What do you get when you combine a coffee table, sleeping dog, wife at the locked door with a bag of groceries, a shiny wood floor… and super slick possum socks purchased in New Zealand?  A stennar lesion – better known among the elite members of the hand surgeon carvery club as Gamekeepers Thumb. 


Every balancing trick I’d learned in my early martial arts career went right out the window because the fall occurred so fast it was as if life skipped a frame.  I’m up. I’m down.  The end.  For my thumb that is.  My left thumb took the full and exclusive brunt of my lightning speed descent and I was awarded with a torn ligament.


A gillasecond (which is an 1/8th of a millisecond) later I realized this was no normal owie.  The body always seems to sense a new pain void of any explanation to the rest of your body and without the courtesy of your local MRI machine.  Even the X-Ray machine printed out a chicken bone-like schematic that simply stated, “Geez – like, uh.  Ummm. I dunno!”


Fortunately the Butler Hand Institute referred us to a local wonder in Ocala, FL at The Orthopaedic Institute.  Dr. Mahmood is an example of what the magicians of our world really look like and his attitude I’ve heard amongst his brilliant team of equal wonders is consistent with me on the absolute best day of my life.


The amount of time it took for him to identify the issue was on par with the length of time it would take for me to tell someone they’re playing an E chord.


The predicament I was in was that in two weeks I was preparing to start the longest tour of my life – Ireland to Germany to Holland, home to Florida for four days and then on to a month in New Zealand and nearly that in Australia.


Without batting an eye Dr. Mahmood simply said, “We’ll build you a hand brace to play with and see you when you get back.  If the ligament shrinks up we’ll just take something out of your toe and use that.”  I had considered offering up one from the dog that tripped me but was informed the healing process might be questionable.


So, with a bag of ice added to the contract rider I headed out, making a promise to my thumb that if it performed well I would never over play a bar chord again.

To be continued…



Originally posted 2013-09-04 02:08:22.