…and, unfortunately, much of them have to do with ailing family members and what the future holds, etc. It’s difficult for me to think outside of what’s going on and look for something else to write about and so, as I am thinking so profoundly about doctors and doctor’s visits and emergency rooms these days, I’ll delve into one of my own stories and maybe this will get me over my own mental hump.
Bear with me, it’s kind of funny.
So there I was, chopping cilantro for the garnish for our dinner. It was something Indian-curry-ish, though I don’t remember which specific dish we were making. And I was on the phone with my mother, which I know isn’t exactly at the top of the knife safety chart. (A friend, who manages a college dining hall, said, “I would have written you up.” I said, “You would have been justified.” And I digress.) So there I was, chopping and chatting away, when it happened.
The knife bit right into the top corner of my left index finger, through the nail and about three quarters of the way through the tip, though it never hit bone (hooray!). It was pretty flappy. “Uh, Mom,” I said, “I have to call you back.”
She said, “Sure, honey, is everything OK?”
“Nah,” I told her, “I have to go to the hospital.”
And so. Off to the hospital we went, which is literally about a mile away from our house. Nice and close, and I’d been in the ER there when I broke my leg so I’d had a fairly successful interaction with them before. No problem, I thought. They’ll fix me right up.
The ER doctor showed up, looked at my flapping finger in the examining room and said, “Well, I can just snip this right off for you.”
Because the thing is, if he just “snipped it right off”, I would have had a totally deformed finger. It would have been diagonally shaped and all natural finger-ness would have been gone forever. Picture your index finger, without the fleshy bit on the outside of one nail, and indeed even without part of the nail.
I said, “Oh, so you just want to snip it right off?” He smiled and nodded his assent. I said, “I have a better idea. How about you FUCKING FIX IT??? I mean, Jesus Christ, dude, I could have cut my fucking finger off at home for free*!”
To his credit, he started stammering and then rushed out his backup plan, which was to glue my finger with medical-grade Krazy Glue which, all things considered, should have been Option A. Though of course he told me it was unlikely I’d be able to care for my finger sufficiently to get it to “take” and I’d probably lose the tip anyway. He really wanted to hack into me and get a surgery charge posted to my account (shame on him).
For the record, my undeformed finger healed perfectly is now just fine.
And then we went home and had dinner. George chopped more cilantro. I think that was also the day he banned me from ever mowing the lawn, as he has a healthy concern about me near the presence of whirling blades.
That’s my story. I sort of do feel better now.
*note: I really said that.