Saturday, March 07, 2009

Digits in the Digital Age

An utterly needless and totally unnecessary accident drops one on the knees of utter helplessness, deep trauma, gnawing remorse and frustration. Bringing in bouts of pain, sleepless nights and some depression.

Exactly two weeks ago, one such unfortunate incident visited my otherwise harried but hum-drum life. Topping off a busy day with a flurry of chores needed to enhance our little business enterprise, I was ready late in the afternoon of a humid Saturday to call it a day, on the tail-end of the last chore of cleaning our ominous-looking (in hindsight) dough roller machine.

When from out of nowhere, and certainly not from heaven, I now vaguely recall being conscious of three of my fingers on my left hand being deep inside the two spinning rollers.

Sparing the grisly details of what happened in the next moments, hours, and days, I can only say that now my three fingers are heavily bandaged still, feeling still the occasional throbbing pain, and at times feeling the depressing feeling of self-anger and conscious self-loathing for allowing such a needless and unnecessary turn of events.

Why was I not my usual uber-careful self? What a stupid thing to have allowed such a thing to happen? Now I can’t type, tie my shoelaces, not even go through the usual personal hygiene chores – without the same difficulties only a learning child would typically encounter.

Now I have taken to looking at my right hand (the good one), flexing the fingers every which way, and generally admiring the science behind them. The genius of the opposable thumb! And then sadly turning my gaze on the other. Sigh. How badly I took it for granted, having been reckless in its use! If only time could be pushed back. I would pay money for it to happen. But regrets always trail behind, a hazy image of our life’s rearview mirror. And time does not walk backward.

How particularly crucial your digits have become on this Digital Age. Typing is now an excruciating chore or exercise for me.

No doubt I have discovered new-found respect for my digits.

A loose board of a bedroom cabinet remains untended and unrepaired, staring boldly at and challenging my innate resolve to keep things in the house in good order. Because at this time, I do not have the ability to hold a nail on one hand and holding a hammer on the other to drive the nail.

Oh, brother!


  1. As Doctor House says, "Pain changes everything..."

    My first wife lost about a half inch of her index finger in a cheese shredder at the restaurant she worked at. It was a similar situation to yours, just a split second of inattention. At least you still have your digits. The important thing: STRONG pain meds.

  2. Hi, Phil:

    Read about your recent episodes with pain.

    More than physical pain, mine is more the pains inside my head.

    Though I was prescribed pain meds, I refrain as much as I can bear from taking them.

    Typing with me is still a challenge.


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