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I have a royal pterodactyl!?

Today is "Write down your story day." Hmmmmm. Now I suppose the interpretation of that could be: Write down the story you have in your head; it is time to share it with the world or write down the story about you. I am going with the latter. And I am going to type it rather than writing it down. It will only be a part of my story, a short piece, my thumb to be exact.

I was born with what some call a "stubby thumb," others call it a "toe thumb." In the process of looking up the spelling of the scientific name, which I can never pronounce, brachydactyly type D, I found out that another term used in the past was "Murderer's Thumb."

Wait. WHAT!? WHY?! That's awful.

Come to find out that it was a term used chiefly by palm readers and fortune-tellers. It would seem that the thought was people with this type of thumb (looking very much like a club) had terrible tempers and not much control over them. (I am offended, and I have complete control over my feelings regarding this, to be precise.)

An inherited gene causes brachydactyly type D (BDD). Royals, often attempting to keep their bloodlines pure, are known to have this particular gene. We will focus on the vital part of that last sentence - People with toe thumbs come from royalty.

BDD happens between .04 - 4 % of the population. Many people with BDD believe they are the only ones until they meet someone with it and suddenly are like family. (Go ahead, insert your snickering and inbred jokes here, I'll wait...) Although having this tiny thumb does not cause pain or any fundamental physical limitations, people who have often will try to hide it or be embarrassed about it. (Note the above parenthetical! Maybe that has something to do with it?) (Another side note: Although it usually only happens to one thumb, it can present on both and seems to affect females more than males.)

Growing up, I was the only one I knew to have this. It didn't bother me. Playing the keyboard sometimes posed difficulties because my finger span was one key less for my left hand than my right, but this did not lessen my enjoyment of playing nor stop me. Most people did not notice it, mine is on my left hand, and I am right-handed. My best friend in high school would call me "Stubby" sometimes because of it but far more often he would call me "Shorty" or "Half-pint" because of my height. If anything "bothered" me about it at all was that in a family of seven, why was I the only one? Until one day I noticed my niece's right thumb. I cannot remember what we were doing that made me notice it but I will never forget it. I grabbed her hand and said, "Oh my god we have matching thumbs!" She pulled her hand away and hid it looking wounded and sad. I told her it was okay, that I had the same thing, and showed her my thumb. Her eyes lit up and she asked if we could take my "good" thumb and put it on her and take her "bad" thumb and put it on mine, that way we would each have matching thumbs. I, of course, told her no and told her it made her unique but even better, it made us "thumb sisters." (Being an aunt is something I love. Being a great aunt to all her little cherubs and being her thumb sister is by far one of my absolute favorite things and it brings me never-ending joy.)

Having a toe thumb has not stopped me from doing anything. Some people see it and have all kinds of questions, many hoping for some gruesome story of how it got "cut off." Once in a while, I tell people that I was born without a thumb and the doctors thought it was more important to have than a big toe so they removed my big toe and graphed it onto my hand. Often the reaction is, "And it works just like a real thumb?" I always find that question funny and really wonder about some people.

There was a mom that was desperate to get her son to stop sucking his thumb. He was maybe four or five years old. I knelt down to her son and showed him my thumbs, whispered, and stood. His eyes got very large and he pulled his thumb out of his mouth. He put his hands together and examined them thoroughly. As I walked back to his mother she asked what I said to him. I said, "I told him that I used to suck my thumb. I didn't stop when my mommy told me I should and now they look like this." By her face, I could not tell if she was angry or just horrified but three days later she called me and told me he hadn't sucked his thumb at all since.

I like my little toe thumb. I think it is cute. I like thinking that I come from royalty and that Megan Fox and I may be distantly related (yes, she has it on both hands!) I like that Amanda and I are thumb sisters and maybe that made us that much closer while she was growing up. I like that Henry stopped sucking his thumb and I liked it when Jimmy called me "Stubby" (he has been gone now for almost six years.) I'd like someday to be able to say "brachydactyly type D" properly but today is not that day and I am okay with that.


National Women's History Month.


This week's honor goes to Amelia Earhart. I have always loved everything about flying and so honoring a female pilot is a must for me. Add-in, that I love a good mystery, Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. The plane, wreckage or otherwise, and their bodies were never found, she was declared dead on January 5, 1939.

She was also an author writing best-selling books about her flights. Above is a link to her second book. Her last book was published after her death. The book consists of diary entries and notes compiled by herself during her solo attempt across the Pacific.

Love Lots; Smile Often



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