I broke my hand 17 days ago. Since I have no insurance I didn’t go to the hospital. I can now tie my shoes, but I cannot pick up a beer or go bowling. How will this affect my climbing? I’ve been doing my best to immobilize it by taping. I would have taken something for the pain but decided it would be more fun to use beer.
—Beer via rockandice.com
It is unfathomable to me that you can’t just go to the hospital with a broken hand, and have them say, “My poor, dear fellow. Come in and let us help you,”
the subtext being … for free.
I see that you have your own form of health fund by way of medicinal beer money, so I guess you can’t complain. Something about “making your own bed” comes
to mind. I guess, also, that you have taken to drinking it with a straw since you wouldn’t risk spilling it with your non-dominant hand.
This method of buddy taping, a ménage à trois of doigts, will somewhat protect the finger but it’s rudimentary at best. A fancy finger brace will give
you more freedom to grip things.
Option 1: Beer – Wait another two months and then try to climb.
Option 2: X-rays – You could be climbing next week without the anxiety of doing irreparable damage to your fingers. If it’s an un-displaced fracture, try
regularly rubbing comfrey cream into it. There is a little evidence to suggest it speeds bone healing and you sound desperate for a speedy recovery.
This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 204 (September 2012).