Christmas mallet?! What are you on about now DB!!??
Yes indeedy I have. A mallet finger to be precise. I didn’t know what it was either until it happened and promptly googled it. And there it was – mallet finger duly diagnosed and accompanied by handy photos.
If you don’t know what it is just hold out your hand in front of you. Don’t argue with me – do it now. Hold your hand straight and your fingers should be pretty much in a straight line. Note the second joint up near your fingernail. If you hold the other knuckle rigid you shouldn’t be able to bend it. Now imagine the tendon snapping and the top of your finger pulling towards your hand. Freaky!
Not very rock n roll
I’m extremely disappointed that this condition should be called mallet finger. It’s very un-rock n roll. More accurately it should be ‘wonky finger’ or a ‘that’s a weird finger’. Personally I’m going to rename it ‘dragon finger’ because it sounds rather sexy. Failing that it should be ‘Eagle Claw’. I can live with that.
Admittedly, on an injury scale of 1 to 10 it ranks as a one. It doesn’t hurt much and the X-rays confirmed that no bones were broken or dislodged in the process. But as a musician who already hits far too many random black notes on the piano, I could do without further fingering problems (stop snickering Graham).
Giving the finger
I have to wear a splint for a couple of months to give it a chance to heal and I’m learning to navigate issues like washing up without getting one finger wet and chopping vegetables without adding shredded cast flakes. Who knew how important a middle finger could be?! (Stop snickering Graham.)
How did you manage to do that DB??! You ask. Was it repetitive strain from signing thousands of acoustic albums? No…. Were you trying to play a 2 octave chord on the piano with one hand? No… Sky-diving? No.. Did you punch someone who came closer to you than 2 meters? No.. Did you have a tug-of-war for the last turkey in the shop? No… The last stick of Broccoli? Still no.. Were you practising your Pete Townsend impressions? Nope. I know I know! Were you playing twister with an orange? No…
Sock it to me
The embarrassing truth is it happened whilst I was taking off my socks… Yes I know. I must be the least rock n roll person in all existence. Admittedly they were thick winter socks and quite tight. I ordered them from a British knitwear company in an effort to support local businesses and not to buy stuff made in China. When they arrived the label said ‘made in China’. Well I tried. So inadvertently my injury is all down to China, a bit like coronavirus.
As I hooked my finger into the aforementioned sock for bedtime removal, I heard a click and felt like I’d been pinged by an elastic band. And there it was. Dragon finger. On the bright side I was referred with amazing alacrity to the local small injuries unit where I removed my home-made splint of a snapped emery board and sellotape, and was looked after with friendly efficiency by nurse Claire. I even have a follow-up appointment Tuesday morning to make sure it’s healing correctly. They obviously haven’t heard me play the piano.
So – I have an unexpected mallet for Christmas which I shall attempt not to chop off whilst I prepare the Christmas veg. Assuming that I can still get some with the borders jammed.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
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