May 5, 2006

The Day Before I...

The broken fingerThe day before I started classes my first year at the University of Waterloo (back in, um, 1979) I was at a social event for my department playing "flying disc" football. As I reached for a low-flying Frisbee someone stepped on my outstretched hand. And broke the middle finger and thumb of my writing hand.

I looked down at my hand and thought "ouch! I have a dislocated finger. I can fix that." So I applied my lifeguard training to 'relocate' the finger. I gently tugged the finger tip, which was at pretty much a 90 degree angle to the rest of the finger, outward. Then I slowly straightened it and just as slowly relaxed the tension I was applying. By that evening though I had to admit that the finger was awfully swollen and tender, and so was my thumb.

Someone drove me to the hospital where an X-ray confirmed that I had broken the base of my thumb and my middle finger above and below the last joint. However I had done an excellent job of setting the finger fracture myself! Only a metal splint was required. So why does the photo indicate that my fractured finger was not well set? Two nights later I assisted my student residence companions in stealing all the mattresses from the adjacent women's residence.

My injury happened twenty years ago, but it still serves as a good conversation piece...

Listening to: I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones from Road to Ruin.

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