Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Sliver

We have all had them. Slivers. I have huge “farmer” hands as opposed to thin-fingered “artists” hands so I have a hard time finding gloves to fit. The largest gloves out there I can, after a few hours, get onto my hands but don’t allow me to move my fingers. So usually I work bare-handed when I work outside in the yard or on a construction project. So I get a lot of slivers, A LOT of slivers.

I have taken to naming my slivers. First you have the 2x4. That is the sliver that is the size of a 2x4, hurts a lot and bleeds a lot but is easy to remove. Then you have the dagger. The dagger is the kind of sliver that just kind of slips in at an angle into your skin and breaks off. It is shaped like a dagger, usually not too deep, not too painful, just annoying and normally you can remove it by pincer-ing your fingernails. Next is the mole. The mole is that sliver that is small and gets under you skin, it is an annoying, nagging pain. You cannot get this mole without the use of a pin and tweezers. Lastly you have the bullet sliver. This sliver goes straight down into you skin and no matter how much digging with a pin or a tweezers you do; you cannot find it or dislodge it. It is there to stay.

My last sliver was a bullet. It was buried into a part of my hand that I used frequently so every time it held something the bullet sent a shock through my hand reminding me it was still there. I dug and dug trying to get it out, even thinking I had it a few times, but to no avail. Nothing short of going to an emergency room would have gotten it out of my hand. So I decided to do the only thing I could do … I ignored it.

I ignored it and it healed over, with the sliver inside. Eventually I forgot it as the reminders got less and less intense. A month later I looked at my hand and found a little black spot surrounded by white, pimple-like puss. With a little pinch and a wipe I had that long forgotten bullet sliver on the end of my finger. I looked at it remembering all the pain it caused me and all the time I spent digging at it. Then I threw it away.

Now the lesson I learned from this was NOT “if you ignore a problem it will go away.” The lesson I learned was about how amazing our bodies are. I spent all that time and energy and, if I would have gone to the emergency room, all that money to do what my body and a little time took care of on its own. We are really “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

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