Here’s today’s lesson, kids — don’t get blackout drunk and fall asleep outside in freezing temperatures. You could very easily get frostbite in your extremities. That’s what happened to this poor Australian woman who decided to document her whole, gross, frostbitten journey online. (Warning: these pictures are graphic)
Imgur user TheBassistsMuse just moved from Australia to Saskatchewan, Canada, and decided to celebrate by getting drunk with her friends (as you do). However, rather than ending up the way most ridiculously drunk people do the next morning (with their head buried in a toilet), TheBassistsMuse (real name Emma Quirk) wound up in a hospital bed with hypothermia and a pretty bad case of frostbite.
Perhaps being native to a warmer continent left Emma unaware of how dangerous the freezing cold can be, or perhaps she was just too drunk to realize how cold it really was outside. Regardless of the reason, she has learned a valuable lesson: Don’t mess with Canadian weather, especially in the winter months.
Quirk’s friends remember her stepping out of the bar they were at around 2:30 a.m. to have a cigarette, and that was the last they saw of her that night. She ran off in the minus-30-degree-Celsius temperatures without a jacket or gloves. Stupid doesn’t begin to cover this decision.
A little over three hours later, she was found sleeping outside a nursing home, curled into a tight ball, with noticeably purple fingers. She told Daily Mail, “It was 5:45 a.m. when I was found. At 6:30 a nurse told me that best case scenario I keep my fingers… worst case I lose my hands.” I’d pick an awkward one-night stand over being told something like that any day.
So what do you do when faced with an excruciating recovery from frostbite? Document it online of course! Quick warning, these pictures are really really gross. You probably don’t want to scroll down if you’ve just eaten lunch.
Here’s what her hands looked like when she first came in — as you can see the frostbite is pretty apparent in the purple discoloration of her fingers. And while definitely disturbing, it’s not the stuff of nightmares. Yet.
This was taken a couple days after she was admitted to the hospital. Her fingers began to blister and puff because, according to Dr. Randall Freisen, or “Dr. Freezin” as Quirk affectionately named him, the cells were dying and regenerating. But they didn’t stop there…
This is a step before they got so enormous, Dr. Freezin had to pop them. He told her explicitly she must not pop them on their own, or they could get infected, so Quirk talks about how it was “a game of blisters and trying to open shit with your elbows.”
And finally the fateful day arrived when Quirk’s monster fingers had to be popped. The look on Quirk’s face captures everything I feel about this picture. When I saw it, I stood up and applauded every doctor who’s ever had to take down such angry-looking things. Not surprisingly, Dr. Freezin had to wear a protective visor when he cut them open to drain the pus. This is what third- and fourth-degree frostbite looks like, which is the most severe on the frostbite scale, and it’s as painful as it looks.
This is what Quirk’s fingers looked like post-popping. Apparently the doctor cut the blisters with a scalpel, and pus went everywhere. It even hit the hospital curtains. If it had been blood instead of pus, it would’ve made for a decent scene in a slasher movie. I think this nabs the gross award for winter 2015.
There is a silver lining though. Quirk is regaining full use of her fingers, and the doctor says she will likely keep all of them. However, there is a chance she’ll lose her right middle fingertip and/or her left pinky, but they’ll know for sure by June. Here is what Quirk learned from this experience, in her own words:
“1) don’t go full retard 2) try not to get blackout drunk. 3) but if you do, know how to get home. 4) find the pun in every situation.”
Wise advice for all of us I think. This message has been brought to you today by the letter “F.”
More on cold weather
Cold weather really does make colds spread, says crazy new study
20 Dogs that dig the cold weather
How to avoid hypothermia
Leave a Comment