24 May 2008 ~ 0 Comments

It's time to see a hand specialist

This is a rare rant that provides some insight into my life that I hardly share.

For 7 weeks now, I have struggled with a wrist injury that was taken all too lightly at first. And by that I mean, even with prominent swelling that spelled a broken bone or dislocation, it was deemed alright for me to just sleep on it through the night and see a doctor on my parent’s timetable. We hesitate to use our health insurance plan–I feel especially guilty when I am not contributing much to the household (not that I am to blame for that)!

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My parents being your typical immigrant Indian folks, just don’t seem invested in anything to do with sickness or sports injuries–when I called my mother at night while almost passing out in pain, her first response had nothing to do with me or my injury but she instantly snapped that she had 3 more hours of work left and there is no way she could come all the way to where I was to take me to the hospital or even take me home (A week earlier I had sprained my ankle and walked home in pain for 45 minutes). She furthermore declared to my dad that if he went to help me he had to come back and help her. I don’t know anything about being a parent but something tells me that I wouldn’t behave like that with my kids or niece.

For the first 2 weeks, I rested it but I eventually started riding my bike, playing soccer and made a trip to Boston, which required me to lift some heavy luggage and use my hand a lot. 7 weeks on, my wrist has healed very slowly. I can at least use my toothbrush, comb or shampoo my hair, open the door and turn the key in a lock.

After removing the cast and subsequent bandages, I am left with a huge discoloration of my skin, a bruising in the shape of Africa on my wrist. And I cannot move my palm upwards so I cannot lift any weights and bicep curls are especially hard for me, a pain shoots up on the outside of my wrist. X-rays won’t do anything for me, neither would my general doctor besides a referral to a hand specialist that should have been given when the injury first occurred. I guess we don’t learn from our mistakes–I have a permanent bad ankle due to a sprain that wasn’t dealt with when I was a kid. And the same ignorance and lack of attention has continued well past my teenage years. It shouldn’t matter how much medical attention costs or how small we think an injury is — we should take all the precautions necessary to ensure full recovery. But obviously class mentality, socio-economic status and privilege gets in the way of that.

My health has always been compromised in my household due to other ‘more important’ things (Heck, forget my health, a lot of things in my life have been compromised, marginalized or closeted–to this day my parents treat my homosexuality like an invisibility no matter how many L word posters are on the walls or proudly displayed on the door). I don’t think I am going to forget snide remarks from my otherwise tolerant-acting mother whenever I said “I have a club meeting” (referring to a social justice group) and she replied “I hope it is not the gay club” … And I have had enough. I am taking my health insurance information and going to a hand specialist in SF no matter what it costs. I don’t need to be handicapped for life because my parents were too stingy with all aspects of my life.

More info about wrist injuries:

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