Ouch! I Cut Myself Wokking

Cut Left Index Finger - 9 stitchesWhile chopping cauliflower in preparation for my nightly wokking, on Thursday, May 15, I broke a cardinal cooking rule that my mother taught me: "never cut towards yourself".

Shortly thereafter I found myself in the emergency room at Toronto’s Saint Michael’s teaching hospital getting nine stitches. I felt as though I was a patient on the television show ER. The med student that stitched me up did a terrific job with absolutely no pain. My thanks go out to the med student and the supervising doctor for a terrific job.

The injury has resulted in almost constant sharp pain, has inhibited my ability to use my computer for work or play and prevented me from: 1) completing the GTA IV campaign; 2) continuing my GTA IV diary entries; and 3) blogging as much as I would have liked to. Indeed, it’s astonishing how much I cannot do while attempting to safeguard my left hand as my finger heals.

On the upside, the injury has resulted in my having a practical need to test and use, on a sustained basis, the Windows Speech Recognition software built into Vista. In fact, I have written this blog post almost entirely through voice dictation. I’m keeping notes and expect to write a future post on my Vista voice recognition experiences. [June 3, 2009 Update: I never did write that post as typing / and controlling Windows by voice is still not practical for the able bodied typist]

I can’t feel anything above the cut to the tip of my finger on the inside. But both the emergency room doctor and my family doctor believe that the nerves will reconnect themselves within about two months giving me full feeling back.

As is normal with most any emergency room, I had to wait about 2 hours before I was served. I wasn’t happy that the emergency room doctor was unwilling to prescribe pain medication for me. I only asked for a day or two’s worth of pain pills but it seems like Canadian hospitals are required to treat regular patients as if they are drug addicts seeking their latest fix. Despite her assurances, over-the-counter Motrin, alone, was not enough.

Nonetheless, I was very happy with my treatment. Despite its problems, I still consider the Canadian health care system to be amongst the best in the world. The visits to the hospital and my family doctor cost me nothing and the treatment I received was first rate. I do not believe that American politicians and population truly understand how the Canadian system works when they criticize it as a socialized medicine that takes choice way from the patient. I much prefer it, warts and all, over the American System, with its 40,000,000 people either uninsured or underinsured.