Monday, March 06, 2017

Urgent Care

And so my sad little life continues . . . Last month, I got rear-ended in a snowstorm and got a concussion, which, by the way, is much worse than simply feeling like you have a headache. (With a concussion, it literally hurts to think. But more on that another time.) Then last week, I slammed my thumb in my car door, and it has been giving me hell for the last three days. When I left work this evening, it was looking swollen and definitely not getting better.

Sunday morning, as I was contemplating how to handle the severe throbbing in my thumb and my inability to pick anything up with my right hand, I googled, "What do I do about blood under my nail?" and a myriad of how-to videos returned in answer to my question. Over and over again, I watched people drill or burn holes into the nails of their crushed fingers to drain blood and relieve pressure. I thought, "I can't do that; I'm right-handed!" I imagined what they might say if I went to urgent care: "Really? You came to us with a crushed finger? Honey, we have work to do. Take a tip from those crazies on the Internet, and take care of this yourself!" Was it silly for me to go to urgent care? I already tried once on Saturday, and the doctor I saw that night unfeelingly told me to take extra-strength Tylenol. Did I dare go back? Or did I have the . . . err, cojones . . . to burn a hole through my own body?

I did not. After work, I promptly went to urgent care and hoped they'd be understanding and try to fix my pain this time. Please bless I get a better doctor, tonight . . .

And that's just what happened. An unassuming, affable doctor shook my hand when he said hello, got quiet for a minute while he examined my thumb, and said, "It looks like it could be infected. The only way to tell is to cut the skin back from the base of the nail." I must've looked nervous when he came back into the room with a razor-sharp syringe because he assured me, "Don't worry; you're gonna love me after this is over." I certainly was doubtful, but when he sliced the skin away, out flowed deep red blood, and I was never so happy to see blood in my life.* The pressure immediately lessened, and I felt lighter somehow. I told him he was right: I did love him. And I thanked him profusely as I tapped my thumb over and over again with my finger, feeling delighted that I could actually do that without wanting to cry in pain.

I am astonished at the curiosity of the human mind and so impressed that people have learned how to heal the body when it can't heal itself. With a tiny incision, my happiness level today went from about a 2 to a 10. I'm just so delighted to have a thumb that works again. And with that pain relief, the headache from my concussion is no longer masked. I'm aware of the sharp sting between my eyes once again, but I don't even care. I don't even care because I have a working opposable thumb on my right hand! God bless everyone!

Thing I'm thankful for: Besides thumbs? And doctors? Friends.

*If it had been an infection, pus would've oozed out.