Well, I got some x-rays taken at the VA yesterday and they discovered a partial scaphoid fracture in my left wrist. I called to tell my other doctor, who had urged me to go and get the x-rays done after he examined my wrist in order to tell him that he had made a good diagnostic call. “Oh, no, really? It often snaps a tendon, too,” he said. “Chris, you really need some good luck.” Since that doctor is also my psychiatrist (formerly family practice), I asked him how long it was going to be before I could climb again, since I’ve been rather depressed and higly stressed about not being able to climb since the 11th. “About six weeks. At least. But you really need to immobilize that thumb. That’s really important. You need to immobilize that thumb.” We discussed ways of doing that, and I opted to go to the drug store and see if they had any thumb orthotics. They happened to have a really good maximum support thumb stabilization brace made by Mueller with solid stays along the thumb and down the wrist. It was a choice between that and the less robust store-brand brace. I took both over to the pharmacist and asked him which one he would recommend based on my injury. He recommended the Mueller brace, which happened to be on sale, and I promptly put it on when I got to my truck. OUCH! Yes, immobilizing my thumb in the correct position has proven to be painful. I am still thankful that the injuries I sustained weren’t worse, however. I’m definitely not happy about being unable to climb until December!
Do you know how important opposable thumbs are? I’m finding out in a hurry with only one of mine being functional right now. You need them for everything from playing the guitar to cinching up your belt to opening packages of food (when teeth are off-limits, that is). Buttoning your pants, buttoning your shirts, and tying your shoes all get interesting, too. And doorknobs and deadbolt locks and opening prescription medication bottles… Tape popsicle sticks to your thumbs with duct tape and try doing all those things. Seriously, try it!