The Tale of the Broken Hand

One Sunday in early November, someone in Tulsa was driving downtown when he saw a yellow light. The same question crossed his mind as crosses mine when I encounter a yellow traffic light: Do I stop or do I go? He chose to speed up. The light turned red before he hit the intersection. He had misjudged the light's timing. A blue Honda barrelled towards him.

Maybe I'm giving the guy too much credit, but I want to believe that he did what he believed was best at the time, even if his desire to get to where he wanted to go fast screwed us both in the end. 

 
Some days you're just minding your own business when... 

Some days you're just minding your own business when... 

 

My car was the blue Honda, and it was totaled in the accident. As indicated by the picture above, it had to be towed out of the street. The man in the other car argued that his light was yellow; I argued that this was impossible. With fault up in the air, my best friend Adrean came to pick me up and take me home, where I'd be stuck until I could get a rental in the morning.

aramedics had come after I reported that I was experiencing some pain in my left hand and foot. I can't tell you how I was injured. I don't remember. All I know is that I was driving, then I wasn't, and smoke was pouring out through the vents. Then I was outside and approaching the other car, trying to make sure he was OK. I still hadn't felt my injuries.

 
"Why do you hurt, hand? I though we were friends." 

"Why do you hurt, hand? I though we were friends." 

 

The pain in my left hand was the worst. The paramedic touched it and asked me where it hurt, if I could move all my fingers, make a fist, etc. I passed all her tests. I generally test well. She asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. For a sprained hand? The wait will take forever.

"No," I said, and she let me go. As I posted about what happened on Facebook, all of my friends wanted me to go to the hospital. Adrean argued hardest of all, but I'm a stubborn negotiator, so I agreed to see the doctor first thing in the morning on Monday.

 
"Looks fine to me." 

"Looks fine to me." 

 

It was after noon when I made time to see the doctor; I had many important things to do in the morning, and the pain was as bad as I would expect for a sprain. Maybe it was worse, but I didn't think so at the time. I assured the doctor that it was probably nothing, and she told me that we'd better check anyway. A few X-rays later, I'm having my arm wrapped in a splint.

 
"This wasn't the plan. "

"This wasn't the plan. "

 

I fractured the metacarpal of my second finger. It was a clean break: no displacement. If there had been displacement, the injury may have required surgery. As it is, it just needed to be kept still. 

One caveat: no typing. I could die.

"No typing at all?" 

"None." 

"What about a little?" 

She gave me a look that I understood. No typing, and I had to understand what that meant. Fast. 

By Wednesday I was freaking out, and in a lot of pain. I went back to the doctor, we took some more X-rays, and I got a new splint. My hand was covered in bruises along my joints and on my palm. It looked beautiful, in a macabre way. 

 
Is it a map? A sigil? A name? 

Is it a map? A sigil? A name

 
 
Every fingertip painted purple. The index finger is entirely purple.

Every fingertip painted purple. The index finger is entirely purple.

 

I was really, at this point, appalled at myself. I hadn't planned on going to the doctor. On Monday, when I'd arrived and seen the check-in line at the doctor's office, I'd considered walking out and coming back another day—maybe. What fate might have befallen my injured hand? In all likelihood, it would've been fine, but I would've been taking an unnecessary risk thanks to my wonderful insurance company (not an advertisement). If I hadn't had insurance, I would've had to pay out-of-pocket for all of these medical costs while fault was officially established. Thanks to full coverage, I was able to see the doctor when I needed to, even if the other party never even answered his phone.

The following week I had another check-in at the doctor's office. More X-rays. No displacement. No typing. And I'm gonna need that cast. They resent the referral, this time marked Urgent, and sent me home to wait for the phone call. Meanwhile I pondered what color my cast would be and if I would ask people to sign it. Could I fight them off if I didn't want it signed? Did I have a choice in the matter? I probably didn't.

At Tulsa Bone & Joint I was given a choice.: cast or removable brace? I was confused at first, but once I realized what she was saying, I eagerly accepted the removable brace. No more days without showering. No more awkwardly secured trash bags attached to my arm. I was free to take off the brace for showers and showers only. And I could type again!

 
Free at last!

Free at last!

 

During this time, I was also working on finding myself a new car. Ash is irreplaceable in my heart of hearts, but the car I wound up buying at Nelson Mazda turns out to be pretty sweet.

 
I call him Lex.

I call him Lex.

 

It's a Fiat 500 Abarth. I don't know what any of that means, but it's cute, and it has a moonroof! And its price was very reasonable. I wasn't certain I'd get a loan—my credit isn't great—but Jim and James were able to hook me up. Altogether, I walked away with a wonderful car at a very good price.

Part of the reason for the price is the fact that Lex is a standard. I've driven cars with manual transmissions through some pretty treacherous terrain, but I've never owned one before. With my broken hand, the thought of driving around in a standard seemed daunting. Adrean didn't have to do that much convincing, but her word definitely gave me the extra push I needed to go ahead with the purchase. Turns out, it's kind of fun. I'm not sure it's for me in the long run, but I can handle this in the short-term. We'll see.

I have more to say, but this post has gotten long. Instead of making my posts extended essays, I'll try to post more often.