I shall start this post by telling you that it is written with a broken finger. Well obviously not typed with the actual broken digit but with said digit in close attendance. The injury occurred when I lost my footing (sober I feel somehow obliged to add) and fell, my hand did a great job of protecting me from a rather sinister looking fire door (well they look sinister when approached at 90 degrees). As my hand sailed past the door my pinky decided not to be a team player and took an alternate route leaving the door with no alternative but to attempt to cleft it from my hand.
The experience resulted in a tear to the web between pinky and his pals and a fractured metacarpal. Pinky is now strapped to his neighbour in the hope of restoring normal relations such that he doesn’t choose to depart on an alternate path again. At this point in the conversation I am normally asked what the doctor said about healing time and then, well it goes a bit wrong to be honest.
No doctor was used in this diagnosis since I see no point in disturbing a professional when I can diagnose a simple fracture. For those who doubt my diagnostic skills I would point out that it is a simple mechanical issue and also that my medical diagnosis is second only to those who know something about the subject!
In reality it is a simple diagnosis, after removing a fair spattering of blood to clear the path. Working along the bones it is clear that there is no loss of integrity until one lands upon the metacarpal, manipulation of which generates a strange and painful sensation along with the desire to vomit all of which are known indicators of a fracture. The finger tip has good blood flow and all of the bits are well aligned, or at least as well as they ever were.
The biggest challenge was in the treatment since pinky wasn’t standard issue to start with. Since pinky’s normal presentation is partially rotated and somewhat crooked it presents a challenge to secure it to a relatively straight finger. Perseverance coupled with a healthy measure if ignorance has resulted in a pretty good attempt and I am confident that the fracture will heal over in due course.
I share this with you because it has occurred to me that we need to do more to relieve the pressure on the health service and self diagnosis can help. Why doesn’t the government set up simple online flow charts? A few judicious pokes and prods would soon weed out those who don’t need treatment and at the end of the chart something along the lines of ‘its a finger, man up’ would go well. We could also take this opportunity to update the definition of pain. Lets stop asking ‘does it hurt’ and start asking ‘is it uncomfortable or do you need a sick bowl?’. Where the patient declines a sick bucket they can hop off the bed and allow the next one on.
Keep an eye out for more medical efficiencies in future posts, I am of to bed now because my finger is uncomfortable.