If only all the worries of my life could be solved as simply as this one.

I have just managed to remove the splinter that had lodged itself inside my little finger for over a week now – a tiny sliver of glass.

This morning I poked a hole into the lump under my skin with a pin and pushed as far down as I could bear, then smeared the puncture with tea tree oil. I bandaged the lot and ignored it for the rest of the day until now.

I should be a surgeon. And you should all be proud.

Foreign objects

I am distracted by an infected finger. Something has managed to lodge itself underneath the top layers of skin on the little finger of my right hand. It is not so much painful, as it bothers me.

There is a lump that I have attacked twice now with a needle hoping to dislodge the splinter or whatever it is that rests there. My husband has offered to do the job for me. Once I would have welcomed that but not now. Now I prefer to minister to myself but I am squeamish. I do not go in hard enough. I cannot reach the foreign objects and I develop dreadful fantasies of bits of this thing splitting off and floating along my blood stream till it reaches my heart where it will cause a clot and kill me. Such hypochondriasis.

It’s not just a function of age. Though my fears get worse as I age. I’ve always been like this. I went once to visit a doctor in Carnegie because I discovered a slight bump in the middle of my big toe, a bump or lump, whatever it was, I decided for a day or so that at last I had the dreaded cancer. I was only twenty-two but I would be dead within months.
‘It’s a ganglion,’ the doctor said. And proceeded to tell me that the only way to treat it, if indeed treatment were necessary, was to drop a bible on top to squash it. Most likely it would go away of its own accord, he said. And it did.