Friday, February 18, 2011

To cut or not to cut?

Earlier this week, a man came in to get his finger chopped off... or so, he thought.

His right index was inflated to twice the size, and the skin surrounding it burst and peeled with infection. The tip of his bone, exposed and possibly gangrenous, smelled foul and caused him outrageous pain. It had been progressively getting worse. Wouldn’t I cut it off for him so he could go back to work?

As I cleaned his wound, I asked him how he got such a terrible infection.

-- “My wife bit me,” he announced grumpily. 
-- “What did you do to your wife to make her want to bite you?” I asked as the corners of my mouth twitched upward.
-- “She ran off for two days, leaving the small kid at home. When she came back I had to beat her,” he explained, “I had no choice.” He was asking for my sympathy but all I could do was laugh.
-- “And she bit you hard, huh?” He nodded and I laughed harder.
-- “It’s not good to have such young wives anymore,” he complained,  “they don’t let you beat them properly when you need to.”
-- Laughing outright and shaking my head, I chided, “You know, the Bible tells husbands to love their wives like God loves His church. You should not beat her anymore. It’s not good.”

My lecture fell on deaf ears because he chuckled at the thought. Imagine that! Puewff... You can’t stop beating your wives! How else will they obey you?

He was laughing at me for suggesting such nonsense, and I was laughing at him for having such a silly (but serious) infection.

It wasn’t long before the wound was cleaned, so I gave him antibiotics and sent him home. He would have to wait a few days to get his wish; there would be no amputations on command at our clinic (according to Dennis).

This week, he came once or twice for wound care, and I’m told it looked better; but he may have given up on our optimism and went elsewhere for his amputation, as I haven’t seen him in the last 3 days. Ha ha.

It’s the first time for me in two respects:
    It’s the first time someone has asked me to cut off their finger and...
    It’s the first time I’ve seen the benefit of having very young wives.

I guess if you are married of to a man too feeble to beat you, that can’t be too bad. Right?