12 July 2010

Loss of freedom

I did not break my left thumb. I almost wish I had, because in that case the pain and inconvenience that it has been causing me would be, I feel, more justified. In addition, I would most likely have a splint on it, which would greatly discourage me from attempting its use. As it is, the pain is moderately annoying, so I do what I always do when things annoy me: fuss incessantly. I'm distracted many times each day and night, staring at my left thumb for up to minutes at a time, comparing it to my uninjured right thumb, wiggling both back and forth, wincing.

I highly doubt this is in any way helping it to heal properly.

I bought a special thumb brace that I saw at Walgreens, thinking that I just needed to keep my thumb immobile (and remind myself that it's injured; as much as I fuss, I still sometimes manage to forget that I sprained it, until I try to do something foolish like open a jar). However, the compression seemed only to exacerbate the inflammation, and I spent a day or two recovering from that folly. Meanwhile, I noticed that the package for this particular brace mentioned that it is ideal for discomfort caused by gaming or texting. Well then. If I ever start gaming or texting (if my stupid thumb ever heals, that is), then I suppose I'll be prepared. Forgive me for not finding that a comforting thought.

Well, on the L.A.T.E. ride Sunday morning---really, really, really early Sunday morning---my course marshal partner and I stopped to assist with a flat tire. I had the tools, as I always do, but realized with a shock of helplessness that I was quite unable to pry a tire off and back on, at least not without injuring myself further. There are serious implications. I can't ride on my own anywhere I couldn't drag my bike back home.

I used to have freedom, you see. I could hop on my bike and go anywhere, and no one ever needed to know. (And in those days, I figured nobody really cared, in any case. It gave me great pleasure, riding to Indiana and back nearly every day without anyone ever knowing.) But now my ability---and hence my range---are severely limited. It's a horrible thought. I'm back to depending on other people to get around.

Well, maybe not. Haven't I learned anything at all, these past several years?

I don't even know how I sprained my thumb. I fell, and hit my head on the way down; that's all I remember. I think that's another reason for my incredulity that anything could still be so wrong with my left hand that I can barely use it. I can't account for the injury. It just doesn't seem possible that I could have sprained my thumb so badly that everyone at the ER thought it was broken, and not even been aware of it at the time when the injury occurred. Sometimes the damnedest things just happen for no reason, I guess.

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