that time i was a medical marvel (according to a guy named jimbo)

authenticity career entrepreneurship failure mindset Feb 06, 2024
condescending head pat

Hey, Friend!

Weeding my garden put me in the hospital.

That I was weeding was an oddity in itself.

❤️ I love planning a garden.

❤️ I love planting a garden.

❤️ I love harvesting a garden.

🛇 I absolutely abhor maintaining a garden.

I always have. Even before it required me to go to physical therapy.

Anyway, there I was, pulling weeds, when my right index finger got stuck.

I could curl it into a fist with all of my fingers.

But if I tried to open my hand flat, my index finger wouldn't join the others.

At least, not fully.

It would uncurl, but it stayed angled forward like it was vigilantly searching for an elevator button to push.

It didn't hurt, but it wasn't comfortable.

The following week included doctor's visits, x-rays, shots, and manual rest.

It was still stuck. And they couldn't tell why.

My orthopedic surgeon said the only thing to do was open up the knuckle and see what was going on. 



Now, I should mention I lived in a very small southern town at the time. Maybe a different scan would've shown the problem. (But I still would've needed surgery to correct it.)

I should also mention one of my friends in this town knew my orthopedic surgeon. She was like, "Oh, I know Jimbo!"

A dude known to other grown adults as Jimbo was telling me I needed EXPLORATORY surgery.

That wasn't super comforting.

But what else could I do? I had the surgery.

Turns out a ligament had gotten caught around a bone spur on my knuckle.

Ol' Jimbo told me he called a med school professor to tell him since he'd never seen or heard anything like it. He might even write about it!

Anyway, for the next week, all my fingers were bandaged around a tennis ball in my palm.

Everything seemed fine...

Until the bandages came off.

Before I go on, it's worth knowing that I had ZERO experience with bone-related injuries.

I assumed "removing a bone spur" was kinda like clipping a fingernail.

The outside of the bone surely wouldn't feel anything! The incision would just need to heal!

I figured they'd unwrap my hand, I'd flex my stiff fingers a bit, and be on my merry way.

Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

 (Image from "Tangled" with Gothel patting Rapunzel on the head, condescendingly saying,"Sure, sure, if you say so." )

Except it absolutely wasn't.

It was baneful, waneful, lemon-squeezed-on-an-open-wound painful.

It would've been impossible for what I felt to be any more the exact opposite of what I expected.

I passed out.

After I came to, I started sobbing.

This taught me a few things.

First, I was right to hate weeding.

Second, when we don't know what we don't know, our expectations may not line up at all with reality.

Which makes us feel stupid for missing something that, in hindsight, is obvious.

But that leads me to the Third, and Most Important, thing:

There's a lot we just won't know until we go through it.

And being wrong about how it'll turn out it isn't a personal failing.

Even if you end up ugly-crying in front of a grownup named Jimbo.

All it is is a learning experience.

And, if you're lucky, also a future amusing anecdote.

Save yourself; let the dandelions grow,


P.S. I've never felt more like a delicate snowflake for getting taken out by some crabgrass than while in physical therapy. Three other people there had hand injuries...all from accidents with heavy machinery.