Do you ever wish you could just be admitted to hospital? Not for anything urgent or life-threatening… But wouldn’t it be great if you were able to say, ‘Credit to myself, I have kept going for longer than I thought I could, but I cannot live like this for one. more. day,‘ and you up and admit yourself to your local Fix Factory? They’ll realise straight away that you must be seriously ill and very distressed. They’ll sweep you off your feet and push you around in a wheelchair, cooing over you, telling you that you don’t have to press through one more minute of agony. There’ll be a bed laid with fresh white linen waiting for you. The people you share your ward with are all legends – sure, some have irritating coughs and pass wind loudly in their sleep, but who doesn’t? The point is they care about you, because all of a sudden, you’re in this together: a little secret get-better club. And the doctor comes in (who is gorgeous, by the way; not too young that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but not too old that you feel guilty about crushing on him) and he takes one look at you and says, with just the hint of a Spanish accent:
1) ‘you’re too radiant to be here’ *swoon*
2) ‘I can clearly see it’s your little finger that’s been causing you the problem all this time. Has no one thought to check that? God, people are idiots. Anyway, it’s ok, I’m here now. We’ll get you booked in to have that little blighter chopped off tomorrow, and then you’ll be pain-free. And then, perhaps, we can go for coffee?’
You play it coy and cool and flutter your eyelashes and reply ‘we’ll see’ a little too huskily. He sweetly asks you to repeat yourself because it was so husky he didn’t catch what you said. You murmur something about liking coffee and his face. The doctor shoots you this completely disarming smile and floats away, barely moving his feet because he’s so heavenly he doesn’t tread on the ground. The ground just isn’t ready for him.
You consider for a moment that this time tomorrow, you’ll be pinky-less on your left hand (not the one you write with – that would be annoying). Yes, you’ll never get it back; yes, it will be a talking point at parties; yes, you’ll be differentiated from the other people you share a name with by this distinguishing feature (‘You know Rose?’ ‘Which Rose?’ ‘The one with no little finger on her left hand.’ ‘Oh, little-finger-less Rose? Yeah, she’s great.’). But, when the pinky goes, so will your pain. Guaranteed. Who knows, it might even become, like, your signature. Plus, it’s a visual reminder to everyone that you’ve been through some stuff. No longer are you dealing with an invisible monster. All that’s left is a weeny visible battle wound, that you can use to scare little children with and exchange for free drinks at bars.
There was a time you were in pain every day. You were suffering, mostly alone, with no hope of reprieve, no Spanish doctor-boyfriend who takes you on yachting holidays and can’t wait for you to meet his parents. But that’s not you any more. Because one day, you decided you’d had enough. You took yourself to hospital, and they fixed you.