Almost four weeks after my snowboarding misadventure, my left wrist was still swollen and bruised. I was really puzzled and concerned about this because my previous sprain was nothing like this: I was able to walk without crutches after a few days and was traveling to Bangkok within a week of the injury. Therefore, my hand must have sustained a more serious issue. I had talked with my orthopaedic doctor about this, which was why he had recommended MRI be done on my hand. This might be ligamentous injury, he had said.
The MRI machine must have been taken straight out of Avatar or Interstellar. As I was being conveyed into the machine, I had to remember that I wasn't allowed to move over the duration of the scan. I think I fell asleep at some point, thanks to the calming effect of the steady beeping sounds (which I could hear despite the ear plugs). I was told that the results would be sent directly to my doctor and off I went.
A few days later, during my check-up, the doctor was smiling at me when he had a look at my scans. No, the results weren't pretty: I had bone marrow oedema and multiple linear fractures on the distal radius (the long bone that's on the same side as the thumb). That explained the swelling but not why my doctor was smiling. He eventually explained that bones are not displaced (whew!) and that the radius heals faster than ligaments. He expected that I'd be recovered in a matter of weeks (bone fracture) rather than months (ligament injury).
This development has implications for me. One, with my hand is still in a wrist brace, I have limited mobility with it (i.e., I cannot grip pens, knives, or any other small object). Two, I need to continue writing with my right hand. Three, I'm benched this wakeboarding season, or until the doctor allows me to return to play. Four, no driving to the malls... or anywhere with challenging parking spaces.
Oh well. It could always have been worse.