Saturday, March 4, 2017

Gnarly, Stubby, and Gimpy and Maybe a New One?

We've been advised to explain who Gnarly, Stubby, and Gimpy are.  We've briefly said that these are injuries Kevin had in 2014.  It's time to tell the backstory.

Kevin and I do not celebrate Valentine's Day.  We met on February 15th, and celebrate that instead.  In 2014, Kevin and I decided to do our celebrating for the 15th on the evening of the 14th.  During the day, Kevin knocked the SkilSaw off the table and broke the safety guard off the blade.  After dinner we were just a few miles from Lowe's where we could have gotten a new saw quite easily, but we were in the middle of laying new floor in the house and Kevin worked on the floor in one room all day long, and he was tired. So we came home without a saw.

The next morning, Kevin decided to do a few more rows on the floor and try to finish up the room before church.  I was still asleep while this was happening.  He rushed in the house yelling, "Becky, I need help!" He had the fingers of his right hand curled into his palm and blood was EVERYWHERE. I got him to put his hand under running water while I grabbed a towel for his hand and then got dressed.  I wish I'd grabbed some ice but that didn't cross my mind.

We went out to the car and started toward Moses Lake (a nearby town with a larger hospital than we've got here in Ephrata) when Kevin tells me, "I guess they'll call me nine-fingered Jack now." "What are you talking about? Did you cut off a finger?"  He opens his hand to show me the finger that was now residing in his palm. I was not at a point of no return when he told me this, so I make a right-hand turn and head toward Wenatchee, where an even larger hospital is.  I guess I need to say that Moses Lake has a population of 22,000, and Wenatchee is at least twice that size.  Before this story drags on into perpetuity, I'll just say that he did, in fact, cut off the middle finger, and damaged the extensor tendon of his index finger.  After a couple of surgeries to try to reclaim usability in that finger, it is curled a bit, and the knuckle is perpetually swollen.  Index finger is Gnarly, middle finger is Stubby.

Gimpy comes into play exactly two months later, when he is out in the field doing field work and while he was heading downhill, his knee gave way.  He couldn't really walk on his leg and made an appointment the next day with an orthopedic surgeon.  The upshot is that he had a complete rupture of the quadriceps tendon in his left leg.  He was in a brace for a week, then had surgery and was in an ankle to thigh cast.  The doctor came out and told me that he was able to reattach the tendon, but in the process, he broke a drill bit into Kevin's kneecap. After two weeks, they took the cast off and Kevin was ready to start physical therapy, but the doctor was not going to let that happen.  He looked at me and said, "You've got your hands full, don't you?"  And I told him, "You don't know the half of it."

Now we fast forward to today, when Kevin came in from his hike and said, "I think I may have dislocated my pinky. It's back in now, but it still hurts." He had fallen on some ice while he was hiking on Beezley Hill.  Hopefully, he hasn't added another character to his "entourage."  I'm having a hard time coming up with another name!


  1. As a point of clarity, Kevin was making a down-cut in the middle of a board to accommodate the HVAC vent in the floor. With no safety guard on the saw, his hand was in the way when it kicked back.

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