Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Saturday, May 21, 2005
    Never a Dull Moment

    Today, Saturday morning at 9:00, I was in church because it's my week to do Altar Guild. I was trimming the tapers on the candle snuffers and inserting new ones, closed the knife I was using to do the job and, in a classic mistake, failed to move my finger off the end of the knife holder. The blade came snapping down and got my middle finger just below the nail bed. After dropping a few choice curses (in the sanctuary!!) I dashed to the sacristy, rinsed it off and decided it might be deep enough to merit a suture. I know I'm due for a tetanus shot, so I headed over to our Urgent Care, just ten minutes away.

    I was prepared to get teased by the staff for my clumsiness, but not for what I saw when I stepped off the elevator: the resident whose turn it was to work and three or four patients waiting in the hallway. (It was fifteen minutes past opening time at that point.)

    "Nobody's here," explained the resident. Neither the medical assistant nor the receptionist had yet shown up, and she didn't have a key to get in.

    After dropping another curse or two (I am so going to hell after this weekend), I let everyone in and started looking up phone numbers after checking the schedule. Ten minutes later, the staff showed up (one had gotten stuck in traffic coming down from Palmdale, the other had locked her keys in the car and had to walk home).

    I didn't need a suture. Got my tetanus shot and left. Not such a bad thing I wound up cutting my finger this morning.



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