Won’t Be Stuck Here For Long

, , , , , | Healthy | January 19, 2021

I am newly divorced. I am also quite stubborn and make a decent attempt at home repairs on my own. This is not one of my shining moments.

I attempt to fix a leaking pipe under a sink using my hot glue gun. Don’t ask. I make a serious error in judgment and end up with hot melted glue completely covering my index finger and partially covering the middle and ring fingers of my right hand. The pain is immediate and intense. I quickly get ice and water in a glass and dunk my fingers into it. It is the only thing that stops the pain. I cannot pull the thick layer of glue off my fingers without perhaps removing a layer of skin. I quickly call my private physician’s office and explain what happened and that I was on my way. They encourage me to visit the emergency room at the hospital, but I tell them that I much prefer to see my physician individually.

I drive myself — manual transmission with my fingers still dipped in the ice water — to my doctor, who is luckily only five minutes away. When I walk into the waiting room, it is packed. As I do not have an appointment, I know I am in for quite a wait. I check in and sit down. Within about ten minutes, the ice in my glass melts and the water quickly becomes room temperature. The horrible pain returns. I go to the receptionist.

Me: “Excuse me. I have some rather bad burns on my fingers. Can you get me some ice for my water?”

Receptionist: “Sure will.”

She returns with three small ice cubes. I know it is not going to last long, but I accept what I can get. Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes before that ice also melted. Not wanting to be a bother, I resign myself to the pain. Within five minutes, it is overwhelming. As a purely physical reaction, I lean over in my chair between my legs and start rocking back and forth over the floor.

After a few minutes of watching me do this, a man in the waiting room apparently has enough. He approaches the receptionist.

Man: “Ma’am, you need to get this young lady back to see the doctor immediately. She is in obvious pain, and she needs to jump the line.”

Woman: *From her chair* “Yes, please get her back to the doctor right away.”

The rest of the waiting room chimed in agreement. A nurse came within moments and brought me to an exam room. The doctor gave me some pain medication. As I sat, the water softened my skin and I was slowly able to peel the glue off without causing further damage. I ended up with serious second-degree burns to my three fingers. It took weeks to heal completely but eventually did. Fortunately, the worst of the pain subsided within a few hours.

I am still thankful to those kind strangers who allowed me to jump in front of their appointments. They may never know how much they helped me that day.

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