Ring Amputation

“Don’t do that again,” said the kind woman at Berman Jewelers in Cherry Hill, NJ after the male behind their counter cut off my wedding and engagement rings. She added a story about someone who was hospitalized and needed his ring removed right away. The hospital had to cut it off. She ended the story with, “And your insurance won’t pay for that.”
Initially I had called two other jewelers about removing my rings. They said they didn’t do that, and suggested the ER or a fire/rescue company. Even though Berman didn’t promise they could remove my rings, they cautioned me that a non-jeweler removing rings could ruin them. Maybe the first two jewelers thought I had an emergency, but I really wish they also mentioned Berman, or another local business that did removals. 
I hadn’t taken off my rings since hubby slid them on 35 years ago. That was possible because they’re petite enough where they never got in my way, needed cleaning or repair. But I felt foolish allowing the rings to get stuck. Until Berman told me they remove about 2 to 3 rings from people a week. At least I’m not the only too-sentimental ring wearer. Typically, school rings are the most difficult to remove because of their size and the material some are made from. While on the phone with them, Berman asked me if there was room between my finger and the rings. Their tool needs to fit in there to cut the metal. They suggested I come at 10am when they opened, before my finger had time to swell.
My rings never bothered me. But, the flesh under them hadn’t thickened while the rest of me gradually did. That’s why my left ring finger looks deformed. The woman at Berman said my finger would heal, and to just give it time. That’s a happy surprise. I was wondering how my re-sized rings would fit, look and feel once hubby slipped them back on.
Mom had warned me to get them removed when I first realized they wouldn’t come off. My plan was to lose weight. Yeah, right. The only result was allowing more time for arthritis to set in.
In a week I’ll get back my rings. At first, I habitually reached for them. The experience was something like a ‘ghost limb,’ where I felt myself wearing the rings, but not when I squeezed where they used to be.
Two of my children are getting married. My beloved engagement ring doesn’t compare in size to those gorgeous rings. Hubby asked if I want a new one. I can’t bring myself to say, “I do.” I’m almost in tears thinking of replacing a symbol that shows so clearly who we are and where we came from. The woman jeweler knew almost exactly when hubby bought the rings, and even quoted prices. She also knew they were sold as a trio, the second band being the groom’s. I enjoyed talking with her and the male jeweler. They treated my rings like they were as valuable as the others in their locked showcases. 
Insurance isn’t paying for my rings or their removal, but I’m glad I didn’t get in an extreme health situation in which my sentimental rings added to an urgent situation. 



  1. Wow! I remember commenting on your receiving the new resized rings back on facebook. I'm so glad you are well, and I remember the rings looking gorgeous on your finger now that they are the correct size. All best to you, Dawn. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. It is so touching that you kept your rings on for that long, you didn't want new ones, and your hubby slipped your resized bands back on. Thanks so much for sharing.


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