As I sat in a car to head to an airport in Rome, I was fretting as time was marching on and we were in thick traffic. Although I had left in good time (18:00 for a 45 minute drive; my flight was at 20:20), it was soon apparent that time was going to be an issue. My driver apologised "It is crazy! A little bit of rain and Rome comes to a stand still!" My driver would inch a little forward in an attempt to change the perception that we were moving forward, other times we would jostle and fight with other cars to move into other lanes that appeared to move forward but really was due to cars abandoning the lane. As time ticked by, I prayed silently that the flight would be delayed.
I got to the airport by 20:00! A quick check of the airport departure boards indicated the flight had been delayed to 20:45. Prior, I had done an online check-in, but had been unable to print my boarding card. So I ran over to the check-in counters and found them dark and abandoned. A sense of foreboding washed over, I might have to stay overnight in Rome and I really wanted to be home. I talked to God, asking what to do.
I spied an information counter and sidled up to talk to the man who was dealing with a customer inquiry. I waited patiently and by the time he had finished with the customer, it was now 20:17. Calmly, I asked in my best Italian if he could speak English and was so happy when he said he could. With pressing urgency, I convinced him to help me print a boarding pass that was sitting in my emails, after all the flight had been delayed. Seeing the look of desperation in my eyes, the lovely, beautiful, wonderful customer service man helped me. I thanked him, I thanked God and continued asking God for help.
20:23 - I ran to security and there before me was a long line of passengers. Security inspected my boarding pass, and indicated I was too late. I quickly updated them on the flight status and then asked the passengers in front of me if they would help me get to my flight. Like the red sea parting, all the passengers stepped aside to let me through. I could have kissed every single one of them.
20:30 - One final barrier was passport control and one lady tutted and wagged her finger at me, so I waited patiently behind her. Once through, I ran, overtaking the "tutting" lady, and crossed the airport to dive onto a train that was leaving for the gate. I arrived at the gate at 20:35 and gave God a visual hug.
My finger is on this same journey. I had arrived late for treatment and now is to believe and trust that God will guide me through the best path. But what ever happens, I have learned that being proactive is a far better approach in life than the passive, laid back one I have sometimes been taking. Andy Chadwick's toes compared to my fingers were in a far worst state. He increased his chances of "survival" by proactively getting treatment. My initial passiveness has meant that I have put in far more effort to ensure the integrity of my finger.
Day 28: Saw the hand doc for a review. As Gollum (Lord of the Rings) stroked the gold ring, the hand doc did the same to my finger. He stroked and squeezed my finger commenting on how hard it was. Then he decided to stab the pad of the finger with his nail. He got a yelp out of me and I snatched his hand away from my finger. He was surprised at there still being life there and I was annoyed. Despite this, he still felt it would need to be amputated. I think he has a stash of differently types of injured fingers/hands pickled in a hidden library somewhere. Decided to not return!
Was told by another competitor who had frostbite, that in Minnesota they don't consider amputation for at least 8 weeks into the injury. Additionally the doctors who I have been consulting via email have encouraged me to leave it for at least 8 weeks.
Day 30: The scab peeled a little, and I helped it along....carefully and did not disturb any part that was not lifting off.
Day 51 (when this post was written): The finger pad sometimes itches and have been giving it a salt bath as infection is still a concern and can spread. The whole scab moves, although parts are still stuck down. Am tempted to pick it off as am concerned about the rubber band effect (shrinking scab restricting blood flow to the injured areas), but have been warned to leave it for the moment. Have been applying a moisturiser to reduce the scab from splitting up and potentially causing infection to the parts that are still healing.
Treatment from day 28 onwards has been a good dose of vitamin D3 to help skin/tissue repair, Gingko to aid circulation, thyme and oregano as an antibiotic, fresh aloe vera applied twice daily as it has vitamin E and some other healing stuff that has been found to help frost bite injuries.
For anyone affected with frostbite, this is a great document to read about the healing process of frostbite with all the gory pictures.
My guess is that there is a good chance of the finger healing completely and a small chance of part being amputated. If it has to be amputated then will look for a cool "swiss army" prosthetic finger attachment. Until that time, I need to protect it's suit of armour until the tissue has fully healed.