Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Paper Clip

This was not one of my prouder moments.
After having a few drinks with friends after work I headed home.
I was still living with my parents.
I parked in front of the house, got out of my car and standing, teetering really, on the curb swung my arm backwards to close the driver's side door.
I need to quickly point out two facts. I was not three sheets to the wind. (at best or worst, I was a sheet and a half.) And I drove a Mustang with what I now consider a major design flaw. There was no frame around the window. The window closed at the roof of the car.
You may have figured this out by now. As I closed the door I fell backwards off the curb and proceeded to lock my index finger in the car.
Making matters worse, I had already LOCKED the car door.
Extricating my finger was not going to be easy. I had to use my other hand to retrieve my keys which were already in my coat pocket, find the right key, unlock and open the door and remove my heavily injured finger.
After several minutes and tries; success.
I went inside and examined the damage. The tip of my finger was pretty mangled.
So I came up with what I though was a good plan.
I put some ice in a soup pot and headed upstairs to bed. I placed the pot on the bedroom floor, slipped into bed and placed my hand in the pot.
Ice will prevent swelling. Gravity however would prove to be my damaged digit's undoing.
By the time I awoke the next morning, blood had pooled beneath my nail.
It looked like a small ham hock.
I met my Father at the breakfast table and explained what happened. He took a look at it and told me what I had to do.
"Turn on the stove, get a paper clip, unbend it, heat the end and hold your hand steady," he said. "When the end of the paper clip is red hot push it into your nail. That will release the blood that has built up under your nail. You'll lose the nail, but you'll also lose the pain."
Now the Chief was pretty knowledgeable about home remedies but there was NO WAY I was going to plunge a white hot poker through my nail.
I decided to head to the Emergency Room at Nesbitt Hospital.
As luck would have it, my family Doctor William Boyle was on duty. I got to see him quickly and related the details of my prior evening's mishap.
He examined my finger and said he knew what to do.
This is great I thought professional, state of the art medical treatment.
"Nurse, get me a bunsen burner, " he said.
The nurse was back in just a few minutes and lit the burner.
"Probably going to sterilize some delicate instruments," I thought.
And that's when Dr. Boyle pulled back his white lab coat and reached for the paper clip slipped on his shirt pocket....

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