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JunkandCrap Goes to the Hospital


So, on Sunday morning while making breakfast I managed to cut my finger. Specifically the left pointer. And pretty deeply. Deeply enough to make me want to hurl the chunk of bread I was trying to cut across the room in a fit of rage. Fucking BREAD! Anyway, at first I didn't think it was so bad, so I bandaged it up and went and did some things for a couple hours.

Back home, I had another look it the gash. It didn't look too bad, but it was bigger and deeper than I had thought. After a debate about seeking medical attention with my house mates, me being strangely on the con side (probably because I knew a trip to the emerge would eat the entire day), I took the short walk to St. Michaels Hospital, downtown T.O., to seek stitching.

So, what's a downtown Toronto emergency room like on a Sunday evening after a Halloween party weekend? Fairly - kind of reassuringly - mundane. No big emergencies; no gunshots or stabbings, crazies or DOA's. At least not that I saw. So after around 4 hours of my head buried in "Slave Species of God" by Michael Tellinger (hey, why not something fantastical , improbable and yet possible while sitting congregated with the sick and wounded after losing a battle with a loaf of rye?), I and two others were ushered into private examination rooms where I waited some more.

After some time (10 minutes or so) a medical student came in named Sacha who had a look at my finger and told me maybe stitches, maybe not, the Doctor'll be here in a minute and tell me what to do. Apparently there's a time limit on getting stitches of around 6-8 hours. I was at 9 hours. Luckily the rule isn't hard and fast so the Doc gave the go ahead for some needlework.

Alright! Let me say here that this would be the first time I'd had stitches. Yes, I managed to grow up in northern Alberta, live in the subarctic, work with my hands my entire life and travel numerous ways and countless times across the country without ever requiring stitches (I played little organized sports however, which may be a key factor). So I was really looking forward to it. I felt kinda pumped, like I was having a required human experience which would elevate my consciousness. You know?

So Sacha, the med student (I hoped not a psych major, but he never really clarified) came in and prepped the wound for stitching. First cleaning, then freezing. That was really the most painful part to date; the needle for the local anesthetic. But by most painful, I mean in an unpainful, relativistic way. All in all a pain free experience, including the initial laceration.

I've never been squeemish about blood or needles, having gone through a childhood full of allergy shots and occasional hospitilizations, and getting stitched was no different. It was odd feeling the tugging of the needle and thread, but Sacha was steady and thankfully seemed to be staying away from the booze at the frat house.

After 20 minutes and 5 stitches, the doctor came back in, had a look and proclaimed everything hunky dory. I was then fitted with an expert dressing (which managed to pop right off later at home when I removed my sweater, but hey...) by two lovely ladies of mercy, who were devastated to hear that I did make my living (or at least part of it) with my hands and sincerely hoped and believed I would overcome this obstacle.

And so, after 5 hours I walked out of St. Mike's proudly brandishing my finger with it's dildo-sized dressing as testament of my elevated status as a human being, confident of my full and complete recovery.

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