Be careful with your needles!

Hi all,

Just thought I would share a nasty experienced with you all so you can be aware of dangers you might not think of. (Post Surgery picture included, just warn you) Also sorry for the long blog!

Back in August I moved in to a new house and all was well, house looked clean…or so i thought until one night I was in the bathroom and was taking the needle off my Novopen and dropped it in the “clean” sink. When I picked up the needle I accidentally got pricked in the base of my right index finger, nothing really, I grabbed some disinfectant and antiseptic cream and a little plaster and cleaned the wound, job done!

Not quite…

I woke up the following morning and thought I broke my finger in my sleep or something, then realized what had happened, so as I do with most things I left it a few days to see if it would heal. I said i’d give it the weekend and if no improvement I would seek medical advice, I lasted from Thursday to Sunday morning before I could take no more and headed to the A&E. I knew it was infected at this stage and the doctor confirmed this for me. They asked me to put my hand on a flat surface to x-ray it and my finger was locked in a hook shape and very painful. I was given plenty of morphine which was great because the pain went and I could finally get some sleep. After an hour or so they had to check my arterial blood gas to make sure I was OK Diabetes wise and when that was OK they said I would need surgery to remove the infection as it could not escape naturally as there was no wound due to the needle.

So after four trips to the operating theater I was given the all clear and told to rest for a few days until the bandage came off.

This is what greated me on that day…

Now came the physiotherapy which was the real nasty part. Well it started OK but then they had to really work the finger. As no structural damage was caused I had to try and move the finger all the way passively with the stitches in, and might I add this was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life (so far). I was on really strong pain killers. After 15-16 weeks in hospital I missed out on applying for College which didn't really bother me as I was put off doing what I wanted due to this experience (was going to do nursing). oh well!
Now just to clarify it wasn't all bad, I met a lot of really interesting people and made some friends. I learned a lot from this but it has hindered me alot, I still have limited mobility and still visit the hospital for new splints and toys but can still do most things.
So the lesson I suppose is to be careful with your equipment!
Again i'm sorry for the long blog but I just needed to get my story out for my own sanity I suppose.
Thanks for reading. :)

Gosh that is a scary infection and post surgery stitch job!

I need to ask? I bet your skin was not clean, right? Not just the sink…its something we all don’t do, wash to our elbows before doing our Diabetes checking stuff/equipment. We never can know whats lingering on our skin.
Being a Past Nurse, I saw lots of infections:(

Gosh I hope you heal up fast, and the pain gets better, bless our young heart, I sure feel for you…

I had washed my hands so i think it was from the sink. I’m OK now just limited movement and stiffness in the cold and damp, so Ireland probably isn’t the best place to live. I still haven’t used the finger for blood tests and don’t think I will, It still feels strange.

Wow!! I hope you heal soon and the pain stops. Looks so painful, so very sorry! Take care.

OUCH! Hope youre feeling much better soon.

Thanks for that! This is one reason why I wish there was something we can put clean or used needles in so that we do not leave a trail! I and several others I know have been known to drop clean and dirty needles - they fall out of my kit bag, they fall out of pockets, in to the bottom of hand bags etc. I know that BD was doing one of the little key ring pockets - in the USA but not in the UK! I was sent one and would love some more! So, if anyone feels like sending me some (for my friends and me!) please feel freee!

To get back to the subject. I am so sorry for all your troubles, but such a timely reminder to us all! I hope and pray that you will get back to full health with your hand!

This is a totally sobering story. I am really glad you are ok. It looks like you were within days of a much more serious outcome. I don’t know how much you appreciate that. Sometimes, we don’t really appreciate that an infection that can routinely be suppressed by a non-diabetic is a totally different story when you have diabetes and your blood sugar is elevated. The bacteria in an infection feed on the sugar, and a high blood sugar amplifies the infection. An exposure in a non-diabetic like you had would probably take weeks to get that bad if at all, but in a few days you had an infection that spread into your arm.

Thanks for sharing. Even I found your picture disgusting (which says something). And this is a clear reminder to all of us how to manage our blood sugars and promptly deal with wounds and infections. I hope your recovery goes well.

Good informative write up. All the best.

DUDE! Glad you got the morphine, but jeez! Every form of refuge has its price. I wish you the best in your recovery. JMJ!

Lyin’ Eyes. :slight_smile: I don’t own any of their albums, but they were a fixture of my youth. They were always on the radio.

WOW! I am so glad you got to that in time… I had a strep infection in my finger and ended up having to have it amputated… When I went to the ER for the finger, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and put in ICU. I didn’t actually view my finger until it had done some healing (too scared!), but I imagine it must have looked worse than that! Good luck in healing