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3:27 p.m. - 2004-08-19
Getting Nailed Is Not Always a Good Thing
Getting Nailed Is Not Always a Good Thing

I believe I have previously mentioned that my apartment has hardwood floors. They look really cool, and are far easier to clean than carpets (when one has a very fluffy cat who upchucks a lot). However, there's one small problem with authentic, antique hardwood floors. That problem is nails. As in old, probably rusty nails.

I'm sure you can see where this story is going….but it's still a good story anyway.

March or April, 2004. After spending Friday evening doing not one fucking productive thing and enjoying this tremendously, I decided to go to bed around 1 a.m. I always wear slippers or flip-flops in my apartment….because of the nails. However, I thought I would be safe when I was two inches from my bed.

I was wrong.

As I went to turn back my covers and fluff the pillows, my big toe crept stealthily off the area rug and onto the bare floor under the bed….and ran smack dab into a nail sticking out of the floor. Hard. As in bleeding.

I did the heel-hop to the bathroom for a Band-Aid in bare feet, hoping like hell I didn't step on another nail with the other foot. After I successfully stanched the bleeding, I started pondering exactly how long it HAD been since my last tetanus shot. After some brain wracking and mental math, the last one I remember was … in 8th grade. I'm now 30. 16, 17 years?

In a panic, I hop on the computer, hoping like hell BFRB will be up and convince me that it's ok to wait till morning (scant 6 hours away) to get a shot. However, she's sleeping. So, I type in "tetanus" on Google. The websites I read all say something along the lines of "if you cut yourself on something rusty, haul ass to the emergency room or they'll be feeding you through a tube in your cheek." Obligingly, I put on something besides pajamas and zip over to one of the nearby hospitals.

At first, I was thinking this whole visit to the ER would be relatively stress-free and quick. Sometimes, I'm such a retard.

So, I see the triage nurse, she removes the bandaid, examines the wound, takes my blood pressure, and sends me to the "insurance chick desk." I fork over the insurance card, fill out a complete medical history, and go back to the waiting room. After about an hour, they put me back in a room…right next door to a screaming child. The lights are so bright. I'm so tired. I try to read the book I brought, but catch myself nodding off.

After about another 45 minutes, a doctor arrives, accompanied by two handy med students. He examines the cut on my toe, asks me if I have diabetes or asthma or some real problem, and scribbles something. When I say that basically, I'm perfectly fine except for the impending case of tetanus, he mumbles something in broken English about a nurse being in shortly and strides off importantly with his students in tow.

20 more minutes. By now, it's 3:00 a.m. In four more hours, the minor emergency (which requires only a $10 copay) would be open. The nurse finally arrives, stabs me quickly with the needle, and runs back out muttering something about "paperwork." I get the impression I'm not supposed to leave. A note: after removal of the original band-aid, I never received any other treatment for my actual injury.

She shows back up with some instructions about following up with my doctor, and at 3:25, I head for home.

The doctor bill and hospital bill were almost $500….and people wonder why our insurance costs so much.



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