Thoughts and illustrations on living with Asperger's Syndrome.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
“It’s removable, right?”
He answered, in his British accent, in the way a parent might admonish a small child, firmly, yet showing pity at my ignorance.
My heart sank. I scanned for evidence of a smart-ass response, which I fully expected. But it’s just a thumb splint for carpal tunnel… why wouldn’t it come on and off? No, he’s serious! They’ll have to slice this plastic mold off me! Wait! Stop!!!
“…Of course it comes off.”
Oh. So it was a smart-ass answer. Pwned. Well done, Andrew. Way to kick a reluctant patient when he’s down. You've just earned yourself a lifetime slot on my sh*t list.
So, good news, my splint is removable. But it’s still a problem. I don’t take well to prosthetics. Arm cast, braces, knee splint – I’ve experienced all these things, which are way worse than a stupid removable thumb splint. But it is a big deal.
Then, the social issue. Wearing this thing in public draws attention to me. I feel a bit like a fourth-rate Michael Jackson with wiffle glove. It invites conversation I don’t necessarily want. “What happened to your hand?” Depending on who’s asking, maybe I want to tell, maybe it’s none of your business.
Such a burden. That said, I curse myself for being a crybaby when it could be so much worse. Why not carry myself with dignity, like disability advocate Dave Hingsburger? He’s in a wheelchair, for cryin’ out loud, and all I’ve got is a freakin’ removable thumb splint!
So it’s one day in. I’m wearing it at night, and as much as I can manage during the day. We’ll see if it helps. My doctor may scold me for noncompliance, but the choice between a lifetime of mild pain, and a short period of awkwardness and inconvenience, is not as clear as he might think.