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Monday, March 29, 2010

The St. Patrick's Day Massacre

There was no green beer to be had on St. Patrick's Day as we strolled into the emergency room at Toronto Western Hospital. The area itself is prone to 'interesting cases' to begin with, but we knew that going in - and I suppose we were early enough to avoid the Paddy's Day revelers.

I had put a nice half inch gash into my middle finger or "digitus medius" just under the collateral ligament of the 2nd phalanx. After the head, it's the fingers (or phanagis) that bleed the most, this is because there is an web of interconnecting veins that run through your hand called the dorsal metacarpal arteries.

Luckily for us my health care had kicked back in sometime in February, the odd thing is that after all those years travelling and paying for health insurance, it's now that I need to cash in on it (but for free). All that wasted cash - but better safe than sorry.

Checking in with the nurse, we'd glanced at the clock; check-in time 9pm.
In the waiting room there were a few odds and ends. An old lady who wore her sunglasses (at night), a roving alcoholic who was trying to check himself into rehab, and a little moaning Chinese girl with her parents.

It's great for comic situations or when you want to 'show' your boss your new injury, but soon turns equally embarrassing when you have to explain that while washing dishes the coffee cup that was in your hand suddenly transformed from a nice mug into a thousand shards of razor sharp blades. I'll never wash dishes again, I have a great excuse.

But after a few hours of waiting around, a quick look from the doctor, and an x-ray, everything came back okay, and I was superglued nicely. No stitches. Unless the cut is deep enough they just glue you up and send you on your way.

Other notable stories from the ER include: a man that had cut himself badly with some garden shears 12 hours earlier in the day - (they couldn't do anything because he'd left it so late), a kid with meningitis whose father wouldn't let the doctors test for it - (he was unsure about the side-effects of such a procedure, but seemed to miss the part where they mentioned his son might die from meningitis), and 2 suicide cases.

After I was discharged at 1:45am there was hardly time to seek out a green beer. I'd had my fill of tetanus boosters and Tim Horton's coffee.
On the up-side of everything - it's great to live 15 minutes walking distance from the hospital - and I'll be sure to leave the dishes until after the next big holiday.

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