The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Who’s got one good thumb and the other in a cast? This gal

So I had some elective thumb surgery, for really boring, arthritic reasons. As a result, I have found wearing a fairly large cast/bandage has enlightened me to some odd and interesting things.

For instance, I now know that wearing a cast when you are over 18 is not in the least cool or fun. This doubles if you are a woman and triples if you have children to take care of.  If you have no cabana boys, manservants, lady’s maid or moms around, it gets pretty tiresome.

I cannot effectively tear open any package, button buttons or do my hair. Makeup application gets pretty hilarious. I discovered some amazing new outfits in my wardrobe made up of anything with an elastic waistband and shirts with wide sleeves.

I’m remembering not to drop my arm below my heart. Most of the time. Ah, ouch. I learned that using frozen peas to ice my arm works quite well. However, a broken bag will leave a trail of spilled peas throughout the house. I then learned

I am the only one in the family who would prefer to sweep up thawed peas, rather than step on them.

I soon learned that my good hand is doing so much work, it becomes strained and weak, so I drop things I still thought I could pick up. This is manageable if I drop an orange or even an eating utensil, less so, if it’s a jar of mayonnaise or glass full of chocolate milk.

I am perfecting the art of covering my bandages with various plastic bags and rubber bands. I have lost several wrestling matches with the handheld showerhead. I wished to leave all screw-on lids loose, until I forgot and tried to shake up that salad dressing.

It is also good news that recovery from having various joints and tendons clipped, scraped, wired and sewn isn’t as painful as it sounds. The body’s resilience is an amazing thing. I do wonder, though, why, as it miraculously and marvelously heals itself, it has to itch like you dropped a flea circus down your cast.

It’s truly all worth it when friends and strangers alike gaze at my arm with a question on their eyes, and I simply say, “Bar fight.” I’m a sucker for a good punch line.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who won’t be joining the Olympic team in Rio, and is rather glad. Contact her at [email protected].