Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Doctor's Hands

Look at these hands. Just look at 'em. Not a pretty sight, are they? I need to cut my nails again. I know, they're barely two millimeters long, but that's long enough for germs to grow under. Did you read that report about the nurses' fingernails? What they found growing under those things? Yeesh. Frightening. No, I have to keep them short. Yeah, I could put polish on them, I suppose, try to spruce them up a bit, but I doubt it would last more than a day, given how much I wash.

How much? Well, let's see. Twice for every patient. Once before I touch them and once after. Why before? Well, if I wash my hands before I touch them, that reassures them that I'm not going to give them any germs. And washing after reassures me, of course. So. Twice for every patient, once for every time I eat anything, or blow my nose, or go to the bathroom, or brush my teeth, or pick up something off the floor....gosh, I dunno. Seems like a hundred times a day I wash. Can't you tell? Look at 'em. All dry and cracked and chapped. Sometimes I use the backs of my hands to scratch with. That's how rough they are.

See that shiny bit there? At the tip of my thumb? No, that's not leftover polish. That's superglue. Yep. Superglue. Trade secret. When your hands get so dry from washing that the fingers crack, glue the crack shut with superglue. Works wonders.

These here are age spots. Lovely, eh? Why can't they call them "maturity spots" or something? Age spots. Rub it in, why doncha? 47 years old and I have "age" spots.

What else? Oh. Callouses, of course. From writing. No, we don't use dictation or electronic charts in my clinic. One of these days we'll join this century. Meanwhile, we write.

Oh yeah, these things too. What do you call them? "Cuticles" I think. I've heard some people actually trim those things, or oil them and get them pressed or something. Criminey. Who has time for that? I just leave them alone, unless they get torn when I rip off a hangnail with my teeth. Superglue works for hangnail craters too, by the way.

And finally, these ropy blue things. Proof positive that these hands get used. Big ol' veins pumping that used blood. From busy hands to busy heart. Feel 'em if you want. Flatten 'em out and fill 'em back up. Those are some working pipes, my friend.

Yeah, boy. Look at these things. Not much to look at, are they? But I wouldn't trade 'em for the world.


Marianne said...

Thanks for the tip on the superglue! My brother slammed my thumb in the car door when I was little and that place always splits when my hands get too dry.

anafaran said...

Superglue, you're kidding!
Doctor Peg, keep some neosporin + pain relief in your purse, and those little finger rubbers. What are they called? I know they aren't called that but it will heal the cracks lickety split. No pun intended.

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