WC. Scar-card: +1

Posted Feb. 24th.

You may have noticed that this blog has been idle of late. I apologize, but it isn’t entirely due to slacking off. I injured my right hand and currently my middle finger is in a splint.

Evel Knivel has been quoted as saying, “Pain fades, bones heal, chicks dig scars, glory is forever.” Or something like that. I like the saying, “Scars are like tattoos but usually with better stories.” I already had lots of scars and now I get one more. Where’s all those scar-digging chicks? Oh, wait a minute. I’m married to one. Nevermind!

Here’s the story. I was trying to take off my shorts while in my wheelchair. I can lean left and right and get my weight off the edges so they pull down easily, but there’s an area in the middle that I can’t un-weight no matter how much I lean. The only way to pull it out is with brute strength. I was pulling hard when something twisted wrong in my right hand.

There’s a tendon on the back if the hand that runs from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger. It’s used to open the palm and to straighten the middle finger. There are numerous situations where having a straight middle finger is necessary.

Here’s an exercise: make a fist and watch that tendon. The knuckle forms a high point and the tendon runs right along the top. Why doesn’t it drop into one of the valleys between the knuckles? I have learned that it’s because there is some connective tissue of each side of the tendon that holds it in the center. I tore the part that is between the middle and index fingers. When I made a fist, or otherwise bent that middle finger knuckle joint, the tendon did slip into the valley between middle and ring finger. As I straightened the finger the tendon would snap back into place. Painfully.

Splnt1The fix required surgery. I was scheduled for Feb.12, nearly three months from the injury. In the meantime I had to keep the middle knuckle joint straight. With a piece of scrap aluminum, gauze for padding and tape I made a splint that fastened to the back of the hand and held the joint steady. It worked but now there was a bunch of things I couldn’t do or could only do badly.

Talk about role reversal: I had to ask Dee to open jars for me. Typing on the laptop was particularly slow and error-prone.

The surgery was done and my home-made splint was replaced with one that ran from my fingertips to half way to the elbow. That was then wrapped with two large ace bandages. splint2They left my thumb and index finger out so I could still push the wheelchair around. Now I really couldn’t do anything with my right hand. I had to wear this club for 10 days.

The follow-up appointment was on the 22nd (last Monday) and have a smaller splint that lets me use the hand more. The surgeon promised I will have a small scar.

I do have an actual motorcycle story nearly finished for next week. Have patience.