I am a klutz.
Not a run-of-the-mill, garden-variety klutz, either. An All Star. (Wasn't that song by Smashmouth? Yeah? I've done that. Smashed my mouth, I mean. With my own fist.)
You have to understand just how severe this is: At least once a month I will come home with a cut, scratch or bruise I don't remember getting. I don't remember getting it because it's so routine, my brain edits it right out. More than once I have come home from work actually bleeding.
Eva: "What did you do?"
Eva: "Your arm is bleeding."
Ken: (scrutinizes arm) "Huh?"
Eva: "Your other arm!"
Ah, there's a boost to the ol' self-esteem. Not only am I a klutz, I'm also mentally retarded.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I tripped over something in the office at work--my own feet, a dust mote, a stray sunbeam, I dunno what. I reached out to grab a door frame to steady myself, missed, and bent the ring finger on my right hand back much further than its design specs ever intended.
It was nothing short of incredible how quickly I regained my feet. The pain was huge, nonpareil: it blotted out the room, and shortly after that my sense of self. I have some vague recollection of huddling myself against the boss's desk, trying in vain not to cry. Luckily, after a few minutes, my finger settled itself down to a dull throbbing ache that only hurt unbearably if I breathed on it, looked at it, or thought about it...shortly after that I could do any of those things gingerly, so long as I didn't move it.
A sprain. A bad one.
By the next day, the pain had receded to something I could tolerate for long stretches, only spiking if I bent the finger the wrong way. And it stayed that way for two weeks.
A couple of days back, Tux decided, for reasons known only to Tux, to drive his muzzle up into my palm while I sat placidly at the dinner table.
"Nnnnnnyyyyyarrrrrrrrrgggggghhhh!" I stated.
"Hyyaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooowwwwww!" I expostulated.
"Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!" I explained.
"You're going to the hospital!", my wife intoned.
It was amazing how quickly the pain went away as soon as I heard those words.
The hospital was the second-last place I wanted to go, ranking only slightly ahead of the Pull-My-Finger Institute. Who wants to sit in a sterile yet pukey waiting room for seven hours, only to be given some Tylenol and sent home?
We compromised on a doctor's visit, from which I have recently returned.
It's not sprained. I've either torn a ligament or actually broken the damned thing. The X-ray will tell the tale. If I've been walking around with a broken finger for two weeks, I'm gonna give myself some tough-man points.
So now my ring finger is taped to my middle finger, which makes it pretty hard to type, I'll tell you.
I also took the opportunity to get my flu shot--a first for me...do it! It doesn't hurt a bit! Now, if I get the flu, it'll be the more exotic avian flu. And then I'll die. With an extra-wide upraised middle finger.