Miscellaneous Rumbles

So I went to the doctor…


...two weeks after a fool's incident with a breakoff knife, wherein I durn near sliced the tip of my left index finger off.

Whilst it was still fresh and bleeding, I washed it, squeezed it shut, wrapped it up tight with multiple band-aids, then held a pack of frozen peas with my hand above the plane of my heart till the peas melted. The bleeding had stopped, so I left it at that.

It's never really hurt much, and my main concern was getting back to playing guitar - which I started trying a few days after, still band-aided.

A few days ago, I thought it might have healed up tough enough to play without the band-aid, and it had - but it opened up a bit while playing.

So I went to the doc. He said they would have stitched it, but it was healing fine, nothing to worry about.

"But I play guitar," I said.

"For the next few weeks, you play slide," he said.


Silly guitarist, tricks are for kids.

Get better, sir.


So we'll just call you Ry Cooder for the next few weeks.


"For the next few weeks, you play slide," he said. Proteus

I guess the good news is that your physician understands YOUR concerns.....

I hope it heals well for you, Tim.


My sympathies for losing your job as sous chef.


Nice doc, at least he could have prescribed a bottle of Coricidin.


My last similar faux pas was with a cleaver in the early 2000's, whacked my left index finger at the first knuckle quite good taking a chicken apart...it was ugly but I got lucky, everything healed normal.

I had my ENT appointment late on Wednesday, they want to do an MRA on my brain.

My biggest fear is they will come back with comments I have heard before...

"Unremarkable" in most every way.


Heal quick.


Yuk, I did exactly the same, but on my right index finger (I'm basically left-handed in all but name), about 5-6 weeks ago. Sliced vertically down the middle of the tip of the finger. Bled like a madman, but seemed to glue together and heal up pretty quick. Now I'm not so sure as there's still an unpleasant and unusual feeling down in the mix somewhere.

No, I didn't go to the doc's either...


Please heal well!

I first thought the topic was about another doctor visit... : (I went to the doctor, not so long ago, a-walkin' in a circle, a-moanin' low. He looked at me and said "Good Lord above, son you need a vaccination of a...). But, well, that's another one - played with a black duo jet Gretsch of 1955...

Me too, I dropped an engine on my finger-picking thumb. A month ago. Broke it. Told the doctor I play bass and guitar, he said "Oh in that case you need at least 3 weeks to keep the support and just rest..."

Am back here playing without further pain, but looks like the nail gets off soon...


Aw shit, I did this 7 weeks ago... but mine was with a circular saw! Took half the nail, 5 stitches, blade went right in perpendicular to the finger tip - fractured the bone!

It took about 5 weeks for the scabbing to finally wear away, and I had to pull a couple "dissolving" (they did not) stitches out myself to aid healing... the numbness went away to be replaced by hyper-sensitity at the scar location... but here I am 7 weeks out and I can finally start playing again WITHOUT the finger tip protector... so I can start building a callus again.

It's taken a long time (nails and nail beds do), but all is well and I should be back to 100% in another month. In the meantime, I've still played with the other 3 fingers (it was my left middle finger) to keep the calluses up, and the finger protector worked great to get me through rehearsals as the healing continued.


Sliced through to the bone with a Stanley trimmer on my left index finger, top joint once. Needed a tetanus injection and the finger tip was numb for about a year afterwards. Doctor said he would have put some stitches in but there was no room. So after that I jammed my right finger between two big blocks of limestone landscaping my back yard. Probably the most painful thing I have ever done - nearly vomited! Took a month or two for the nail to fully come off and the new nail has never been as good.

So now both fingers have arthritis. The right one is worse - I think 40 years of playing guitar has permanently twisted the last joint of that finger so it aches sometimes but I can still play. If you call what I do playing.


Yikes! But you'll be healed up just in time for Nashville!


Man, I feel you. I did this to myself a number of years ago. Same finger too, left index. Only I was chopping leeks for soup and took about the right quarter of the tip of the left index finger nearly off. Doc stitched it back on and it was good to go though. I still have a loss of sensation in that part of the finger though. The sensation isn't completely gone, just muffled, like a cheap humbucker

Hope you heal well, and quickly Tim.


Happy that it seems to have worked out well!


Razor sharp hatchet, opened up a big flap on the pad of my left index finger, nuff said!


GEEZ you guys. Most of these tales prickle the hair on the back of my neck, and make my mishap look trivial.

Three things.

  1. We gotta work on our priorities, are we men - or are we guitar players?

  2. I think I remember hearing that Chet's family ran constant interference to keep him away from power tools. He was an irrepressible tinkerer and experimenter, and surely enjoyed such work. You can imagine the family quietly stashing every power tool he bought. "Hey, anyone seen my new Roto-Zip?" "Nope."

  3. OK then, time to one-up injuries-that-affected-playing stories.

I've done the engine-block smash. The car was a Dodge Colt (times were hard), the engine came from a junkyard in the back of my pickup truck. My engineer brother Andy helped me hoist the old one out with chains thrown over the ceiling joists in Dad's garage, then rassle the "new one" into place. Lots of opportunities for hand smashing, and I only took advantage of one of them - left thumb. (The engine worked when all was done, btw.) Of course it hurt like hell at the time, and then it swole up (hillbilly talk for a hillbilly misadventure) and throbbed, and the fingernail turned black, and I had a gig. Mostly keyboard at the time, some guitar. With repeated musical hammering, it got worse and worse through the first set and something had to be done.

With the band seated around a table at break, I acquired a safety pin and heated it cherry red in the flame of the mood candle on the table, then sunk it hissing and smelling like burning horn into my thumbnail. Came a satisfying pressurized geyser of blood-pink yellowy foaming puss, surely (to make the story more vivid) spraying at least a couple band members with my putrified DNA. (Cue shot of guys - and wives - cringing, making faces, twisting away in their seats, making ick noises.) It felt better instantly and I finished the gig happily. Eventually the nail fell off - and, yes, it takes a long time to grow one back.

And a bonus twofer! Normally I try to inflict all the suffering of my art on the audience. But there have been exceptions.

Oncet upon a time I owned a Datsun B-210. The first time I'd seen one, I'd thought "hmm, that car looks topheavy and unstable. Bet it rolls over easily." A few years later I bought one, used. It was orange, it almost seemed like a sports car, I was stupid. On a twisty hilly southern Ohio road (between Logan and McArthur, OH, if more specificity lends verisimilitude to my tale), I dropped a wheel off the pavement while pretending I was sports-carring a curve, I over-corrected, it went into a high-speed wobble and then - yup, rolled right over! Twice! If I hadn't stuck my head out the window after the first one, it probably wouldn't have rolled briefly over said appendage on the second roll.

Among other things, I broke my jaw. Wellsir, my teeth had never met perfectly - you might say I didn't have a spokesmodel bite - so Dr. Cutright (you can't make this stuff up) of Lancaster, OH, who got the job of setting it, said "Just put it where you think it feels right, and I'll wire it up."

I did and he did, sending me away with numerous tiny rubber bands clamping together hardware wrapped around my teeth, and a hemostat to yank off the rubber bands in a gotta-throw-up emergency. (Which never happened.) But I did get to drink milkshakes through a straw for six weeks, till fur grew on the backs on my teeth. (I tried one pureed Big Mac. Just one.) Naturally, I also had to talk through clamped teeth.

And sing - because the show must go on. It's not that Mooses-Elks-Eagles-Oddfellows-Veterans and Legionnaires were clamoring for the band, it's that we all needed that 300.00 split four ways. So I sang through clenched teeth in a kind of enforced Springsteen impression. I did my harmonies ("Heartache Tonight" was never more heart-felt) and my lead vocals - I especially remember "Sentimental gentle wind, blowin' through my life again, sentimental lady gentle wine" mostly because all the "sents" went considerably north of the rest of the melody, and the strain felt especially eye-popping. I also looked ridiculous, but as usual no one cared.

But I promised a twofer. Somehow before the aforementioned gig I had also contracted poison ivy between my fingers, which were blistered up and felt sandpapery when rubbing together (as fingers seem to do when playing musical instruments). I vaselined them, which added a layer of glutinous viscosity between the sandpaper, till it piled up on tops and bottoms of fingers (and all over the instruments). Not that I noticed till someone pointed out there was blood all over my hands (and keyboard, and guitar). So it turns out blood lubricates as well as vaseline, who knew!

Suffering for my art, I guess.

This little nick now is nothing. Why, it's just a flesh wound!


slide guitar works best with open tuning.

seriously though, get well soon Tim.


Been there, done that, played gigs soon afterward. Liquid skin, custom cut bandages of the plastic variety work wonders. Heal quickly, Tim.

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