On Saturday a rose thorn stuck me hard in the back of my hand. It really hurt going in, so I went inside and made it bleed, then washed it. My hand ached that night, and yesterday morning I could see a red streak going into the knuckle at the base of my ring finger. As the day went on, most of my hand hurt more and more. I went to see Suzanne's new house-in-progress in the afternoon (gorgeous), and then I went food shopping, and my hand was pretty useless at the supermarket as I couldn't hold onto much of anything with it.
When I got home I noticed the red streak had gotten longer, now heading for my wrist. I know that roses are associated with a couple of kinds of dangerous bacteria and a fungus, and I know of two people who ended up having surgery after being pricked by a rose thorn. One lost part of a finger. So although I really really hated to do it (the loss of time . . . the cost . . . the gas . . . I was tired!), after I put my groceries away I got back in the car and drove to the Emergency Room. Both the triage nurse and the doctor said rose thorns can be quite dangerous, and nothing to fool around with. He (the doctor) didn't think any part of the thorn remained in my hand, but he said it looked like I had a bacterial infection. The area was red, swollen, and hot. He prescribed ten days worth of antibiotics, gave me one to take immediately and one for this morning, and also gave me a tetanus shot.
It's not like me to run off to the ER. Had I not known about the evil side of roses, and had some online rosarians not pushed me—hard—out the door, I would have blown this off. That might have been a bad mistake.
This has been a public service announcement.