“Ah, hello again Mr. Crawford. Right this way, we’ve got your usual table over here. Just relax and we’ll get you taken care of.”
“So – what happened this time?”
“Well, it’s a long story.”
“It always is. Nurse? Get the suture tray please.”
“It all started with a plugged bathtub drain…”
We let the kids use our big soaker tub from time to time, and a toy or possibly something disgusting had blocked the plug, such that we couldn’t close it.
To get the plug thing off, I needed to get my head right down to its level in order to find the little screw thingy that I undo to open it up.
Now on this particular occasion I was wearing my big bathrobe, which can be constricting. Being in my own home and in my own bathroom, I decided to shed this garment, such that I was now bent over the tub, flashlight in hand, head just above the opening, buck naked. My behind, legs and other accessories were outside the tub, kneeling on the floor.
Flashlight in one hand, small screwdriver in the other, I leaned into my task…
“Lidocaine 20cc…you’ll feel this a little…Please continue.”
It was at this point our fine and curious golden retriever entered the bathroom. Seeing her large master bent over and possibly in some sort of distress (?), she decided to inquire within the confines of the master’s hind quarters to see if there was some way she could assist.
Now, for those who are not dog owners, let me just explain that dog noses are wet and cold.
Having anything wet or cold suddenly thrust into ones naked posterior region without warning can cause a certain involuntary muscular contraction, namely the immediate straightening of the spine in a lurching spasm, evocative of electrocution.
This convulsion thrust my head upwards and into the underside of the spigot, causing intense pain and a nicely rounded cut, which gushed blood in some volume.
“Nurse, just shave this area here…make the bald spot larger. Do continue Mr. Crawford…”
Meanwhile my thumb, which had been biding its time inside the drain hole, became a victim of its owner’s sudden paroxysm and got cut, scraped, swollen, and stuck – all at the same time.
Bleeding profusely, almost unconscious from pain, I proceeded to whimper for help. Being in a remote corner of the house, not to mention having my head down in a bathtub, no one was able to hear me, so I was forced to attempt a self-rescue.
“More gauze please Nurse. Carry on… I’m enjoying this one.”
I had visions of the guy in the desert who hacked off his own hand to escape entrapment beneath a large boulder…
To get my thumb unstuck I thought I would run some cold water down the drain, in the hope that it would reduce the swelling and release me from its evil clutches. Chopping off my thumb with a small flashlight was a prospect I did not wish to consider.
Reaching awkwardly with my unstuck hand, I was just able to hit a tap and get some water to flow. Directly onto my throbbing and bleeding head, which was still beneath the spigot.
“AAAACCKKKSSSPPAAA!!” I spluttered. I coughed and cursed and shrieked anew. My wife finally heard me and rendered assistance with Vaseline (don’t go there), between helpless bouts of laughter, picture taking, and other acts of cruelty.
“The bottom line, Doctor, is I fixed the drain, which everyone seems to have forgotten in all their laughing and pointing behavior.”
“OK, we’re about finished here Mr. Crawford. Come back in a week and we’ll take out your stitches. Before you go, let me take a picture to add to our collection – this is your wall over here. Very impressive. See you next week. Or sooner.”