Tag Archives: accidents

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.