• Gary Moller

How to heal quickly as you get older



Sliced fingers the day of injury

Image: Fingers after cleaning

Last month, I had the painful experience of sliding off my mountain bike and slicing my finger on the brake rotor as I fell. Gosh, it was painful and the bleeding was profuse. I was in the middle of nowhere at the time with the best part of two hours to get out and I had foolishly forgotten to bring even as much as a sticking plaster!

After a quick check that the tendons were working and a few quick words with my two companions I was back onto my bike and on our way. While it was very painful to operate my front brakes and the bleeding continued, smothering my hand and dripping onto the bike frame, it looked worse than it was. A little blood goes a long way and I played it up to my mates that I was dying from blood-loss. They did not seem to really care.

Once I got to the car I carefully changed clothing the covered my wounded hand with a clean sock (very handy things when you forget any first aid stuff) which allowed me to drive back to Wellington.

Once home I made a big, hot bath which I soaked in for about an hour with a cold beer to hydrate. I had a few other scrapes on the hips and elbow that needed attention as well. The bath included thoroughly cleaning the fingers with soap. Scrubbing one's soapy hair with the wounded fingers is a good wound-cleaning strategy. By the way, the most painful part of the cleaning process is the first moments of immersing in a hot bath.

The decision was made that the need for stitches was marginal so not to be bothered with.

Because one wound in particular was deep, it was essential that there was no re-opening of the wounds so that healing is clean and uninterrupted.

After thorough cleaning and drying out the wound was covered with a silver-lined, anti-bacterial band-aid from the supermarket. To ensure the sterility of the wounds I added a couple of drops of full-strength Lugols Iodine to the dressings while being careful to not have direct contact of the iodine with the raw tissue.

I also needed to get on with work and play and the right index finger is rather important for this. So, I cut a plastic pot to create two moulded finger-protectors which were th