and You Will Receive

Across my computer screen, above the browser bar, came the question from  “How Many Bones Are in the Human Hand?”

Oh, I got the answer right but it was strictly a fluke. You see, when I clicked onto the site, it repeated the question and offered 4 answers, so I had a 1 in 4 chance of being right (and this played to my competitive spirit.)

I sat and counted off all my bones in my left hand, manipulating the hand and finger parts so I could find the bones, but I forgot a major player–my wrist. I didn’t even “Go there.” So, my answer was pure guesswork. Fortunately, I guessed right.

But reading this reminded of an event in my past that demonstrates the importance of the hand. Many years ago my Mom fell on ice in her driveway and landed on her hand, crushing it (‘pulverizing it’ may be a more apt description.)

Since she was very independent and “didn’t want to bother me, her working daughter,” she swaddled it in a sling and hobbled down to the local hospital.

Now, being naïve in the ways of medicine, she allowed a doctor in the emergency room to fix her up.

The upshot? He tacked her hand back together but fashioned it backwards (Mom didn’t realize the intricacy of a hand with all its digital wonder, and apparently, neither did he). In other words, she was of that generation who trusted all doctors to ‘make things right’ and never thought to ask “Should I see a specialist?”

Several months later she had a key element of her body that didn’t work right. I remember her sitting in the living room, in her favorite chair, her hand poised, outrageously, with part of it facing in another direction.

She’d hide it, too, under a wrap, whenever we went out socially.

In the meantime, my brother/doctor returned East, saw the reworked hand and immediately made plans for her to get the botched job righted at the medical facility where he now worked. He’d see to it they repaired the original work.

Moral of the story? The hand is a marvelous structure that single-handedly (sorry!) shows how very intricate the human body is. It takes a real expert in the field to right a wrong done to this body part….proving the fact they call them ‘specialists’ for a reason. Mom didn’t know that.

***And here’s a quadruple amputee, a man who knew what he needed to do. Specialists in Boston reattached both hands in a 12-hour-surgery demanding exquisite skill.

***Both and are wonderful resources for information.  Even better–they’re ‘free.’ Now, I’ve given you the upper hand on sites you’ll find ‘invaluable’…or is it ‘valuable’?…I never could understand the difference regarding these two.  Maybe I’ll

**And go to the Comment section below to find out the answer to “How Many Bones in the Human Hand?” if you haven’t already clicked on the highlighted in the paragraph above.  Clue?  It’s one of these:  (a) 27 (b) 21 (c) 45 (d) 19 .

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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