Being bionic feels a lot like stoned

By Mir
October 17, 2012

I neglected to tell you that the night we went to the ER, Otto and I couldn’t stop laughing. I mean, really, what can you do?

“How did you hurt your hand, ma’am?”

“I was making apple crisp.”

The questioner would do a double-take, and then we’d burst out into fresh giggles. Also Otto kept me entertained while we waited with great suggestions like, “Sooo… wanna play Rock, Paper, Scissors?” (We later decided to change it to Rock, Paper, Scissors, Crisp, but then deemed it too dangerous to play. Cue further giggling.)

Eventually they wrapped me up and sent me home with an orthopedist referral. And lucky me, I just happened to have an appointment for a physical the next morning, anyway, so they told me to give the paperwork to my doc and have them get me an appointment.

Meanwhile, I was lucky to even make it to the doctor in one piece, because I ended up sleeping only about an hour that first night. It turns out that broken bones HURT.

Anyway, you may remember that I called for this appointment back in August because my hair was falling out, among other things and so when my doctor finished grilling me about my hand, she turned to my bloodwork and said, “Well, we did find one problem.” I then quipped that Dr. Google told me it was either my thyroid or I was dying, and she laughed and said it’s just my thyroid. So she gave me a prescription for Synthroid and I should be restored to my normal Yeti-like self in a few months. We then also discussed how all narcotics make me barf, so she gave me a prescription for a non-narcotic pain killer, and then her assistant got me an orthopedist appointment for that afternoon. They are very efficient there; I kind of wanted to ask them to do my taxes.

The orthopedist was also efficient, but we don’t like him as much, because when I asked him if I get to pick a color for my cast he said, “Oh, you’re not getting a cast.” He then whipped out my x-rays and started making with the Very Many Words, which—near as I could decipher—boiled down to, “Yeah, you really fucked your hand up.”

See, I had seen the x-ray at the ER, and I’d seen the break. Granted, I’m no doctor, but it looked pretty straightforward to me. See?

Turns out, though, that “spiral fracture” isn’t just a reference to the torsion that causes it, but to the resultant break, itself. That little chip of bone in the above picture was only the beginning… here’s the whole fracture:

(OUCH.) So after explaining all of that, the doc unwrapped my hand and had me move a little, and said something about how my last two fingers are crossing now because of the angle of the break, and without surgery I would suffer “permanent deformity.” Hey, that didn’t sound so good! As this all sunk in, I asked how soon I could have the surgery, “How about tomorrow morning?” he said, with just a tad too much glee.

So that’s how it came to pass that I busted my hand on an apple on Sunday night, and by noon on Tuesday I’d become The Bionic Woman:

(Here we understand “bionic” to mean “proud owner of a steel plate, eight screws, and a LOT of painkillers.”)

Anyway, it still hurts a lot (go figure) so I am spending a lot of time sleeping and generally lying around whining. I am a JOY, I tell you. I keep expecting to feel better, stronger, and faster than before, but mostly I just feel like crap. Maybe next week when I get my cast I’ll start feeling more superhero-y.


  1. Janet

    Oh my goodness! I’m guessing at this point you just have to laugh and say of COURSE this happened. Sending lots of healing vibes your way (and resisting an urge to make any jokes about that apple not keeping the doctor away….)

  2. deva

    Oh my goodness! I hope you heal quickly! My fiance was hit by a car as a teenager so he has all of that and more – just in his elbow and left leg! He said recovery from it wasnt’ fun. I hope you get a quick recovery and full mobility back as quickly as possible!

  3. Andrea

    When you do get your cast, please make someone put Wonder Woman’s logo on it. I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you!
    PS, hope you’re feeling better soon!
    PPS, Your doctors sound amazing. My brother broke his leg several years ago on a Saturday. The ER put him in this ice water circulation thingy and sent him home to wait until he coud get in with an orthopedist. He was stuck at home like that with his leg on life support for a week. Insanity!!

  4. Megan

    Wow! Well, if you’re going to do something, do it with STYLE. And, I guess, really really REALLY thoroughly.

    Shame about the narcotics. (I can’t have them either as it turns out they make me, well, sort of die I suppose.) I mean it seems totally unfair that you can’t be bionic AND a narcotic fiend.

  5. Therese

    Wow! Can 2012 do any more to you? Better knock on wood after that remark…

  6. Emily

    Hope you heal quickly!

    Maybe now is the time to see if the Dragon Naturally Speaking software folks want you to demo their product on your wildly popular blogs?

  7. Katherine

    Is that steel plate and screws permanent? And if so, is it going to make things fun anytime you go through a metal detector? Because that would just be bonus fun!

    I hope that you can sleep a lot and feel better soon. Healing takes a lot of energy and chocolate. I hope you got your prescription for plenty of chocolate!

  8. Angela

    Just keep laughing through this…laughter keeps ulcers from forming! ;)

  9. Little Bird

    Seriously, I could send you some bubble wrap!

  10. Navhelowife

    Oh! I am so sorry you’re going through this. The only good thing about not being on narcotic painkillers is that then you don’t have to wean off of them.
    Meanwhile, sending you prayers and comforting thoughts.

  11. Elizabeth

    Glad you were able to laugh. Continue laughing– releases endorphins which will help with the pain. (Someone remind of this Friday when I get home from my own surgery!)

  12. Mama Bear

    Sorry about your hand, but what I focused on was the low thyroid. Mir, you will feel so much better when your meds get your thyroid back up to normal!! I’ve been on Synthroid for years, and what a change after first getting diagnosed. (Please be careful not to let them switch you from generic to name brand, name brand to generic, etc. Stay on one and keep it with that brand, otherwise the crazies ensue again!) Despite all the chaos of 2012 making you want to curl up in a ball and sleep, low thyroid did that to you as well! Now maybe it will be easier to get through those days. Hooray!
    Hope your hand heals quickly!

  13. Theresa

    Whoa! and OUCH! Hang in there.

    BTW, did you type that whole post one handed??? I’m impressed.

  14. Karen

    Oh my stars. Will you now always set the airport metal detectors off?? LOL

  15. Bob

    must be good painkillers – you typed this long post and I didn’t hear your expletives at all.

    good luck with airport security from now on.

  16. Mir

    I did type this one-handed! Very slowly.

    Will ask about setting off metal detectors at my follow-up appt.

  17. GetSheila

    What’s next, a tsunami in Georgia? You’re making me paranoid for you and your family. Seriously, GET TO HIGH GROUND. Seriously seriously, hope you’re all hairy and pain-free soonest.

  18. Barbara

    Too bad it’s not your middle finger, you could then flip 2012 a bionic bird.

    Or maybe you just invented a faster, more powerful swear gesture! Yes! That’s it! That finger is now your own Bionic Bird!

    Use it wisely.

  19. Kim

    Oy. Have plans for the spiral apple corkscrew and the crisping of the apples this afternoon. Maybe I should call my insurance company first.
    Feel better.

  20. Jen

    Ok, just a little puke-y seeing those pictures, but I have to ask…

    How was the apple crisp? ;)

    Go rest. Train Licorice to give foot rubs.

  21. Javamom

    So how did you manage to type all this? That;s pretty good for a bionic woman :)

    Hope you feel better soon.

  22. Tenessa

    Only 2 and a half more months. Just sayin’.

  23. matinyoupi

    I bet you can’t wait to bury 2012? There are still two months to go, though… What’s in store for the next two months?
    You know, we would still read your blog even if you didn’t have traumatic news at each post.

    Thyroiditis… I told you so… In a few weeks’ time, you’ll see the difference that little daily pill can do to your mood (and hair). That’s one you won’t forget to take.

  24. Diane

    Really, all you can do is laugh (especially when you react unfavorably to the things that would put you in la-la land for the duration). You now have an official super-hero weapon: “Stand down, perverter of justice, or I will poke you with my bionic Finger-izer”.

    Or something like that.

  25. elz

    I have a bionic jaw, if that makes you feel any better. I plan on eating all the apple pies now, just to show ’em that they can’t mess with my friend! Good luck with your recovery.

  26. ememby

    I apologize because I had to laugh at this post, in a what-are-the-odds sort of way. But also, seriously? So sorry. That is quite impressive hardware you have there. Here’s to quick healing in every way. And you might want to stick to blueberry buckles from now on.

  27. {sue}

    Oh my, Mir. I’m glad it’s all done and you can begin healing. And also, I’m going to tell you to make sure that your PCP checks your thyroid annually for nodules, because I have recently learned the hard way what happens when they don’t. And most people have no other thyroid issues once they start meds, but I’m guessing you just might be a little higher risk than other people :-) (Not to worry, just prevention!)

  28. Nancy R

    My Father-in-law has bionic knees- he has a credit card-like image of the x-rays for use during metal detector rendezvous.

    Feel better soon!

  29. Ali

    Two years ago, I had 3 stitches on my fingers following an apple corer incident. Conclusion: You can turn apples into pie but not without a fight.

  30. Lori N

    Yeah, spiral fracture = surgery, as my Mom found out 2 years ago.

    How about we sign a virtual cast for you? You can pick the color & we’ll decorate it. My signature will have an apple instead of a dot over my “i”

    Heal fast! — Lori

  31. AlisonC

    I was wondering about metal detectors too.
    On the plus side it might distract the TSA from your large containers of hair gel if your hand is setting off alarms at the airport!

    I hope that your thyroid medication helps you feel much better and that the pain eases up soon.

    PS Can I put in a vote for a pink cast??

  32. Jean

    Wow, that seriously looks like it hurts! Feel better soon, Mir…..

  33. Schmutzie

    Yikes, but cool internal finger jewellery!

  34. bonuela

    1. i have been on synthroid since high school and while it will fix you right up, don’t be shocked if when your hair starts growing back you get it in some bonus places. (don’t ask, just wax)

    2. my dad broke his leg while cleaning his ears, and q-tips are even more innocuous than apples.

  35. Kristine N

    OUCH!!! Geesh Mir let’s hope that nothing else is coming your way for 2012….

    I love the idea that somehow they get a superwoman decal on your cast. It should have a really long flying cape that is billowing in the winds…. Nothing can defeat you!!!

  36. Summer

    If you have to injure yourself, you might as well make it funny, right? I got a lot of laughs for the sword injury that had me on crutches for a month (a belly-dancer’s weighted sword was dropped on my foot) and my husband got to spend a humorous evening in the ER with a catfish stuck in his leg.

    I bet you will never say “easy as pie” ever again.

    Wishing you quick healing and lots of good crap to watch on TV in the meantime.

  37. Brigid

    You’re pretty. You’re pony is on the way. It has mad typing skills. That is all.

  38. Erika Jurney

    Your plastic bubble is in the mail.

  39. Jamie

    I love #18 Barbara’s thoughts! And Summer’s “easy as pie.” Ditto what all have said – quick healing, little pain, happy pills!

  40. Anne

    I call my synthroid my happy pills. What a difference it has made. No more nodding off in the middle of the day, no more depression! It will only take a few days to notice the difference but it may take a year to find the right dosage. My life is dramatically better. Good luck.

  41. Tricia

    Oh man, Mir. That’s one impressive looking finger. So sorry you broke yourself making apple crisp. Hopefully the synthroid and pain killers will kick in and you’ll feel great soon. And just so you know you’re in good company: I stepped off a single step in our garage once and ended up breaking four bones in my foot, tearing two ligaments, and landing myself in a foot boot for 12 weeks, plus six months of physical therapy. And now my foot twinges every time it’s going to rain. Hope your bionic finger helps you predict something better than the weather!

  42. Chuck

    Glad to hear the surgery went well – hope the recovery goes equally well!

  43. Crisanne

    Hugs, Mir.

  44. Vane

    Oh Mir so sorry about your hand!! Hope you feel better soon.

    If I may spoil the fun about the metal detectors, I have several steel plates and tiny screws in my face an larger ones on my anckle and I’ve never “beeped” when going through airport security. I, however, would ask if it is possible to remove them after a while … they are not fun during winter time :(

    My prayers are still with your family, big hugs to you all.

  45. s

    what? nothing to sign? ok, instead of a cast, for now you could just get a tshirt done up with that super cool xray with the spirally pin in there and tell folks to sign that!

  46. Kelly

    I think at this point you do just have to giggle uncontrollably and eat lots of ice cream. Stay away from apples. I hear bananas are nice & safe. I think Otto should hide all knives and you are only allowed to use toddler tools in the kitchen. :)

  47. birchsprite


    Lots of choccy cake and wine!

  48. karen

    Oh wow… I thought the same thing when I saw the break…Ah, pretty clean, maybe just press it back together, tape it up, cast, done! ….

    HOly cow, is that bionic material – forever-? My cousin had fractured his wrist really bad.. they put screws and plate in and he was supposed to live with it… after about four months he couldn’t tolerate it at all and they had to remove it, but he’s doing just fine now a year later. It hurts on rainy days a little.

  49. Beth R

    Oh, Mir! Sending hugs and lots of good thoughts your way. Keep laughing!

  50. Issa

    OWIE! Gah. At least you have a funny story to tell??

    2013 owes you big time. Because 2012 has been a real shithead.

  51. Sharon

    Oh. My. God. That’s what I keep saying over and over. There are no words. Sending a [gentle] hug to you ~

  52. Sheila

    All I can think of while looking at that last X-ray is “Excalibur, the finest sword that there was, which sliced through iron as through wood.”

    ‘Bout sums it up, doesn’t it? Feel better, Mighty Mir, for you are forged in fire, divinely appointed Queen of Apple Crisp.

  53. Jennifer B

    First time commenter, but…a couple years ago I had compound fractures of both bones in my right wrist. $50,000, two plates, 13 screws and 3 wires later I do not set off metal detectors. After all that I was a little disappointed. Hope all heals well!

  54. Mandy

    MIr-fans and -followers, I think it’s time for Bionic Hand Lemonade! (Or, Apple Crisp Lemonade, if you prefer).

    I second the idea of a Wonder Woman cast – or tattoo, although personally I’m frightened of getting one.

    Hugs and healing vibes from Indiana, Mir!

  55. Michele

    OMG That makes me hurt and squirm just looking at it! I may have to go console myself with chocolate on your behalf. I do hope you feel better soon. And don’t worry, you shouldn’t set off any metal detectors at the airport. Apparently you need an implant as large as a hip for them to get a read off of it. My MIL has a shoulder replacement and not even a blip when she goes through, so you can wipe that worry off the list. :)

  56. cheyenna

    Oh, Mir…. All you can do is laugh. And try to get lots of rest. Hugs

  57. Amy

    Awesome x-rays. Glad they got you fixes up so quickly. Hope you feel better soon.

  58. Amy


  59. Sherri

    Sleep, sleep, sleep…. your body needs to heal itself and you’ve been running on fumes for so long. I hope the pain is better today.

  60. Aimee

    Here’s what I think: ONLY a bionic superhero could come through a year like you’ve had and still be able to write eloquently about it and crack up about it in the ER. This is just your body catching on to that fact. So CONGRATS on your bionicism.

  61. Anna

    Very nicely done. (Oy.)

  62. Frank

    Even though technically it was the “Man”, I feel the need to make a Six Million Dollar joke somewhere in here… Disclaimer: I didnt check all the comments to see if someone beat me to it. On a related note, you havent got the bill yet, have you?
    Deformity sounds bad…. but maybe it would have allowed you to flip off undesirables in plain sight and not be obvious about it… Must look at the positives! Although making a fist and shaking it menacingly at people might be a part of your PT… again, Bonus!
    Kidding aside, get better soon. until then we can deal with short snippets of posts, or you dictating to Otto while he types….

  63. Karen R

    At least you can still look forward to a pretty cast…. I hope you fell better soon.

  64. Leah

    I hope you are healed quickly. Its been a heck of a year hasn’t it! Glad you are still finding the humor in all that life is throwing towards you.

  65. Kate

    Holy f-ing schiz! That is all I can come up with!!!

  66. Nancy

    My eyes bugged out a little bit when I saw your x-rays.

    Feel better soon!

  67. suburbancorrespondent

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. And stay away from those apples, you crazy woman, you!

  68. Shelly in Austin

    You’re pretty!

  69. Amy-Go

    *facepalm* That is all.

  70. Angela

    You poor, poor baby! What a bizarre incident!

  71. Rocky Mountain Woman

    One of my coworkers broke his hand trying to catch a fly ball at a ball park and he ended up having surgery also…


  72. Varda (SquashedMom)

    Heal fast babe, heal fast. Also you can’t get any more MRIs as you now have metal inside your body. I am right there with you on the narcotic/barf connection. Sucks. Hope the alternative painkillers are doing their job so you get some rest. Will NOT facetiously ask “What next?” because I don’t want to tempt the fates to throw anything more at you.

  73. My Kids Mom

    Well, you needed a little superhuman strength, so let this be it. Believe in the metal plate! (And don’t let a screw come loose or Otto will have a field day)

  74. Jeanie

    That sounds dreadful. Hope the pain goes away very soon.

  75. Keene

    I’m so sorry. Broken bones do hurt a lot. Cue my 12 yo boy who busted 2 fingers on August 1st, and then 10 days after getting that cast off…. broke his wrist, same hand. Anyway, count on round the clock meds for at least a week.

    I am a big believer though, that women generally do get sick (or injured), when they have been taking so much care of others, that their whole system finally crashes and thus forces them to get on the couch and stay there for a nice long time. Wish we could all come bring soup and silly movies to watch with you. Find the most comfy jammies/blankets and make a nest and stay there and be waited. There is much more that needs healing, other than your bone. Sending waves of love.

  76. Another Dawn

    Well, I hope you’re not going to use this as an excuse not to blog. >:

    Seriously, that looks very ouchy. I’m no radiologist and even I could see that was bad.

    Can’t get any MRIs once you’re bionic, huh?

    *contemplates breaking finger bone just for that very purpose*

    I should think going through security at the airport just got more interesting, too.

    Hope it stops hurting soon! Can I sign your cast?

  77. Ali

    Wait – will this hamper your Draw Something skills? Or maybe you get handicap points? :) Heal soon!

  78. Kristi S

    Wow…feel better Mir!

  79. Ellen

    Ouch! I had a spiral fracture of my femur at age two. I actually can remember it. I was not supposed to be able to walk, but I can. One leg is slightly shorter, but I’m fine. The pain is seared into my memory, so I know you must bein agony. Still, despite your sucky year, i like how your writing stays on point and enjoyable to read. When does your book come out? You know there must be one.

  80. Christa

    O.M.G. You should totally kick 2012’s ass with your bionic hand. Wow.

  81. Christine

    I have this old family photo stuck to our fridge–it shows a well-dressed family of the late 19th or early 20th century standing quite calmly and unabashedly in front of an actual, literal train wreck. If I get a chance, I’ll scan it for you and you can caption it “2012” and stick it to your fridge! (I would just send you my copy, but this week has been slightly trying for us, too… though thankfully not on your scale. Which is NOT an invitation to the universe, okay universe?)

  82. Chris

    Well that is impressive and I am troubled by the after x-ray on a few dimensions. Anyone for an early new year?

  83. dad

    I’ll bet that you still type faster then I do, even (1) drugged, (2) holding a wine glass,and (3) using only one hand.

    It’s time for you to get one of those voice recognition software packages so you can just dictate and the computer will arrange for typing.

  84. Joanne

    Draw a picture of your pins and plate into the DrawWithFriends thingy for Chckie! She’ll never guess what it is!

  85. Rachel

    Ouch! Healing thoughts for you from ND. Glad they found something that will help with your other issues, too, instead fo just saying “yeh, you’re fine, quit whining”. =)

  86. Genevieve

    Mir, I think you need some of these stickers to decorate your cast with (once you get it):

    You can direct Monkey to draw your Draw Something pix till you’re healed.
    I wish you quick healing, lots of funny/silly movies to watch (laughter=endorphins=healing, so Readers’ Digest had the right idea), and rest.

    And three cheers for Synthroid. (two small caveats — don’t take magnesium supplements as they inhibit absorption of thyroid hormone, and don’t take your Synthroid close to the time you have calcium as it temporarily inhibits absorption – I take my Synthroid at night so I don’t have to wait in the morning between taking it and eating cereal.) Having your thyroid levels adjusted makes so many things better.

  87. JennyA

    Wow, that’s one of those things that really makes you want to just live in a giant inflatable bubble and not move very much. What are the odds!? Hope you feel better soon. I broke my little finger once and that was shockingly painful, all stabby and shardy — I can’t imagine what a bigger finger would feel like or, I dunno, a whole limb or something.

  88. Nancy

    I once broke my finger cleaning the kitchen counter (jammed it on the edge). Most everyone said ‘ so don’t do that anymore’. I wouldn’t say don’t make apple crisp anymore ‘cuz that would mean no appley goodness for your family. Hope you heal fast!

  89. liz

    I’ll just add, “YIKES!!”

    And send you hugs and kisses and chocolate.

  90. Carrie On

    When it comes time to welcome 2013 into this world, you can thoroughly enjoy the b****slap you will deliver to 2012 to bid it adieu, because now it is going to hurt like a sonofab****. That’s how you can focus on the positive!

  91. Eileen

    Mir that is crazy. I missed this post so I had to go back and see what Chickie was using as a desktop now. I can see why it is pretty awesome, in an “Oh My God That Must Hurt.” kind of way.

  92. magpiemusing

    now i understand the chickadee’s desire to use that as a screensaver. it is rather cool. although, OUCH.

  93. Rita

    You know, It’s too bad that it wasn’t your middle finger. Then you’d really be able to show 2012 what you think about it. Not that I’m glad you broke your hand on apple crisp, I’m not. I can just imagine it though… Here 2012, I hurt my finger….. look! (I really hope this is coming across as I intend it, snarky yet supportive!)

  94. Victoria

    It can happen that I’ll purchase an item in one store, enter another and the item will set off the anti-theft device. I wonder if you will get to mystify store personel from now on? ;)

  95. Cele

    So what color are you getting…. rock, sissors, paper, crisp… next you’ll get a terrorist rating… or a personal plastic bubble

  96. Nelson's Mama

    I had to have my first shoulder surgery because I was doing broom tricks (it’s hard to explain) after consuming too many martinis :)

    Hope you hand heals soon! xxooo

  97. Teri

    My son broke his arm a couple of years ago (he was 6) when he fell from the neighbor’s backyard playset thingy and we also did the ER trip with the follow-up ortho appointment. All that to say: he got a RED cast. At the time, he lived and BREATHED Spiderman, so I got out my trusty black Sharpie and sat him in front of the tv (for distraction) and went to spinnin’ webs! I drew webs all OVER that red cast and, if I say so myself, it ROCKED!!
    He was the envy of the playground. I offered to set up a table in the Dr’s office to decorate kid’s casts, but he was kind of a turd and kind of looked at me like I had three heads. Whatever.
    Hoping for healing bionic bones soon!

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest