Thursday, December 1, 2016

Drilling a Hole

A guest stubbed her toe.

Her big toenail turned black. This was a subungual hematoma: bleeding under the nail. If blood can’t escape, pressure builds, and it hurts.

The solution is to make a hole. Medical books have long told us to heat the end of a paper clip until it is red-hot and then burn through the nail.  

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t allow anyone near my flesh with a red-hot instrument. One can also dig with something sharp such as a scalpel. That takes work.

The solution is an electrical drill. One can buy one with a tiny bit, but I don’t see many subungual hematomas, so I borrow my wife’s. The smallest bit is 1/16th inch which is larger than necessary.

It’s a hefty instrument that makes a loud noise. Guests look uneasy when I approach, but the operation is painless, and when the breakthrough produces a spurt of blood, pain vanishes.

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