Saturday, July 7, 2012

In Praise Of Hands

Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious."
~~Michel de Montaigne, 16th cent. French writer
+   +   +

"If you hear screaming from the next room," he said, "it's just me using this saw on the lady in there."
 A joke, of course, to tease the teenager getting a new cast in the room next to mine.

I'd worn my cast for a month and would soon be released from the insufferable thing; it came off with two zips of the saw and I was left startled and staring at a withered, atrophied limb~~
enough to make a grown woman cry.
 The good doc came in to check the x-rays and said, "looks good, all things considered.
 See the white where bone healing has begun?"

And so hand therapy began:
Six times a day, every two hours. With fingers curled in a fist, I must will my muscles to
bend my wrist down as far as possible, hold for ten seconds, then reverse to bend the wrist back as far as possible, and hold for another 10 seconds;
Repeat 10 times.

Then, there are a series of clockwise and counterclockwise rotations of the wrist for circumduction; another for supination and pronation of the forearm. Hmmm, a little vocabulary expansion, too.

My therapist cooked up a custom splint. Stirring about in a sort of crockpot filled with hot water, she conjured up a plastic wrap that fit and fastened on my arm with Velcro strips.
 "Wear it at all times," she said, "taking it off only for bathing and hand exercises."
+   +   +

I cannot alter the past,
 but the future is very much in my hands.
~~Mary Lyden Simonsen

And so the journey for renewal begins, one infinitesimal movement at a time.
I want to clap, clasp, appeal, conjure, cook, pick up a baby, instruct, play, and create again.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Breathe.
2-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Breathe.
3-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Breathe.

I hear a new mantra coming on~~the future's in my hands.


Donna said...

Becky, this post was just brilliant! I can absolutely see what you are going through and empathize with your therapy. The many ways one uses their hands was suddenly so clear to me and the restrictions therein too with a fracture. I feel your plight just now is akin to mine and the tole it is taking on my body. Restriction and changes....we'll get through this and be stronger in the end!

Dimple said...

I am glad you are progressing determinedly (hooray, no spelling error!). Keep up the good work!

S. Etole said...

Progress! It's always a bit startling when they saw a cast off. Looks like you have a good therapy routine going.

helen tilston said...

Hello Becky

Congratulations on the next step to full recovery. You must feel relieved to have the cast removed, particularly in this hot weather.


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

And so you will....all of the above.

To threading together tendons...and all the like...

Jeanne @ Collage of Life said...

I have a feeling you are a woman who will not take no for an answer, with that in mind I expect you will succeed in gaining full mobility. I am just sorry you gave to go through any of this at wishes Becky..
Jeanne xx

Midlife Jobhunter said...

PT sucks - for sure. But so worth it in the end. Here's hope for its end very soon.

Enjoyed the post - in spite of your pain.

mermaid gallery said...

you'll do it!...your hands will recover....but i sympathize greatly.....our hands are always busy...Your hands are busy mending....and you are busy helping that process....still busy hands though!!!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How well I remember when I broke my leg at seven. My little leg looked soooo different when that cast came off. Don't fret, it will soon be back to normal!

Relindis said...

Becky - I do feel for you. How long did it take to write this post?
I do know how much I took my hands for granted. I haven't written about this, but I had some sort of viral 'flu just before we were due to go to Italy in May. My painful hands began to swell up and stiffen as well as other joints. I had to take rings off very quickly, which was sad. I thought I wouldn't be able to make the journey, but I did and things have calmed down now with ongoing tests.
Bless you, Becky, and especially bless those hands.

rosaria williams said...

Oh, how I feel for you...
Therapy is the only thing, the very re-training you need. Gosh, though, I had not realized how serious your injury was.
And yes, the future in our hands!

Emily Wierenga said...

you are a brilliant writer, becky.


Beth said...

I like how you told a 'story' not just said, "I got my cast off." You weave us in and out with words of your moments as you totally recover use of that hand. Lovely piece of writing. I'm so glad you're onto the next step and are being so diligent about it!:>)

tammy j said...

oh happy day! to get that old cast off. that heavy... can't get me wet... itchy... hard... clunking... not enough yukky words for it... claustrophobic cast!
and remember dear heart..
the 80%... long as you work work work it turns into 100% again... regardless of what "they" say!
congratulations. so happy for you.
you're on the home stretch. maybe you can salvage a bit of this summer yet! didn't expect a new post so soon after july 4th. see?
progress already! yay!!!
love and hugs,
tammy j

Life 101 said...

You don't really consider your hands until you can't use them. Glad you're getting better.

Debbie said...

A new chapter in your book, Becky.
The journey continues.
Love to you.