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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Teaching an old hand new tricks

October 28th, 2013 · 4 Comments · Health

It’s been 5-1/2 weeks since my right index finger was shortened while breaking up a dog attack, and it’s time for an update.

The short version (no pun intended): The wound is healing. Not healed, but in process. I was cut loose by the hand specialist last week, who said the healing process will just take time. It still looks gnarly, and it does throb from time to time, but progress is being made, or so I’ve been assured. Today I visit another doctor for advice on exercises for my hand and finger. That’s important.

I’ve been teaching myself how to type while keeping the finger up and out of the line of fire. It requires more effort to remember that my right middle finger now needs to cover an extra octave on the keyboard (that’s the best analogy I could come up with on short notice). It leads to lots of conflicts between “i” and “u”, or “n”, “m”, and “,”.

What I just don’t know is how much my typing will be affected when the slightly shortened finger is back in full use. That’s something I can’t answer yet.

5-1/2 weeks

But, as I’ve said all along, it could have been much worse.

Wow! I typed that sentence using the shortened finger, and it worked, the first time I’ve tried to put it to use. It felt awkward, but it did work.

See: Not just another day at the beach

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4 Comments so far ↓

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  • Jalna Keala

    Hi Ian – sorry about the finger. Have you tried a thimble? Maybe one for thumbs since you have big hands. Might make it a little less sensitive and easier to type. Lots of nerve endings in fingertips as you know.
    It dawned on me, slowly but surely a few weeks ago that my uncle, Pilipo Springer, worked for Dohrman Hotel Supply. He was my dad’s youngest brother, high energy, very rascal, always with the ukulele . I should have figured it our when Ginny Pitchford was in one of your early group photos. They hung out a lot and would stop by our house often to cause mayhem….but I loved it. Take care. Aloha to Meda. Jalna

  • Ken Conklin

    I never learned how to type. That might sound strange, considering I have typed thousands of pages; but there it is. I almost exclusively use the middle finger of each hand, alternating left/right hand for speed, hunt and peck, eyes always on the keyboard. I’m guessing that if anything happened to one of the middle fingers, I could use either of the fingers on one side or the other to it with very little diminution of speed. So there are advantages to being a lifelong hunt-and-pecker.

  • aikea808

    Glad to hear it’s on the mend and that you’re able to use it.

    My uncle lost his ‘ring finger’ in a freak accident. He was standing near the top of a ladder when it started to fall. He grabbed at whatever it was leaning against to try to stop it (side of a house?), and his wedding band caught on a nail on his way down & severed his finger. So yeah, it could have been worse!

  • Nancy

    The day before guitar player Tony Iommi joined Black Sabbath, which was back then playing clubs and halls in his hometown in England, he still worked in an industrial setting. Long story short, he cut off the ends of several of his fingers on his fretboard hand.

    Panicking, he fashioned thimble-like metal covers for his fingers, which he still uses today, more than 40 years later. The contact with those metal covers on his fingers with his guitar strings helped spawn the “heavy metal” sound/genre. Nobody else’s guitar sounded like Tony’s.

    “And now you know … the rest of the story.”

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