A writer needs her fingers

My hand shortly after the fall. It doesn't look too bad.

My hand shortly after the fall. It doesn’t look too bad.

I took a simple tumble.

It involved inappropriate footwear, a dark night, possibly a little ice, a speed bump and a retractable dog leash with a hard handle.

My hand got jammed and it hurt a little. It became swollen and colourful but I didn’t really believe anything could be broken. Besides, I was at the cabin during the holidays and I didn’t know where to go for help.

Five days later my pinkie finger still didn’t seem ‘right’ so I had it x-rayed, and sure enough, it was broken and required the insertion of 2 metal rods the size of coat hangers to repair it.

My hand after surgery. Worse.

My hand after surgery. Worse.

I have a history of being in denial re fractures.  Thirteen years ago I walked around on a broken ankle and a broken bone in the other foot for almost a week before I had them x-rayed. This fall also involved a retractable dog leash. (In that case – and to my credit – a clinic doctor told me he thought both ankles were simply sprained and didn’t require x-rays.) Eighteen months ago I broke an elbow while travelling in Europe but completed my holiday before flying home and discovering that it, too, was broken and required surgery. (Once again, a medic led me to believe it wasn’t badly damaged.)

My splint for 6 weeks. I'm getting used to it.

My splint for 6 weeks. I’m getting used to it.

I hope there will be no more falls, but if there are, I wonder if I will have learned my lesson – get x-rays.

In the meantime, I’m becoming fairly proficient with my left hand, and can type quite quickly using only the pointer finger of my right hand. If I had to break a finger the timing was good, I’m at the research stage of a new writing project so am reading more than writing. However, I do miss my pinkie finger and the 4th finger which shares the splint.  Like my elbows and ankles, I will not take them for granted ever again.

8 thoughts on “A writer needs her fingers

  1. Darlene

    Oh dear. You and I do have a history of these fractures. Please take care. We are here in Spain and I am being very careful. Have fun doing research in the meantime. Sending hugs. XO

  2. Louisa Cameron

    Shelley, I’m so sorry to hear about your latest accident–complete with graphic pictures that look TERRIBLE! I hope you feel better soon, and I’m SURE this is the very last time!

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