Anyone use that shampoo brand Pantene? My parents did, too, long ago... So long ago that it wasn't a shampoo or a conditioner. Frankly, I don't know what the hell it was, although I remember seeing a box -- or a case? -- of it once, an array of glass vials with some light green colored liquid. I assume it was for hair, but I never did find out. But one fateful day, when I was about 3, I did discover why distributing toiletries in glass vials is a bad idea... they break. And breaking glass in a room where everyone spends all their time in bare feet, well.... Kinda seems obvious in retrospect, doesn't it?
Apparently one broke that morning, and although they tried to clean it up, they didn't get it all, nope. But that's ok -- I found the last piece! With my foot! Stepped right on the bugger, and it wasn't there to threaten anyone else ever again. Well, 'cept me, since it was still in my foot.
I remember laying back in my mother's lap while my father held my squirming foot in his hands with a bright light behind him and a pair of tweezers. Ouch. And...no joy. Eventually he looks up at my mom and shakes his head, next thing I know we're on our way to the emergency room.
I remember the bright lights... I remember laying back on a gurney, or maybe it was a hospital bed, or an exam table of some sort...something. My parents comforted me, the nurses seemed sweet, the doctor appeared nice, but as we all know, appearances can be deceiving. He took a look at my foot, some words were exchanged, and then people started moving. I think a nurse pulled together some stuff for the doctor while he washed his hands, and then on his way over, another awfully nice nurse leaned over me and smiled and spoke sweet words of comfort.
Then the doctor started digging. Apparently anesthetics weren't necessary for small children or something, because they didn't bother with anything of the sort. I think it started slow, the doctor poking around trying to find it, then he did. Find it, that is. The hands and bodies around me tightened while I squirmed and screamed, the doctor doing whatever was necessary to get a grip on that bit of glass and remove it. I'm willing to bet that the small sliver of glass broke into smaller pieces, because my recollection was that this went on for some time. Granted, I was 3, and it's just a traumatic memory. Still, other traumatic/painful memories I have feel more distinct because I remember that they were painful, but I don't remember the pain. This one, the pain kinda sticks out. Makes me think it was probably messier, longer, and more painful than they expected it to be, but at the end of the day, I was just 3, and as we all know, kids don't remember pain all that much after they grow up.
Or do they?
Postscript: I still can't find any pictures of those damn vials, but apparently Pantene was founded in 1945 in Switzerland and was based upon the discovery / creation of something called Panthenol (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panthenol). It first intended as a treatment for burns, but was discovered to be "a miracle for damaged hair". In the 60s and 70s it was directly imported from Switzerland by specialty salons, but got its famous "gold top" packaging in the late 70s. Aren't you glad you asked?