The “high” and the “pleasure” of my title were an art day at Atlanta’s High Museum and time with friends. The “low” and the “pain” are my smushed finger and its effects – which will be shortening this post.
The story goes like this:
It was Thursday, the day of a friend’s lecture at the High Museum in conjunction with a retrospective of her artwork, mostly drawings. Another friend and I drove down through brilliant fall colors to Atlanta to see the exhibit “Susan Cofer: Draw Near.” We also went to the current exhibit from MOMA.
If you know me, you know that I love an art day. Susan’s drawings and her audio commentary on some of the MOMA works were the highlight for me. I mean, how often is the artist someone you actually know? And how often is the commentary voice on the audio tour one that is familiar?
Add to that a lovely time at dinner with a former student/current friend who joined us. The day was just getting better. And there was our friend Susan’s lecture in a bit.
We were hurrying back from dinner for the lecture, and we were pushing it close for being able to get parked and up to the auditorium in time to get seated for the lecture. So I was hurrying.
I parked by a column in the parking garage.
That probably gives you a hint as to where this is going. Hurry + column. Add a car door thrown open to grab a jacket. Add a finger between the car door and parking garage column.
You know what you get, right?
Yep, a smushed finger.
And you probably can guess the rest, too. A delayed pain response, enough time for me to get to the elevator as the ring finger on my left hand started to bleed and really throb. My getting faint and nauseated. My sitting down between the elevators (at least I think there were two). My lying down between the elevators on the nice, cool concrete floor. Lying down on the floor because I knew I needed to get my head as low as possible. The floor nice and cool because I was sweating bullets. My friend trying to figure out what to do. Security guard and another security guard and maybe a third. My friend going to get the car because it’s pretty obvious I’m in no shape to attend a lecture.
That was the most intense part, the first 10 to 15 minutes. The bleeding did stop. My faintness and nausea did subside. Since I’m now pretty expert on my body and pain and how much medical treatment I need (because of all of that cancer stuff of the past 15 months), I figured I didn’t need to go to an emergency room. I knew I didn’t need stitches. I knew that the fainting and nausea were connected with the sudden, intense pain. And all I could come up with that a doctor could do would be to give me a pill for pain. And I had some ibuprofen in my purse.
So we made the drive home. I held my hand up because of the throbbing. And I’ve been holding my hand up higher than my heart since then. I prop it up at night. It’s throbbing now because I’ve been typing some with the index finger on that hand. Time to hold it up again.
So this is almost the end of my post.
Most days have some good and bad, high and low, pleasure and pain. That’s how life is. And sometimes the pain is intense.
But you know what? It usually lessens.
One more thing for which I am grateful.