maybe sprain

I think I may have sprained my hand. And I qualify that only because I’m not a medical professional. Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure what constitutes a sprain. Maybe it’s not sprained; maybe it’s broken, or maybe there’s some other awful name for what’s wrong in there, but I know something’s not right.

I’m pretty sure it’s not broken. I have a full range of motion and I can put weight on it. I can use the hand, but it hurts a lot to use it. I think I just strained a ligament or two. There’s no sign of bruising, no swelling at all, but it hurts to touch the base of my hand just above the wrist on the pinky side.

I’m still considering whether to go to the doctor or just blow it off and hope it gets better on its own. I have my doubts that the doctor will be able to do anything other than tell me not to use it and give me pain killers. We’ve got pain killers, and I’m already not using it. (“Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Well, don’t do that.”)

And how did I break it? Well, gentle reader, I took a crap. We were at the deli counter of our local store buying lunch meat when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to wait any longer, so I turned to B, excused myself and went to use the public facilities. When I was done washing up, I flung the door open, turned out the lights, and as I was stepping out I realized that the exhaust fan stopped when I turned the lights off. I felt it would only be courteous to the next person to use the bathroom if the fan were running a while after what I’d just done in there, so I reached back behind me to flick the switch up again, and that’s when the door closed on my hand.

It was one of those big, solid wooden doors with an automatic closer that’s set to make it close a little too enthusiastically. My extended hand was facing palm-down and the knuckles were in line with the door jam when the door closed on it, folding it in half. I quickly yanked it out, but not before I felt it go crunch. I gave it a quick shake, checked for blood or protruding bones and was relieved to find neither, tested it by clenching it into a fist and was again relieve that all the fingers closed tightly. It didn’t hurt yet, but it was going to.

Twelve hours later, it feels a bit stiff, and the base of the hand on that one side is still tender and doesn’t like to be prodded, but I still don’t have a bruise and the hand still works fine. It just hurts. Not a lot, but more than enough.

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