Thursday, June 5, 2008

11 screws

I saw the post-op x-rays of my wrist yesterday. I counted 11 screws: 4 extending up the forearm, another 7 into the wrist, all held in place by a tee-shaped piece of metal buried under the skin. The surgeon said I had basically shattered my wrist and my injury was among the most severe he has treated short of the cases requiring amputation.

It occurred to me that in the very recent past my injury would have resulted in permanent disability, or indeed amputation. In much of the world without access to healthcare, that would be the result even today. X-rays for medical use were first developed only in the first decades of the 20th century. The developments in orthopedic medicine have given me a very different prognosis then I would have had even a few decades ago. I have some insurance, and can afford to pay my share of the cost, and I have access to a highly skilled surgeon.

Our lives seem so routine. But we also live forever very close to radical change. How close we are to tragedy depends not only on our personal care and attention to safety, but also on whims of who we are, and where we live, and when.


Robin Edgar said...

Now when someone tells you to go get screwed you can say that you already have been screwed. . . ;-) I am sorry to hear about the accident Ricky, especially since it will prevent you from participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle this year. I was photographing the Women's World Cup bicycle racve in Montreal last night when two of the racers apparently collided and crashed right in front of me. It looked pretty bad but they both struggled to their feet and got back on their bikes but by that time the race was all but over. It may well have been the final sprint of the last lap in which they crashed. If I post photos of the race I will let you know where you can see them. I hope your arm heals well and that there will be no lasting problems as a result of the break.

Anonymous said...

Ricky: Just stopping in to see what you have been up to and writing about. Sorry to read that you had the bike accident that left you with such a painful recovery. The good news is that you are recovering and apparently nicely.

Also excited about your upcoming wedding with Peleg. Wonderful news!

Will be thinking of you in the days and weeks to come. Fred