[Spider-Man's web-shooters, courtesy of Wikipedia. I am wearing something kind of like these, only not cool. In any way. Unless you are an elementary school kid.]
I hurt my wrist and I'm wearing a wrist brace. I thought I'd tell you all about it.
The advantages of wearing a wrist brace:
- Reduced wrist pain for the most part
- Even when my wrist is still sore, wearing the brace draws attention to my ailment in a quiet but obvious way. People ask, "What did you do to your wrist?" with expressions of concern. This gives me a variety of response options: (a) the joke explanation ("I got high-fived so hard it popped a tendon"), which I almost always use for kids; (b) the shrug-the-shoulders, "Guess I'm getting old" line; (c) the "lots of typing and some weight-lifting" line (which not only has the virtue of being largely true, it draws attention to two of my more respectable hobbies); or (d) "Shooting baskets," which I reserve for people who know that up until last week, I generally spend about 15-20 minutes shooting baskets in the park next to my kids' elementary school each day before I pick them up. There are junior high kids who just call me, "The basketball guy."
- I get to politely brush off expressions of concern with a brave and/or optimistic, "It will get better. Or not. Just one of those things in life." Just saying this often enough almost convinces me that it is true and helps alleviate my typical pessimism about physical setbacks.
- Wearing the brace discourages me from typing too much or doing several other things that probably contributed to the problem in the first place.
- Every once in a while, I look down and can't help feeling a little bit like Spider-Man.
- Tough to fit under the sleeves of some shirts.
- Can't play basketball with the brace on. The other day, for the first time ever, I saw another adult shooting baskets in the park before the end of school. Older, white-haired fellow. Missing a lot of shots but his release put nice spin on the ball, so I could tell he knew what he was doing. Really wanted to go shoot with him for a minute, particularly since he had a ball that was clearly a bit low on air and I always drive around with a ball, pump, and needle in my car. But it was quite early in the "rest the wrist" process and I didn't want to screw up my self-guided rehabilitation.
- Makes going to the bathroom a bit of an adventure, because . . . well, the brace/splint keeps you from bending your wrist. Now, imagine attending to a certain anterior region of your anatomy following a trip to the bathroom with an arm that moves like a robotic appendage or the limb of a George Romero style zombie. Ain't happening. So I have to remove the brace and then put it back on. (Note that this has really brought home to me how right-handed I am. The other day I thought, "Well, I'll try the left hand this time." And it simply refused to move, as if my right-brain was saying, "The right hand gets all the accolades and respect anyway--the left hand is not going to assume this duty." I seriously hope that I don't ever break my right arm.)
- Sometimes people make professional bowler jokes regarding the wrist brace. Not a fan of bowling.
- Every once I a while I try to flex my right hand and realize how impractical Spider-Man's classic wrist-mounted web-shooters (see above) with the trigger in the palm really are. That saddens me, because those are cool.