Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Engaging the hand break

I was enjoying a peaceful day on Christmas with my family.  Santa hooked us up with an XBox and Kinect, which took over the TV room. My son scored a guitar+amp starter kit, which he promptly took to his bedroom and started working through the lessons.

Eventually (and miraculously), the kids grew tired and finally went to bed.  Then, nearing midnight, my son awoke and called me to his room. I entered on autopilot, not thinking of potential roadblocks such as an elongated cardboard guitar box strewn across the doorjamb. And that's when my foot made first contact and sent me flying through the air, hands outstretched in front of me.

I might have made it all the way to the far wall, had it not been for the foot of his bed being directly in my flight path. My outstretched right hand connected solidly with his Cargo bed. The clearest memory I have, while engaging the hand brake, is the sound my bone made upon contact. I hoped it was simply a cracked knuckle, but the X-Ray proved otherwise.


I have  a metacarpal shaft fracture [also known as a Boxer's Fracture, a common injury to boxers who connect with the last two knuckles of their hand during a punch].  My right hand will be immobilized for 2-3 weeks while the bone fuses itself back together.

Luckily I’m left-handed so I’m still relatively functional. I reprogrammed my mouse for left handed operation, and I'm taking advantage of speech-to-text to reduce the need to type.

After this experience I no longer doubt the validity of ER incompetence stories:

  • The check-in nurse at the front desk asked for my ID and if it still had a current address (“Yes,” I replied). Upon checkout, she once again asked for my ID and if the address had changed. I informed her that during my ER stay, I moved to a new house.  She said, “Really?” It took a few moments before she returned to reality and realized the absurdity of her question (and my answer).
  • My nurse had no idea how to cut gauze with normal scissors,  spending almost a half-minute on a 4-inch cut (with a quizzical expression on her face the entire time).
  • The ER doctor refused to believe my story, convinced that I was in a brawl (contrary to twitter rumors, I did not beat up someone who was dissing Azure).

So there it is: the story of my broken hand.