Thursday, 13 November 2008

The New Bond Girl is a Polydactyly

Did the title of today's post catch your interest? Are you curious about the new Bond girl or the fact that I included the ten dollar word "polydactyly"? Well if you came aboard for the former, I suppose I owe you a picture of 22 year-old British-born beauty Gemma Arterton who will be opening in the new flick this coming Friday.

But the fact that Ms. Arterton is making news as a polydactyly truly intrigues me. This condition, which occurs in approximately 1 in 1000 children, involves the happenstance of extra digits on hands and feet. It includes everything from small skin buds next to the pinkie to two fingernails on one finger to fully functioning extra digits to fingers or thumbs split into a Y shape.

According to Dr. Terry Light, a hand surgeon and chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, polydactyly and syndactyly, the webbing or fusing of fingers and toes, are the two most common congenital hand anomalies seen in the U.S.

“The limb bud starts off as a glob – like a paddle – that normally separates into five distinct rays or digits,” says Dr. Light. “But if that process of separation goes a step too far, then it separates into more packets, or one of the digits, such as the thumb, becomes separated yet again.”
Ms. Arterton, it seems, was born with 6 fingers on each hand. Are you fascinated yet? YAWN!!!! If this is all it takes to stand out in a crowd and get your name in the press, then Older Son should have been rich and famous long ago!!

You see, Older Son is also a Polydactyly. This congenital defect which runs through families, was presented to us on the occasion of the birth of my first-born. Since he was born at 2:30 in the morning, none of the doctors or nurses were either awake enough or astute enough to examine him closely. (You know all of those stories of parents checking fingers and toes to make certain that they add up correctly-HORSESHIT!! New parents are either so exhausted or so excited, that they rarely notice a newborn's digits in the first moments after birth. We leave that little detail to medical professionals and ours were certainly derelict in their duties!) It was left to me at our first feeding to notice the "y"-shaped dual thumbs on his right hand.

It was a weird sight to behold and being that he was our first, I was left with numerous questions as to the origin of said digits. I mean he was born with opposable thumbs that opposed and opposed again. He had a spare! In later years he would write about his uniqueness and was left to wonder what interesting things he could have accomplished had we not had the extra removed at age 2. (The following are some of his observations!) He could have thrown a mean split-fingered fast ball! He could have had one mean "green" thumb. He could have thrown some mean spin on a bowling ball. He could have typed or texted with extra speed. (A whole new meaning to the term "Blackberry Thumb"!) He could have been his own movie critic-three thumbs up! He would never have been without a ride while hitchhiking and he would have made the Fonz jealous-AYYYYY!! And now, dear son, I can add one more to the list. Apparently, you could have been a Bond girl!

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