Places my fingers have been!…and where they are now!?

Sunday, October 2, 2011 AT 15:18 PM Comments3 Comments

Everyone will be glad to know that this is not a ‘who’s who’ of my debaucherous mid twenties; It is, by ‘popular’ demand simply a picture of my finger tips which were snipped off following the frostbite I sustained on Everest.

It’s now over four months since I stood on the top of Mount Everest with a frozen hand having sustained a small case of frostbite around 7 hours before the summit (and when I was covered in my own p*ss and sh*t). Read about how this happened here.

And it’s just over two months since the demarcation of the dead tissue was significant enough for the surgeon to remove the redundant pieces of my fingertips without removing any of the remaining functional tissue.

Frostbite doesn’t ‘just’ make you look cool! It hurts! I genuinely didn’t get any sleep or real rest for nearly two months after summiting Everest as the pain, was constant, 24-7, as each of the affected cells and nerve endings in my fingers were exploding, slowly dying and attempting to naturally separate themselves from the rest of my living body. It’s a pain that is a good 9 out of 10, with a 10 being, ‘I’ve had enough of this now, where’s that gallon of Propofol?!’.

The fingertips were removed using a ‘guillotine amputation’ which basically means that the dead tissue is removed, with essentially a big pair of nail clippers, and a ‘CRUNCH’! (I was awake during the operation and couldn’t help watching my finger ends being pulled off – which was fascinating but maybe something I shouldn’t have done!…things like this is why I may seem to have a somewhat desensitised perspective?!); and, that’s it! They don’t do anything else, there’s no pain killers or antibiotics at this stage, they simply ‘put a plaster on it’ (that’s a ‘band-aid’ for our American friends) and send you on your way!. They DO NOT sew up the ends! (In order to try save as much of the length of the finger as possible). And it’s worked, you can hardly notice, other than the absence of the finger nails, any real shortening of my fingers, and I still have 99% of the function that I always did. My typing is still appalling, but my ‘short hand’ is improving! 😉 And the doctor insists I will be able to play the piano, which is odd because…(sorry old joke). I just won’t ever be able to use the phrase ‘it fits like a glove’ again…!

The only problem is that it’s still not quite healed and although it didn’t stop me going out on expedition over the last few weeks in Iceland (where we spent one very cold night up on the highlands slept in a cave without a tent), there is still a very small piece of bone sticking out of the end of one of the fingers which the skin still hasn’t quiet managed to grow over yet…which is just about starting to p*ss me off a little bit!

Having said that though, someone did tell me to ‘Man up, soft lad’ when I mentioned this yesterday, and they were of course, quite right! It is ‘just a scratch’, there certainly isn’t any reason to cry over the milk I’m ‘inevitably’ going to spill! 🙂

So, to cut to the chase, my finger tips served me well, and travelled to some interesting places with me, they’ve been up mountains, across oceans, ice caps and deserts, but have now clearly become superfluous, and as lightweight travel is a bit of an obsession and a necessity, this can be written off as a beneficial weight saving going forward!?

I would never say ‘my fingertips were lost’, because I know exactly where they are, they are here with me now, in a jar!…(and now I’ve varnished them they can be attached to links on my cufflinks whenever I want…you know, for a ‘special’ occasion!?)

I’m trying to save details, stories and images like this for the book I’m compiling, which still remains unfinished and without a publisher, and I expect will do for a while, if I am to get my way – stories from the field with concepts of human evolution and existentialism threaded through them, written with genuine insight, charisma and a sense of humour rather than what I would see as unnecessary grandiosity, and refinement for the absence of progressive sensibilities, is not of interest to a large enough market; apparently! Hmmm, if only I was prepared to ‘get my t*ts out’….! – Anyway that’s a disturbing thought for another day! Here’s a sneak peak as requested…


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3 Responses to “Places my fingers have been!…and where they are now!?”

  1. Alison says:

    Im impressed. You have humour! So trying not to burst out laughing. I don’t know why its so funny. brit black (haha) humour suppose. Get the nail clippers and do the last bit. I chopped my dogs tail bone off like that.

  2. James Elliott says:

    Mate, you are a machine. Don’t suppose there’s much likelihood of you packing this in and going back to the rat-race? If I ever was thinking of doing anything more extreme than climbing (??) Snowden, I’m coming straight to this website to calm myself down!

    Ps I’d definitely buy your book!

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