43 Year Old Word Problem

Question:  If my 43 year old finger is traveling in one direction at high speed and collides with a 32 year old kneecap traveling in the other direction at the same speed, which one will get to the emergency room first?

The answer, of course, is my 43 year old finger.  Not even close.  Dislocated and looking like a reflection in a fun house mirror.

From the sausage-like swelling and pounding pain to the odd phase-shifting thing happening at the first knuckle where the bone dislocated and moved to a place it should never be, my finger looked like something out of a cartoon where faces routinely take on the shape of frying pans and smashed fingers the shape of the offending hammer (pictures available on request, though my friend Peter saw them and doesn’t recommend viewing near mealtimes).

One shot of Morphine, two shots of anesthetic directly into the finger, and 90 seconds of grunting, pulling, yanking effort from a burly doctor, and the errant bone was “relocated” (yes, that is the official medical term for fixing a dislocated finger.  Maybe it was the morphine, but I found this hilarious).

For those of you scoring at home, let’s tally up the pros and cons of the experience:

Cons:

  • a badly dislocated finger
  • excruciating pain
  • 3 hours in the ER
  • giving Mrs. Dislocated Finger a gift-wrapped opportunity to once again wonder aloud why a 43 year old man feels the need to play basketball every week

Pros:

  • my basketball comrades trying to “pop the finger back into place” on the court.  High comedy.  Like watching the 3 stooges deliver a baby.  Probably would have been funnier if it didn’t hurt so much.
  • morphine
  • cool ER pictures of a mangled finger
  • awesome space age splint
  • giving Mrs. Dislocated Finger a gift-wrapped opportunity to once again wonder aloud why a 43 year old man feels the need to play basketball every week

In case you’re wondering why this last one is a Pro as well as a Con, think of it this way:  it’s always nice to give the wife something new to hold over your head and feel righteously right about…makes her feel good.  In fairness, most women have asked me the same question about playing basketball at my age with that head shaking thing women do when they clearly think you are not that bright and only slightly more evolved than tree moss.

Seems like a toss up.  You make the call.  See you on the court in a couple of weeks!

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