‘You timed that well!’ I said as my husband came into the lounge room.
He looked at me oddly and asked, ‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, you managed to take the rubbish bins out between showers!’ I hadn’t realised that he’d gone up to the shed to do some work before coming back into the house.
‘You haven’t seen what I’ve done to my hand’. He gingerly removed his grubby handkerchief and showed me his finger.
‘Oh dear’, I cried. ‘How did you do that?’
‘On the circular saw’.
The middle finger of his left hand was sliced lengthways from the tip to the bottom of the fingernail. It looked ugly. I hurriedly wrapped it in a clean piece of cloth and wondered if the buzzing saw had hit the bone. Soon we were on our way to our small local hospital, so I didn’t have time to think of any more dire consequences.
‘Plastic surgery’, said the Nurse briskly when she removed my rough bandage.
‘You’ll have to go to another hospital and they’ll take the nail off. They’ll make you fast tonight and whatever time they set for your operation, it won’t happen until at least midday’. She continued with her long list of forecasts, all unpleasant, finishing with, ‘They’ll do a general anaesthetic for sure’.
The local doctor was called and he examined the wound. The surgeon at the city hospital told him that we could go down there at ten o’clock next morning. But no food all night, sir.
‘That’s a bit mean’, said the Nurse. ‘You’d think they’d allow you a light breakfast!’
Next morning we arrived early and went into the waiting room. The dressing on Maurie’s left hand looked as if he were about to go out onto a baseball field. We didn’t tell them that he’d driven the 60 kilometres from our home, with me trying to keep my arm out of the way of his long, wide plaster splint whenever he changed gears!
A young man sat bedside us in the crowded room, a small dressing covering the tip of his right middle finger. We exchanged stories and discovered that both injuries had occurred within a short space of time the night before and less than an hour’s drive away from each other!
So a ‘selfie’ was called for and their two smiling faces with ‘twin puppets’ were held up before the mobile phone. Soon their story was broadcast online!
All day they waited…past midday and on into the afternoon. Most of the other patients had been to theatre, but Maurie and his mate were still waiting…and ravenous! Eventually there was only Maurie left.
I said, ‘There must be a reason why you’re so late, but I don’t know what it is.’
Our local nurse was correct in most of her forecasts, but it was nearly nine in the evening before Maurie’s finger was repaired under a local anaesthetic.
When he was discharged that night, I realised the reason for the late surgery: God had been working on my behalf. I rarely drive at night these days and never in urban areas. Now I could drive in the darkness instead of a dangerous twilight. Before we left, we prayed that we’d be safe on the long drive home…after we bought something for Maurie to eat!
It was an interesting trip. I shouted questions as we approached each unfamiliar intersection. ‘Where do I go here?’ ‘Which lane do I take now?’ His hearing is somewhat deficient and I couldn’t afford to take my eyes off the road to face him. I was glad when we reached familiar roads. It was 12.30 am when we fell into bed.
Our wonderful God had been watching over us and Maurie experienced hardly any pain throughout the whole ordeal.
In case you’re wondering, it was Maurie who brought the empty garbage bins up to the house next morning! What a man!