Tuesday, May 31, 2011


ALERT: This post contains talk of blood and nail beds and heated paperclips, so don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway, yeaaaaah, yesterday afternoon I shut my own thumb in the car door. I still am not sure exactly how that happened, but clearly I am some sort of door-shutting-contortionist who was able to manage this feat one-handed. You can hire me for parties.

By the evening, it was starting to be really uncomfortable and swollen, with the nail turning purple, or as M put it, "Yucky." Like nature intended, I spent some time on Google/Facebook trying to figure out the best course of action and read about a common treatment that involves (ALERT ALERT ALERT) heating up a paperclip, piercing the nail to drain the underlying blood, and thereby relieving the pressure on the nail-bed and subsequent pain. (SORRY.)

Now, unless things are getting bad, this sounds like crazy talk. You want me to push a red-hot paperclip through my fingernail!? To STOP the pain? Excellent. Sign me up.  

I waited until the kids had gone to bed to give this a whirl (since there's nothing like a fear of paperclips to set you back in your career), but it turns out that you have to press REALLY HARD to get a paperclip to go through your nail. I quit after a few singe marks and opted for the Red Wine-Tylenol solution.

By this morning at 6 am, after approximately two hours of sleep, I couldn't take it anymore and woke Husband and kids up for a trip to Urgences (or French ER, which, honestly, functions slightly less urgently than it sounds.) We spent an hour and a half or so in the waiting room, and then I went in for Proper Medical Treatment.

Me: J'ai ferme le pouce dans la porte de la voiture. Je suis stupide. I slammed my finger in the car door. I'm an idiot.
Doc: Oui, ca se voit. Infirmiere, le trombone! I can see that. Nurse, the trombone! 
Me: Wait a sec, isn't "trombone" French for....
Doc: Oui. Paperclip. 

So they heated up the paperclip and stuck it in my nail.

And that is why I love Google. And Facebook.

PS - Special shout out to awesome real life Doctor Elizabeth who backed up the paperclip thing as Husband was saying helpful stuff like, "This is insanity, you might get an infection and die." And to which I can now reply, "Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyaaahhh."


  1. I love the trombone-paperclip connection. Hope your finger is feeling better!

    Just found you via Top 25 Expat Mom Blogs - I'm an expat mom too :) XOL

  2. It is worth it. We take the kids out to dinner almost every Friday night. A place with bread on the table, crayons, and kids cups makes for the most enjoyable dinner.

    It is nice to know that if you did happen to get asked out to dinner with your kids that you could maybe somewhat have a civilized meal. Although, I think most of it is training you as a parent to deflect disaster and deaden yourself to chaos.