Protecting your hands

Posted In: Coffee Break

  • Member
    Angela Biggs on #113116

    Hi all,

    My husband has been asking me all summer to try out pickle-ball with him, and yesterday I finally went. It’s like tennis, but on a smaller court, with a lower net, a whiffle ball, and using slightly different rules. It was actually pretty fun. But I miscalculated on the very last shot, and the whiffle ball hit the outermost joint of my thumb instead of my racket. It was surprisingly painful, and the joint immediately began to swell and turn purple. I went right home and iced it off-and-on for two hours; the next day it’s still clearly bruised, but only a little sore and no longer swollen, so it looks like it’s going to be okay. I’m breathing a big sigh of relief.

    I do a lot of things that look ridiculous to other people in order to protect my voice (my primary instrument) — and even things that attract dirty looks, like substituting a bow and a smile for a handshake in church when the person next to me is clearly ill and also clearly not practicing basic hygiene. The laughter and the dirty looks bother me, but they don’t stop me. My husband and I have been making major sacrifices for years in order to build my teeny-tiny career, and the daggers shooting from Church Lady’s eyes won’t kill me. 🙂

    Although voice is my primary instrument, I’m more known for my harp. I think it’s because it’s so flashy and exotic. Anyway, it’s grown to a point where it brings in more than half of my business income. So my question is this: should I invest in armored gloves for activities like pickle-ball, or would that truly cross into the realm of paranoia? I know there are many of you here who actually support yourselves entirely with harp — do any of you go to extra lengths to protect your hands? And if you do, can you recommend a good pair of protective gloves?

    Thank you!

    Sylvia on #113117

    It’s been on here before, but I try to never shake hands….especially with men because they seem to want to show how strong they are by crushing my fingers together.
    Take whatever precautions you feel are necessary to protect your hands. I always wanted to play volleyball, but…..not even with gloves. I think it would be hard to hold a racket wearing gloves.

    jimmy-h on #113118

    The next time your husband wants you to play a game involving projectiles show him your thumb, bow, and smile.

    Tacye on #113119

    I am sure you could hold a racket wearing gloves – fencing gloves might be worth considering – some protection to the back and not too slippy palms, but leather gardening gloves might be easier to get hold of and are worth trying. Or motorbike gloves – especially racing ones.

    Sonya Wiley on #113120

    Golf gloves might work; i cut my first finger, right hand awhile back and couldn’t play with that hand for like 5 days, now i am more careful in the kitchen you can be sure; i am a older beginning harpist and hate to miss a minute of practice so now i am paranoid when using a knife!

    Angela Biggs on #113121

    Thanks, folks. Haha Jimmy, the trouble is that if I bow out of *all* sports, I can’t do anything with my husband except watch TV! He doesn’t “music” beyond a little piano-by-ear. Pickleball is at least a whiffle ball and a small court; it carries a minimum potential for disaster. 🙂

    Tacye, I’ve found all kinds of gloves, but none seem to have any protection for the thumb — except when I looked up fencing gloves per your suggestion! They at least have a double layer of leather (or faux-leather) over the thumb. I think I’ll give that a shot.

    Sonya, I was very lucky that I didn’t lose any playing time. I was done for the day by the time I accompanied hubby to the gym, and my thumb was usable the next morning. Less than two weeks from now I have the following over the course of two days: two low-key one-hour performances, two workshops to teach, and a higher-pressure performance that involves two harping-while-singing songs I’m still in the process of memorizing. I canNOT afford a forced Time Out right now! lol

    Alison on #113122

    I am really protective of my hands, I have an old injury of a strained finger tendon and had many forearm fractures when young and one ankle suffers sprains repeatedly so I’d hate to really damage my hands badly again (avoided skiing too). I think you are bound to injure yourself in fast sports. This also means that rough DIY jobs are out of the question and I use gloves gardening & cutting tools, a little apprehensive this year going sailing and extra careful with the lines and sheets. I choose leeks over onions and prefer them (having once sliced the side of my thumb cutting an orange with a serrated edge, just in that break between rehearsal and concert !!) This year searching for an eraser, my 3rd finger found an unseen pencil sharpener in my baritone case and I hardly felt the long deep slice made by its razor sharp blade.

    lyn-boundy on #113123

    Alison – forgive me for slightly derailing the conversation but I’m intrigued by your comment that you ‘choose leeks over onions’. I can think of lots of reasons for this but none that have anything to do with protecting the hands. Please put me out of my misery.

    Angela Biggs on #113124

    Lyn, unfortunately I understood her immediately. 🙂 I’ve personally had two serious (pre-harp) finger injuries due to onions. The round shape and smooth texture makes them slippery, and because they’re large, at some point you have to take the knife off the cutting board and free-slice. Leeks aren’t quite as slippery, plus they’re small enough that you can keep the tip of the knife on the board — preventing accidental slides down the side of the leek and into your finger.

    Sherri Matthew on #113125

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for posting – I do a lot of cooking… Indian food especially! And lots of veggie stir fries. You’re right, cutting onions is a tricky business and a couple of times I sliced off a harp nail, usually my thumb nail, but fortunately didn’t hit the thumb itself. Then I’d have to wait it for it to grow back. I think I’ll try your suggestions – I like leeks – and they should stir fry well just as well in olive oil.

    lyn-boundy on #113126

    Thank you Angela – I understand now. My eyes are incredibly over-sensitive to onions and I get into such a state while chopping them that many years ago I swore it was a job I didn’t need and ever since then I’ve bought mine frozen and bagged – not always quite the same, I know, but i find very little difference when it comes to using them in gravies, sauces and stir-fries. Funny how quickly you forget those sliced fingers!

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