Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Ketchup F'd Me Up
I'm sitting here with a full splint on my wrist that extends half-way up my forearm. Earlier this evening, a doctor told me NOT to use my left hand for anything -- not even typing. I'm three sentences into this post and I've learned two things: (1) it IS possible to achieve a negative WPM and (2) I should've listened to my doctor.
Last August, I tore the tendon in one of the fingers on my left hand. Did I ever get around to writing a post about that? The drugs I'm on at the moment have wrecked havoc with my inherent sense of self-serving recall. Anyways, the splint on my finger came off for good back in December, but I've never regained the dexterity in my injured digit.
Even worse, my left hand has grown demonstrably weaker than the right. Thanks to the fact that my mom's a southpaw, I was taught at an early age to tie my shoes, open jars and turn doorknobs as a lefty. At times recently, I haven't been able to make a fist with my left hand.
Tuesday evening, around 6:00 PM, I reached into the refrigerator for a bottle of ketchup. My family goes through that condiment like crazy, so Mrs. Bootleg bought the 64-ounce size. I felt something pop in my hand when I applied the slightest bit of pressure to the plastic bottle, so that I could take it out of the fridge. I couldn't move my left hand and a sharp pain began shooting through my wrist and in the middle of my hand.
At Urgent Care, the doctor seemingly wanted nothing to do with me. After I explained what happened, the doctor gave me two choices: an injection of something called Toradol or a couple of ibuprofens. There was no offer of an x-ray or half-assed attempt to manipulate my immovable hand. The doctor simply suggested I schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist in the morning. I let her talk me into the Toradol injection and she went on her way.
Ten minutes later, a nurse entered with a comically-long syringe. She picked up on my apprehension and initiated the following conversation:
Nurse: "Don't worry, Aaron. Toradol is like a localized shot of morphine. Think of it as high-functioning aspirin."
Me: "Uh...I'm, like, violently allergic to aspirin."
Nurse: "Are you sure?"
Nurse: "Did you mention this when they checked you in?"
Nurse: "[Actually annoyed] Oh. Well, Toradol really isn't aspirin, but I can check with the doctor."
Nurse: [Returning] "The doctor says Toradol's not good for you."
So, here I sit with my wrist in a splint. More machine now than man. Twisted and evil and typing with one finger. Coincidentally, it's the same finger I'd like to save for the American health care industry.