The Cutting Edge

August 3rd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

soup canLast night was the official start of my long anticipated week long vacation. Was I happy! A whole week ahead with nothing to do but what I desire. Yes! Time to spend doing exactly what I please or please not to do. I began by doing a few menial chores…..stocking shelves with recently purchased groceries and preparing supper for the “kids”. Upon thrusting my left hand into the recyling bag to dispose of the cans, my left index finger experienced a sharp slicing pain resulting from an exposed rim of can discarded by “someone” earlier. I screamed because I knew it cut deep enough that might require surgery, something experienced many years before. It was bleeding profusely. I shouted for Michael while I ran to the bathroom to run it under some cold running water while I searched for peroxide and band aids. Michael stood by not knowing what to do. I ordered (and I do mean ordered) him to get me a towel to stop the bleeding while my mind raced and replayed my years ago ordeal.

It was almost the same scenario, only I was opening a can with a manual can opener when the knuckle of my right middle finger sliced into the rim of the partially opened can. The cut was deep but healed, however the scar developed a cyst thus requiring a biopsy by a hand surgeon.  I was sent to a specialist in NYC’s posh Central Park area. The surgeon’s office and facilities was housed in a very impressive 1800’s mansion complete with an expansive marble staircase upon entrance. It was the kind of residence Woolworth might have owned. I was directed to wait in what was once a stately parlor with floor to ceiling windows banking one wall overlooking a  courtyard, a pleasant diversion of what was to come.

After awhile, I was led to a small room containing an operating table elevated to a sitting position. Unlike all of the other patients, I did not have anyone there to “take me home”, in fact it was my intention to go to work directly after at my office in midtown. This was of some concern to the doctor who said he would call me when I got home and asked what time I was expected. The surgery, which was performed using a local anesthetic, only lasted a few minutes. I felt nothing (at first), was bandaged with a small wooden stick inserted to force the finger in a straight position and instructed to hold the hand upright to prevent blood from flowing into it. This I dutifully did (although somewhat self consciously) while walking the several blocks (it was a nice day) to my office in mid town.

Picture a nice young girl, dressed in office attire, walking the streets of Manhattan during the height of lunch hour with throngs of people. Seems like a normal enough picture, right?  Ah,  yes. Only, this girl has a very conspicuous white bandage on the middle finger of her right hand  which she holds, rather alarmingly, upright. It was bad enough I had to hold it in this embarassing position, but someone actually looked  at me and LAUGHED! I was mortified. By this time my finger was beginning to throb. I stubbornly plodded on, got to the office, was felt sorry for (“why did you come in?”) and went home at my scheduled hour. No sooner did I walk in the door, when the phone rang. It was the surgeon to make sure I was okay. That made my day. He really did care.

Getting back to my present situation. Day two. The bleeding has stopped. I will not require stitches. If it develops some abnormality in the days to come, that remains to be seen. In the meantime, I need not fear any humiliation other than the green and yellow Incredible Hulk band aids I accidently bought last summer at the drug store. Beats walking down 5th Avenue with an FU gesture aimed at the world. A nice girl like me…….

So……………whadayathink? Can you think of a better way to kick off your vacation? The emergency room isn’t one of them. The only thing that’s urgent is getting some R&R.

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