Painted Orange

love shines on

Why me and a broken finger go together like PB & J.

About five weeks ago I was playing flag football, when I was trying to pull off someone’s flag my finger got wrapped up in their shirt and twisted my finger. It came out hurting pretty badly and looking like this.

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My finger 7 minutes or so after the twisting.

Of course, was initial reaction was like “cool” this will make a good story. And then, thinking it was dislocated, I asked someone, anyone to pull it out and straighten it. No one on the football field felt comfortable pulling out my finger (for good reason). A couple of the girls couldn’t look at it without wanting to pass out.

So I was like no big, I will just drive home to my neighbor who went to school for sports medicine and have her pull it out. Which is exactly what I did.

My neighbor kindly obliged and it looked straighter when she was done, (though it was swelling at this point so it was kind of hard to tell) and I thanked her and went home. Me and my roommate decided to tape two of my fingers together with scotch tape, which didn’t work out so well.

The next day I woke up to a giant finger, that was black and blue.  When I got into work my boss told me it was broken, but I was like “nah, it’s just dislocated. Plus I don’t have time to go to a doctor, I am about to go on vacation!” and ignored him and my throbbing finger.

Two days after the “twisting” I hopped on a plane to Texas to be in my friend’s wedding, where I caught the bouquet (with said finger). Then went to California, Hawaii, and finally New Zealand, where I spent nine glorious days hiking, kayaking, and driving all around New Zealand.

As the swelling began to subside in my finger I realized that my finger still wasn’t straight and that I should go to the doctor to get him fix the “dislocation.” But I still didn’t want to mess with my vacation or pay a lot of money for a foreign doctor, so I decided to wait until I got back to Georgia, about three weeks after the initial injury.

After a quick stopover in Hawaii and New York, I finally got back to Georgia and went to the doctor.

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They took some x-rays and as soon as the doctor walked in I knew I was in trouble.

He said, “You broke your finger, a spiral fracture. And because you came in so late, there’s not much we can do.”

“So my finger is going to be bent with a big knuckle forever?”

Sympathetically, he said, “yeah, probably.”

Immediately, I feel a lump start to form in my throat and my face get hot. In one second, my hopes and dreams for being a hand model were dashed to the ground.

But seriously, the permanence of my poor choice hit me square in the face and it was awful. I felt shame over my irresponsibility and sorrow over the cosmetics of a permanently bent finger.

Looking at my face, he went on. “You know I probably would have done the same thing. I wouldn’t want anything to get in the way of my New Zealand vacation and even if you came in that night, because of the nature of the fracture (imagine a stick being twisted) it would have been incredibly difficult to treat.”

He then left to talk to another doctor and see if surgery was an option. And I was left alone with my thoughts.

And I asked myself if I regretted it? If I would have done something different?

The answer was both yes and no. Yes, I would go to the doctor that night, because maybe they could have done something. But there was a bigger no, I didn’t regret it.

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It doesn’t look much better today, does it? haha

Hands are meant to play and catch footballs and pull off flags, so I definitely didn’t regret the football part. And I didn’t really regret going to be in my friend’s wedding and visiting countless other friends along the way. I didn’t regret the mountains I fell in love with in New Zealand, and the views that took my breath away.

In some weird way, I didn’t even regret where I sat, because what I had was a bent finger from living life fully. A bent finger is just a mark of the even better memories.

Now when I look at my finger I am reminded of so much more. I am reminded of scoring touchdowns on brisk fall days, and of carrying the tail of my dear friend’s wedding dress on the most exciting day of her life and then catching her bouquet. This little finger reminds me of California sunsets, and the beaches of Hawaii. It reminds me of standing breathless on top of New Zealand mountains, and getting pounded with mist from waterfalls in Milford Sound. It reminds me of living.

And it just seems to fit doesn’t it? Me and a bent finger. We kind of go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly.

 

 

About Meghan Tschanz

I believe in love, empowerment. and adventure. The kind of love that believes in the face of adversity, the empowerment that allows people to step into their destiny, and the kind of adventure that leaves your heart pounding in your chest. I write because I want to remind us all that there is so much more to life.

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2 Replies

  1. seth_barnes

    All of us are broken in different ways. Greatness is revealed as we own our brokenness. So glad to see you fully engaged in that process here, Meghan!

  2. Alys Seay

    I LOVE this. So much. Great story!

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