the sound of one hand typing

It’s difficult to explain, but this morning I awoke from a nightmare in which I had a large nail driven into my right leg and I struggled desperately to extract it amidst the blood and gore. I told a friend at the cafe about it and while not wishing to gross anyone out figured it a dream worth mentioning for interpretation … “sounds like you got some bad juju goin’ on” she reassured me, “thanks for the tip” I think I responded.

But not 4 hours later I am outside that very same cafe fashioning a scrap of plastic with my stainless steel cerated Leatherman pocket knife, the one my mom and I went halves on together for my birthday a few years back, and I was saying to myself … “geez, this knife is damned sharp, I better be carefuu…”. Thats right, just at that moment of cautious self talk, 2 inches of high grade proud-to-be-American blade went into my left hand. The dream had legs, now, a hand.

I would have been grateful if it just went straight through the meat  into the table top , like some hero-out-psych’s-villan torture scene in a Tarantino flick but alas, it took a more sinister turn and journeyed on into the nether go thar regions of the palm.

I have cool headed friends who know me well enough to dial 911 when I run into their favourite cafe desperately trying to stem the crimson tide gushing from my hand-on-hand makeshift tourniquet  screaming, “call 911″.

The ambulance took the direct route while the Leatherman caught  the arterial deep palmer arch “or some such” Dr Phelps coolly mused while stitching the lower epidermis prior to stitching the rest of “the damage” between my thumb and fore finger. Tendons intact, major nerves still screaming, my hand now ringing like a bell and thumping like a Foreman rope-a-doper, I couldn’t feel more grateful for usable and opposable fingers, thumb and Chloroprocaine.

So the waking dream bookends with a multi Tylenol and Dalwhinnien chaser, this hand won’t be fretting the boards anytime soon but just being able to gingerly wiggle these fingers is reason enough for rejoicing.

Special thanks to Arvi, Vicky, Dy and Mike at Magnolia Cafe, Paul and the Paramedics (not a band) and Dr Phelps and the nursing and triage staff at Guelph General Hospital.

* For those of you with a medical interest or cast iron stomach the medical wound images are HERE (caution, graphic content of sutured injury and bruised palm) and the page is password protected (password: ouch )

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51 Comments

  1. Ash
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! I’m glad you’re okay.

    • DRM
      Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Ta Ash, was a close call.

  2. Marie Casanova
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear of the misadventure and also glad to hear that you haven’t done permanent damage! Good luck :)

    • DRM
      Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      me too Marie, hows the new album treating you?

  3. Mike Bourgeault
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear you got injured. It was good to meet you at Eaglewood this year. I still have to get you that pic from OCFF last year. In the meantime, here are the pics from Eaglewood if you want something to pass the time.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike_bourgeault/sets/72157627613146236/

    PS Thorns to Sleep is awesome, its been in heavy rotation since the festival, and was playing while I worked on most of these pics.

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      cheers Mike … thanks for the picks!

  4. Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear that you hurt yourself. Glad that everyone was so quick and helpful in responding!
    We’ve been listening to your album at least weekly since Eaglewood. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery!

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      you got it Leah!

  5. Darren Hutchings
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Oh Jebus, Dave. Hope everything will heal up good as new.

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      thanks Darren … you still BB’ing?

      • Darren Hutchings
        Posted October 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        So far, so good.

  6. Rose Clancy
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    David,
    So sorry to hear about this….I am grateful that you will be able to play in the near future…..Met you in Edmonton at an event at Bonnydoon Hall…you were playing with Deep Dark Woods. I was moved and had to smile when you played “Waltzing Matilda”…. a song I had not heard since childhood and now revived and just as relevant and sweet in its simplicity.

    Have enjoyed your CDs very much ever since.
    Get well.

    Rose

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      ta Rose … that was a sweet night, little missy higgins played to i remember … the DDW are one of my fav’s … thank you

  7. Rhonda Bobinski
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    On a good note, David, at least it will give you a bit of time to reflect and write. You will heal fast and well and bless our ears with beauty again. Take care of yourself and get rid of that blade!

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      yes Rhonda, sage advice .. slow it down some fur sure!

  8. Posted October 1, 2011 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Eeeesh. Gave me a physical reaction just reading that – I’m familiar with the experience. And Rhonda’s right: misfortune will yield some good things, too. I trust you’re a pilgrim whose feet – and hands – heal fast.

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      thanks Jon … glad to hear that i am not alone on this one, definitely feel fortunate, here’s to those pilgrim parts…

  9. Posted October 1, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Oh Dave – no! I hope this is one part of your life story that doesn’t get mirrored in mine…

    Take care. You probably need hand-knitted socks for comfort. They’re still off sightseeing, the dirty little stopouts, but if you let me know when and where you’d like to see them again I’ll reign in their partying and send them on their way.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      hand knitted chainmail gloves too please :)

  10. Katie Ransom
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hey Dave, ouch so sorry to hear your news, though it’s a good thing that the damage isn’t long term. I did some wrist shattering earlier this year, at the time I wondered how I would ever get back to normal again but it’s amazing how quickly these things mend. I do recommend Endone to soften the blow :-) . I bet your scar is cooler than mine (I’m tempted to get a tattoo that reads ‘I did not attempt suicide’). Sending you healing wafts! Katie x

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      thanks Katie … rehab starts monday … not sure what my tattoo would say, but it wouldn’t be that complimentary … :)

  11. bertpee@hotmail.com
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The ol drive a knife thru your hand trick… I hope you’re corking your forks nowadays too…..not mother!!!

    Heal well my friend.

    Bert

    • DRM
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      yep, that trick will do it every time…need a cork suit more like it! cheers Bert

  12. Deanna
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Oooooo, that makes me cringe! I feel so sorry for you! Your mother should have told you not to play with knives! Thank goodness it isn’t worse. Best wishes for quick healing.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      thank you Deanna

  13. Uncle David
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I hope you are soon strumming away. Look after that hand

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      will be, thankyou UD

  14. Bill Chandler
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Dave, just got your email, shit happens, who knows why? Have appreciated the links between us ever since Port Fairy songwriting sessions – but this is taking it too far! I badly broke my writing hand (left) wrist a few years back, and it was very frustrating and annoying. It provided an excuse for my already bad hand writing. However, it did not provide a credible excuse for my very bad guitar ‘playing’! We regularly enjoy the CDs with your magical playing and singing – and I am confident that, with time and physio and love, you will be continuing that magic. Who knows – it may be the beginning of a new style and new sound. Best wishes for your recovery.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      thank you Bill … and yes, i probably will need to change up the style as the index finger doesn’t seem to know how to waggle from side to side, bar chords and stretches out of the picture at the mo … take care my friend, Dave

  15. Don Nord
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave……a rather sinister event….but the true spirit of your destiny lives forever…heal soon and
    fast…..this experience reveals a spiritual awakening…..dwell on this for a moment….insights will
    come….poetry, revelation and healing be yours…..God bless……d

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      got that Don, thank you … am writing in the wake of this, thank you for your support … much respect, Dave

  16. Barb K
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Wishing you a quick recovery Dave.
    The inspiration for whatever music follows this mishap will be a little sweeter through the challenge of healing. However long it takes. Be well.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      many thanks Barb, yes, let the healing begin

  17. Posted October 2, 2011 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I live next door and have been watching the progress of the cafe; I’m sorry to hear someone was hurt.. but I’m happy to know a) you were working so close to GGH :) and b) you were taken care of right away (at the cafe, paramedics and at the hospital).

    Great pics :)

    Hope you heal fast.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      thank you … yes a relief that i wasn’t in outback Australia when the steel came down … I am very grateful to the emergency services at the GGH, they did an excellent job.

  18. Sarah M.
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    oh wow poor dear! why does that kind of thing always seem to happen just at the moment when you think ‘this is dangerous, i should be caref…..’ ? it must be a kind of psychological/physiological trip wire….just did the same thought-event sequence with scissors a couple of weeks back but with nowhere near such a dangerous and dramatic effect! so glad for yourself & your music that as said you managed to miss tendons & nerves! bear that in mind through the pain of recovery, hope it’s a speedy one.

    let me know if you’re coming back to Perth Aus anytime, it’s always a pleasure to come see you & catch up :) really should get lunch organised with u& Dad one of these days….just for laughs & old times sake…

    best wishes xx Sarah Munday

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      thanks Sarah, yes to all of your thoughts here, lets go for seafood, my shout!

  19. Bruce
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    geez Dave that looks like it was nasty glad you’re going to be okay thinking of you all the way in little old Adelaide cheers

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      thanks Bruce, yes, lets hit the Wheaty when i get back

  20. gayle kallhood
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I always say that if you look hard you will find the gift in every situation….While your left hand might appear to be gift wrapped I can only imagine the pain and fear you have to stare down. I hope the gift is illuminated and reflected in the new songs I expect to hear once your hand is healed…hopefully soon! I wish you the best always!

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      thank you Gayle

  21. Colin Crosbie
    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Probably in the top two scariest things that could happen to an artist…..nearly loose the tools of his trade. So happy for you, me and your audience that we still get to hear you play.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      much respect Colin, i second all of what you say … here’s to the music

  22. Joyce
    Posted October 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Yikes! Sorry to hear you hurt your hand. Those Leatherman Tools can be treacherous. Hope it heals up quickly.

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      a super sharp Leatherman, the wound is healing so fast with no complications, no anti biotics … the body is miraculous … thank you Joyce

      • Christopher B.
        Posted November 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Dave,

        Gadzooks!! horrible news on the injury, great news on recovery.,Mira and I wish you the best and swift healing.,let us know if we can lend a hand (heh) keep yer chin up and throw away that dang leatherman! much love.,.Chris, Mira and Sawyer.,

  23. shirley wheatley
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    David!! What an awful thing to happen! Sounds like you got great and swift care–and some good drugs! Sometimes our bodies have an interesting way of telling us it’s time to slow down for a bit. Sending healing thoughts your way. Once the stitches are out and wound well healed get some Vit E cream and rub it into the scar–helps keep it supple and minimizes the scar. Loving your CD–on constant rotation in my car. You have a very soothing–and sexy–voice! Great to meet you at Eaglewood. Nurse Shirley

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      thank you nurse! am following you advice … it looks pretty good now, :) Dave

  24. Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve got a cold compress on my head now, and I feel much better. I nearly passed out twice … once from your recounting of the dream and then again from the account of the slicing and spurting and such. I found myself exclaiming “Crikey!” over and over, and as you know, Davey, I’m not even Australian.

    All nattering aside, I am sending you hugely good vibes, brother, and am glad that in the face of all, no tendons or nerves were affected. Augh.

    Your American pal Stevie

    • DRM
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      thank you Stevie, a cold compress (preferably gin and tonic infused) works a treat … one muscle/ tendon group looks like it took a hit, we wait and remain positive … your pal, Dave

  25. Wayne Hales
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    David I am so glad you are okay. You have meant alot to me because of that L00 of yours. My Abby is doing well and I may play her at the fair this year. Hope you are well and thanks for being you.
    your friend
    Wayne

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