I have an old baseball injury that I sometimes enjoy showing off. It’s right here:
Got it playing shortstop. Batter hit a grounder towards the 2nd baseman. I was headed over to cover the bag and be the relay guy in a double play. 2nd baseman threw the ball nice & crisply. I put my glove up to catch it, but moved my ‘meat’ hand (in this case my right, or throwing hand) into the glove a weeee tiny bit early. Instead of getting the ball out of my glove to throw it, my hand beat the ball to the pocket.
If you extend your fingers, you’ll notice that your index and ring fingers are about the same length and your middle finger is somewhat longer. Guess what the baseball hit? At the time, it hurt like hell and I thought I just jammed it real good. I was also working in a bacteriology lab and was responsible for plating all the samples that came into the lab. To do this, I needed to rest a very light platinum wire on the end knuckle of my middle finger and very gently and daintily wipe said wire across the agar to distribute the little bacteria dudes.
That first day after the mashing was excruciating. I could NOT put even the slightest pressure on the tip of my finger without experiencing knee buckling pain. The plates I worked on showed it. The lovely colors I witnessed practically glowing from the end of my finger should have been a clue (I was working in a hospital for crying out loud!), but no – I was young & immortal. No stinking baseball was going to get the best of me.
Later that first day I developed a new grip that at least allowed me to work effectively. It was 2 weeks before I could throw a baseball again. Months later, when we had our field hospital set up for war games out in the Yakima desert, out X-ray tech need a test dummy to check out his gear. I volunteered my finger. We both learned a lot. (I have to go look for that x-ray. I may still have a copy in my duffel bag down in the basement.) (Yes I still have my duffel bag. Don’t all vets?)
Normally, the tip of your finger consists of a single, small bone. Well, in the summer of 1979 (shut it), the tip of my right middle finger was in no less than 4 pieces. By the time the x-ray was done it had pretty much fused into one ugly hunk of calcium, but evidence of the old seams was present. It had stopped hurting a couple weeks after the initial damage (at least I could throw again), so I thought nothing of it till the day we x-rayed it.
Ever since then, I haven’t been able to completely straighten out that finger – there’s always a 15 degree bend in that last knuckle. Curiously enough, my bowling average also increased about 15 pins after I got the permanent set on that knuckle. (It’s gone up 15 more since then too).
But last night, something happened. Didn’t realize it then, but most of the morning Friday it’s been aching dully. Every now & then it would flare up and really get my attention and gradually subside back to a background kind of noise. Ever since lunch time though it’s felt tight and on odd, random occasions it will REALLY kick up. It’s mildly sensitive to direct pressure – but that doesn’t produce the flare ups. All afternoon I’ve been tentatively testing how it would feel in a bowling ball. The way my grip is, I only insert my fingers up to the first knuckle. Add in the fact that it’s a 15 lb ball and the velocity at which I throw, there’s considerable pressure present. I’d hate to think this might impact bowling. I mean geeze, I’m not young & immortal anymore. I might actually have to get this thing fixed and I can’t see any method of fixing it that doesn’t involve a scalpel and weeks of recovery. Maybe after bowling? It doesn’t hurt THAT bad. Yet.
On the maelstrom front – one of the good and bad outcomes of this ‘sharing of the feelings’ is a number of days of silence and the cold shoulder treatment. I’d have been warmer sleeping without a blanket outside last night – and it got down to 45 or so. Today though, things seem to be thawing a bit. At least she’s been willing to communicate that she’d like some nice warm soup for dinner. Now if I could just get her to commit to a particular TYPE of soup I’d be set. (Friday is one of my nights to cook. I am trying to maintain the routine in the hopes that it ushers in a return to WTF-ever we called normal around here.)
Later Friday evening now. Oddly, after slapping a first coat of mud on the powder room walls, my finger feels much better. Got more to do tomorrow, so maybe it will start feeling really good. Wish I could say the same for Cindy. I’ve gotten nothing but the cold shoulder, or cheap shots and sarcasm in lieu of a verbal response. Lotsa fun. I will wear her down by staying on the high road. The ‘other’ cheek will be getting quite the workout.
Thi weekends agenda – Mud, sanding, mud, sanding, priming, hardibacker on the floor.Maybe hit up a farmers market. Have a yen for some roasted winter squash.