Yesterday turned out to be the day of the finger. I don’t know why I didn’t write about it yesterday, to be honest.
A souvenir I brought back with me from my jaunt in Bosnia Herzegovina was a bruised and battered little finger. You might be relieved to know that it was my own little finger and not someone else’s, but I can’t say I’m all that happy about it myself. The injury took place as I was nearing the end of a mountain walk on our first full day in the Balkans. There had been a lot of steep up and down stuff and I was a bit weary for the last mile or so and consequently not all that brilliant at putting my plodding feet down amongst the unruly tufts of grass and random boulders that littered our not so well worn path.
So by then I’d had enough for one day, I couldn’t be bothered concentrating and I tumbled nether regions over upper regions when my foot encountered an uneven bit of Bosnia. Most people in such a situation would land on their knees or their arse but I landed, with the full weight of my body, on the little finger of my left hand. Bugger!
It was very bruised and very painful but I was pretty sure it wasn’t broken. I could wiggle it a bit but some normal finger activities were deemed impossible. For several days afterwards I was unable to manage drinking English tea from a china cup to my normal standard of etiquette and panache and, with a trip to the Netherlands coming up soon, I was worried that when it came to sticking a finger in a dyke my choice of available digits would be reduced by as much as 10%, thus rendering me inadequate.
But over the course of the next few days the bruising went down, the pain eased slightly, I got on with enjoying my holiday and eventually I arrived home safe and sound, but for my throbbing pinky.
People in England told me I should have the ailment checked by a proper professional little finger expert, just in case it was broken and infected and the poison from the infection was circulating through my body and causing brain damage and insanity. They did seem to be very worried about me, so yesterday after work I went to see my GP. He wasn’t sure whether it was broken or not but to satisfy his curiosity he poked and pulled about with it so that the pain intensified significantly. I thought he had broken it for me there and then just to make sure. He also seemed more interested in the place where I had had my fall than he was in the finger itself and vowed to visit Bosnia one day himself as he twisted my sorry finger half way up my back to see how it responded until I was sweating more than I had been on the mountain walk.
Still not convinced, he sent me off to the hospital in Bath for an X-ray. Following his instructions, I journeyed straight there only to discover that the X-ray Department closed 75 minutes before the moment at which the doctor had told me to go there immediately. Sensing my frustration, a nice receptionist lady at the X-ray Department, whose job seemed to be nothing other than telling people that the department was closed, rang the Accident & Emergency Department to ask if they would see me. They said they would but it meant me taking my place in the long queue with all the rest of the day’s casualties. I felt such a fraud sitting there with my slightly painful little finger as all around me there were people waiting with arms, legs and heads hanging off.
Eventually I was seen by a lovely Irish nurse. We quickly established that it wasn’t necessary for me to take off all my clothes. She wasn’t sure whether the finger was broken or not but to satisfy her curiosity she poked and pulled about with it so that the pain intensified significantly. I thought she had broken it for me there and then just to make sure. She asked me if I thought it was broken to which I replied “Yes”. Then she told me I was tarkan shoyte and sent me off to the Emergency X-ray department just to be on the safe side.
A most pleasant and well mannered young radiographer, who would have reminded me of Harry Potter had he been a bit older, looked at my finger and then he poked and pulled about with it so that the pain intensified significantly. I thought he had broken it for me there and then just to make sure. I felt like breaking his finger but I was worried he’d go and tell his mummy. Then he showed me the X-ray which confirmed that my finger was definitely not broken. I simply had badly damaged ligaments and I was pleased to have that reassurance.
Five hours after I had left home, I arrived back in Chippenham safe in the knowledge that, apart from the intense pain that had only really developed in the last five hours, there was nothing at all wrong with me. A very worthwhile evening indeed!