The minute the nurse looked at my leg I knew something was wrong. I knew because she said “Something’s wrong”.
“The stitch is too tight, there’s still a little bit in there.”
“Uhhh...In where?!” I said, sitting upright in shock. (I know, I can’t believe I said that either. Who writes my lines?!)
“In your leg.” She said cheerfully. “Under the skin.”
She held up the thread she had managed to scoop out and waved it about near my face. “I got this bit out though.” She smiled at me. “You’ll be fine. Just you try to pick it out yourself in a few days.”
I felt the blood drain from my face and lay back down against the sterile, uncomfortable examination couch.
“Please can you try one more time?” I asked her, once I stopped feeling like I was going to vomit. I’m not as squeamish as some, but stitches really do make me feel a little queasy. It’s the fact that my skin was basically sewn back together with a needle and thread that gets me. *shivers*
She went to get the doctor to have a look, leaving the door open as she left.
‘Thank God I’m not getting a smear test’, I thought as I struggled to pull my top down over my bare legs in an attempt to hide my polka dot Snoopy pants (don’t, just don't.) from patients in the waiting room who were peering in.
The nurse came back, followed by a young, male doctor.
Ah just my luck, I thought as I realised my hairy legs could rival that of a scruffy dog. My knees had beards.
The doctor took a look at the little piece of blue thread still under my skin and poked around trying to cut it out. I couldn’t look. Instead I looked at the posters on the walls about head lice and diabetes that were ten years out of date, the bathroom scales on the floor next to the desk… ‘I wonder how much I weigh’. I looked at the nurse’s blue eyes. I looked at the window in the door (how sensible is it to put a window in a doctor’s office?) and then I looked at the doctor’s name badge.
‘Hahaha’, the Gods were rolling around laughing. ‘We got you again!’
The sound of blood rushing in my ears overwhelmed me as I realised I went to school with this doctor.
‘Please God, if you make him not recognise me I’ll give all my money to the poor.’ I bargained.
But God doesn’t bargain with strangers I suppose.
The doctor began to explain that he was not able to get at the little piece of leftover stitch embedded in my skin and so I was just going to have to wait until it ‘grows out’ (vulgar expression – his words not mine) before then picking it myself.
And, as his eyes met mine, his entire face and neck turned mottled pink, quite like a lobster actually, and I felt myself cringe back into the couch and avoided his gaze. He recognised me.
Pulling up my jeans, I thanked the nurse and muttered a goodbye to the doctor, rushing out of the room as quickly as possible.
I suppose it’s my own fault for not taking the time to shave my legs and spray on some fake tan. But really, am I destined to always be 'humiliation' personified?
And now I sit with a blue thread embedded in my leg, wondering when it will ‘grow out’, wondering which charity I can give my money to in order to make God have mercy on me. Surely I am due some humiliation-free outings?
Ah go on, God.