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Tight with my right

I don’t know who started the “all thumbs” saying, but I’ve got a few phalanges to pick with them. The last couple days have taught me something: if I was all thumbs I could conquer the world single-handedly!

I’d forgotten how attached I was to my right thumb. You’d think it would be hard to forget, dangling from your index finger like Ringo on the Beatles’ coat-tails.

Who am I to pick on Ringo? What do I know about the Beatles? The first time I listened to them was on a CD. Somewhere a vinyl purist is suffering a burst blood vessel.

In case you haven’t heard, my thumb was the tragic victim of a fall from inline skates. I was having a nice morning skate at the rink up the street. (Can a big patch of concrete for roller-hockey, sans ice, still be called a rink?) I was playing around, trying different moves, when I tried to do a quick stop like you might on ice. I did stop – in the sense that my velocity changed suddenly, but I’m grasping at straws of dignity. The trouble was I didn’t stop moving. I leaned back, turned my skate approximately 90 degrees relative to my heading, and expected my skates to loose a bit of traction, skidding to a stop. I don’t know if my angles were wrong, I didn’t have enough speed/energy to force the wheels into a skid, or if I was just plain stupid, but the wheels held pretty good. Instead of moving down the rink at a generous clip and coming to a skidding stop, I went into a spectacular spin. I bet it would have been really impressive if my posture even hinted I was doing it on purpose.

Flailing rarely comes across dignified.

I ended the maneuver (having thankfully bled off most of my speed) falling face first towards the “rink,” my body stopping short of the surface due to the heroic efforts of ten spread fingertips. I didn’t need to see the orientation of the proximal phalanx on my right thumb (the second bone from the tip), or how it made my palm look like it was pregnant with a ping-pong ball, to know something was wrong. The sound was enough.

I don’t remember if it hurt immediately or if there was a delay. I’m sure lesser men would have passed out. (Caveat: I’m also sure most aren’t lesser men.) Oh, but it hurt. I ran through the Urban Dictionary like an R rated spelling bee on amphetamines.

Of course I went home and played the tough guy.

“John, do I need to take you to see a doctor.”

Oh no, I’m fine.

“Ummm, John? I have some idea what fine looks like and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve a fetal position, break-dancing, or cradling your hand like a newborn baby.”

So I went to see a doctor.

At least, I thought I was going to see a doctor. It turned out the urgent care facility only had a PA on duty. (I have nothing against PAs unless I’m hoping for pain medication with a little kick.) She did an x-ray and pronounced it unbroken (my thumb, not the x-ray machine), which made me feel better until I heard my nephew just had a similar problem, and a radiologist reversed the initial ruling – finding a hairline fracture in his thumb.

I’m not too worried though. It doesn’t feel like a break to me, and I know my breaks! All those years playing basketball were good for something.

I am a little worried about work though. Just the swelling and pain would have my thumb out of business, even if I wasn’t wearing a split you can find pictured in the dictionary under “overkill,” but my typing rhythm is seriously off having to reach for the spacebar with my left thumb.


Typing this post has been a test, and it hasn’t been pretty. But my left thumb is getting a chance to play with my other fingers, so someone is having a good time.

However, I think it’s time for a rest. All this activity is going to catch up with my left thumb soon, not being used to carrying the load, so I better save it for the office.

I want to say one last thing though.

WARNING: If you’re a pregnant woman, suffer from chronic neck or back pain, or become disoriented from sudden motion or changes of direction, you should stop reading now.

After moving to another web host a couple years ago, I’m finally transferring my domain. I’ve felt a little dirty dealing with my current registrar so it’ll be a relief to finally move.

The down side is I’m not sure the switch will be seamless. They may not finish the transfer for a few days and then I don’t know if I’ll need to re-configure all of my domain settings (with possibly another day or two for those to spread to your corner of the internets).

So, if the site disappears for a few days don’t fret none. I’ll be back.


Pick, pick, pick

I’m back at work this week, a little reluctantly. I’m still expelling – those of you with respiratory issues feel me. I feel run over. Those of you who haven’t been run over – I don’t recommend it.

However, my thumb – the real reason I haven’t posted in a while – still throbs. You may not know this, but approximately three out of every four American adults suffer from some form of self-mutilation.

Actually, as far as I know that’s not true. I made it up – out of whole cloth, as they say. I have no idea how many of you pick pieces off. I’d like to think there are a lot of you out there. Then I wouldn’t feel so bad. Me? I’m not doing anything that would draw the attention of a mental health expert, if that’s what you’re thinking. I just pick the hell out of my fingernails. The only phrase heard more often in our house than “Adam, stop running,” or “what the heck is that and what is it doing there,” is “John, stop picking.” I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s not like I’m blowing my big chance as a male hand model. Here’s the thing: it drives Cheryl crazy. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. If I were a pet I’d be a peeve. It’s not entirely my fault though. I swear she has a supernatural sense of hearing. We can be watching a movie in a loud theater and she’ll grab my hands in frustration, trying in vain to squeeze the will to pick out of them. It’s times like these I’m thankful she doesn’t have a firm grip.

Anyway, those of you familiar with Olympic fingernail picking know there are risks involved, one of which is infection. If you pick too much off it grows back off track. That’s what happened to my thumb. On my right hand. On the outside edge.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but that part of my hand gets a lot of work: it’s my space thumb. Come on, admit it, you’ve all got a space thumb. You probably take it for granted too – pounding away at your keys without a thought for it’s needs, dreams, or desires.

I won’t. Not anymore. I thought office email was painful before. Try it with a bum space thumb.