I Broke My Bird-Finger

March 5th, 2007

For about two months now, I have been suffering a mysterious pain in my right middle finger. I thought maybe I was playing too much Nintendo DS. Or working too hard. [But no, THAT wasn't it!] The pain worsened and worsened. Here is a list of things I have been unable to do without incredible pain the last few weeks:

1] shift gears
2] steer
3] type
4] carry anything
5] use utensils
6] hold my cell phone to my head
7] work the TiVo remote

Basically, all of the things that make life worth living. So Friday I went to the doctor, who took X-rays and poked and prodded the hand and told me I have tendinitis. Of course I wept because I am such a big baby with sickness and things, and a flawed tendon on my finger is devastating. To make matters worse, I am supposed to wear an aluminum finger-brace-thing, which does relieve the pressure on my tendon, but which looks dumb and prevents me from doing most things I need to do in order to survive, like eat, and instant-message. I am also supposed to ice the hand several times a day, so I have become best pals with a certain bag of frozen corn. [Love you, Frozen Corn. XO!] The icery feels good. But the hand still feels VERY BAD. Having been the recipient of karma before, I know that this is really about how very, very freely I’ve wielded this particular finger on the freeways, and since I am deserving, I am trying to suck it up. But I’m not very good at that. And so, Tendinitis, all I can say to you is this.

A Day in the Life of My Left Knee

November 14th, 2006

I’ve been having some trouble with my left knee and ankle this week. They are achy, slightly swollen, and generally weak-feeling. Before you make a bunch of corny “You’re old” jokes (Dad), I already realize that I’m 31 and over some kind of hill, if not “the” hill, then some kind of trainer hill where skin is no longer smooth, brownies no longer cost me zero weight gain, and a neighbor’s loud rock music elicits not an inspiration to dance but crabby irritation and thoughts of calling the police to make a noise complaint. Furthermore, I have already addressed the issue in several ways.

First, per an athlete friend’s advice, I iced the knee and ankle.

Second, I took it easy on them for a couple of days, making a conscious effort to put as little weight on them as possible and to wear sensible shoes (thus ending a long campaign of high-heel sporting on campus).

Third, and perhaps dorkiest, I decided to “reconnect” with my left knee. I realize this may sound sort of hippie or voodoo or, worse, Yoga-ish, but “taking it easy” meant I began to notice how I treat this knee. I realized I twist it a little—with a harsh yank— every time I get into or out of my car. I habitually fold it under me when I work at my desk. And I do a lot of squatting to access things on low shelves, leaning to put most of my body pressure on my knee. In short, I am seriously abusive of a body part that has done nothing but serve me well in life, and that requires some care to remain useful into my old[er] age.

I have apologized to this knee and vowed to treat it with more respect. And I have begun to wonder, what other body parts do I take for granted? So I think I will do a series, sporadically and when inspired, of blog entries dedicated to answering this very question. Before you get worried that I may become an explicit blogger, I remind you this is a PG-13 rated blog. Should I run out of PG-13 rated parts, I can start on the internal organs or something. But most likely, I’ll lose interest long before that, being that I can’t think of an area of specialization for a hypothetical PhD because my interests are too all-over-the-place. Hm, PhD in literature from body parts’ point of view? Nah.