I thought I'd told everyone the extended version of the first anecdote of my life: In Which I Am Born With an Extra Thumb. Strangely, I can't find it out there. So here it is.
Mom, having had a child already, was all too happy to get the heavy-duty drugs when I arrived. I don't know what they gave her, but she was unconscious when I evidently frog-crawled my way out of her vagina.
Later, she came to just as the doctor was entering the room. The doctor assumed since I had been born hours earlier, Mom had woken up, seen me, counted the fingers and toes, freaked out, dismissed me, then gone to sleep again.
Unbeknownst to him, Mom had been sleeping off the drugs for hours, and hadn't seen me. Mom's side of the story was that he woke her up and said, "Well, congratulations on your baby girl. She looks healthy. Seven pounds. You have two children now, that should keep you busy. Well, we'll talk again in a few weeks. Bye for now." Then he left.
Then, Mom says, he stuck his head back in the door and said, "Oh, and don't worry about that extra thumb." Then he left for good.
Then Mom freaked out. Mom called the nurse to have me brought in so she could number my digits, since I'd already been weighed and measured. While they were fetching me, Mom called my Grandmother.
Granceil said, "Well, you know your cousin had twelve toes AND a tail."
(I don't know if that made Mom feel any better. When Mom would tell that part of the story I always felt a little inadequate, as if, Damn, I should have had a tail, too.)
This is the only photo in which Mom was unable to hide the freak thumb:
You can't count everything on that hand, but know that the digit closest to my belly button is not supposed to look like that.
When I was sitting up on my own, some doctor resolved the situation with a big pair of scissors.
In about sixth grade I realized I had never been able to bend that thumb, then I put my hands together:
And realized that damn, I have wrinkly old hands for a sixth-grader. No. I looked at the scar and the bump placement and realized they took off the real thumb and left me with the freak stump thumb.
Of course, if they'd taken off the Freak Thumb, I'd have been unable to close my hand without pressing on that little ganglion left over from the nerve for the amputated thumb. Bumping that thing causes me sickening pain. It's my Achilles Thumb.