My Recovering Hand, Two Months After Being Mauled By A Dog

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It’s been two months since my terrible dog bite accident, and I thought I’d provide you all with an update on how things are doing. For those who are unaware, the brief outline is that I got bitten by my parents’ dog on my left hand on the 23rd of December, and I required fifty (external) sutures. You can see the gory pictures here.

I took a bunch of photos, and I compare how my unscathed right hand looks vs. my damaged hand in the pictures below.

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It is what it is. It’s more or less regained full flexibility and functionality, although the scars are still sensitive to temperature and friction. My hand feels especially rheumatic in the morning, but it doesn’t necessarily hurt. It’s like a 1 or 2 out of 10 on the pain scale.

As a reminder, this is what it used to look like, when it felt like a turgid Frankenstein hand:


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A close up of my palm. The flesh feels hard underneath still. I like it when my hand is being massaged and kneaded. It provides utmost pleasure.

 photo IMG_4299.jpgI’ve been diligently placing silicone scar sheets on the back of my hand, trying to diminish the redness and raisedness of the scars. I also paint my fingernails because it makes me feel pretty. 😥

 photo IMG_4300.jpgAnother close up; looks like an angry red welt of a caterpillar.

 photo IMG_4301.jpgA swollen ring finger. My hand therapist alluded to how a wedding band might feel irritatingly loose on my finger. Or maybe I’ll shove one down that bulgy knuckle and it’ll never be removable.

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My fist, with the seam where my knuckle used to be fit to bust. My ring finger used to feel a little numb, but the numbness seems to have gone away.

Unsurprisingly, my hand feels and looks worst when it’s in motion. In the pictures below, you see where my skin and flesh is straining under the additional tension, what with my meat being debrided and my hand getting a facelift. My scars also turn freakishly purple in these subzero climes.

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You see how I’m cupping both hands to the same degree in the picture below, but how my left hand has a lot more white and red? The parts where the skin is paler is where my flesh is exceptionally knobby and hard. It struggles to crease where it used to crease. photo curling.jpg

How do I feel about all of this? Hmm. I would have preferred that it didn’t happen. It definitely casts a wincing shadow upon most things I do with my hands, and it is pretty high up on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. But it did happen, and I think I’ve made the most of it, and I’m glad I’m recovering well with no complications. I absolutely despise the perennial feeling of having super glue on my hand, all tight and caught up, but whaddyagonnado. I’ve had maybe <5 dog-related nightmares since the incident, so I’m pleased about the lack of PTSD. I haven’t petted a dog though, so maybe I’ll feel differently when that happens.

Oh well. Life goes on. My damaged hand is now an acceptable story to repeat to hairdressers and manicurists. I may even tolerate an asinine joke about the dog being the victim in this situation.


The Author

Singaporean in NYC, analyzing relationships with a boozy brownie in hand.

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