Crooked fingers

‘What’s your verdict now?’ I’ll ask the pharmacist when I present my arm with its long line of stitches. ‘Is it ready to be uncovered yet, or should I go on with the protective bandages?’

‘Surgeons tend to uncover wounds too early,’ the pharmacist had said to me earlier in the week after the doctor had cut off the cast that held my wrist steady. ‘It might look okay after two or three weeks but underneath the unprotected wound can split open without any warning signs,’

Who wants a wound that splits open when it’s only half way to scar tissue?

As I grow older, it takes longer for skin to heal but I’m not so old that it refuses.

My mother had an ulcer on her leg once that would not stitch together of its own accord. It needed constant care in the form of fresh bandages almost daily before the skin decided it was safe enough to close over.

An ulcer is different from an open wound.

A wrenching open of the skin is not the same as a slow eating away at its surface, which is the way ulcers operate.


I’m not sure about Christmas this year. It’s going to be hot.

The newspapers report the police foiled a terrorist plot near St Paul’s Cathedral in the city, I haven’t read the reports. I can’t bear it, but I suspect it would have been planned for Christmas midnight Mass or later on New Years Eve.

What better way to assault and terrorise people than to attack them in numbers during their festivities, when their eyes and minds are turned elsewhere?

But the police had been on the look out for these seven or so self radicalised young men, hell bent on death and destruction, or so the papers report.

But these days I find myself doubting everything I read in the newspapers.

The fake news or the slant so sloped it’s hard to know where the truth lies.


I have a photo of my mother on my desktop, the one my husband took on her ninetieth birthday. In it she’s dressed in her new birthday dress, the one in fawn colouring with swirls of white brocade etched on top.

She’s wearing her double layer of pearls round her neck and tear drop pearls in her ears and she holds her left arm across her chest and up to her ear as if she’s checking that her earrings are in place.

I can just make out the shape of her distorted thumb, the one the surgeons botched up or left to heal prematurely after her fall in a supermarket car park, or was it from the time a dog rushed in front of the Chemist shop on Centre Dandenong Road in Cheltenham and tripped her up?

Maybe the bones in my mother’s arm fused badly because there was more than one fall that broke her wrist, or maybe it happened through inadequate treatment.

In any case, the doctors could never give her back the elegant shape of her wrist and the bone jutted out from her hand for her entire later life like some warped thing that would not lie straight.

It reminds me of the shape of the bone in my hand shortly after my fall before the doctors in emergency had  a go at straightening it. It too seemed to be pointing sideways across my hand and up into my thumb rather than in the direction of my fingers.

Our hands are so fragile and precious. We take them for granted.

In future, I must take better care and unlike my mother, not fall twice.