The picture above is of a window box that is in widespread use across Malta. It is attached to the stone buildings. It allows people to sit, and observe the world go by. They are very pretty and popular across the island. There tends to be five or six windows in these window frames in total. One at each side; and three or four at the front. All can be opened.
As it was thirty-five degrees on average during the day; and about twenty-seven degrees at night, the four front windows in the window frame in my bedroom were kept open throughout my stay. I naively thought it might cool things down – not true; it’s air conditioning that works for that.
Yesterday morning at about 9.30 I was giving the quick once over to the flat before departing to make my way to the airport bus, for my 12.35pm Ryanair flight. My friend had left for London the day previously. I noticed that I had left the windows in my bedroom open. The window frame was wooden and the window itself was to be fastened shut with a metal latch. The final latch caused me grief. It was old and slightly rusty, but painted over, and it would not budge for me. I was about to abandon my efforts to shut it when I made one last attempt.
It didn’t move.
But my hand went flying.
Through the window pane to the side of the frame. It was completely smashed.
In horror I watched the blood gush from my hand. I ran to the kitchen and placed it under the running cold tap. Luckily it was only the index finger of my right hand, and not my wrist. After a few minutes I turned the tap off; wrapped my hand in tissue, wiped the blood from the floor, placed an extra two rolls of toilet paper in my stylish man-bag for possible later soakage, and left the apartment. The window was still open.
I contemplated going to the hospital, but quickly decided against it. My flight was in 2.5 hours, and I’d never make that if I took a detour for medical attention. Ryanair are brutal when it comes to service. I knew that this flight was my only option. Luckily the bleeding had stopped and as I applied new dressing the red stain did not seep through.
At the airport I started furiously texting people in Ireland for details on locations for treatment that didn’t require an eight hour wait in casualty. A nurse and a doctor I know both told me to apply sterile strips to it. Too late. I was already at the checkout gate, trying to keep my hand hidden from the beady eyed flight attendants.
The flight home was non-eventful. The kindly Maltese lady beside me gave me a bandage when she saw my hand and a chocolate.
Upon arrival in Dublin I was met by my gracious friend in her car, and she drove me to the Mater Minor Injury clinic, where I was promptly seen by a doctor.
After an X-ray of the injury was taken (to ensure no glass was lurking), the doctor injected some local anaesthetic to my finger. She then cleaned the wound. I glanced at what she was doing and nearly vomited. The sight of a lump of bloodied flesh being lifted from a finger and getting cleaned is a bit gruesome. She didn’t seem to mind. She applied four stitches and a splint. The splint is required to prevent me from bending my finger and bursting the stitches. Afterwards a kindly nurse gave me a tetanus shot in my backside. I also got a prescription for some painkillers, anti-biotics (as a diabetic I am more prone to infection hence these tablets), and a doctor’s note excusing me from work for a week.
An epic end to an amazing holiday.