22 June 2005

"Could my life get any worse right now?" Asked my friend while we were sitting in the pub opposite my flat yesterday evening.

This is despite the fact that she's just landed herself a new job and is about to see her salary shoot up by almost £10k. And the reason we were in the pub opposite my flat was because she's not as wimpy as me and I'd demanded that she come over and poison my (potential) rodents (which may or may not have been the trick of a half closed eye) while I did my best impression of the woman from Tom & Jerry (though, as I've mentioned before, it's not a very good impression because I can't do the standing on chairs thing, and I won't do the wearing skirts thing).

"Erm... you could break your foot on the way home?" I do like to always be the one on hand with helpful ideas and suggestions.

My friend thought about this for a minute and then decided that, actually, that wouldn't be too bad, as long as her cast matched the powder blue DM she'd be wearing on her unbroken foot.

This prompted me to tell the story about the time I, well, I wrecked one of my fingers. I was forwarned that my hand would be painful for up to nine months, swollen for up to two years, and I'd probably never regain full use of that finger. And I was sent to a hand OT to be fitted with a bright pink splint so I didn't manage to make my finger any worse. Of course, I had to buy bright pink nail varnish to match the splint, even though it was an awful colour varnish - alongside the splint it kinda worked (don't I sound just *so* butch?).

Having taken the conversation down a different path and away from how crap my friend thinks her life is (last week a psychiatrist, who also happens to be the lead singer of the band I'd gone out to see that night, diagnosed me as "an attention whore." Now I have an excuse for hijacking conversations and manipulating them to my liking. Yup.), I proceeded to finish my story about my finger. So I told her how despite the fact that it shouldn't have been so, 6 weeks later when I went back to see the hand OT, I had nearly full range of movement in my finger, and it was in fact skinnier than the same finger on my other hand.

For those of you curious: 8 years later and while my finger does still sometimes ache a bit on a cold day, I have returned to having beyond full range of movement (hyperlax joints can have their benefits, I know I can raise eyebrows in a lesbian bar by showing off how supple my hands are...).

At which point my friend said "All things considered, you do heal remarkably well..."

And she's right too. OK, my arms go round corners in places they're not supposed to. But that's not because the bones didn't *heal* properly, it was because the doctors repeatedly failed to put the bones in my arms back in line with the other bit of bone it had broken away from before they let the bone heal.

Sometimes healing well is an annoyance. I feel like I've not lived life to the full because of my lack of scars. Most people have some on their knees from when they fell over as a kid (no cuts or scrapes for me, just broken limbs), and most people with my impairment have at least one surgical scar. Me? Not one.

I have two scars on my body. One on my left upper arm, and one on my right cheek (just next to my cute little asymmetrical dimple). Both are from when I had chickenpox when I was 17. And my god that was the most painful experience of my life, so it seems only fitting I guess that my two scars should come from that.

A couple of months ago I got so excited. When I was moving house I dropped a piece of furniture I was carrying. It had a nail sticking out the back which nicely inserted itself straight into my right hand. Why should that be exciting? Well... firstly, I didn't faint. I blame growing up without ever grazing my knees for my complete inability to cut myself without keeling over. My leg can be at right angles to, well, itself... fine. Paper cut and I'm out cold.

The second reason it was exciting was because it actually looked like it was going to scar! I was going to have war wounds! I was going to be able to tell crazy Christians, and the people that mistake me for Jesus on a regular basis that I had stigmata!

Three months later there's not even a tiny mark to indicate where blood came out of my hand for 7 hours (it was actually a pretty deep cut). I am the Vanilla Ice of this decade.

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