When Every Word Hurts

Today is my first day back writing after five days away.
A good thing, too. So many amazing stories have been knocking around in my brain after the difficulties last year, that I’m just dying to get them all told.

It wasn’t exactly a voluntary absence–I had finally just clawed my way back up to my normal cruising speed and was getting very excited about the coming months. Then, last week, on my way to bed, there was an…incident.

I won’t go into details, since I frankly don’t think any of you really want to be subjected to the details of my personal bedtime habits, let’s just say it involved a glass of tea, an electrical switch, and the porcelain rim of something very unclean, and leave it at that.

You wouldn’t think that could add up to a potentially life-threatening situation, would you?

Well, then, you have significantly underestimated the power of smart people to behave in breathtakingly stupid ways (I’m speaking of myself here).

Mere seconds after The Incident I found myself looking at my hands and thinking “Wow, I never knew that muscles looked like that when you flexed them,” which is not the kind of thing you want to be thinking at four in the morning when you don’t have a suture kit…well…handy.

I wound up with a quarter-inch deep, one-and-a-half-inch slice in my right hand, cutting all the way through to (and into) the muscle layer. The skin gaped at just the right angle that I could actually see how my thumb worked up to the first knuckle.

It occurred to me, about then, that a couple inches further up my arm and I might well have bled out before I could call for help, which shifted the cool/terrifying balance of the sight of my own muscles decidedly toward the terror end of the spectrum.

For the record, muscles under gaping skin look like maroon eels having an orgy in a pale yellow cave. Kinda like something from a David Attenborough documentary.

So, one hospital visit, two hours, and three bouts of shock later, I was officially benched. The wound was severe enough that my hand was immobilized so the stitches could heal–which meant, basically, that I couldn’t use my right thumb.

Have you ever tried typing without your space-bar thumb? It gives “carpel tunnel syndrome” a whole new meaning. So I did a LOT of recording, and almost no writing, for nearly a whole week.

The immobilizer came off today, and I’m gonna have a sweet looking scar, which in future years I will probably pretend came from an epic struggle with writer’s block (“Hey, you think this is bad, you should see what the keyboard looked like.”). Now I can type again…

Except that I don’t have enough strength in the thumb to hit the space bar without it hurting like someone is stabbing me in the hand (this is not an exaggeration). I’m writing this post primarily to prove to myself that I can hold a train of thought together in the face of the pain.

It’s times like these when you learn why you’re a writer. I’m going for my full 3,000+ word count today because it hurts more to not write than it does hurt to type.

And trust me…
That’s a lot.

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4 Comments

  1. Indeed, for someone not going into details; you really were rather explicit in such wonderfully illustrative ways!

    Welcome back and may your writing lead you to many years of painfully illustrative words 😉

  2. Dan Dan Dan. Please stop the self abuse ritual before bedtime. I told you this would happen.

    But seriously, heal fast, my friend.

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