Sunday, November 22, 2009

a superstition about rings

Two weeks ago, a thirty-year old male patient was brought in because of traumatic hand injuries; his right hand was all bandaged up.  He was really in pain so I didn't bother to examine his hand inside the clinic but instead I asked that he be brought immediately to the minor room.  At the minor room, I noted that he had a deep laceration on his right middle finger.  There were no associated nerve nor tendon injuries.  I explained to him that we need to debride and suture his wound under local anesthesia.  So after the usual wound prep and instillation of local anesthesia, I told him that I have to remove the gold ring on his finger before I could start the minor surgery.
He was upset that I would have to take off his ring from his finger because he said that if I do that we (he and I) might have a misunderstanding.  We, Filipinos, have this superstitious belief that if someone else slips off the ring from your finger; you are likely to quarrel or have a misunderstanding with that person.

I  just smiled when I heard that and assured him that we won't ever have a spat or quarrel with each other. He had no other choice but to allow me to slip the gold ring from his injured finger. I gave the ring to his lady companion and did the minor surgery.  The patient's wound has healed since then and yes, we did not have any disagreement with each other.