“Ow!” I said as I went to lift the pan off the stovetop.
“What’s ow,” asked my husband, glancing over from the kitchen counter where he was working.
“I hurt my hand yesterday,” I said, massaging the area of my hand where my first and second finger met. “I think I sprained a knuckle.”
He gave me that look.
“I don’t think that’s possible,” he said.
“Well, it must be possible,” I said, “because I did it!”
I pressed on the area that was sore and winced. I had definitely sprained my knuckle. And I did it lifting the laundry basket with one finger. Why I had lifted the laundry basket with one finger, I had no idea. I was a mystery to myself. The real question though, was how was I going to fix it?
“How do you think you fix a sprained knuckle?” I asked my husband.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Go see the knuckle doctor.”
Since I didn’t really know any knuckle doctors, I decided to look it up on WebMD. That’s what my husband always did when he got a Man Cold and was convinced that he was too sick for it to just be a Man Cold. Usually he decided it was something like Foreign Language Syndrome or Artic Seal poisoning or something really obscure like that that he’d had no chance of contracting. Eventually though he would realize he only had a Man Cold, which, for the rest of us, was misery enough.
I Googled “Knuckle Sprain,” found some information, and then went back to my husband.
“Okay, so I have arthralgia and it is monoarticular pain in one of the meta-carpophalangeal joints of my phalanges,” I announced.
He gave me that look again.
“What the heck does that even mean?” he asked.
I shrugged. “I sprained my knuckle.”
“Clearly,” he said. “So what does it say to do?”
“Oh. I forgot to look that up.”
“Better get on it,” he warned. “I heard if you don’t treat a knuckle sprain right away it could turn into something serious and you could lose a knuckle.”
“Go ahead and mock me,” I said. “But you’ll be sorry if it really is something serious and I do lose a knuckle and then you have to spend the rest of your life with a wife with nine knuckles!”
I went back to my computer and Googled, “Treatment of Knuckle Sprain.” I was pretty sure it was worse than I thought and I was going to have to go see a knuckle doctor after all and get a knuckle splint or a knuckle cast or maybe even have surgery to repair my mucked-up knuckle. It was possible I could be incapacitated for weeks or even months while my knuckle healed and I would have to hire a special knuckle nurse to do basic things for me like button my pants, which, apparently, you needed your knuckles for.
A few minutes later, I went back to my husband.
“So, what did you learn?” he asked.
“I definitely have a knuckle sprain and I have to alternate between ice and heat and it could take a few weeks to heal.
“Well, that’s a relief,” he said.
“A relief?” I repeated. “I said it could take a few weeks to heal!”
“Yeah. But it could be worse,” he said. “At least it’s not a Man Cold.”
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