Home Opinion Mike’s Musings Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor Saga Of Red Ants and Wedding Bands
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Mike’s Musings Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor Saga Of Red Ants and Wedding Bands

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I was looking forward
to a great weekend, but
first I had to perform a
Saturday morning ritual
which was pulling weeds. I
was about two hours In to
the weed pulling process
when I felt a painful sting
on my left gloved hand. A
group of pesky little red
ants had bitten through the
glove causing the stinging
sensation.
No matter. I thought little
of it until several hours
later sitting at a restaurant
I noticed my wedding band
was extremely tight on my
finger. The ants had bitten
me on the knuckle above
my wedding band and by
that time the finger had
swelled to the point the
wedding band was inhibiting
the flow of blood.
Instead of enjoying my
lunch I sat at the restaurant
with hand in ice water.
We left a short while later
and at home proceeded
with the ice water therapy,
coupled with Google suggestions
to somehow get
the ring off the finger. Of
course nothing worked so I
went to bed in frustration.
I awoke early next
morning around 5 a.m. and
noticed a massive blister
had formed just above the
knuckle. My wife, who
was unable to convince
me to go to urgent care
the night before, now
demanded I climb in to
the passenger seat, and she
personally was driving me
there.
Once there I was
whisked in to an examination
room where the
Physician’s Assistant (PA)
applied some surgical ointment
to the swollen finger.
As I knew the wedding

band wouldn’t budget. He
tried another solution same
result.
He was getting perturbed.
Jokingly, at least
I thought he was joking,
he wondered why his
first patient on a Sunday
morning (me) had to have
such a difficult problem.
“Why couldn’t I just have
a cold?” he asked.
He next got a piece of
thread and attempted to insert
the thread underneath
the wedding band and
wrap it around the finger,
and then quickly unwind
the threat in hopes that
the band would slide off
the finger. Not a chance.
The wedding band didn’t
budge.
I told the PA to just
cut the wedding band off.
My Google searches had
noted that most urgent
care centers had tools that
could easily cut through
the band.
But he hadn’t given up,
yet. The erstwhile PA left
the room for five minutes
and came back with a
bundle of gift wrap ribbon.
Hmm I thought he must
have went to the grocery
store next door to purchase
the ribbon.
“This will get the job
done,” he proudly exclaimed.
He again used the
needle to slip the wider
and thicker gift ribbon
under the ring, wrapped it
tightly around the entire
finger and then pulled.
Shazaam this was magic.
Guess again, the ring
didn’t budge.
In a look that only
spelled defeat, he agreed,
our only choice was to
cut the band. He went to
grab an appropriate cutting
tool. Five minutes later he
returned with nothing in
hand. There was no such
tool at the urgent care nor
apparently at the grocery
store.
At this point he was
more frustrated than I. He
asked if I would accept
a shot in the butt that
would lower the swelling
and maybe later the band
would come off. I hesitatingly
agreed, and a few
minutes later was on my
way home. Urgent care had
failed, but I couldn’t fault
the PA. He gave it his best
shot.
It is now five days later
and although the swelling
has somewhat dissipated
the wedding band remains
firmly implanted on my
finger. I can tell there is
no way soon it will be
removed. Wasps and bee
stings have never bothered
me, but red ants and poison
ivy, which I find with
frequency, always create
havoc.
My mother was a stickler
about making sure the
shrub and flower beds were
free of weeds. I obviously
inherited that trait from
her, but maybe it’s is now
time to hang up those gardening
tools. This wedding
band episode is the last
straw or maybe not. The
red ants won the battle, but
maybe I can win the war.