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That’s what all the boys say. But some of them have my best interests at heart.


The handsome guy in the photo with me is Gary Robinson, a Certified Hand Therapist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Orthopaedic Hand Clinic. We’ve been spending a lot of time together because he’s trying to prevent me from losing the use of my only good hand. What started as pain in my right thumb and wrist presumed to have been caused by an injury has become much more complicated to treat.

No doubt you’ve noticed in all of my photos that I can’t hold my hands “normally”. This is due to my Cerebral Palsy and I’ve never really given it much thought except when circumstances brought it back to my attention. So what if I have a grasping reflex? Aside from having to grip my mouse with excessive force while I paint for hours and the total inability to shape the perfect meatball it just isn’t a big deal. I can’t do up tiny buttons or open childproof caps, either. You learn to work around these minor annoyances – until your workarounds are becoming painful as half a century of incorrect movement starts to take it’s toll. Now the workarounds need workarounds, too.

That’s when you end up holding hands with a nice guy who whispers sweet nothings like “intercarpal joint hypomobility, median nerve entrapment, and reduced transverse arch”. When he tells you you have a lot of tone it’s not a positive comment about your workout results. Instead it means that my Cerebral Palsy makes it very difficult for me to relax the base of my thumb so that it’s always pulling inward towards the rest of my palm. Lots pf people with CP benefit from Botox injections to open up their hands or uncurl their feet. But I’m “high functioning” (stop laughing) and Botox would be more of a hindrance than a help.

There are no easy answers; no tried-and-true procedures to fix the problem. Luckily, Gary is very motivated to help me. He views it as a challenge outside of what he normally has to deal with.


He made me a custom splint I have to wear at night. Finding something I can wear during the day that will keep the base of my thumb in a beneficial position is proving to be more difficult. For my part I’ve offered up a cycling glove to serve as a base for attaching “ideas”.


If he can figure out a configuration that works I”ll be entertaining suggestions from all of you about what I should do to make it look attractive. Otherwise, Gary doesn’t even think I’ll wear it because it’s won’t look cool.

He’s wrong, of course. I can make anything look cool.