Something amazing happened yesterday on Friday, Feb 15.
We were having our Chinese New Year celebration in school.
Mom had asked Justine to go to school to help us take photographs of the children and the event.
When Justine came in the morning, about 8:30 am, she told Mom that she got a splinter beneath her nail on her thumb.
How did it get there?
Your sister said as she was opening the door to the car park, there were wooden loose slits sticking out at the knob, and somehow she pricked her thumb ...
right under the nail ...
She couldn't get it out.
Mom didn't think it was a serious matter ...
We'll try to remove it later, after school, your mother said.
Justine complained it was painful and uncomfortable .. wince wince ... but she went about taking photos of the children and the lion dance performance ...
Fast forward : End of the event
Justine reminded Mom about the darn splinter.
Meanwhile, Aunty D said she may need to remove the nail to get the splinter out, and Uncle C said she may need to see an orthopedic surgeon for an emergency surgery.
Pause for the words to sink in.
They can't be serious.
When two doctors share their advice in that manner, what else can you do but worry.
Anxiety said hello.
Tension said long time no see.
All of a sudden, everything negative and fretful paid Mom a visit.
The darn splinter.
Mom told Justine, let me see it, maybe Mom can get it out.
Justine showed Mom her thumb.
"See? See that? That black thing ... it's from here to end of the nail here ... can you see it through the nail?"
Mom narrowed her eyebrows, for better vision.
Your mother was wearing her contact lens, and with the lens, her clarity is not so good near distance.
She couldn't see anything that was remotely wrong with the thumb.
Justine wanted to go to the hospital to have it taken out properly.
So around 230pm, we left the school.
Dad, Mom and Justine.
Mom suggested one of the private clinics nearby in Taman Desa.
3 minutes away.
Approaching the clinic, we saw an empty parking bay right in front the clinic.
Dad said, "You're meant to come here, Jus."
Mom and Justine went to the clinic.
Dad went to the cafe beside the clinic to wait for her.
At the doctor's ....
After the initial introduction and brief explanation of the problem, the doctor proceeded to check Justine's thumb.
He said, it was deep but he will try to get it out for her. He put on gloves and took a tweezer-like equipment and tried to pull the splinter out.
He said, as Mom just sat there and listened, "the nail may have to be removed and the splinter has gone quite deep" ... then he mentioned about "using laser" ... before he changed to another tool and tried several times to get the splinter out but still couldn't.
He finally advised us to go to the medical center nearby ... perhaps they may have better tools that he doesn't have, he said.
Aunty D and Uncle C's words came back to haunt.
Remove nail ...
Orthopaedic surgeon ...
Emergency surgery ...
We left the clinic in low, low spirits.
Mom honestly thought that the doctor would be able to help.
She was also sending You frantic telephatic messages of SOS ...
Help Justine, Son.
It's just a darn splinter.
How did it become so serious??
Do something, Son. Do something.
The doctor did not charge us for the consultation.
Mom walked to the car, whilst Justine popped over to the cafe next door to get Dad.
In the car, we had no choice but to decide to go to the Taman Desa Medical Center.
Dad and Mom honestly couldn't believe that this bloody little thing could be so darn serious.
It was about 3 pm.
We had to go back to school by 4 pm.
Dad said he will drop Mom back at school and he will take Justine to the medical center.
Mom said ok, but she wanted to go back home first to change from her outfit ... she was wearing a cultural outfit for the morning event ... it wasn't comfortable.
Dad mentioned that the cafe guy did not charge him for the drink he had in the cafe.
Two servings of Japanese Tea, Dad said.
No excitement there.
Sorry to say.
We drove home.
At our condo, Mom went up to change whilst Dad and Justine waited in the car.
About 10 minutes later ...
Yup, about 10 minutes ... she had to change to something more comfortable and also had to remove her lens ... she couldn't help it but she knew she was moving in a daze, thinking about the hospital and the removal of nail and orthopedic surgeon and the emergency surgery ... omg ... so yup, 10 minutes ... before she went down to the car.
Approaching the car, Mom noticed that Justine was not at the back seat.
Dad was at the wheel, fiddling with his handphone.
Mom got in.
"Where's Justine?" your mother asked, thinking your sister may have gone to the bathroom.
Dad said, "She went up ... (home)"
Dad replied, "Not going anymore ..."
Not going to the medical center anymore??
Dad said, (and these words were like Bohemian Rhapsody to Mom's ears)
"It's out ..."
Dad repeated lazily, "The splinter is out ...."
Dad said, he had a look at Justine's thumb, and whilst Justine pulled back the skin (away from the nail, if You can imagine) as much as she could, Dad attempted to pull out the splinter with a make-up tweezer that Justine brought along with her. She had been trying to get it out with the tweezer the whole time but couldn't.
A wave of relief immediately swept over Mom.
At the doctor's ... FREE.
At the cafe ... FREE.
Not once, but twice.
Definitely YOU. YOU. YOU.
(your pink t-shirt with the FREE words on it ... see how God plans things ... 9 years after you left us physically, spiritually you never left at all ... not at all ...)
Justine was elated, Dad said, and Mom can just imagine your sister's face.
Dad joked, "In the BMW, with these head lights above as my operating theater and the make-up tweezer, we got it out ..."
Actually, Mom thought she too could get it out, she's good at these things, except that she couldn't see the darn thing with her lens ... However, after the doctor at the clinic said he couldn't, Mom didn't try ...
Isn't it strange that Mom had to go back to change so that Dad and Justine could have a few minutes in the operating theater in the car ...
Had we gone straight to the medical center right after the clinic, we would have ... have ...
Oh, let's not go there.
You know hospitals ...
We know hospitals ...
If we can handle the problem ourselves, it's better not to rush to the hospital.
Thanks Son. You were surely with us.
Justine is so happy and relieved, told Dad, "You're my Hero, Dad ..."
Over to You, Daniel-Son.
What's happening over at your end?