking how cool it would be to have my stick automatically halved by the mower. I’d had a lot of trouble with my sticks in the past because I wasn’t allowed to play with anything sharp. There is a lot of controversy, as one might expect, in my family about what happened next. Did I reach too far? Did Terry change direction or try to scare me? He was good at that. In an instant blood was everywhere, left thumb hanging by a thread. I ran into the house to show my poor mother what Terry had done to me. She promptly fainted. It wasn’t pretty. A neighbor heard all the commotion, ran into our house scooped up me and my recovering mom and, in the most frightening out of control car ride of my life, got us to Children’s Hospital in time to sew my left thumb back on, something that was brand new to medicine. Thanks, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The next story finds that person, Terry, inches from catching me as I run breakneck through the house towards my escape route, the basement stairs banister which I would routinely grab and swing under out into the basement floor, gaining me 3 or 4 steps on him. This time he is very close to catching me so I grab the banister higher than I ever have before. Ha, it worked again, but as I hit the floor running i notice a numbness and a tingling sensation in…you guessed it MY LEFT HAND.

Dear readers, no one should see that far inside their own body.

I ran up the stairs holding the open gash which was my left hand and of course my poor sainted mother who was the first on the scene promptly fainted and it was déjà vu all over again.

Years later, alone in a motel room, a slight miscalculation while cutting an apple with an ungodly sharp knife landed me in the hospital with a date and a team of hand specialists to repair the tendons in MY LEFT HAND!

Oh I could go on, with various cuts, slashes, and deep pokings, some requiring lengthy hospital stays. I suppose I should mention that I became a professional bass player with that left hand in spite of my propensity toward self mutilation.

Why burden you with my tale of woe?

This morning, while installing our new Iota 90 Amp battery charger with built in IQ4 featuring LED Indicators, I managed to gash my poor left thumb with the same knife that I used to do almost the same thing two years ago, while dry-walling the kitchen in our old house. That required 4 stitches to close but we sailors are made of tougher stuff.


My wife, sainted in so many ways, was not born with the nurse gene, and is as squeamish as it gets, much like my mother. When I calmly asked for a bandaid, ok a lot of bandaids, or a really big bandaid, she started hyperventilating and suggested a trip to the pros. In the end she managed to get a couple of butterfly closures on the gash before having to lie down for a while.

The bleeding seems to have stopped. Marce has recovered.

I had hoped that moving onto a boat would change my luck.


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4 Responses to My left hand

  1. Martin

    I’m not really squeamish, but your left-handed history is grimace worthy, particularly due to the fact I’m left-handed.

  2. Anita

    I thought that you were going to say that your sainted wife “fainted”. Way to go Nurse Marce. I hope for a fast, speedy recovery to you Jack.

  3. Wendy Boyer

    Ouch! I see Marce had enough wits about her to document the debacle. Maggie would be proud. May I suggest a painkiller (yummy, fruity rum drink) to take away your woes. Hope you feel better soon!

  4. Yikes! I share Marce’s squeamishness and applaud her ability to wield butterfly closures. And I agree with Wendy about painkillers! Be careful the next time you pick up a tool!

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