Lost My Thumb on the Nose

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johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 15, 2010 - 12:38am PT
last tuesday I cut part of my thumb off on the second pitch of the Nose, A number of people helped look for it and someone actually found it. I was on my way to the hospital when it was found so didn't get to thank that person, Also thanks to park employees and others who assisted. Below is the entire boring story. I wouldn't suggest you read this


Accident happened Oct 12, 10)
Thanks for all the emails and calls, The lies as i remember them: As. Matt and I were attempting to fix our lines from Sickle Ledge to the base of El Cap so we could get a head start on the Nose Route the following day. we 3rd classed up the buttress to the base of the difficulty. Matt led the first pitch and i led the second, I had made the pendulum to the next crack on the right continuing to aid up. My first piece was the cracked fixed pin and i set two more pieces above that. I knew that my last piece wasn't very good but it was the best i could find so I was high stepping above my last piece, when the piece pulled. As i was falling i felt a pain in my left thumb that was unusal. when I stopped falling Ilooked at my thumb and i saw a stump above the distal knuckle. I then looked down to see the end of my thumb falling down 400 feet to the bottom. I was sure we wouldn't be able to find the finger as it went into bushes and rocks. Matt lowered me till i was even with him and then threw a rope over to me and pulled me to him. He then lowered me to a tree that we could rappel from. Curt was on the scene so i yelled for him to alert the clinic so they could alert a medic for my arrival. Curt also called the Park Service and they sent a medic up to the base of Elcap. Curt found a fixed rope and jugged to me and assisted me down the fixed rope. When i got to the bottom, I found an ER Doctor that happened to be in the area. He was holding Curt's crying baby. The ER Doctor looked at the thumb and said he would assist me to the clinic. We met the Park Service ranger coming and he did basic first aid and assisted me to a waiting ambulance, Meanwhile Curt and Matt started looking for my severed finger. I advised them that they would never find it because of the difficulty of the terrain and the wide area it could have fallen. Foutunately they didnt listen to me and started a search, Curt also got other climbers to assist.and one of the party found it.just before dark. By this time I was well on our way out of the park in an ambulance. The Ranger radioed us said they were driving with the thumb, code three, to catch us. We drove to El Portal where we met an ambulance from Maraposa that would continue to transport me to Mariposa (the initial ambulance needed to stay in the greater yosemite area). My thumb also met us at the rundevoux. The people in the Mariposa ambulance made a number of calls and decided that I should be life flighted by helicopter to Fresno where the reattachment could be made. We drove to Mariposa where a helicopter with pilot/flight nurse/EMT transported us to Fresno.when i arrived in Fresno, the first doctor i saw informed me they didn't do reattachments there. Needless to say, I wasn' very happy with Fresno. They tried to make up for it by fast tracking me on all the necessary xrays, blood/urine tests, ekg and other preliminaries for surgery while waiting for another heliocopter to arrive. I got into another helocopter and we traveled to San Francisco and landed at San Francisco Int'l Airport, (we couldn't land at the hospital cause Feinstein has declared San Francisco a noise free zone, according to our pilot). An ambulance then took us to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. They specialize in finger replacement. The fall occured at 6pm and now it was midnight, I was concerned that too much time had elapsed for the reattachment to be successful but the surgeons said, if there isn't muscle involved (no muscele in the fingers) the time frame isn't as critical. The Doctors told me that it might be difficult to reattach the finger because the cut occurred at the distal joint where there is a defined artery but no defined vein, At 1 am i went into surgery which lasted 1 1/2 hrs. For some reason tme anesthia stops my breathing so they inserted a breathing tube and they controled my breathing. The doctors said there was a fair chance that reattachment wouldn't be possible. they told me when i woke from surgery i would know the surgery was unsuccessful if my finger was wrapped completly. If the end of my finger was exposed and I saw two pins in the end of my finger, i would know it was successful, When i awoke, i saw 2 pins so i was happy. If the cut had occurred near the base of the finger there is a defined vein and artery, With my cut with no veins but an artery, the blood would be able to flow into the severed tip (the doctors use micro surgery and a microscope to reattach the artery) but there is no where for the blood to circulate threw the finger tip until the veins reattach themselves so in order for the blood to flow out, half the nail is removed and a hole is placed there for the finger to bleed. This hospital uses sophistophated instruments and if the bleeding isn't adequate a special solution is used on a swab that causes bleeding. If, after using the swab, the bleeding isn't adequate, a leech is placed on the hole and the leech removes the blood while cleaning the hole. It also emits an anticoagulent that increases blood floow. I am also on a heavy dosage of blood thinners to help with blood flow. Each day now means there are better odds that the reattachment will work. I will probably go home some time next week and be in a restrictive device for at least 2 more weeks then, if the bones are stable, I should be able to start physical therapy. Function, feeling and strength etc are still to be determined.



kent

Trad climber
SLC, Ut
Oct 15, 2010 - 12:49am PT
Crazy story. Good luck on the recovery.
Could you elaborate on how your thumb was severed during the aid fall?
tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Oct 15, 2010 - 12:50am PT
Hey, congrats on a successful reattachment. Actually quite an interesting tale. Quite the ordeal, and amazing that your friends found the tip!

Speedy recovery.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 15, 2010 - 12:54am PT
An unfortunate event, that seems to have happened twice recently.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1290051/Partner-lost-thumb-Nose-route

Heal well!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:05am PT
Wow, John. Epic injury and search for a place that could handle the surgery!

I hope it heals up OK. The epic may continue for a little while.

Any theories on what your thumb was caught in, so it got torn off?
Did you have it in a piton scar, to assist in the top step?
(If so, clearly a risky move, although it can be hard to resist the temptation).

I once had my hand in a biner to the side of me when my aid piece pulled - I broke my finger.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Come on in boys, the water's fine!
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:10am PT
John sorry to hear about your injury. What a wild tale. Heal well dude.

DMT
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:56am PT
Lookin' fwd to reading you have TWO THUMBS UP on your recovery !
sempervirens

Trad climber
Trinity County
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:59am PT
Cool story. TFPU. Especially liked the medical details. Sorry bout your thumb. I'm half-joking but maybe you could ... like write an article, make a movie like the dude who cut his arm off, go on lettermen. I know I'm goin too far there. How bout,... the chicks will love this story, you know they will. Seriously, no disrespect man. I just find it interesting.

Best of luck in the healing and therapy. Stay positive.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Oct 15, 2010 - 02:00am PT
yowch! what a story. Best of luck healing up.
Daphne

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Oct 15, 2010 - 02:15am PT
Lots of healing energy to you and some supertopo love to you, your partner and the many who helped reunite you with your thumb. May your recovery go well.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 15, 2010 - 02:19am PT
Dude, you're scaring the fekkin shite out of me.
bonin_in_the_boneyard

Trad climber
Oak Land, California
Oct 15, 2010 - 02:23am PT
Dude, I can't believe you typed all that. Best of luck for a speedy recovery!
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 15, 2010 - 02:32am PT
If something had to take a sharp slice, I guess it's better your thumb than your rope.

Still, :-(. Really.

I hope it heals well for you.
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 15, 2010 - 02:37am PT
Hooray for leeches!!!!!
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Oct 15, 2010 - 03:14am PT
Sorry to hear of your accident- heal up well.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 15, 2010 - 03:26am PT
hey there say, johnr9q.... wonderful to hear that nothing worse happened too... and that all this has a good chance to succeed...

get well soon... thanks for sharing, so we can be in your corner and pray and send good wishes... sure is not fun to be alone, when waiting to be healed up...

god bless..
:)


minus the crutches, of course:

minus the crutches, of course!... this is my "get well" pic, til i can...
minus the crutches, of course!... this is my "get well" pic, til i can renew it... :)
Credit: neebee
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Oct 15, 2010 - 04:08am PT
Wow, that's quite a story. I hope your recovery goes well, and the Nose will be waiting for you next Spring.
Fish Finder

Social climber
THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART
Oct 15, 2010 - 09:33am PT



"My thumb also met us at the rundevoux."




Now that is a sentence you dont hear often.

Good luck on a speedy recovery and thanks for the share. Very interesting.
Nor Cal

Trad climber
San Mateo
Oct 15, 2010 - 09:53am PT
Yikes, I hope you heal quickly!
rwedgee

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
Oct 15, 2010 - 12:13pm PT
Hope you have a speedy recovery. Thanks for posting. I hope it doesn't come down to it but if you do need the leech, please please please post pictures of it in action.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
Wow!

Still wondering what the hell caused your thumb to come apart like that?

Hope you get well soon and that thumb works.

Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 15, 2010 - 01:19pm PT
Amazing story. I too was struck that you can type!

So lucky it happened close to the ground. Imagine if you had been in the upper dihedrals, you thumb would have been a lot worse for the wear when it decked.

Heal up, and don't forget to fill us in on just how it happened.

All the best,
Doug
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 15, 2010 - 01:29pm PT
John R back. someone said it was a job to type this one handed. AND THE HAND I USED HAS 4 TUBES COMING OUT OF IT. sorry for caps. it took 3 hrs to type. thanks to all of you for your thots and prayers. doctors said this AM i should be released next week then 4 to 6 weeks later the bone securing pins removed then physical therapy. clint and others asked what was the mechanism that did the cutting, i looked at the other post on this subject on super topo by matt which includes pics (he will post some of my leeches later). looking at the second picture (which was of the piece just below the piece that pulled-the top piece) (i did not have the lead line thru that piece so that explains why i fell so far) i was high stepping in my aiders and so was holding on to something near the top of the aider while reaching high to set the next piece, the only thing i can figure is that whatever i was holding on to somehow my thumb went thru the cable on the cam and when i fell the rope went tight in the cam before it pulled and my thumb was caught between the tight rope and the cam wire. i remember, when i fell, that the cutting sensation occurred at the beginning not the end of the fall.
Caddy

Trad climber
Folsom, CA
Oct 16, 2010 - 12:09am PT
John,

Glad you you get to keep both of your thumbs so you can text. That would be a real bummer. Having Aid climbed with you before I have seen you grab cams directly to get a really high step in the last loop of the aider. I suspect your thumb went in between the trigger cable of the small cam you were placing. When you fell it sliced the thumb off like the cable used to kill Luca Brasi in the movie "The Godfather".

You should ask for donated SF Giants playoff tickets to be given to your rescuers (Me and Matt) for doing such a great job. Maybe you can throw the first pitch. Just don't throw too hard.

Curt Taras
valygrl

climber
Boulder, CO
Oct 16, 2010 - 12:32am PT
Jesus. Glad you got it reattached.

I lost the tip of my pinky in a stupid off-route-on-4th-class-dirt trail-finding error in cathedral gully. Not reattached.

I won't be coming back to this thread b/c I don't want to see any pictures, but heal fast.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Oct 16, 2010 - 03:10am PT
Holy Sh1t John, from your emails I understood it to be someone else who was climbing with Matt that lost their digit. I had no idea it was you.

If I were to have an accident on the big stone, there are few people I know with the skills and a cool enough head to fully trust to help get me down in a timely fashion. Matt is definitely one of them. Glad you were in good hands with both Matt and Curt.

Here's to a successful, full recovery.

Chad...
Grogin

Trad climber
Utah
Oct 18, 2010 - 01:38pm PT
Hi John,
My son, Logan, and I were fixing ropes down from Sickle when you fell, and we heard and saw your fall. "I've lost my thumb" took a few seconds to sink in. I was hoping it meant something else, like maybe you had a favorite stopper you called your thumb, but you clarified the statement for your partner with all the grisly details, and it became clear what had happened. After the fall and initial shock you sounded amazingly calm and stoic. You gotta be one tough dude! I got down first and when your buddy asked me to help look for it, my reaction was "we are never going to find this needle in a haystack." Fortunately when Logan got down he thought "I'll find it. I can find it because I always find crazy stuff." Sure enough he did. He says he saw the grisly end first and knew immediately what it was. Your buddy scooped it up with a nalgene bottle filled with water.
We are glad to hear that they were able to reattach it and hope that it is fully functional soon. Write us and let us know how things are going.
George
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Oct 18, 2010 - 02:28pm PT
Indeed we all would like to read thumb good news about your recovery!!!!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Oct 18, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
a friend of mine cut off his thumb with a bandsaw, many years ago, and had it surgically reattached. that was 30 years ago, and the surgery is far more advanced now.

best of luck with yr recovery.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Oct 18, 2010 - 04:14pm PT
Wow again.

Cut off by the cam cable. Hope your feeling better. Now we need to ban cams or thumbs all over the world are going to be lost to sensless falls like this. Ok that was a thumb idea. I'll go now.
T H

climber
Oct 18, 2010 - 04:23pm PT
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 18, 2010 - 05:17pm PT
Get well soon and thanks for sharing your story.

A couple classic lines:

I then looked down to see the end of my thumb falling down 400 feet to the bottom.

If, after using the swab, the bleeding isn't adequate, a leech is placed on the hole and the leech removes the blood while cleaning the hole. It also emits an anticoagulent that increases blood floow.

Maybe we shouldn't just put leeches on everything. This could lead to advances in all sciences and... naahhhh!!

johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 26, 2010 - 11:39am PT
George and Logan: Thanks for even looking for my thumb but to find it is just amazing. George, my thoughts were like yours, why look cause there is a zero chance of finding it but Logan didn't think that way, and found it. His attitude of always being able to find "crazy stuff" was a huge benefit in my case. We did see you guys ahead of us and my partner observed you the next day making good time free climbing above Dolt tower. I am home now and everything is progressing well. The doctors that reattached this take this real seriously and won't allow you to get out of bed for any reason for the first 5 days. I am now up some but have to keep it above my head when I am. Most of the time I am reclining.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 2, 2010 - 11:11pm PT
Wow - the things you miss reading when you're on the wall!

So how's it goin'? Is it still attached?

Anyway, if you're ever in Yosemite, and see my driving by, and need a ride, well, you know what to do....
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 3, 2010 - 12:30am PT
hey there say, john... now that this was bumped... i too, am wondeing how you are doing...

the things was a real neat "miracle save" for sure...

god bless...
post, soon as you can...
:)
Aya K

Trad climber
New York
Nov 3, 2010 - 03:39pm PT
holy cow!!! how did they find your thumb?!!!
ellingwood

Trad climber
auburn, indiana
Nov 3, 2010 - 04:45pm PT
I will trade you
I will trade you
Credit: ellingwood
pk_davidson

Trad climber
Albuquerque, NM
Nov 3, 2010 - 06:13pm PT
Here's to a speedy recovery.
You'll be back climbing sooner than you think...

There are a number of digit-ally challenged climbers out there who end up climbing just as much post-trauma as pre and with no real ill effects.
So hang in there.

I lost my thumb tip to a table saw. Back then, limb re-attachment surgery was not really in the cards, especially since the dog thought fresh meat made for a special treat.

tonesfrommars

Trad climber
California
Nov 3, 2010 - 06:20pm PT
ellingwood, was that really necessary?

sorry about your hand.

Wishing both of you a full and smooth recovery.
Gorn

Trad climber
las vegas, NV
Nov 4, 2010 - 12:01am PT
Sorry to hear about your accident. I hope the thumb attachment allows you full use again. Here's a story your might relate to:

I was climbing with two friends in Zion back in the early 90's on Space Shot when my friend was aiding the third pitch. He had placed a nut above him in the thin crack and clipped the lead rope. Then, as he held onto the carabiner connected to that piece with one hand, he was reaching down with the other to unclip his etrier when the nut pulled. He fell to the next piece, and when the rope went tight, two of his fingers were caught in a loop of rope over them against the biner. The two fingers were avulsed to the bone, but still attached. We bundled the fingers together with my headband and had him elevate his hand and hold a pressure point while we hurredly arranged for rappels to the bottom. After being evacuated to a hospital in St George where a hand surgeon was waiting, he underwent hours of surgery. He was climbing again later that year =)
tahoetun

Trad climber
Stevensville, MT
Nov 4, 2010 - 12:24am PT
Wow, Dejavu!
I had almost the exact same thing happen to my thumb (well not quite as bad) on the Leaning Tower. In fact, I could use the whole first half of your story about traversing out, whipping and watching part of my thumb fall off.
Mine happened on the the vertical seems just after the traverse up from Guano Ledge on the West Face. When I got up there some A-hole left the whole thing sewn up with copperheads (leapers work best!). I coudln't clean them without a hammer, so I was forced to use them. The second one that I highstepped off of popped and I went for a 30-40 footer. During the fall I had reached for my rope and thats when it wrapped my thumb. As it tightened, off came every bit of skin and nail from the base up--I was left with a bloody stub of bones, tendons and cartlidge (later I would learn this is called de-gloving for obvious reasons). I did the best I could with role of tape, which I would later regret, and somehow managed to back-clean-downclimb back to the ledge. The worst part was rapping the rest of the overhanging route with the frickin pig and not much of a thumb.

Within six months or so, almost every thing had regenerated including a thumbprint that damn near matches my other! Not even a scar to help tell the story. Had to of been the most excruciating thing that I have experienced.

Anyways, John good luck on a speedy recovery!
anyuta34

Boulder climber
new york
Nov 4, 2010 - 03:41am PT
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johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2010 - 08:38pm PT
John R back again. Sorry I didn't get back on SuperT but been to Disneyland for 5 days with the kids and grandkids to celebrate our 40th anniversary. (Wow, 40 years with the same woman. I'm lucky, not sure how lucky she is however) The thumb is really doing well. Have had to keep it elevated to reduce the swelling so in Disneyland (because of the attention I got from always looking like I was waving at people) had to tell the story many times. I finally told people I could either go with the long version or the short version and that I highly recommended the short version which was "I cut my thumb off". This seemed to satisfy most. I go to the doctor on the 22nd of November to have the 2 pins that are holding the bones together removed and then can start moving it and get back to climbing and mountain biking etc. The swelling is way down and I think the oozing and bleeding has finally stopped. Thanks again for all your thoughts and encouragement.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 5, 2010 - 08:48pm PT
John, Thanks for the update - glad to hear it is healing up pretty well after quite an epic.
rmsusa

Trad climber
Boulder
Nov 5, 2010 - 10:11pm PT
Get well soon. What an epic!

Holy crap! That's a huge amount of money to spend for a thumb! Ambulances, helicopters, chasing rangers, searches, hours long operations. I no longer wonder how come insurance costs so much.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 6, 2010 - 01:01am PT
hey there say, johnR... wow, glad to hear...

and say:

HAPPY 4O th...

:)

god bless...
:)
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 6, 2010 - 01:02am PT
hey there say, ellingwood... wow, sure hope you healed well after THAT...

oh my... :(


take care all...
god bless...
:)
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2010 - 11:55am PT
Quote from RMSUSA:
"Holy crap! That's a huge amount of money to spend for a thumb! Ambulances, helicopters, chasing rangers, searches, hours long operations. I no longer wonder how come insurance costs so much."

But the alternative is to just throw the thumb away and live life without a thumb? (I guess you would need to determine the monitary value of a thumb) Maybe we need a health board that would make decisions on issues such as mine and consider age, activity level etc to determine if you could get certain procedures? Maybe if you're fat, smoke, drink excessively, or engage in dangerious sports (Like climbing) you would be denied certain medical procedures?
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Nov 6, 2010 - 06:57pm PT
Here's a funny story for ya:

When I was 14, I blew the tips of both my thumb and the finger next to it off with explosives. I'm still not sure which is more dangerous, serious alpine climbing, or explosives as a hobby. This all happened a few years before Kennedy was shot; and way before 911.
In any case, I was helping an old farmer get rid of a big rock in his field.
Highly friction sensitive explosives are really dangerous to fool around with, and I was being a little too careless that day. After I drilled the hole, by hand , in the granite rock. I proceeded to load the hole with pretty (powerful stuff). It was a real hot day and the powdered rock in the hole mixed with the explosive, making it much more friction sensitive.
It all happened in a milli-second-- lucky I didn't have my dumb ass head over the hole.
I walked and ran about a mile, back to my home. I wanted to take the trolly to the hospital, but my sister panicked and called the cops.
If this incident had happened today, I would have had FBI agents at my house, and a swat team. How times have changed.

After the explosives hobby ended, ( my mother put an end to that by throwing all my stuff out), I went from making cannons etc. to pretty serious gun making.

A few years later, around 17, I discovered rock climbing and kind of lost interest in the other, perhaps more dangerous hobbies.

Eight years after I blew my fingertips off, I did the Nose with George Myers ( around 1972).

So I guess the message in this story is you will be back up there--fingertips or not!
mariaji

Social climber
Tucson, AZ
Nov 10, 2010 - 10:22pm PT
Never grab the wires!
gonamok

climber
aging malcontent
Nov 12, 2010 - 05:34am PT
RMSUSA...you are a douche bag. I guarantee you would have a different perspective if it were your thumb. Anybody can get hurt. If you have an accident maybe someone wont think its worth the time and effort to help you. Bad Karma.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 12, 2010 - 06:27am PT
hey there say, SteveA and all.... wow, what a young life! say, glad your mom was looking after you, from that incident...

nice success as to the climb, thanks for the share...

my ex-son-law had his top of finger cut off from farmworking machine... i reckon they either couldn't find it, or it couldn't get put back on... this was about 17? years ago, or 15?--not sure...

well, oddly so, he said if the finger would have been cut off one 8th? of an inch, or "something" tiny like that, then he would have been given some kind of "?compensation" or whatever it is called for such injury-income or disability-help??? but he was "off" by that much, he kind of joked on how he "missed out"--but he was sure glad it was not worse, in truth...

he's a hard worker, and always has been since his early youth...
he uses the finger for a good tease and such, for the young kids, you know, like:

you better get off the phone.. or you better get off that video game--see what happened to my finger...

you know, that kind of stuff... ;)

ahhh, daddy's and their ways...
:)


Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Come on in boys, the water's fine!
Nov 12, 2010 - 07:04am PT
Wishing you the best John. Pay no attention to the accountant.

DMT
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Nov 12, 2010 - 11:57am PT
An unfortunate event, that seems to have happened twice recently.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1290051/Partner-lost-thumb-Nose-route

Heal well!

Apparently the Nose dislikes having a thumb stuck up it.

Crazy story. Thanks for sharing, and heal up well, dude.

GO
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 12, 2010 - 12:22pm PT
John R, way to hang in there and thumb your nose at the (near) loss. Happy climbing!
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2010 - 11:49pm PT
I got the pins (securing the bones) out Monday but doctor said to wear my brace for two more weeks. I will be able to start physical therapy after that so should be back climbing and mountain biking in a month or so (I am hoping). I have some pictures that were taken in the hospital before the thumb was reattached. They are pretty graphic so I am reluctant to post them.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Nov 18, 2010 - 12:24am PT
Post them. We will get over it! Is it worse than the pictures in the book one move too many?
Erik
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2011 - 10:54am PT
Credit: johnr9q
Credit: johnr9q
Thought a picture might explain the injury best. I am now doing great. Back to climbing and mountain biking. Not much feeling in the thumb and strength isn't real good but, it turns out you don't need your thumb much in sport climbing. Cliping and uncliping bolts with my left hand, however, is the bigest problem.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 18, 2011 - 10:58am PT
That's certainly one way to quit crimping and practice your open grip. ;-) I'm glad you're healing well. The pictures are a little icky (OK, a lot) but really fascinating too. Thanks for posting them.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Feb 18, 2011 - 11:19am PT
John, that's incredible! What an experience, I can only imagine. Would love to see a picture of the healing today, progress so far, if you like. Hip hip hurray! for today's medical technology. See you out in the hills!
Niels

climber
Denmark
Feb 18, 2011 - 11:35am PT
John,

Happy to hear that your thumb was re-attached successfully and great to hear that you're back climbing.

I consider this to be money well spent by the health insurance system.

Niels Riegels
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2011 - 08:30pm PT
Credit: johnr9q
Credit: johnr9q
I just took these pictures so you can see that everything is almost totally healed. The nail is slowly growing back but that will take awhile
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 18, 2011 - 08:31pm PT
Absolutely stunning. Kudos to your doc!
Brandon-

climber
Done With Tobacco
Feb 18, 2011 - 08:37pm PT
I called my Mom while my thumb was being torn off!!!!!

GNAR!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 18, 2011 - 08:40pm PT
You'll be hitchhiking in no time! truly amazing.
D.Eubanks

climber
Feb 18, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
Glad for ya John.

Looks like the work of a very good surgeon.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Feb 18, 2011 - 09:30pm PT
A medical tour de force, for sure!
Hope you get all articulation, strength and feelings back.
Your thread's reminded me to mind ALL my appendages while climbing.
Thanks John.
Grogin

Trad climber
Utah
Mar 16, 2011 - 03:13pm PT
John,
Congratulations on having your thumb back in good shape. I trust that it works as well as it looks.
George and Logan (Logan found it)
coastal_climber

Trad climber
British Columbia
Mar 16, 2011 - 03:23pm PT
PARAGRAPHS!
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