Bad Vibrations

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Protect that stump!

A few weeks ago, I chopped off my index finger at the knuckle. Last weekend, I went to the Wounded Warrior Boogie at Gold Coast Skydivers in Lumberton, thinking that I was probably healed up enough to at least do a couple of fall rate dives, try out the new booties on the suit, fly the new canopy, etc...I put an aluminum splint over the stump to protect it from accidental contact with people, the plane, the ground, whatever. I didn't try to pad or immobilize it, though. I just didn't think I would need to. After my first jump from 14K, I was waiting for my favorite packer to work his magic, and Stumpy really started hurting - a LOT. I just whined about it a little (actually, a lot), took some drugs, and grounded myself. A few days later, I was typing at work, and the more I poked at the keyboard, the more Stumpy complained - I finally made the connection; you don't have to slam it against anything, or poke it with a stick. Vibration is enough to make the thing hurt, and when you fall at 130 MPH, everything is vibrating, including what is left of my finger. The next time I'm jumping, I will take steps to immobilize and pad Stumpy, to keep his complaints to a minimum.

Even a small amputation can lead to big changes, but I am determined to figure this crap out and get on with my life.

Blue Skies!

Airtwardo:"There is a bit of difference between a rigger with a nipper and a guy with 138 jumps and a swiss army knife...usually!"

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The sensitivity will likely reduce with time. When I lost my arm, even the thought of touching the end of the stump was painful. Within a few months I could do full push-ups on it.

You'll figure out how to work around it. If you have access to Occupational Therapy, they might be able to give you some ideas on how to safely work on reducing the sensitivity.

- Dan G

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