The Physician’s Assistant eyes my pinky finger carefully. She’s new, having just moved here from Alaska. I like her already.
“So how did you do this?” she asks.
“I did a Duke’s of Hazard dismount out of the back of my flatbed. Only my little finger decided not to come along.”
“Oh.” She tilts her head, smiling slightly, “Does that mean you crushed it, or caught it on something?”
“The thing about a rolling dismount from a truck is things happen kinda quick. It’s hard to separate. I distinctly remember a pop and thinking “WHOA! That can’t be good”. Then my left finger no longer looked like my right finger.”
She flexes my hand back and forth. “Not the same? Can you give me a little more detail?”
“I would say bent. Real bent. Also it turned blue. A deep ocean blue, maybe a touch of lavender. Then it went progressively green and yellow within a few days. Oh. And also it hurt. A lot.”
“How long ago did this happen?”
“Uh. Maybe three weeks.”
“Wow. That long? Why didn’t you come in earlier?”
“I figured it would heal. Plus I’ve got nine more. The pinky one is my least favorite.”
“Seriously, you’ve lost some mobility in this finger. Is that as much as you can straighten it?”
“Yep. It only hurts when you put direct pressure on the joint, but no pain when you pull on it.”
“It’s still fairly swollen. I’m guessing you have a fracture, or the tendon has pulled away from the joint. You’re stoic. I can’t tell from manipulating it. I’m going to need an x-ray and then we may have to splint it. Because it’s been such a long time since the injury I’m afraid you may permanently lose some flexibility in this finger.
“Hmm, okay. I’m more concerned about the healing. It really bugs me in the morning, especially if it’s cold. It aches. If I don’t get one hundred percent flexibility in it I can live with that. It’s not my shooting hand anyways.”
She rips off a referral sheet. “Here’s some advice. Maybe wait for the truck to stop next time before you get out.”
“Yeah, but where’s the fun in that?”