Ectrodactyly, you say? Or did I say Ectrodactyly? I am not sure. Though I’ve certainly spelled these exact letters in this precise sequence: E-C-T-R-O-D-A-C-T-Y-L-Y over three hundred and thirty three thousand times on stages across the United States of America though not once ever on foreign soil in these modern times.

What is this Ectrodactyly you ask? Or did I ask you to ask what is Ectrodactyly? Well as long as we’re learning how to spell E-C-T-R-O-D-A-C-T-Y-L-Y and what Ectrodactyly is then perhaps we shall gain new information inside these skulls we possess. Knowledge is what it is called.

Back to the dact. ECTRODACTYLY is also know as LOBSTER CLAW SYNDROME.

As I began my official research into the Ectrodactyly I learned in an official administrative interview with a governmental employee for the Social Security Administration named Gerald that the secondary name Lobster Claw Syndrome sounded too negative. Gerald wondered if Ectrodactyly was too scientific a term for understanding upon initial hearing and thoroughly confusing as if a foreign language suddenly spoken through a whistling lisp he laughed loudly. Gerald’s final analysis was that Ectrodactyly and Lobster Claw Syndrome were both terrible brand names to push on a buyers market.

In literal terms from the wine filled bellies of ancient Greek philosophers Ectrodactyly means “Aborted Fingers.”

Science truth burns.

Seems Gerald’s gut was onto something with his instinctively negative reaction upon his ears hearing Ectrodactyly/Lobster Claw Syndrome.

In folk terms the miracle of Ectrodactyly doesn’t find digits on studied subjects hands and/or feet. Ectrodactyly can be labeled Split or Cleft Hands/Feet. Split/Cleft is educational language appropriate. According to genetic scientist the same twist of the DNA which causes Ectrodactyly also creates Split/Cleft Pallet Mutation. Some affected by this distortion of DNA may receive both Ectrodactyly and Cleft Pallet rolled into one.

Congenital Anomaly is another term thrown about by clean starched white lab coats walking academia polished floors of high scaled lecturer halls with socked feet planted inside shiny brown penny loafers. From words read congenital anomaly is simply that of structural deformities from gestation to birth.

Digressing we could continue down our medicinal rabbit hole into the Queen of Hearts palace of nocturnal Wonderland, wait am I mixing up Carroll’s Wonderland and Looking Glass? Drifting farther still or further in our google searches we could find labels of malformation, deformation, disturbed, diseased…

How could we turn, as Gerald lead me to believe, such preconceived negatives into beautiful heart warming and if possible smile inducing positives of a rainbow type caliber? How could anyone with Ectrodactyly be able to even keep their heads up with such gloomy tags clouding over our existence with what science would tag disfigured bodies?

Well first and foremost through family. With a strong family base and helpful surrounding community every human soul can benefit and hopeful grow into positive adult beings. It takes a village says an old African proverb.

But also through education of others who have lived positively with Ectrodactyly and/or its many forms.

Does the name Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ring any digital or mental bells? If so, wonderful. If not just click/copy/google Paintings of the 1490s. Piero will blow your eye boogers sideways onto your cheekbones like a bold Chicago wind robbing you of breath.


Leonardo da Vinci was a human being who thought up imaginative ideas beyond the technology of his time. This being way before the refined alien devices we possess here in the yonder of our today. He painted. Kept a diary with his words written in reverse to preserve himself from those in power that would think otherwise of his creative conceptions. He studied cadavers circulatory systems. Observed the forms of animals. Designed flying machines.  da Vinci researchers believe this genius artist had a form of Ectrodactyly upon his drawing hand. Syndactyly, which on the streets and in the sheets means “merged together.”


Leonardo gets commissioned to create and execute one brilliantly important painting for a Milan Duke. It was ordered to be of the Bible Jesus eating a farewell meal with suspect friends. A crew known as the Dozen Disciples. This being before folks thought to remember facts (maybe times don’t change) it is not know how exactly how long Leonardo da Vinci worked on this masterpiece he grafted from mind to monk wall lunchroom.

Bygone word is this master Italian artist painted homage to the suffering that shot excruciating electric shocks through his creative left hand into the holy body of his work. To be clear: Leonardo da Vinci painted syndactyly onto the outreached left middle two fingers of Jesus Christ’s hand in the Last Supper of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

Historical speculators follow that da Vinci’s contemporaries led him on the secret with hints and whispers that it was a no go to feature such imperfection of the “God’s” only sacrificed son. Surely the born different artist would not live to extrapolate the wonders that wormed within his gray matter for it would be seeing the light of day before anything imagined would. Hip to what was being dropped the academic legend flows that Leo the Creative with a swish of his art brush disguised his “flaw” into literary lore.


There are many ways to interrupt what da Vinci did or did not do rendering Christ hands back to what of da Vinci’s time and even ours of today considered “normal”. But he lived another day and many more to continue breathing and creating.

I was blessed with Ectrodactyly. I prefer to think of myself as not deformed but a fully formed  “Child of da Vinci”. If when using stereotypes we could sway from negatives and swing towards positive outlooks I request you think of us born with E-C-T-R-O-D-A-C-T-Y-L-Y as highly creative and imaginative souls. Truly one has to be to make it in a world where doors aren’t made to open for hands in variations such as these.


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