Yet another medical professional looks at me in disbelief.
'Wait. Were you fixing something on your house?'
'Oh no. I was just climbing it. For leisure.'
I feel pleased that on a Friday night in A and E, I have brought something new, an innovative example of human stupidity. I have gone far beyond the mere drunken brawling, transcended the drug addict who has fallen through a roof (if she scrubbed up she might be quite attractive), and provided light relief from an unusual number of people with no visible injury or illness who need an ECG.
The wound is a good 'un too: two inches long across the muscle at the base of my thumb. It looked like a rough cut through pork steak, in the split second I looked at it before I clapped the other hand over it to stop the blood.
'Who put these steri-strips across?'
|My son's steri-strip, not bad for a first go|
'My son. He was very good at it.' He was too. He saw how calm I was, so decided to enjoy it. No one at his school would have had the chance to First Aid their Dad, he'll be bragging.
'Oh. Good job.' Polite, I think they could have been neater.
For such a gory wound, none of it hurts, until -ironically- the needle goes in for the anaesthetic. Oh my GOD, even as I feel it numb, it's like a super-wasp sting, especially when It goes in near the joint at the base of the thumb.
But pretty soon, the flesh feels cool and oddly like it belongs to someone else. The doctor stitches me up, evenly. Now, these stitches wouldn't be any good on a jacket or smart pair of trousers, but in the palm of my hand? Spot on. In fact they are so good I am worried that the scar won't be gnarly enough. Could I not have had a hapless fifth year student coming down off a medical-grade-amphetamine-fuelled twenty hour shift? They'd have made a beautiful mess.
'Right. You'll need a tetanus, in each arm. I'll send Olga in.' More fucking needles.
Embarrassingly, I can't role the sleeves up far enough. I have to take my shirt off, exposing my tanned muscular body, with little excess body fat. In this case housing a dickhead, who has wasted everyone's time by getting a horrendous injury climbing the front of his fucking house.
'How long are these in for?' I ask about the stitches.
'Not long. Next Friday, arrange it at your local surgery.'
Next Friday, I should be out of the surgery early enough to still . . . drive . . .
to . . . Wales. Oh no. I've blown a weekend on the slate.
My eyes fill with tears, and the nurse asks if the anaesthetic has worn off.