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Percocet and Hand Mangling

CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
edited June 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Warning: Parts of this are kind of gross.


So I had an unfortunate altercation with my table saw yesterday. Was making a cut on a fairly small piece of wood, so had the shield off, sneezed, and sliced the tip of my middle finger partially in half. It will apparently heal pretty much normally (big scar, some loss of sensation in the tip, but not weirdly shaped or anything). I tried to ask them everything I could think of regarding care but I was on morphine and my thought process was somewhat unclear. I don't have a regular doctor in the area yet and don't want to go back to the ER just to ask some followup questions, so I figured I'd Ask The Internet.

1) They gave me percocet for the pain (which is fairly severe when it wears off, so far, but I think is decreasing since yesterday), but it makes me feel really weird in various ways. Super hungry, nauseated, paranoid, light-headed, depressed, this weird throat-tightening sensation like I'm about to cry but without crying or any actual sadness... The effects vary and sort of come in waves. It does kill the pain, mostly, but I don't like it. Is there a different drug that might have fewer side effects? And could I possibly just call the hospital to get them to switch my prescription, or would that be a waste of time?

2) They told me to change my dressing a 'maybe a couple of times a day'. I changed it twice last night because it bled through and I assumed the usual first aid method for bleed throughs (apply more gauze on top) was a bad idea since I need it to not dry to my stitches or fuse to the wound. It hasn't bled through yet since last night, but I'm not sure if 'a couple of times' is one to two, two to three, or what. It's a pain in the ass to change and I don't want to mess with it too much while it's an open wound, so..

3) When I was changing the dressing last night the swelling had gone down a good bit and it was a bit less bloody, so I could see that there's like a sliver of fingernail still attached to my skin but separate from the rest of the remaining nail, like right up between two of the stitches holding the end of the finger together. Is that an issue I should go see a doctor about? Like will it impede healing if I don't go get it taken off?

I know the short answer is "go see a doctor and ask" but it's Memorial day weekend and I don't have a personal doctor, so probably I can't do that until tuesday. If you fine folks think any of these questions are seriously "go see a doctor ASAP" material then I will do so, but I suspect none of them are really a big deal. Sorry for any lapses in grammar or spelling, the percocet is making me light-headed right now.

Edit: before you berate me for table saw safety, I know. I'm usually super-careful and I didn't feel the sneeze coming. I wasn't aware that push-sticks for table saws were a thing before yesterday but I now have a set coming to me from amazon.

CptHamilton on
OptimusZed wrote: »
Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.

Posts

  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You should be able to call the ER and ask your questions. Also hospitals usually have a hotline for questions about care after visits. Standard not a doctor, but there are different medications for pain and I'd take a couple as two since that's the definition of the word.

  • MaguanoMaguano Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    usually (at least her in NJ) the ERs give you a bunch of paperwork at discharge. Included in this is an after care packet, with what to expect, how to change bandage, etc.
    If you call and tell them you are having a reaction (specify not an allergic reaction) they should be able to switch your meds.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    What you're describing--other than the paranoia--is pretty much exactly how I react to most opiates. Most other drugs they can give you are opiates, and some people just don't take them very well. So, that's not all that unusual, and nothing to freak out about; you should still try asking for a different drug.

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    CptHamilton, I always just used random scrap for pushsticks, no need to spend cash on pre-fabricated ones.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MechMantis wrote: »
    CptHamilton, I always just used random scrap for pushsticks, no need to spend cash on pre-fabricated ones.
    Maybe not something you should skimp on.

  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Fighting the War on String Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    you may want to get a stool softener, narcotics can constipate the hell out of you

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  • harry.timbershaftharry.timbershaft Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I have a back problem and have been through all of the standard painkillers under the care of a doctor. I strongly recommend talking to your doctor about Tramadol. For me (everyone is different), it works better than any of the standard narcotics, sticks around in my system a lot longer, and has fewer side effects - inability to sleep and constipation being the ones that I have. On the up-side, it doesn't totally zonk me out of my mind like oxycodone does, which is nice.

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Thanatos wrote: »
    MechMantis wrote: »
    CptHamilton, I always just used random scrap for pushsticks, no need to spend cash on pre-fabricated ones.
    Maybe not something you should skimp on.

    You don't need superhigh quality pushsticks. Literally any piece of wood capable of surviving being pushed against another piece of wood will do.

    Like, that's why they're called pushsticks. They're sticks. For pushing.

    EDIT: this is however only tangentially related. I'll shut up now.

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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    I really respond better to Vicodin and don't like Percocet at all.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    For point #2, do what they told you. Changing the dressing after you wake up and before you go to bed is probably enough. Also, change it if it gets wet somehow - spilled drink, splashed while washing your good hand/showering/etc. Like you said, the problem with changing the dressing is that it's likely to pull the scab and cause you to bleed some more. Sometimes you just gotta deal with it, though. Out of curiosity, did they tell you when it would be safe/sane to remove the dressing and just let things be?

    For point #3, I'm not really sure what to tell you. Fingernails usually grow back, though they may take on a slightly different shape. The piece that isn't attached to the nail bed may or may not end up coming off on its own. Or the doctors may have to remove it. It's probably not something to get worked up over, though. Do you have a followup appointment scheduled to get the stitches removed? Because if you do that would be a good time to ask.

  • jamesrajamesra Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So, I ran this by my wife (an MD. Also, assume the standard boilerplate here: she's never seen you, she's not licensed in your state, and this is information only, not medical advice or treatment or such.)

    1) You're going to want to get a doctor. An ER isn't very well equipped to provide follow up care, and really you should have at least some follow up on the wound. Probably it'll be fine, but its way better to have an infection or something spotted before you develop blood poisoning from an infected deep cut and suddenly need an amputation. Very unlikely, but worth tracking. Her advice is to find a walk-in clinic and go there. It'll be hugely cheaper, the care quality is likely to be quite good, they can track your case, and its not the misery of sitting in an ER for hours until the triage staff can fit you in around the seriously emergent cases. If you call the ER, they'll do their best to answer questions, but by and large it will still come down to needing to go see someone to get actual help.

    I've used a local clinic a couple of times myself, for matters to revolting to discuss here, and I can vouch that the experience was really quite pleasant --at least, as pleasant as possible under the circumstances.

    2) No-one who doesn't have a relationship with you is going to give you a different narcotic over the phone --it would be unethical as all fuck, among other things. Even if you did have a GP, the most they can do for you over the phone is 15/325 Norco (15 mg hydrocodone buffered with 325 acetaminophen. You can thank the DEA for that). Norco is not a terribly powerful painkiller. For anything else, you need an actual, physical scrip in your hot little hand. This is not a well regarded policy in my household (to put it very, very mildly indeed) but it is the law of the land.

    3) The symptoms your having are very typical of opiate pain killers. But different patients tolerate different medications very differently, and it often has fairly little to do with the strength of the medication. Any physician or other medical professional with prescription pad should be happy to help with trying something else out.

    Finally: get a stool softener. I've been banged up often enough to know, the constipation can be severe. Get ahead of that.

    "Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction. . . . This tremendous friction . . . is everywhere in contact with chance, and brings about effects that cannot be measured, just because they are largely due to chance" Carl Von Clausezwitz. (1832),
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Thanks for the responses everybody. I've been a bit away from the internet since I typed this up but I read them and followed your advice, mostly. I decided it wasn't worth the effort of trying to find a doctor to change my prescription and to just deal with the side effects when the pain is bad enough to necessitate the drugs. It quit bleeding as much so just the twice a day has been okay for changing the dressing now that it's not bleeding through the bandage after a couple of hours anymore. Found some laxatives in the medicine cabinet and took one. That was... unpleasant. But I guess better than the other way around. Already ordered the plastic pre-made push sticks, so it's kind of a moot point. I don't tend to keep a lot of scraps around, so better to have dedicated tools for it. I don't do a whole lot of wood working.

    I have a follow-up that I'm supposed to call and schedule at the clinic of the hospital whose ER I went to. The doc who stitched me up has clinic hours next week, which coincides with when I'm supposed to get them out, so I'm to go see him. There was no specific period for when I should stop wrapping my finger, just that I could 'eventually' just put a band-aid over it. I figure I'll try that in a day or so as it seems to be less bloody every time I unwrap it.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Call the ER and tell them the side effects of the percocet are lousy and ask them if it would be crazy or not to switch to (a high dosage) of motrin. If they don't laugh at you and tell you not to switch, ask them what dosage you should use (a doctor recommended dosage of motrin can greatly exceed the dosage on the package label of over-the-counter motrin).

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Call the ER and tell them the side effects of the percocet are lousy and ask them if it would be crazy or not to switch to (a high dosage) of motrin. If they don't laugh at you and tell you not to switch, ask them what dosage you should use (a doctor recommended dosage of motrin can greatly exceed the dosage on the package label of over-the-counter motrin).

    It takes an absolutely phenomenal amount of ibuprofen to have any significant impact on me. I used to go to an Army hospital for health care and they love to prescribe the Motrin. Usually in 800-1600mg doses. I injured myself fairly regularly in my middle- to high-school years, so I think built up a tolerence to it or something. I also used to have chronic migranes for which I was told to take ibuprofen in any instances where I'd run out of or didn't want to take whatever migrane medicine they'd put me on (midrin is the only one that worked but they all make me feel like shit from the side effects). So now if I have a headache or a pulled muscle or something I don't even notice if I take less than 600mg or so. I've been trying to take it less frequently since my migranes went away but so far it doesn't seem to have made a difference. I'm frightened to think how much it would take to kill the amount of pain I was initially in from my hand and now feel if I poke it or stretch my arm too far.


    Possibly related question:

    I've been basically unable to eat since injuring my hand. That day I ate like half of a pizza and a thing of ice cream after I got home from the hospital but since then I've barely eaten. Nothing is appetizing and when I do try to eat I feel nauseated once I start chewing my food. I'm hungry sometimes, but feel sickened by the thought of food. The day after I ate some more pizza without any problems, but since then have been having more and more trouble eating. Couldn't finish a cup of ice cream, barely swallowed a cookie, couldn't get past the first spoon of yogurt. Last night I had to force myself to eat the last couple leftover slices of pizza since it was the only food that didn't make me feel ill just to think about eating. I assume it's related to the percocet, but I've not been taking as much of that - like 1 pill in 24 hours, and that was like 12 hours before I made myself eat dinner last night. Anyone with any insight?

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    It is.

    Do you feel like you need the opiate? Meaning, is the pain unbearable? You don't need to take anything if the pain isn't terrible.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    It is.

    Do you feel like you need the opiate? Meaning, is the pain unbearable? You don't need to take anything if the pain isn't terrible.

    It varies. Most of the time it's not that bad, but occasionally for it will hurt really badly. I haven't taken any since yesterday morning, though, and am trying to just ignore it when it hurts. Assuming I don't smack my hand into anything I think I'll be alright. Hopefully my apptetite will come back eventually. It's been about a day since I last took it and so far still don't want to eat.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah it will. Is it a complete loss of appetite or just a little nauseated that you don't want to bother with food?

    Yeah I'd reserve your pain meds until you feel you absolutely need it. You will obviously want to schedule time with a doctor instead of the ER or urgent care for pain management, especially if you feel you still need them and the percocet is giving you some adverse reactions. I've had meh issues with percocet and darvocet in the past which were alleviated just by a morphine pill. Good luck convincing a doctor that's not into pain management to give you that as opposed to another percocet type pill or tylenol++.

  • MrOlettaMrOletta Registered User
    edited June 2011
    I just want to chime in and say get well. As an avid wood worker, I've had my run ins with tools (and I always lose). My table saw nick left me with intense "deep" pain that subsided after a few days.

    My jointer lopping off the tip of my middle finger (its healed and unnoticeable now) barely hurt.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    Yeah it will. Is it a complete loss of appetite or just a little nauseated that you don't want to bother with food?

    Total loss. Today I had a brief, passing desire for a snickers bar. That's the closest I've gotten to even thinking that I wanted food in days.


    MrOletta: Thanks!

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • MistaCreepyMistaCreepy Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Sorry to hear about your accident. My experience with opiates is such:

    Vicodin - Meh... doesnt do much. I have to take at least two or three at once to actually feel a difference which im sure isnt proper.

    Percocet - One does me. Harder to get.

    Morphine - Got a shitload of it before and after my gallbladder surgery at the VA hospital... delicious. Got it intravaneously... I never understood how anyone could shoot drugs into their arms until I got moprhine. Amazing, killed all my pain and felt wonderful but I did have some cravings after I got out... never severe enough to actually do anything crazy but I did find myself laying in bed and thinking about it.

    PS3: MistaCreepy::Steam: MistaCreepy::360: Dead and I don't feel like paying to fix it.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Morphine - Got a shitload of it before and after my gallbladder surgery at the VA hospital... delicious. Got it intravaneously... I never understood how anyone could shoot drugs into their arms until I got moprhine. Amazing, killed all my pain and felt wonderful but I did have some cravings after I got out... never severe enough to actually do anything crazy but I did find myself laying in bed and thinking about it.

    They gave me a morphine shot at the hospital. It was horrible. Felt like my whole body was full of hot cement, then after that went away my heart rate sped up and everything was too loud. I will be happy to never need that shit again.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • MistaCreepyMistaCreepy Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Morphine - Got a shitload of it before and after my gallbladder surgery at the VA hospital... delicious. Got it intravaneously... I never understood how anyone could shoot drugs into their arms until I got moprhine. Amazing, killed all my pain and felt wonderful but I did have some cravings after I got out... never severe enough to actually do anything crazy but I did find myself laying in bed and thinking about it.

    They gave me a morphine shot at the hospital. It was horrible. Felt like my whole body was full of hot cement, then after that went away my heart rate sped up and everything was too loud. I will be happy to never need that shit again.

    Hmmm you probably just don't respond well to opiates. I got an intense rush of euphoria and felt like I was on a cloud.... loved it.

    PS3: MistaCreepy::Steam: MistaCreepy::360: Dead and I don't feel like paying to fix it.
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