|Posted on April 15, 2014 at 4:00 AM|
I hit myself in the face with a bungee cord while trying to untangle it from the spokes of my new bicycle today. It cut the bridge of my nose and bruised my left eyebrow. I wore a bandaid over the cut while I finished working, because it's pretty deep. I remember a time when this would have been mortifying; today it's just hilarious. My boss the podiatrist put a bandaid on it very gently after dabbing the blood off with gauze and recommended I go get a stitch. "I'm not allowed to stitch faces," he says, "But that looks deep." Luckily, I closed my eyes by reflex in the split second I realized what was happening. All the rest of the day I have been noticing how much I move my eyebrows when I talk. Nothing increases awareness like acute pain.
I have been receiving varying responses from patients and colleagues: jokes about boxing, offers of pain relieving cream, recommendations of ice and rest, stories of injuries from other accidents, sympathy, laughter, consternation. I struggled to get my patients to talk about their chief complaints until I realized that this was the universe giving them a chance to respond to someone else's pain. And that their responses give me valuable insight to their character, how they relate to and perceive me when I'm not only their practitioner, but a fellow human being in pain. I stopped my futile attempts to redirect the flow of conversation, and observed the myriad reactions. It was fascinating.
When I got home, I sprayed rubbing alcohol on a Nexcare waterproof bandaid and made my own Yunnan Baiyao plasters for my nose and brow. I took a shot (~0.5 grams) of the powder too, placing it under my tongue and washing it down with hot water. You're supposed to dissolve it in hot water but I always have trouble getting the dregs out of my cup so I prefer to pour the powder directly in my mouth. If the wound is not open (no risk of bleeding), you can take it with white liquor, but I'm allergic to alcohol so I always do hot water. I will take shots of Yunnan Baiyao four times tomorrow. I hope that will save me from having to go to the hospital for a stitch.