Tuesday, October 14th, 2008, 10:46 am
I’ve broken three bones in my lifetime. Let’s briefly review the circumstances surrounding each incident:
1988–broke my left pinky playing basketball. Reached in to deny a bounce past into the post, stoved my pinky. Hurt, then hurt worse. Friend scared me into going to the doctor with nightmare scenario where my pinky froze in place. Doctor sees me as high-school baseball player is wheeled in to get his shattered fibula and tibia casted. I broke off tiny chip of bone; the kid was sedated and looking at months on crutches followed by rehab. I skulk away feeling like a tool.
1989–broke my left pinky playing football. Reach out to grab fleeing quaterback, pinky got caught up in his sweatshirt, snap! Said some bad words, continued to play, iced it down afterwards. Only hurt for about a month.
October 13, 2008–broke my left pinky playing volleyball. Went up for block, spike flashed past, it was dug up out of the back but as I turned the ball was heading right at me. I deftly flicked the ball over the net, but I wasn’t so deft–the only thing that touched the ball was my pinky, which caught the ball straight on, flexed the wrong way, and made a fairly gross sound as it snapped back. I said some very bad words and the sound the ball made as it compressed around my finger grossed everyone out enough that they stopped the point. The ball did clear the net, I’d like to state that for the record. I played the last few points then iced my pinky at the bar, medicating myself with about 1,000,000 cc of beer.
I’m sure you see the recurring pattern here. What’s the deal with my left pinky? I grew up drinking lots of milk so my bones seem to be fairly sturdy, but my pinky either didn’t get the required calcium or it’s the one part of my body where all my bad luck is concentrated. If you’re going to keep on breaking the same bone over and over I guess the pinky is a better choice than, oh, the skull, but it’s irritating. I can type, but the letter "Q" stings a bit. The fact that I can’t properly extend my pinky is doubtless going to be the talk of the tea party I was to attend this afternoon (/bad joke). The big disappointment, and one that I just realized, is that I won’t be able to golf for the rest of the year. I’ve been sneaking out afternoons to the pitch-and-putt near my house and playing a quick round or two, basking in the golden Indian summer we’re enjoying and working on my short game. I just tried gripping a club–no can do. And that’s a bummer.
I could do what Ronnie Lott did. You know the story–Lott’s left pinky was shattered making a tackle and, rather than miss any games, had the tip of his finger amputated. I wonder how a doctor amputating a finger as opposed to recommending surgery or rest fits under the Hippocratic Oath, but that’s what Lott did. I don’t think that’s a good option for me, because (A) I’d have to amputate my entire finger, (B) I’d have to do it myself, and I don’t have THAT much beer in the house, and (C) Ronnie Lott was a bit of a psychopath. So I just have to gut it out, and wait until spring to pick up the sticks. And, apparently, not wince when hitting the Shift key.
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