my busted thumb

that's the inside of my hand, complete with problem area
I'm currently typing with one hand, which isn't a euphemism for anything, it's just the flat out truth.

Yesterday I went to get down on the carpet to fix something on one of the bookshelves and I had my hand steepled so my weight was resting on my fingers and, as it turns out, mostly on my thumb. There was a loud crack, and my thumb hurt quite a bit.

I wasn't really sure what I'd done to it, but it was sore for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

This morning when I got back from my walk I realised that my thumb was swollen and a bruise was starting to appear at the base of my thumb.

A quick Google search confirmed that even if I'd only sprained it, medical attention was advisable... so after breakfast and a shower I walked down to the Royal Adelaide Hospital's Emergency Room.

I took some fruit and had my phone full of things I could do given my last couple of experiences with the ER, but it turned out I was ushered into the main area fairly quickly. The "nurse practitioner" (which I didn't even know was a thing until today) had a look and a poke around my swollen thumb and then sent me off for x-rays.

I think I spent more time sitting around overall than I actually had people seeing to me, but fortunately the ER was fairly quiet the whole time I was there. I didn't have to wait all that long for the X-Ray Man to come and get me, but the x-rays themselves literally took five minutes to do.

Then when I was back in the ER, the very lovely nurse practitioner eventually came back over to see me with x-rays of my hand... and it's a slightly weird thing, seeing the inside of your hand. I've seen x-rays of my spine, my wrist and my knee I think, but never the hand. That's it at the top of the post.

And the area circled in red is where the problem is... not the bottom bit that looks like it's running loose, but the little piece above that.

Turns out I have what is called, quite poetically I thought, Gamekeeper's Thumb (or, less interestingly, Skier's Thumb or a UCL tear), where rather than actually snapping the tendon, the piece of bone the tendon is attached to snaps off.

Yeah, that was about the point in the conversation where my brain went "la la la, not listening now".

The treatment for this injury is simple but annoying.

And that's why I'm currently in a cast that goes from the middle of my palm, almost down to my elbow. It's a weird cast though... there's actually no plaster on the side of my arm opposite my thumb, but quite a lot of it around my thumb, obviously.

my very swollen thumb with my normal thumb for comparisonfreshly plastered hand
I have to keep the cast on for between ten days and two weeks, and then I'll have an appointment with the orthopaedic outpatient area and they will swap the cast for a splint, which at least I can take off to shower.

The last time I had a cast on my (other) arm I was 12 and I don't actually remember it being put on, I think I was high on painkillers at the time, so it was interesting to watch my arm being encased, especially since it wasn't being wrapped, so much as a great stack on bandage being stuck on one side of my hand.

It was also weird feeling the plaster get cold and wet and then warm and then went hard. And now my hand and arm are held in what doesn't really feel like a completely natural position, although my fingers are free, so that's a blessing. But it does stink to high heaven.

It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't my dominant hand... so suddenly I'm more than a little bit of a gimp and will be until some point at the beginning of February.

It also looks like I could be seeing some Fringe shows with my hand in a splint... fun. It may also mean there are some shorter blog posts for a while, at least until I can use my other hand again.

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