Jesus gave up on me long ago, and that’s only if—big if—he even had an interest in me after I defecated all over the doctor who delivered me some undisclosed number of years ago. I don’t think it gets any more ‘mark of the beast’ than that. So, there has never really been a religious connection within thirty feet of me at any given moment, which is why my colleagues were so surprised when, out of nowhere, I had a stigmatic moment and started bleeding through my blouse at an internal staff meeting. This was clearly far more interesting than my routine report on what I had obviously failed to accomplish the week prior.
But, of course, it was not out of nowhere. In fact, it was out of the sub-dermal chest piercing that had gotten snagged on my bath towel that morning and partially torn out of my chest. I tried, very quickly and without much thought (which is generally how I operate), to blame my stigmata on Jesus. That failed to impress most but succeeded to insult many. I then—even quicker and with no thought—tried explaining that I am related to St. Francis of Assisi. I had lost them by this point so I just resumed droning on about the menial tasks that I spend days at a time struggling with.
After the meeting, I was able to find some privacy in the communal restroom, at which time I had a come to Jesus moment (only in theory, of course) about needing medical attention for this very-attached-to-my-skin anchor that was also and unfortunately very attached to the rest of the piercing which was no longer at all attached to my skin. That’s a mouthful or, in this case, a chestful. Strangely enough, the medical profession does not have much of an appreciation for semi-professional young adults who need immediate and somewhat-surgical removal of a semi-permanent and non-surgically implanted mistake.
Upon rethinking the nurse call center’s suggestion that I cover up and keep clean in order to wait the two weeks necessary to see plastic surgery for an initial consultation, I called back and orchestrated a fairly clever lie, involving the requisite fever, swelling, and green pus that tend to expedite one’s position in the patient pack. Fortunately, it worked, and a short 8 hours later I found myself trying to answer a somewhat confused trauma doctor’s questions:
- “What am I looking at?” Something I would like removed from my chest.
- “A sub what …?” A sub-dermal piercing, which means … “Yes, I know what sub-dermal means.”
- “Were you sober when you got this?” That’s debatable, but let’s go with yes.
- “What am I supposed to do with this?” Well, I was thinking cut it out. Please?
- “What’s underneath this and what is it attached to?” I am presuming skin and more blood, but not necessarily in that order.
- “Have you tried to take this out yourself?” Yes, and that reminds me, if we have time can you check out the bump on the side of my head, here? I think I hit the side of my toilet when I fainted.
- “Do you think I can just jiggle it and get it out?” No.
- “Hmm … it’s looking like I am going to have to cut this out.” Yes.
- “Are you comfortable with me cutting this out even though I don’t know what’s involved or what this thing looks like?” Get it out.
- “Ooh, has that Lidocaine worn off?” Yes.
- “Should we shoot a bit mmo …” Just keep going!
- “Alright, it’s out. Should we put a stitch or two in there? I’m not sure I have the professional qualifications to answer that, aside from observing that there is a hole in my chest.
- “Here it is, want to take it home with you?” Gross.
- “You want to see gross, come in when some lady with acrylic nails falls down and rips the top half of her fingers off.” … OK.