Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Outdoor Type

I know….no blog postings for ten days and now two in one afternoon….

About 11 days ago I told of my adventure removing a splinter by myself while Gail was off visiting her sister in San Francisco.

Well, today tragedy struck again. I got another splinter but this one came from doing something we’ve all done at one time or another. I refer to the painful “reaching into the briefcase” splinter.

I happened to look in my briefcase today, and I saw that the center compartment is still filled with Euro coins from where I was in Ireland 2 months ago. So I decided to clean them out. I reached down in there and began scooping them out when I felt the most intense pain of my life.

Having never passed a kidney stone, here is the previous personal pain record holder: I was carrying the ball and had enough steam built up that when the defensive guy hit me he sort or bounced off, and as I kept running his attempt to grasp me caused him to slide down my body. With my left foot planted on the ground this guy’s knee came down right on top of my left foot, breaking 3 of my Metatarsals. (Shout out….Dr. Steve Ahlfeld…thanks again for fixing my foot. All these years later I have NO issues, even when the weather changes. It’s perfect.)

Anyway, broken metatarsals are nothing like the pain I felt prior to pulling my hand out of my briefcase and seeing a huge splinter jammed up under the fingernail of the middle finger on my right hand. Yes, just like some kind of sadistic POW torture, I had put the equivalent of a toothpick under my fingernail and broken it off.

It doesn’t help that I have a problem with biting my fingernails…

Strangely, the splinter only hurt on the way in. Having found its equilibrium, it was not causing any pain as it just sat there. Still, I couldn’t leave it there.

Gail won’t be home until Tuesday. (I know…she has been in San Francisco LONGER than we were in Ireland….) I don’t think it would be good for this splinter to wait that long. What if the nail grows over it, trapping it in there? Also, I don’t know what species it is. It could be Cherry, but it might be Padauk…and I just don’t like the thought of African wood living under my fingernail. What if it leads to Ebola? Laugh all you want, people, but none of us actually knows for sure….

So I had no option but to cruise over to PrimeCare (it’s cheaper and faster than the Emergency Room). However, when I got there I found there must be influenza sweeping through the blueberry farms of West Michigan because it seems every migrant farm worker in the area was there with a sniffling horde of kids. I asked, and a nurse confirmed they had a full crowd in front of me. So l left and went to lunch.

I drove 25 miles away to my favorite place to eat (BW3s) and used their free WiFi to email my tale of woe to my wife who was 3 hours behind me on the west coast. I ate my food while asking all of my favorite waitresses if they would like to earn some extra cash going after the splinter…no one needed the money that badly.

So I used the internet to find the closest medical facility. When I arrived at Spectrum Hospital’s Urgent Care facility, I found no migrant farm workers…only trained medical professionals looking to help.

The Physician’s Assistant asked if I wanted to try to tough it out or if I wanted to take the sure fire painless route. He misinterpreted my answer and the next thing you know I am “toughing it out.” Basically he just jammed some tweezers under my nail and yanked that bad boy out.

I have posed it with a dime (and a 10 cent Euro coin) for size comparison.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Perhaps I should not be left home alone in the future???

What does it say about my woodworking toughness when I get doctor-worthy splinters just reaching into my briefcase?

It’s probably a good thing that I am more into hotels than tents. It’s really best than I don’t like to go camping. To quote the Lemonheads….Honey, "I lied about being the outdoor type.”


Anonymous said...

Ouch! Sorry I wasn't there to help with that. You know how I love minor surgery. gls

Anonymous said...

Oh, for crying out loud! Be a man, and just grab the closest pair of needle nose pliers. Remove the fingernail, and then you can just gently lift the splinter off.

Jeff Skiver said...

Man, where was this advice yesterday when it could have saved me my $15 CoPay????

Ethan said...

I'm just curious to hear where the splinter came from. Did you chuck that piece of purpleheart into your briefcase in a fit of anger? Or was it a bit of bog oak from Ireland?

Ahhh... you could have had a 4,000 year old splinter, Jeff! Did you save it?

Ron B said...

All that fuss for that little thing? I've done that quite a few times in the shop - usually mahogany - African naturally, so it had to come out ASAP. But shop splinters usually leave enough out to grab and yank out on your own.

I have a piece about that big still in my palm. Dug and dug and couldn't find it. Pickle!

Anonymous said...

Pussy! ;>) I've had a couple of kidney stones and plenty of splinters (including one the size of a railroad tie that I had to leave in my butt during a 1959 game between the Colts and the Giants because I went with my two "maiden" aunts and was too embarassed to tell them about it), and splinters can't begin to touch the stones. I mean, not even remotely close. I wouldn't wish one of those on my worst enemy-well maybe on a couple of real jerks I know. Cheers, Tony