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July 21, 2007

Yesterday afternoon by the time I arrived at home, my injured finger was swollen enough to be very uncomfortable. Although we understood the mechanics of heating a paper clip and using that to create a opening in the nail to let the blood, and therefore the pressure, out, neither Sibylle or I felt comfortable doing this at home. So we went to urgent care to have them do it.

Urgent Care, it seems, exists in a world of their own choosing. Unlike your family doctor or the emergency room, they get to be choosy about what they do or don't handle. When we explained to the receptionist what had happened and that I needed to have the blood drained she informed us that they "don't really do that here." They would be happy to diagnose my finger but not treat it. We both reacted to that statement saying that we didn't need a diagnoses just treatment. She did call someone in the back and got a tentative acknowledgment that treatment might happen.

So we sat down and filled out about 900 pieces of paper with a detailed medical history going back 12 generations complete with mitochondrial dna samples and blood work from everyone I've ever known in my life. Or maybe just a half page about the usual drug reactions and brief medical history,

After a few minutes wait we go to see a very nice doctor ("He looks like he's from the 1950s," said Sibylle) who offered two treatment options. Either burn a hole through the nail with a white hot gizmo or bore one using a small needle. I opted for the needle and shortly thereafter the pressure in my finger was largely gone. He warned me that we had now converted a sealed injury to an open one and that we now needed to be careful to avoid injection, but the relief in pressure is more than worth some extra care around my finger.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.