it’s probably not what you think

I remember sitting on the seat inside the examination room silently crying. I’m fortunate enough to say that my life hasn’t involved a lot of visits to doctors offices that involved tears, but this one did. I was with both of my boys at their pediatricians office. It’s one of those places that, despite usually having a really crappy reason to go there (being a sick child), I don’t mind visiting. They love kids, they engage them in conversation. They actually, genuinely care for their young patients.


I have no doubt that, as much as they’re used to calming unhappy and ill kiddos, they were still a little bit uneasy about my tears. I just couldn’t help it, though. They kept coming.


Both of my boys were at the doctor’s for well-checks. Traben was about one year old and Creed was three. Creed had his examination first, as he was ready for all of the attention of the nurse to be on him. And we’d been waiting a few minutes, so he was starting to get bored. Even the best and most favored of pediatricians still make you wait. So, after getting lights shined up his nose, in his ears, his belly prodded and his eyesight and intelligence tested, it was determined he was well. Yup, exciting.


Time for Traben’s turn. He was a little leery of the unfamiliar face that wanted to examine him, so he needed his mommy close-by. Which would’ve been fine, but halfway through Creed was bored with toys and books and decided he was ready to go. Done.


He speedily and stealthily darted out of the door, half-way pulling it shut behind him as he went. Seeing that the nurse had Traben, I knew I needed to catch my runaway toddler. I quickly reached out and grabbed the door to push it aside. Without realizing it, I had grabbed the dead latch on the door. What’s a dead latch? That little thing that sticks out, that little part than can really ruin a day when you encounter it like I did.

What happened next, I’ll wish I could forget the rest for the rest of my life. Not likely though, as the memory is still vivid years later. In my hurried state trying to catch the escapee, I caught my ring on the dead latch instead. I just didn’t know it until that wonderful moment when I passed the door and felt immense pain at the same time I heard a nauseating noise. Crack!


I gasped from the pain, caught up to Creed, and returned to the room in tears. At first I’m sure the nurse thought I was just an overwhelmed mom dealing with a busy boy feeling distraught over his desire to flee and my obvious failures at parenting… But when she asked what was wrong and I tried to tell her what happened, she interrupted me quickly. And then she fled. I heard her hurry into the hall and tell another nurse to find the doctor, fast! She returned quickly, closely followed by the doctor. I tried to tell them I was okay, just overreacting from the shock of the moment. Really.


But as my boys sat quietly watching their mommy try to dry her tears, the doctor insisted on examining my hand. Within moments my finger had swollen and discolored so badly they were afraid they’d have to cut off my rings. After a few agonizing attempts, I removed my jewelry. Another nurse arrived then with ice packs, while another nurse arrived out of curiosity. “You need x-rays!” the doctor insisted. I persisted I just needed to go home and pretend it never happened. They continued to insist on x-rays, all the while i was hoping  for that ever-wished-for hole in the ground to open up and swallow me, saving me from my embarrassment.


It was broken. I broke my finger in the pediatricians office.


So, if you see me without my wedding rings, it’s probably not what you think. My husband wasn’t too cheap to buy me a nice token of our vows. And I’m not trying to hide the fact that I’m married. If you look close, you’ll notice I have a tattoo in place of diamonds and platinum now. Not by choice, but because after breaking my finger, my rings no longer fit. And because of this injury, I no longer question in my mind why others don’t wear their rings. After all, they may have broken their finger in a doctor’s office, too.


Ever needed an x-ray for an injury sustained in a doctor’s office or hospital? Know a good lawyer? Think this could make a decent lawsuit? I’m kinda thinking it’d be nice to get my ring resized, but platinum is pretty expensive stuff…



3 thoughts on “it’s probably not what you think

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