I started this day thinking of all the things I’d rather do than have an MRI of my wrist and subsequently a consult with my hand doctor (see my blog from earlier for more info). But my friends were right, as always, when they said that knowledge is power and that I’d feel better when I knew and confronted the truth. So here’s what happened.
Being the freak of nature I tend to be, I do NOT have Kienbock’s Disease in my wrists. Rather, I have an even more strange degenerative joint disease caused by arthritis.
Basically this is nothing fancy, just straight up arthritis. But my doc (a fabulous guy) said that in his 30 years of practice he’s only treated 10 people with my particular type of degeneration and, lucky me, I’m the worst case he’s seen. I feel so special. Maybe I WILL have a disease named for after me after all. A girl can always dream.
This is all good, though. I knew surgery was inevitable, but now that I know what’s what, it’s easier to deal with. I get a choice between partial fusion and full fusion. Doc thinks full fusion is my best option since it would basically strip me of a joint and therefore no arthritis could return. Ergo, no more pain. I’m tired of dropping things and feeling weak. Of course, being the workout nut I am, I asked if any of this would affect my workout and he, thankfully, said no. Yes! I can still do Nautilus and now I can add weight training to my routine. Well, once I have no wrist left to speak of. Hey, I have my priorities.
I’m not taking any of this lightly, but I’m not going to overthink it, either. People every day live with fused wrist bones and adapt just fine. Personal hygiene will take some adjustments, as will petting my dogs, chopping onions, dressing myself, driving a car, performing certain sexual acts, and opening pickle jars and wine bottles. Getting from point A (pain and weakness) to point B (signing my name in a new and interesting ways) will suck a little. In the end, I’ll set off alarms at every security check point I pass through which will amuse me and I’ll sport a macho scar.
I won’t be dead. Which leads me to part two of my day.
Driving home from da ‘burgh today on I-80, I witnessed a one-car accident in which the guy driving should have been all kinds of dead. Yet he walked away shaken but unscathed.
p>He was driving about 70 mph in the left lane of the freeway when his car just left the road and hit the median. POOF! Straight into the snow which slowed him down, but not much. His car sailed between a guard rail and cement support of an overpass and continued sliding on a 45+-degree angle before resting 50 yards from where he originally left the road.
I saw the whole thing in morbid amazement with all my basic first-aid knowledge flooding back to me in a few seconds. I slowed down and drove to the right shoulder because I knew if he veered to the right and ended up back on the freeway he was going to be hit by a semi or if he rolled he’d end up back on the freeway and, again, hit by a semi. I couldn’t believe that he landed straight up in the ditch. All I could think was that he had performed a few good deeds in his past and Karma was paying him back.
I took out my phone and promptly dialed 4-1-1. Oops. I hung up and dialed 9-1-1 and was connected to the emergency operator. I explained the situation and she hooked me up with the state police. They dispatched Officer McDreamy which I’m convinced was Karma’s little way of rewarding me for stopping to help. Not that I do the right thing for the rewards. It was just a nice little perk.
In the meantime, I went over to make sure the driver was OK. “Holy shit, are you ok?!” is the only thing I could think to say. Hey, the adrenaline was flowing big time. It was obviously clear to him he understood he should be all kinds of dead, too, because he was sweating like he’d just done an hour in the ring with Ali.
He was traveling in tandem with another fellow in an SUV who stopped ahead of me. After he assisted his friend, he just stood on the shoulder, not sure what to do. I got out of my car and invited him into my car to get warm (it was only 20 degrees with a 1-degree wind chill) as his friend gathered things in his own car to put in the his friend’s car. John was in his late 60s, stunned and grateful that his friend was alive. He just kept shaking his head and saying how convinced he was that his friend was going to hit the guard rail. His friends, Ron, who should be dead, joined us a few minutes later, also stunned and grateful. I learned they were driving a car that they’d purchased for a dealer from Pittsburgh back to Albany, where their trip began at 5 a.m. We didn’t talk about much since Officer McDreamy showed up a few minutes later, but I’m betting they’re still tripping on the adrenaline six hours later and doing a whole lot of contemplating.
I’m serious. This guy was on a date with death. Thank god death stood him up. It all made my hand shit seem very small in comparison.