Please Don't Pull My Finger
I found out later from my teammates that the sound was mildly sickening – a dull thud/popping sound when a high velocity pass in a Monday night rec league basketball game hit my right index finger square on and sent the ball ricocheting out of bounds.
I reacted the only way I knew how – by saying “Ouch” and playing on.
It wasn’t until the following day that my finger began to take on some of the characteristics of a plum (particularly the fact that it was slightly bloated and purple).
So, Wednesday morning I made my way to the doctor, who decided an x-ray was necessary. After the results were in, the doc returned to give me his diagnosis:
I fractured the shit out of my phalanx. (His words, not mine.)
Though it sounds like some sort of Egyptian artifact, the term phalanx actually refers to bones in the finger. The one I broke is right at the base of the right finger, and apparently the injury happened because the ball dislocated my finger when it struck.
According to the doctor (who performed Knicks’ forward Jared Jeffries’ wrist surgery not long ago), I most likely dislocated the finger and then popped it right back in moments later.
But before you confuse me for some hard core Rambo-type motherfucker, it’s not like I took a pull off a bottle of whiskey, chomped down on my belt and jammed my finger back into socket in a moment of excruciating pain. Apparently the thing just popped back in when I started playing again.
Shortly after visiting the doctor, I was sent to “hand therapy,” which sounds like it could be some sort of pleasurable massage parlor but is actually nothing of the sort. This is the place where they built the semi-cumbersome splint that will be adorning my right finger for much of the next four weeks (the doctor’s estimated time table for healing).
At hand therapy, my hand therapist informed me that normally when she sees a piece of paper saying “PAP fracture/dislocation,” it can usually be a pretty serious thing, but that my finger didn’t look so bad all things considered.
So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
In the meantime, count me out for basketball, squash, polo, jai alai, croquet, discus and skeet shooting (the injury is to my trigger finger) for the next month.Fortunately (or unfortunately as the case may be) for the world of sports, I’ve still got enough flexibility in my injured digit to type. So while I may be on the real-life Injured Reserve, it’s going to take at least a severed arm or two to knock me out of this game.