The Log Splitter Wins Again


Fingernail pain is like no other pain! The Iroquois knew this well according to early Canadian history!

It was just last summer when the log splitter and I had an altercation and I ended up at the hospital, getting xrays. I now approach the big machine with caution and know that I should not attempt to lift huge log rounds. But with one lesson learned, no doubt another lesson is coming down the pipe!

We were cutting another cord or two of wood on the weekend and I simply misjudged where I placed the log. My ring fingernail got kind of squished between the log and the metal rack that holds the logs in place. It was just a quick pinch but it left me reeling in pain, seeing cartoon-like stars and acting like my arm had been severed.

After the drama, we called it a day for hard labor. My nail bed was red, filled with blood and throbbing. After listening to my woes and being genuinely sympathetic, FM offered to drain the nail bed using a method common to runners with blistered toe nails. With a red-hot paper clip, he would attempt to make a hole at the base of the finger nail which would allow the fluids to drain out. The source of the pain is in the pressure created beneath the nail bed, not the actual injury itself. So I gave him my hand and tried to be brave.

Surprisingly I could clearly feel the burning paper clip and I pulled away before a hole was complete. I decided that I would just tolerate the throbbing and carry on.

But when night came, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up every hour, thinking about my squished finger and wishing that I could put mind over matter. Finally, at 3:00 am, I realized that I had to be pro-active and I got up. I heated up a safety-pin to red-hot and finished off the job that FM had started in the afternoon. It was a gruesome enough result (no photos, thankfully). With my nail bed drained, the pain was instantly gone. I was able to drift off to sleep within 10 minutes.

Here, you can see the little drainage hole that allowed us to relieve the pressure.

Here, you can see the little drainage hole that allowed us to relieve the pressure.


Healing takes time, indeed. Here are a few updated photos of the finger after the nail sluffed off. It looks gruesome but doesn’t hurt at all.  It sure got munched!

My nailbed, 3 months later!

My nailbed, 3 months later!

2 thoughts on “The Log Splitter Wins Again

  1. Gut wrenching smash! I didn’t know about the hole puncture relief method…thanks. Hope I never have to use it, but it’s good to know.

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