Monday, January 05, 2009

My Hand is Not Broken

Just thought I'd let you know, my hand is not broken. In a way, that bums me out, 'cause if it were, there would at least be a reasonable guess at a timeline for the stopping of pain. Instead, I'm in that bewildering realm of strained or sprained or bruised or something tendon or muscle or flesh or something...Seriously, I should just stop using my hands.

What? What's that? I didn't tell you about my hand? Oh, that's right, 'cause I've been on sort of vacation since it happened (on my last day of classes for the semester) and haven't been blogging much. Right, well, here's the fascinating tale of my hand injury (actually, the end is pretty good):

On December 15th, at about five o'clock in the morning, I was walking quickly toward the coffee urns from the cold beverage station and in the process I slammed the back of my hand against the metal divider that rises between the sink and the trash can. Don't ask me why there's a piece of metal sticking up in the middle of our counters at Starbucks, there just is.
It hurt. Lots. And most of the day I could barely use my right hand. I figured I'd probably just wait it out and see if it got better, but, when at 1 PM it wasn't feeling much better than when I'd originally bashed it, I had a coworker call in an incident report just in case I needed to go to the doctor or something.

That night in class, I talked it over with Mike, a classmate who I figured probably had some knowledge of broken bones, particularly metacarpals...he's just that kind of guy. He did, and thought it probably wasn't broken, but gave me some tips on looking after it.

So for a week-ish I waited it out, babied my hand a little, and didn't spend much time on the bar at work, 'cause that just hurt. Finally, about a week later, the very slight swelling that was there went away and the pain settled into a single lump right at the base of the ring and pinkie finger metacarpals, near the wrist. Just one spot. Hmm...perhaps a sign of a small fracture, I thought.

Unfortunately, it was now pretty much Christmas, and just as my hand settled into a specific injury instead of a general ache 'cause I whacked it, I couldn't go to the doctor or even call the insurance people to find out how to do workman's comp because no one was open. So I waited. And then I went to hang out with mi familia for a few days after Christmas, and evidently picking up little kids is no where nearly as injurious to hands as working at Starbucks, because after three days away my hand felt pretty good.

Then I went back to work. And it still really hurt. So I got the info for workman's comp, and then I got ahold of my doctor to write me a prescription for an x-ray, and then, last Friday afternoon, I went to Abington Memorial Hospital to get a picture taken of the deep recesses of my right hand.

In order to have that happen at Abington, I had to "register." I'm not sure what all that means, but they made sure they had all sorts of information about me and made sure I signed things that told them I understood what they were talking about...'cause I totally did. Anyway, as the nice lady was asking me questions about my contact information, I began to recite my address for her, "PO Box..."

She interrupted me. "Were you ever on Keswick Avenue?"

I paused, befuddled for a moment. "Er, uh..." Realization dawned. "When I was born." I paused again. "Which was the last time I was in this hospital."

After they took a picture of my hand, I drove home, and called my mom as I drove to inform her that the hospital where I was born still has me in their records 27.5 years

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