Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in January 2008.
29 days ago, in a flash of brilliance with a bread knife and a slightly-stale bagel, I almost took off the end of my thumb. Well-drugged and stitched a few hours later, the immediate crisis was over. But what began was a few weeks of operating with half my opposable digits. I fumbled to pick up things and learned to press modifier keys with another finger, inadvertently writing whole sentences in a gimp substitution cipher. Other limbs substituted for missing abilities, and complex two-hand maneuvers such as opening spring-loaded door latches became new challenges.
Two weeks ago I took the stitches out. This was simultaneously fun and gross, the satisfaction of removing the black nylon thread from my thumbprint not unlike popping a big zit. I’d graduated to “normal” band-aids, the daily application of Neosporin being largely symbolic at this point—a huge scar is inevitable.
29 days later, I’m celebrating by trekking across Stockholm to the biggest climbing gym in Scandinavia. It’s been almost 2 months since I last climbed, and I’m really excited. Going to boulder a bit, and maybe find a climbing partner—hoping that “on belay” translates.