My Hand

Some of my absence has been due to my left hand.

In November of 2020, while practicing at home, I smacked the tip of my middle finger into a bookshelf while in mid-spin.

Spins are fast.

I hand intense hand pain when jostled, joint swelling, and difficultly bending my middle finger. My first ortheopedic doctor took x-rays and ruled out any fractures. I attempted to go about life as normal, no taping or splinting and I performed veil work at a charity show a week later.

For the following three months my hand continued to swell and continued to be in general pain. I sometimes experienced intense pain. I saw my doctor every few weeks.

My first doctor thought my taping and splinting might be overkill but I started doing it, because it prevented the most painful of movements from happening. It paid off down the line. I now know I probably should have just insisted it be viewed as a sports injury. The impact and damage is similar to what can happen to a rugby player catching a ball wonky. High speed impact at the wrong angle.

In January of 2021 it wasn’t getting any better so I was referred to a hand specialist and was in his office 30 minutes after leaving my first doctor’s clinic. Ultrasounds were taken. They showed so much swelling that any other issue couldn’t be determined. I was taught a more sleek version of buddy-taping my fingers. This doctor understood my injury to be similar to a sports injury.

My new doctor’s clinic ONLY does hands/wrists. He was a delightful man who often clapped and cheered at my healing process and hand knowledge. Really.

After a month of taping and bi-weekly check-ins the swelling went down enough for the injury to be seen. The impact had torn loose an extensor tendon connecting my middle finger to the back of my hand. I was in surgery less than 1 week later in mid February.

Surgery went as well as could be expected. My doctor was able to reconnect the tendon to my bones with small screws that live in me now. I did NOT require an artificial ligament for re-connection as feared might be a possibility.

After that was three months of bandages, braces, and physical therapy while seeing my doctor and PT every two weeks. In late May I was cleared to do ALL the motions and activities I do with my hands and body.

At all stages of P.T. I asked detailed questions about what I could and couldn’t do…because I teach 6 dance classes a week AND it’s very difficult for folks to understand just HOW MUCH TIME each day I make/craft objects with my hands.

It’s good to be back.