When my green thumbed swelled up

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I've got garden fever. It's generally a summer-long affliction, but sometimes it strikes in the fall too. Especially when the garden centers are having their 50-percent-off sales.

Don't tell my husband, but I spent some time with those sales Monday morning. Now that it's afternoon, I have to work the plants into the landscape so he won't see the evidence.

Somehow when I'm playing in the dirt I can run away from almost anything. It's easy to forget work and any other problems -- college tuitions and the 15-year-old learning to drive.

Though I'd rather be in the garden than in most other places, today I'm working on preparing my financial future.

I'm investing in the garden glove industry. I go through three or four pair a year. It may seem a strange thing to want to invest in, but somehow I want to form a relationship with a small set of relatively disposable items that may save my life -- or at least my hand.

Last November, I was in the yard pulling weeds with no gloves. I got a sticker in my thumb. It was sore, but I got the sticker out and doused it with antibacterial cream. I probably should have just cut my thumb off.

It was hot and swollen, came back, went away, and two weeks later I woke up to find my whole hand swollen to twice its normal size. Moving it was painful and it was completely useless. I gave up trying to button any pants or pull on any tights and the then-14 year old had to shift the car for me.

I visited urgent care. They looked at it and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. I took them and the next day it was worse.

I was sent by urgent care to the hospital, where I did my time in the emergency waiting room until they put me in an exam room.

At that point the doctor stopped by, took a quick look at my hand and said I think we'll wait until the orthopedic surgeon can look at this.

It seems some nasty little bit of an organism decided to take up residence in the little tunnels of my hand.

The tunnels are where the tendons and things between your wrist and your hand run. With the organism and all its friends taking up residence, there wasn't any room for the ligaments and tendons to work in the little tunnel.

So the good doctor knocked me out -- OK so it was probably the anesthesiologist who knocked me out, but I can't spell anesthesiologist with out at least two dictionaries and spell check.

They made an incision in my thumb and one in my wrist and washed the gunk out for the next 24 hours. For the next three days I was a visitor at the Expensive Inn. Only I had to have permission to check out. Being knocked out, and cut up, attached to an intravenous cocktail of antibiotics for three days, hanging out at the inn and taking 10 days worth of Cipro aren't on the top of my list of vacations, but they sure were better than losing my hand.

So, I'm off to the stock exchange to invest in garden gloves.

Well, really I'm off to the garden to dispose of the evidence.

Kelli Du Fresne is features editor of the Nevada Appeal.


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