On Saturday, I finally used my middle finger one too many times. I was crimping when crunch, snap! I partly tore the A2 pulley on my flipper. A quick Google informed me that I had about 60 days recovery before I could crimp again. When you’re as old as I am, that’s like 10 percent of your remaining life spent just rubbing your finger.
Fortuitously, or perhaps forebodingly, the day before my little mishap I had received two rolls of ArcticEase Instant Cold Wrap tape. Normally I would have tossed the tape in the closet, or given it to an intern to figure out, but this day I saw it as a gift from a friend.
The tape—blue, rubbery, slimy and cold—feels like a dead eel. You cut ArcticEase to width and length, and wrap it around your injured part.
Briefly holding the tape in place causes it to stick to itself, forming a sort of flexible cast. Getting the wrap just so is tricky, and really a two-handed
operation as the wet, slick tape has a mind of its own, but I managed. Through magic, the tape turns ice cold without refrigeration, and stays frigid for about two hours.
When I first wrapped my hot and throbbing A2, I could feel the tape suck the heat right out of it. This was better than using ice or a bag of frozen peas, as the tape provided a 360-degree cooling effect. It was better than a dunking in ice water, as I didn’t have to torture my entire hand for the transgression of a single digit, or find a bucket of ice water and carry it around with me. The stretchy tape also performed a mild-compression therapy—it got cold and squeezed my wounded thing at the same time!
I used ArcticEase tape for three days, which is about as long as you want to ice/cool an injury, reapplying as necessary. A jar (essential so the magic
doesn’t escape) of 2.75-inch tape comes in a roll three feet long, enough for three or four finger injuries. The wider four-inch roll would be the
ticket for a rolled ankle or a sore elbow.
Did the tape work? Cut me off in traffic and you’ll find out.