After being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right thumb a while back, I would sometimes look it up and think about it, but maybe I wasn't really paying attention until recently. The other day it was like a lightbulb bloomed over my head like in a cartoon.
The real reason I didn't see it at first is because I guess it's a normal function to not see one's self as defective. I kept seeing phrases like: Some people are born with abnormally formed joints... and of course, I thought: Well, that doesn't apply to me. I mean, really, who goes around thinking they were born with abnormal parts? And besides, the primary cause of osteoarthritis is aging. And I was aging. So obviously, I wasn't defective or abnormal, right?
You know how in thriller movies, when the protagonist stumbles upon something and then you get a flashback of a bunch of scenes and you can see that they are putting all the pieces of the puzzle together? It was just like that for me. I remembered that I had my friend Cathy write my daily paragraphs in first grade because it hurt my hand. I remembered all the times I asked teachers if I could type my paper instead of writing it. I remembered how I hated having to do scissor work and how bad scissors hurt my hand. I remembered showing off my "funny double-jointed thumb." It was pretty much just like in the movies as this wave of memories of my whole life and how I avoided things like that washed through my head.
So I have accepted that I was born defective. My thumbs were not properly aligned. I was a cute baby girl with defective thumbs. Doing normal things like writing, using scissors and using a screwdriver are painful but the good news is, it has nothing to do with getting old. I'm okay with that.