MY HUSBAND CALLED late yesterday afternoon. “I’m at the clinic.” Those are words a wife does not want to hear.
“What did you do?” The question popped automatically out of my mouth.
“Smashed my thumb with a hammer.”
This did not sound good, not good at all.
“They’re going to do an x-ray and I may need stitches.”
For my automotive machinist spouse, his hands are his tools, so these types of injuries always concern me.
I hung up, then worried and fretted and worried some more while waiting for a follow-up phone call. Forty-five minutes later he called from the Northfield clinic to say he was on his way home to Faribault.
“I got three stitches.”
“What’s the prognosis?”
“It’s not broken, but they found bone fragments floating around. They think it might be from a previous injury, maybe not, and want me to come back in a week for another x-ray.”
He claims he didn’t injure the thumb prior to yesterday.
I doubt that statement. Throughout our 28 ½ years of marriage, he’s hit his thumbs more than once with a hammer at work, although certainly not this severely.
This time he delivered a glancing blow to his left thumb with a two-pound hammer while pounding universal joints out of a drive shaft. Ouch.
He’s off to work this morning, despite the doctor’s instructions that he stay home.
He told her he couldn’t. Too much work and he wasn’t going to let an injury like this keep him down. He possesses a strong work ethic and a degree of German stubbornness.
The physician conceded, told him to keep the thumb clean and dry. I’m uncertain how he will manage that given the nature of his job gets his hands dirty and greasy.
This morning he struggled to button his shirt. How will he operate machinery, deal with heavy and grimy automotive parts? But, he’s determined. My concern, a few stitches, a clumsy splint, swelling and a little pain aren’t going to stop him from working.
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling