Hindsight is 20/20: Part 2

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I sat in Exam Room 2 at the local Emergency ward, waiting none-too-anxiously to clap eyes on Dr. DeGratt. I could hear him examining someone in the curtained-off room across the hallway. I had finally succumbed to the nagging of my friends, and most notably, my husband, and came in to get my toe looked at.

Apparently, although the patient across the hall was in there for bronchitis, the doctor felt it necessary to give him a mini-lecture on the old stab wound he had discovered on the patient during the exam. I focused on the citrus-coloured cotton yarn in my hands as the curtain was withdrawn, taking a surreptitious glance at the bronchitis patient while pretending to be extremely interested in the intricacies of seed stitch.

The nurse had mentioned something about a "drill." This did not sound exciting, since I was certain that it was meant to be used on my toe. As badly as my toe already hurt, I could just imagine the high-pitched whirring of a miniature cordless drill being the harbinger of even more pain and suffering.

Dr. DeGratt was very personable. South African, so I found out as I was chatting him up, trying to distract him from the real purpose of my visit and any thoughts of using a drill on my big toe. Unfortunately, he proved infinitely difficult to distract.

"When did you say this happened?" he asked.

"Um...Wednesday," I said. I was eyeing the pointy sticks in my hands, wondering what kind of defense they would offer if I had to make a break for it and hobble out of there. "I just couldn't get in before now."

"Well, it's not fractured." That was the end of the good news. "You've got a lot of blood under the nail. We're going to have to put a hole in there for yeh." His chipper tone of voice told me that this man moonlighted as a torture master--this line of work was right up his alley. My knuckles grew whiter on my knitting needles.

"What would happen, say, if you didn't do that?"

"It would go septic."

I don't exactly know what this means, but I've watched enough Lost to know it's not good. I heaved a sigh, resigning myself to the inevitable. "I'm going to knit while you do it, so I can try not to think about it."

"Do you think it will hurt?"

I nodded, white-lipped.

"I think it will make you feel better," he said, trying to cheer me up.

"I hope you're right," I said.

As he straightened out a paperclip (this was the drill?) and lit the fuse on a little kerosene-like glass candle to heat it with, I decided that knitting was out. I covered my face with my hands, peeking between my fingers occasionally like a child too scared to find out what's really behind the door in that scary movie, and too curious not to know.

Yes, I am a wuss. When I get needles, I have to clench my teeth and look the other way. It seems that the pain you know is coming is always worse than pain that already happened and you are enduring.

A couple of pokes with the hot paperclip, and the only evidence of the deed was the red-stained gauze pad over my toenail, and the acrid scent of singed protein in the air.

"Did it hurt?"

"Yes." I paused. "For like, a second. All in all, much less than childbirth, so I guess it wasn't so bad," I said, glad it was over, and trying to recover some of my lost dignity.

He then went into an explanation of how there was a small chance the nail would take hold of the bed again, but most likely it would fall off.

"Permanently?" I squeaked.

"No, no. It will grow back in about six months or so. If you had come in here on Wednesday, it would have been a lot better."

Well, that definitely gives Jason 'I told you so' fodder, I thought.

For those of you wondering how I am doing, my toe still hurts, although it feels somewhat better. I am still limping, but hopefully not for much longer. My vanity is somewhat alarmed at the idea of a nail-less toe but, Hey. At least it will start to come back in time for sandals weather.

I hope your weekend is going better than mine! Tell me about it. Take my mind off my toe!

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5 comments

  1. Hubby did this to a finger once...not pretty. I don't envy you one bit. But way to go being brave! :) And especially trying to have something to keep you occupied. Good idea.

    Ok, take your mind off of it...I had a Pride & Prejudice tea party today! And it was smashing! :)

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  2. Oh, my goodness, Anne, that sounds like so much fun! Did you get to wear period costumes and everything? Did Keira Knightly come? Or Colin Firth? Or whatever that other guy's name is that Heather Anne is so in love with?

    Thanks for telling me that--it most definitely worked. Now I will be preoccupied imagining the fun and wonders a tea party like that might unveil.

    Happy weekend!

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  3. Septic means it will get infected.
    Thats why we use... antiseptics!?!?!

    well this is a great time to demand a lot of coddling from the husband!!!

    AND id get my kids to do stuff for me too...seeing as my toe was hurt...hehe.. Get your homework done!! do this !! do that!!

    jk:D get well soon! and kick some butt! err.. when your toe gets better.

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  4. You have 6 months in which to point to the severely damaged and disabling toe in order to receive assistance, attention or general spoiling.

    Lucky you!

    Loves!

    (and get better soon but not too soon)

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  5. Now you and Mike have matching toes! But he DEFINITELY is not too concerned about sandal season! And he CERTAINLY did not write/ tell about it in such a humourous and entertaining way!!
    LY
    Mom

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