It was a warm early summer like day in May. After a day’s work I was walking to my car with my briefcase slung as usual with a strap that is affixed to it over my shoulder. I was carrying several newspapers, a book I had received in the mail that day and I was speaking on my cell phone.
I opened the back door of the car to put my briefcase down behind the driver’s seat and to place the books and papers on the seat above. Then I would shuffle over to the front door, open it, start the car and be on my way home or wherever I was going that evening. But then quite unusually as I was making a point to whomever I was talking with I felt a stinging pain on my hand, looked down and noticed that my thumb on my right hand was just momentarily stuck in the rear car door. My goodness. Apparently as I was kicking the backdoor to close it somehow—I still can’t explain it—there was my thumb in the car door.
I quickly dropped my left hand that was holding the cell phone and pulled the door open thereby freeing my poor little innocent thumb. I thought that this was pretty sloppy and stupid and chalked it up, of course, to the perils and hazards of always being on that cell phone in one fashion or another. Anyway beyond that I didn’t think anything more of it and just maneuvered myself into the driver’s seat ready to start the car while still on the same call.
“You know my thumb really hurts,” I said to whomever I was speaking with. I told them that I hurt my finger and had to pay some attention to it and that I would call them back later. So I drove home all the while coming to the realization that the pain in this finger is not really subsiding in the way that when you do something like this pain usually lessens and eventually goes away.
A few hours later after soaking it in icy cold water and the holding a small ice pack on it I noticed that whatever was happening to this digit it was beginning to turn a pinkish purplish color. How is this explained or characterized from a medical perspective? Well I didn’t know then and I really don’t know now. I just figured that the explanation was that it was turning colors the way skin does when you fall or bruise yourself in some fashion. I thought that the turning colors was good and that as it turned it would soon begin to fade in the other direction and then shortly thereafter hopefully repair itself as the body is calibrated and wont to do and all would one again be well.
After a few days frankly, it did begin to feel better except that the purple in the most unusual place that is beneath my nail began to turn different shades of purple. And then it looked like it was settling into a nice hue of black. Oh, that’s just wonderful I thought to myself, now I have a black nail on my thumb. Who knows how or when or if ever that is going to subside, heal or dissipate.
The pain went away pretty much though the tip of the thumb continued to feel sore. For weeks after that I checked often on the condition of this little thumb and contemplated what a lesson this small tangential episode can teach. For my part I thought this entire little adventure was an important lesson in life. Just look at what an almost indiscernible misdeed and create and result in. I mean all I did was get my finger caught in a car door for probably less than three seconds and it looked like the damage was irreparable. I mean it was just the tip of the thumb getting stuck in my car door and now I have a black nail on my thumb. More in this weeks 5TJT out on Friday morning.