2008-05-22

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This entry was actually mostly written in may 2008, but not tidied up and posted until August 2009. I suck at finishing entries, so sue me.

It all started when I was driving home from work. Some buffoon in a white van decided to take a distinctly unorthodox route across a rather complicated road junction, without taking into account the fact that there might be other road users (i.e. me) in the way. So, I stood on the brakes, sounded the horn, and took evasive action.

In the grand scheme of things, this led to a good result - my vehicle brought to a swift, controlled halt, silly person in van now aware of presence of other vehicles, collision successfully avoided.

Except, my thumb isn't supposed to be capable of being in that position. [poke] [pop!] That's better. Hmm. Weird spaced-out feeling. Thumb doesn't hurt despite the fact that I obviously just did something fairly drastic to it. I recognise this. Shock. Oh well, no big deal, let's get home.1

Having arrived home, [livejournal.com profile] calatrice, displaying her usual clarity of mind, applied ice and packed me off to A&E. X-rays, examinations, no obvious major damage, apply lots of strapping to immobilize the joint in question, come back to see a specialist next Tuesday.

A more detailed examination a few days later2 revealed that the original diagnosis was good, and I appears to have managed a relatively clean dislocation, with a similarly clean self-administered re-location a few seconds later. Also, a slightly greater range of motion in my thumbs than is considered normal3.

So, after a few weeks with my thumb mummified in sticking plaster, and a month of constant (often painful) reminders not to attempt anything too ambitious with that hand4, I'm now fully recovered.




1As any emergency responder will tell you, "logical" and "sensible" are excessively abstract concepts for those in shock. Even when the person in shock knows this and is attempting to compensate.

2During which, I got to encounter a large number of unlucky people who had managed to break stuff, and a few examples of the morons who clog up the NHS by getting into fights5.

3During examination to determine whether my relocated thumb is still correctly restrained by the joint (extensively paraphrased):
Doctor: "Ok, let's see: can you bend it this way? Good. Let's try this... excellent. What about this way? Oh. Thumbs aren't supposed to do that. Does that hurt?"
Me: "nope"
Doctor: "that's not good, you may have damaged the joint so it moves in directions it's not supposed to. which way did it get bent again?"
Me: [indicates]
Doctor: "hmm. that shouldn't be able to cause this sort of problem. [wiggles thumb some more] well, at least it's hitting a limit there. [possible realization dawns] Can we check the other one? [takes other hand] [wiggle]. Aha. Have you ever dislocated your *other* thumb?"
Me: "nope"
Doctor: "well, since they both do it, it's probably not anything to worry about"
Me: "So I've got funny thumbs?"
Doctor: "yup"

4The definition of "ambitious" started as "pick up anything heavier than a feather". After a couple of weeks, a full glass was do-able; within a month, I was pretty much back to normal, barring really heavy things.

5One particular example, which I don't feel at all guilty about repeating, because she told the entire waiting room of 100+ people, repeatedly, at high volume: A bloke stuck his hand up her skirt and grabbed "a handful of something that wasn't bum". Now, this is atrocious behaviour, and the guy deserved some sort of response indicating as much. While I do not generally advocate violence, the traditional open-handed slap in the face would have been more than understandable. However, reducing his face and your right hand to such a bloody mess that you both needed several hours' surgery to put them back together again, and where you are still in danger of losing the use of your fingers even after the surgery, might have been just a tad excessive.

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